10.25.2006

Ten Seconds With Chris Bell


The title of this post says it all.  Approximately one year I had an opportunity to shake Bell's hand and ask a few quick questions.  This was at a fundraiser sponsored by the Bay Area New Democrats, and featured a ton of guest speakers.  Bell was the final speaker, and he had the misfortune of following David van Os.  Os is a guy who can give a real barn burner of a speech anchored by a core of populism.  He tore down the roof, and then gave the podium over to Bell.  (If you haven't met Chris Bell, basically he's an adult version of Cameron from Ferris Beuller's Day Off.)  Bell proceeded to give a speech tailored to win over the soccer mom community:  this was a speech designed to offend nobody, and offered only very loose suggestions for implementing his ideas. 

Bell was the final speaker of the night, and everybody began to leave once he concluded.  (Well, not everybody waited until he finished.)  I decided to ask Bell 1) how hard would he go after Rick Perry, and 2) if he could explain how position on the death penalty.  Bell said that Texans were ready to vote on the issues, and not how any candidate confronted each other.  This was shortly after the Kinky campaign was underway, and I felt that Bell was more concerned about Kinky than Perry. 

The second question was somewhat loaded, because the shutdown of the Houston Police Department DNA lab was still a big news item and the state had just executed somebody based on questionable DNA analysis from the lab.  I didn't like the response from Bell's first question, so I thought this would be a big of a softball for him.  Bell ignored the DNA lab issue, and basically said he supported capital punishment and would not make any changes to the system here in the state.  He could tell I didn't like that answer, and he quickly began speaking to somebody behind me.  I took the hint and left. 

Obviously, this isn't enough for me to completely write off the candidate.  But it was enough for me to reevaluate my feelings about the voting process.  Later today or tomorrow I'll explore that internal dialogue a little bit...

1 Comments:

Blogger Fried Catfish said...

Heath Shuler, a Democrat Congressional candidate in North Carolina, is anti-choice. If Shuler can be anti-choice, and Bell is pro-death penalty, then do Democrats have any core beliefs? I have a feeling that Bell would be against gay marriage, too. You have no idea what you're going to get when you vote Democrat.

8:10 AM  

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