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AG race in the national spotlight

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Wide White: AG race in the national spotlight

Thursday, August 10, 2006

AG race in the national spotlight

The story that's second from the top in the "Elections" section of Yahoo! News is on today's debate between Paul Bucher and JB Van Hollen.

I didn't listen to it, but I've read a few things from other bloggers like Fred, James, and Owen.

Here's a little bit from the Yahoo! story.
MADISON, Wis. - That great sucking sound you hear ... just might be coming from the race for Wisconsin attorney general.

A radio debate Tuesday between two Republicans running for the office plunged into personal attacks, with J.B. Van Hollen, a former federal prosecutor, telling his opponent during a break that "you suck ... because you only listen to people who agree with you."

Paul Bucher, a Waukesha County district attorney, shot back on the air: "I don't suck!"

After the debate, Van Hollen issued a statement accusing Bucher of throwing temper tantrums and interrupting him. He later apologized, saying he had stooped to Bucher's level.

"The voters deserve an honest debate on the issues that matter and I regret that I lowered myself to his level with my language," Van Hollen said.

Bucher replied in a telephone interview: "He's digging himself a hole and we're moving on. That's not an apology. So be it."

The two face each other in the GOP primary Sept. 12 in an effort to unseat incumbent Democrat Peg Lautenschlager.
From what I've read on the blogs, JB said a whole lot more than "you suck." I guess you have to read between the lines of the "..." in the story. Some of the comments I've read on the blogs have said that JB simply said that Bucher's leadership style sucked.

Either way, was it unprofessional? Maybe. If his leadership style really is bad and JB feels the need to call him out on it, it's hard to blame him. If it was a personal attack and he really did just say, "you suck," I'd have to agree that it was a little low. Considering JB apologized later, that may have been the case. But, like I said, I wasn't listening to it, so I don't know.

Regardless, JB's comments were made off the air to Bucher personally. Bucher is the one who brought them back on the air. From what I've read, Bucher didn't do real well during the first half, so he probably felt he had to do something to bring JB down and paint him as being immature.

Politically, it looks like Bucher's move was pretty good. Bucher went from losing to basically neutralizing the debate.

But then, this is all from the perspective of someone who didn't listen to the debate, but has simply read commentary. Take it for what it is....


Blogger Kate declared,

That was the saddest excuse of a debate I've ever heard. I honestly thought they were both above such behavior.

After a break, Paul starts in on the "you suck" thing, and JB said "I didn't say you suck, I said...". Well, you get the picture. It's was just plain childish, on both sides. Sad!

8/10/2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger erin declared,

Even if Bucher DOES suck--telling him so in such language really isn't called for. Seems to me there are a lot of other ways to communicate to someone that theiry leadership skills need some work. And the whole mess may have been a good political move for Bucher, but I think they both look pretty immature and stupid. Would we allow two grown men to talk that way to each other in a board meeting? I don't think so.

8/11/2006 10:14 AM  

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