Monday, July 12, 2010

Jack Conway Did Several Things Well During Forum

Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway did several things well during the candidate's forum with Rand Paul. If he could only find a more exciting, charismatic way to do them though. I'm going to focus on one idea here--the idea of locating oneself in Kentucky.

At the beginning of his prepared remarks, Conway did a good job of locating himself in the context of first his family, then Union County where his father is from, and finally the general population of Kentucky.

It's too bad that Conway didn't contrast himself to Rand Paul on this point though.

Paul is an eye surgeon in Bowling Green. But I've never heard him make a reference to Bowling Green, Warren County, or Western Kentucky. There's a reason for this. Rand Paul's primarily an ideologue who locates himself in relation to debates within libertarian circles on things like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the justification or lack of justification for government regulation, and the constitutionality of the income tax. It's in these kinds of extremist circles and their hypothetical debates where Paul feels most at home. It used to be conservatives who were most rooted in the politics of specific geographical locations and the traditions of those locations. But Rand Paul isn't connected to traditions and he's not connected to traditions and Jack Conway should have hammered this home in the process of locating himself within Kentucky places and traditions.

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