Some early highlights:
Delano: Let me ask you, why do you think you lost in 2006?Let me step in here. Ms Hart's grasp on recent history is rather disappointing. One part that she is omitting, unfortunately, is something reported by the Rothenberg Report. I wrote about it here. As they say in the biz, she was "caught napping" until it was too late in that campaign. According to the Rothenberg Report (sub req, sorry) there was the pesky issue of some drum lessons that got in the way of her campaigning.
Hart: I think part of it was, we didn't get to substance. The
campaign never really happened. It became an assassination more than a
campaign. And it's disapointing, I didn't run campaigns like that.
D: An assassination of you?
H: Oh, absolutely.
D: In what way?
H: Well, did you turn on your TV last fall? There was no opportunity
for any discussion. Any discussion that we had was drowned out by the
negative schlocky commercials.
D: You were characterized as being a supporter of President Bush and
former Senator Rick Santorum. I think the figure was 98% of the
H: And what relevance was that? On what particular issues. No body
Let's remember that she refused to debate Altmire. Take a look at the ever astute Chris Potter (he of the CP) had to say last October 2006:
And if that's too far out of the "mainstream media" (as the City Paper surely is) then there's this from the P-G:
Mostly, however, he has attacked Hart for carrying water for the Bush Administration, especially where the war in Iraq is concerned. He has also castigated her for supporting free-trade agreements, which he contends hurt working people in the district.
So far, Hart has replied by saying ... well, not much, really. She's refused to debate Altmire. [Hart campaign manager Luke] Myslinski says a schedule conflict preempted one debate, and Hart refused to participate in one sponsored by the League of Women Voters because "Jason is a former member there." But Hart's campaign also declined a third debate whose sponsoring organization, the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, has ties to a Hart campaign staffer. Altmire has offered to debate anyway, but Myslinski says, "If we did really well in the debate, he'd say it was rigged. We aren't putting ourselves out there like that." [emphasis in original]
So let's not settle in too too comfortably with this idea that there was "no discussion" especially since it was Melissa Hart who was refusing to debate.
Congresswoman Melissa Hart believes U.S. troops need to do more work in Iraq, while her Democratic challenger, Jason Altmire, suggests they should battle terrorism elsewhere.
The differences between them on the Iraqi war -- the Republican incumbent supportive of the Bush administration's approach, her opponent capturing the frustration with it voiced among some of the citizenry -- highlighted a side-by-side session yesterday. The two 4th Congressional District candidates took questions from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editors and reporters.
It was a rare joint appearance by them, as Ms. Hart has thus far rejected several invitations to publicly debate her opponent. The pair were respectful to each other, sticking to issues rather than personal attacks. [emphasis added]