Rhetoric in this country has reached a fever pitch. Folks are angry, and they’re scared because money’s tight. That means candidates and campaign topics are as ugly as they’ve ever been. Maybe you started muting the commercials, or maybe you’re house-training your puppy atop the mailers. Who needs the extra stress, right?
Still, this is a big one in New Mexico. Regardless of who you vote for, things are about to change here in a big way.
It’s our job, as endorsement bestowers, to figure out how that might unfold. Because you can’t get a clear sense of someone’s plan from a smear ad.
In person, it’s easy to spot where the rhetoric can’t gain traction.
In fact, when the Alibi panelists sit down with a candidate, we’re looking primarily for a plan, one with specifics. There’s nothing more dreadful than 30 minutes (or so) of endorsement interview that relies on catch phrases and buzzwords but yields few practicalities. At least that usually makes our decision easy. We want to see vision based on dispassionate facts—not theories.
If you want to read all about a candidate’s issues and history, that information is at your fingertips in an instant if the campaign website is good enough. We do that legwork, too, and hours of research. But the more telling analysis happens when we sit and talk face to face, dredge up all the uncomfortable truths we found in our research, and politely dig in for specifics.
In person, it’s easy to spot where the rhetoric can’t gain traction. Sure, it generates heat and friction, but until it grabs, there’s no moving forward.
We’ll have video from those interviews available online soon. We’ll also post questionnaires from candidates we didn’t interview in-person. Tune in on Election Day for constant coverage and web extras.