Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well, I Went Home With the Waitress ...

Favorite Political Ad So Far This Season (Best viewed on YouTube directly):

First the set-up: The candidate, running for Governor of Oregon,  is Chris Dudley, a moderate Republican, and a former NBA basketball star. He's a millionaire, has no political experience, and in this ad, he's giving a speech in which he considers one of the big problems in the state is that waitresses, who make minimum wage, are also getting tips. 

We should lower minimum wage here, because it's the highest in the country.

Lower the minimum wage. Got to love hearing that from a millionaire white guy.

This is the man who wants to give an 800 million dollar tax rebate in a state that is so deep in the hole that it takes sunlight a week to get to the bottom.

Most of the time, Dudley's smarter than Sarah Palin, and as long as he stays on message, he does okay, but when he gets asked something a hair off, he hems and haws a lot. And I suppose, when you have all that weight of a fat wallet on your hip, that might make you pull up lame now and then.

(Full disclosure: Yeah, the video was edited to make him look bad -- but if you watch the full version, you'll see that he wants to instigate a training wage, i.e., less than minimum, for newbies entering the work force. Sure sounds like lowering the minimum wage to me.)

I find listening to Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" kinda makes sense here.


Bobbe Edmonds said...

On the video, Chris Dudely says "The unemployment rate between 18 to 25 year olds is 35%. In the minorities, it's almost 50%."

Wait,wait...Was he addressing JUST the white people with that sentence? This...this does not bode well.

Steve Perry said...

It's the RWG Syndrome -- Rich White Guy. He has no clue how to relate to people who are living on minimum wage and maybe tips. Ask him how much a loaf of bread or a half gallon of milk costs? If his campaign guys don't see that ambush coming and prep him for it, he won't have a clue.

Remember when George Bush the Elder went into a supermarket on a campaign swing and noticed the check-out scanner for the first time? Only been around for ten or fifteen years by then ...

A guy who wonders if he has enough money in his pocket to get fries with his burger at McDonalds does not look at life the same way as a guy who knows he has enough in his pocket to buy the McDonalds outright.

Much as I admire Obama, it's been a long time since he was worried about where he next meal was coming from, too. Been a long time since we elected a poor President, or even a poor governor or senator in this state. In most states.

Drop down to California, or flyover to New York, you see candidates spending ten or twelve million of their own money to run. Somebody who can piss away ten million dollars and not miss it? They don't much relate to anybody but other rich people.

When they are telling folks they feel their pain? I don't believe it.

jks9199 said...

Money in politics is a huge problem, I agree. People can almost literally buy elections almost anywhere. (Some places, it doesn't matter so much. Win the Democratic nomination for Mayor in DC, for example, and everyone pretty much assumes you've won it. Even if the Republican candidate were to spend the gross income of a fair sized country...)

But I don't necessarily think it's fair to judge by whether a candidate knows the price of milk or bread either, or if a presidential candidate hasn't done his own grocery shopping. I'm not ancient -- but I bet my dad wouldn't have known the price of a gallon of milk when I was a kid. Mom did the grocery shopping; I don't recall him ever stopping on the way home. And by the time someone is running for President -- especially after serving as Vice President -- they're pretty far out of the daily life of an ordinary person. Not saying that it's a good thing... but it's a fact.

I'd love to see Congress go back to the part time gig it was in the early days. And away from service in Congress being a side job to getting reelected. But the first ain't likely to happen anytime soon, and the second... that'll take major reform. Kind of hard to see that happening with the investment the folks who could arrange the reform have in the status quo.

Kevin said...

Interesting. Minimum wage can vary from state to state. It looks like the range is between $5.15 to $8.25. Wait staff are in that fun group of people where minimum wage law allows for a minimum wage of between $3.12 to $6.94. (Jobs where tipping is expected are, for some reason, not subject to normal minimum wage requirements.) I kinda feel sorry for them, especially if they have to go through a “training wage” to get up to the empowering $3.12/hour living wage. Oh wait, we don’t have living wage scales…only minimum wage. Ugh.

Steve Perry said...

But your dad wasn't running for elective office around the notion that he was one of the common folk and able to relate to their needs.

It's always something of a grin to see a US Senator who normally wears five-thousand-dollar suits in his rolled-up tailored shirtsleeves and handmade Italian shoes standing in some farmer's yard trying to look like he belongs there. (Being careful not to look down to make sure he isn't standing in a big pile of what he's selling, and ruining that Italian leather ...)

My wife does most of the grocery shopping in our house, and she bakes most of the bread we eat. I do know that the range of cost for a loaf of bread is pretty broad, from cheap white slices on the low end to spendy whole-grain baked-in-store stuff on the high end. I'm not running for anything, though.

If I was running for Governor in a state with 10% unemployment, I wouldn't consider that waitresses' tips was something worth mentioning. When a guy with millions tucked away offers that waitresses are making too much money? The man-of-the-people cloak turns into the Emperor's new clothes.

Here, the D running for Guv, John Kitshaber, was, before he got into politics, an ER doc. Not that regular-folks kind of job either. But he will sometimes put on a sport coat (no tie) over his jeans. He likes to fish, even though he's a Democrat. He at least looks the part of One of Us.

Dudley, at what? 6'10"? doesn't buy off the rack ...

But what matters is what they have in mind. Kitzhaber, the D, had the job for two terms before. Dudley has never been elected anything, except player's rep in the NBA. What bothers me is not that he's an R, but that he doesn't have any chops:

I have a new plan!

Wonderful! What it is it?

It's a good plan!

Um, how so?

New Jobs! Cut taxes!


Trust me! It's my plan!

Uh huh ...

Dan Moran said...

Dudley holds the NBA record for most consecutive missed free throws -- 13. I wouldn't vote for a guy who can't put a 9" ball through a 18" hoop, standing 15 feet away, in 13 straight tries.

He was getting paid, even.

Steve Perry said...

When the local political cartoonist did a series on the one debate between Dud and Kitz, he gave Kitz a line: "I'm a better free throw shooter than he is."

Dudley did most of his career playing for the Trailblazers, people remember ...