Tag Archives: Steve Terry

The Punditry Sausage Party

Friday afternoon I was reading a report on vpr.net about young people entering politics after being inspired by Bernie Sanders. It was a perfectly cromulent time-filler, not particularly long on insight or depth  (quotes from only two candidates, no attempt to identify a larger trend).

Near the end came this passage:

Eric Davis, a professor emeritus of political science at Middlebury College, says it’s too soon to tell:

“In this year’s presidential cycle, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has certainly inspired many young people to get involved in politics,” Davis said. “The question I have, and I believe it’s too early to provide an answer to this question, is whether these impacts of the Sanders’ campaign are going to continue beyond the end of 2016.”

… and my left eyelid started twitching.

I’ve got no beef with Davis, a reliable source for a useful bit of conventional wisdom. But what suddenly struck me and my eyelid is the absolute ubiquity of the same handful of pundits quoted endlessly by Vermont media.

Davis is far and away number one. If someone decides there’s been a little too much Davis, they might make a call to Garrison Nelson. Or Chris “Undiscolsed Conflict” Graff. Or, in the case of Channel 3, Mike Smith and Steve Terry.

(Not to mention VTDigger’s political columnist, Jon Margolis.)

It’s a small punditical pool. And there’s a distinct ball smell about it.

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Here comes the money

This one’s for Nick.

Yeah, the Vermont primary campaign blasted through all the old records for money spent. And now the real battle begins.

On the morning after the vote, the Republican Governors Association launched the first TV ad of the general election campaign. Shockingly, it’s pro-Phil Scott.

It may make his railings against outside money look a bit like the protestations of the painted lady under the lamppost, but at least it’s a positive ad. In fact, it’s so sticky-sweet, it ought to come with a warning: “You May Contract Diabetes While Watching This Advertisement.” Scenes of Phil’s appealingly craggy face on a summer day as he greets Real Vermonters, while a piano arpeggiates and an inviting, slightly MILFy voice extols his virtues. He will, Carol Brady assures us, “restore trust in state government, bring new jobs to Vermont, and focus on solving problems, not playing politics.”

I’m sure the next ad will include “heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.” (Hey, I went to Sunday School*.)

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Mike Smith, unofficial publicist for the Scott campaign

If the past couple of Sundays are anything to judge by, Mike Smith may be trying to recast himself as less of a partisan figure. The new host of Not The Mark Johnson Show on WDEV has been a devout Republican throughout his adult life, as far as I can tell; and until recently, his weekly opinion columns have consisted largely of Republican boilerplate.

The last two have been resolutely nonpolitical. But if he’s trying to rebrand himself as a nonpartisan for the sake of his radio credibility, he’ll have to watch what he says on WCAX, where he’s an occasional political analyst.

Several days ago, after Sue Minter formally entered the gubernatorial race, Smith appeared on Channel 3 along with fellow analyst Steve Terry. (Presumably they’re the Point-Counterpoint of WCAX.) And here’s an excerpt from their not-terribly-interesting analysis.

Steve Terry: This is now a wide-open race. It gives Democrats, those who vote in the primary, a real solid choice.

Mike Smith: The ability of both Shap Smith and Sue Minter to distance themselves from the Shumlin administration is going to be key for them.

Steve Terry: One of the things that I’m looking at among the three Democrats is how strong they push a single issue of job creation. They may mention jobs a little, but it’s never blank equals jobs.

Mike Smith: Right now, Phil Scott owns that fiscal message.

Okay, bud. Hold it right there.

“Phil Scott owns that message”?

Pray tell, why?

Phil Scott has done nothing to claim ownership of that message. Well, unless you count his endless Worker For A Day publicity stunts.

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