Dr. Eugene T. Paslov: Senate work is hard – too hard for Angle
I read a recent column by Jon Ralston (June 20, Las Vegas Sun) in which he speculated that Sharron Angle could possibly beat Sen. Harry Reid for the U.S. Senate. He observed Angle was acting like a real politician and might be softening her more radical views. More accurately, her handlers were trying to make her views more palatable.
I respect Ralston and find his analysis spot on. Until recently, Angle has only been talking to reporters who lob softball questions (like on Fox News). She is staying away from most mainstream media. But Ralston secured an interview on his “Face to Face” program, June 29. The softball game was over.
Angle talked about the Social Security “lock box” and how she would privatize the Social Security trust fund (depriving millions of benefits), and she would support cutting unemployment benefits (for all those “spoiled” unemployed Americans), and she lashed out at Reid’s outstanding job creation record for Nevada. She also told the viewers that she was a Christian and would oppose abortion under any circumstances, including incest and rape (it’s God’s plan). I found her answers uninformed, contradictory and scary.
Jon Ralston is a tough reporter. Sharron Angle had no experience with reporters who seriously question her views. She stuck with her talking points, which were factually incorrect and incessantly repetitive.
But remember, in the 1980s Nevadans even elected Chic Hecht to the U.S. Senate. I recall during that election we rarely heard Hecht speak. He was prone to embarrassing malapropisms – “nuclear suppository” being one of the most memorable. He was shown on TV silently smiling with a beautiful Nevada sunset in the background. It was a winning formula. He was elected.
If Angle is elected to the U.S. Senate one can be assured Republicans will relegate her to the back row of the Senate. The Republicans’ purpose is to get rid of strong Democratic leadership (Harry Reid) and weaken President Obama. There is little interest by the party of “no” in helping Nevada solve serious economic, education and employment problems. Angle will be politically ineffective, like Hecht.
I visited Sen. Hecht in Washington. His small office was filled with Nevada memorabilia. He was most proud of his hand-tooled saddle sitting on top of a rickety saw horse in the middle of his office and his new Timex watch which he told me repeatedly indicated both time and date. Presumably he was counting the days before he became ambassador to Bermuda.
Senate work is hard. Angle will not help Nevada.
• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.