One of the reasons why you often see reporters bored when they are following a candidate is they tend to hear the same message and speech over and over again.
It make sense, like comedians on tour in the days before youtube, as long as the audiences are the different the message will always seem fresh to them and they react accordingly, but if you are assigned to a single person for days, weeks or months on end, the message doesn’t change.
However there is an advantage of hearing a message over and over. If you listen carefully you might either pick up a nuance or something might click that you didn’t hear the first time.
For example consider last weekend where I covered Senator Ted Cruz at three different events. At all of them he talked about his father coming to this country, how he had been oppressed in Cuba and came here and noted that if America falls where will we go to?
When I heard it the 2nd time it reminded me of the trek of Clara Csiong who I interviewed back in 2010.
She fled China to Cuba when the communists took over and then when Castro brought communism to Cuba for America. recognizing Barack Obama for what he was she joined the Tea Party: “This time I stay and fight”
How many people came here fleeing oppression over the 40 years who have that same thought?
When Senator Cruz says
That’s why we’re here, because we love our kids and we love our grandkids and we’re not prepared to look them in the eye and tell them we sat idly by while the greatest country in the world was taken.
I hear the echo of Clara saying five years earlier:
“I stay and fight.”
But Clara is not the only memory that comes to mind I hear when the Senator speak. At his 2nd stop that day he was asked about the GOP Establishment he began his answer with the question
How many people here are frustrated with the Republican establishment?
Every hand in the crowd went up.
It brought to mind that same rally where I met Clara when I asked a the crowd a question:
“Who here trusts the GOP?” Not a single hand went up, but people over and over promised me that if the GOP spent like the democrats they would be back to throw them out too. No wonder the GOP is scared of the tea party.
Two Hours earlier he was asked a similar question at the WRKO town hall. “Why conservatives should trust him?” Watch the question and the answer.
You know what You shouldn’t trust me, don’t trust any politician. What you should do instead is say: ‘show me, don’t tell me show me.’ I had a former boss who used to say ‘If i’m ever accused of being a Christian I’d like there to be enough evidence to convict me. The same is true of being a conservative, if you’re really a conservative you shouldn’t have to tell anybody because you will bear the wounds of standing for your principles and if you haven’t taken any shots you haven’t done it.
He elaborated further:
Every one of us should ask any candidate who shows up in front of us: ‘You say you believe in these principles? Great! Show me. When have you stood up and fought for them, when have you bled for them and what have you accomplished?’ As the Scriptures say: You will know men by their fruits
And when he gave that answer it reminded me of a song associated with by Audrey Hepburn (but actually sung by Marni Nixon)
Those words could be sung to almost any GOP candidate courting a voter with the promise of conservatism before a primary election:
Tell me no dreams filled with desire, if you’re on fire show me!…
…Sing me no songs, read me no rhymes, don’t waste my time, Show me!
And if I’m thinking and hearing this, there are likely a lot of other voters hearing and thinking the very same thing.
Closing thought: This is a comedy skit, attack ad or a web video just waiting to happen and a good chunk of the GOP field should be very afraid of the moment it does.
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