Thanks for asking M. Butterfly, but I'm nowhere near where the tornadoes hit. Actually, I didn't know aobut them to late Sunday because I was avoiding the news. I'm about 4 hours away - see
So I promised answers to each of the questions I posed to Edwards and Forbes:
I showed up about 1/2 hour early for this press conference to an empty room. I found the university's PR guy and he let me know that others would be there. In fact, one other reporter showed up for another paper and no tv crews (they showed up at the main event). So chairs were set for about 20 and I, another dude, and a girl from the university newspaper were there.
The university's PR guy said that each would come in - Edward's first, then Forbes - he would introduce them, they would give a statement, then we could ask questions. I was thinking that "god, this must be bleak for someone who a year ago was being followed by the international press in a seperate 767. Now he gets so bozo freelancer like me who's just entertaining himself." At show time, Edwards walked in first. Ignored the pr guy, sized up me and the other reporter, then said, "Shoot!," looking dead at me and point his finger. This is the Breck girl? He looked a little impatient...grumpy even.
Jokingly I asked if he was ready to announce his candidacy for '08. He seemed to lighten up and said jokingly back with a pause, "Not yet."
I asked the Wisconsin question I posted earlier when I asked for questions. He said, everybodies worried. And a bunch of the tripe that I had already read. "Cheney lied. We would have sent more troops, tried the Iraqis already and brought them home already..oh, and Cheney lied.
Next, I asked how he would measure two America coming together. He said he would have narrowed the gap in assets and income. Oh, yeah? Socialism has been tried and failed. The Divine Mrs. M. got mad at that one" "He wants us all to be equally
miserable!" Mr. E. said he would have done this by jiggering the tax code and making the US more competitive by funding education more. Yawn.
The other reporter asked about the tax simplification report that came out recently. Edwards honestly said he hasn't seen it, but then gave another redistributionist answer about the tax code.
I then asked about an article in the journal from that day - this one - and asked if he thought Americans were really willing to put up with some tax hikes. He said that George's Bush's policies were "insane" and that we should be afraid of the Chinese holdling our debt (oh, no the chinese hold paper with our name of it), etc.
I don't want to debate what Mr. Edwards said. I don't believe most of it and can't understand how he reaches his conclusions, but that's cool. I didn't smell sulfur when he entered the room. Just alot of cliches and trite 50 year old thinking - but that's today's Democratic party. However, when I asked for a pic, he gave me pose.
Mr. Forbes entered the room a few minutes after Mr. Edwards left. He walked right toward me. I thought he was going to fall on me. He looks a bit frail - like someone who has had a back operation - but I don't think he has. He looks a littel goofy but doesn't seem self conscious at all. In fact, I thought he looked more natural than Mr. E.
He didn't fall on me, he grabbed the chair next to me then rolled it about 4 feet in front of me, sat down, then said "Let's talk."
This was all reform-the-tax-code-free-market stuff. I loved it. Mr. E. seemed very canned, but
practiced. Mr. F. just chatted. He seemed to be having fun.
I asked him about the Journal article above and he seemed incredulous. "Legislatures will raise taxes, but it's never been passed when put to the people," he said. Then he made some remark about throwing the bums out when they do. I had a little fun after hearing about the tax system and asked him how big his personal tax return it. He thought I was asking how much he paid, but I clarify and he said "about yea big" holding his hands about 6 inches apart.
He said he use to do his own, but now just pretty much signs what they put in front of him. He did have a funny factoid that I had never heard. The instructions for Form 1040 EZ are 36 pages long. This is the EZ form? I snapped a pic of him while he was talking to the campus newspaper reporter who was hiding off to the side.
After the press conference (i.e. me and the other guy) the p.r. guy set me at a computer with word and internet so I could do my first filing. However, 3 minutes after I start Forbes sits down right next to me to sign a bunch of books for a fundraiser they were doing. He kept up the talk with the girls and actually seemed interested in them. He grew a little miffed when the university person told him he shouldn't personalize them.
I was having a hard time concentrading what with a bunch of college co-eds walking around and giggling, when Mr. Edwards then sits down to do the same. So I got a pic of him too.
Later I crashed the private reception and told Mr. F. that I volunteered for his '96 campaign and he brighted up like we were on the plane together and started to talk about that particular war. I told him I spent a rainy Saturday handing door signs. he then let someone take our picture...However, The Divine Mr. M will confirm that I am not this fat. The camera misshapens my head into this fat thing sticking out of my collar., But here I am with Mr. F.
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