Sue Lowden’s Macaca Moment Goes Viral

Posted by on Apr 21st, 2010 and filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site

(Chuck Muth) – It’s the same ol’ story: What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube.

Patrick Coolican of the Las Vegas Sun reports today that Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden “defended her remarks Monday on the Nevada Newsmakers TV show” with regards to the “bartering for doctors” brouhaha which has erupted, spread out of control, and become a political punch line since last week.

A lot of people are understandably asking why Lowden seemingly compounded the problem in that interview on Monday in light of things such as Democrat communications director Phoebe Sweet showing up at the Lowden campaign office with a live goat – now immortalized on YouTube and coming to a television commercial near you – last Thursday.

The far left-wing Daily Kos blog wrote yesterday: “Sue Lowden, the likely Republican nominee against Harry Reid, is doubling down on her widely ridiculed proposal that people should haggle and barter with doctors to bring down prices. Appearing yesterday on Nevada Newsmakers, Lowden said….”

Here’s why it seemed as though Lowden was “doubling down” in that interview. It was taped. It was actually conducted last Thursday in Reno before “Goat Girl” showed up at Lowden HQ in Vegas and the whole issue went viral. I suspect that had the interview actually been conducted live on Monday, Lowden would have addressed the matter quite differently.

And now you know….the rest of the story.

Still, the Lowden campaign has been molasses-slow in recognizing how bad this “macaca”-like moment really was when it first became public, and excruciating horrible at defusing it. Indeed, Ben Smith’s blog post this morning in Politico blares this headline: “Bring a Chicken!”

Add to the problem all the ridicule being heaped on the candidate by people commenting on the blog posts and columns which are commenting on the issue. Here’s just one example found this morning on Smith’s post: “In April, we have take-your-kids-to-work-day. But in Republican senate candidate Sue Lowden world, it’s take-your-chicken-to-the-doctor-day.”


Compare and contrast this with how “The Natural,” Sarah Palin, has handled a similar situation.

Remember when it was revealed that she had scribbled speaking notes on her hand at that Tea Party convention several weeks ago? That, too, became the butt of jokes and political fodder for late-night comedians. But look at how Palin responded. Instead of becoming defensive or ignoring it, she’s used humor to deflect and deflate it.

For example, at last weekend’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Palin stopped in the middle of her speech, looked at the palm of her hand as though she was reading something on it, and then deadpanned into the mic, “Poor man’s teleprompter.” That brought down the house. Lowden needs to find a similar way to deal with this bartering issue. And fast.

Make no mistake; this incident probably won’t kill Lowden’s primary chances. She’s still way ahead in the polls and the election is just seven weeks away.

But Harry Reid ain’t Danny Tarkanian or Sharron Angle. And this out-of-control mess is a warning sign that Team Lowden’s quick-response messaging machine might not quite be ready for prime time. If they don’t get their act together soon, by the time Harry Reid really aims the vaporizer at her after the primary, should she hold on and win, there might not be anything there to vaporize.

11 Responses for “Sue Lowden’s Macaca Moment Goes Viral”

  1. pinson says:

    Compare and contrast this with how “The Natural,” Sarah Palin, has handled a similar situation.

    I get your point on media management, but:
    a) Palin’s not running for elective office.
    b) Advocating for devolving the economy to some kind of agrarian barter system is way crazier than writing notes on your palm, which, while slightly declase, is understandable. Continuing to insist that bartering is some kind of panacea to the nation’s considerable health care cost containment woes marks Ms. Lowden as naive, unserious and unworthy of high office.

  2. BugMeNot says:

    To elaborate on what pinson’s point ‘b’, it should be noted that there is a reason why we no longer have a barter-based economy: it is terribly inefficient. If my doctor doesn’t want anything that I have to trade, then I’m out of luck. When my then-90-year-old grandmother had her combined hip-and-knee replacement a few years ago, could she really have offered to paint the surgeon’s house in exchange?

    This wouldn’t do anything about health care costs, and if Mrs. Lowden doesn’t know that then the Senate would be the worst place to send her.

  3. BugMeNot says:

    Said a blogger in Philadelphia, PA:

    [“Unless the law was changed in the last several months, “backyard chickens” are illegal here in the urban hellhole. There is a place a few blocks away that sells live poultry, but I must find something else to barter for them. Just how many chickens should I stockpile in my medical savings account? Since I can’t keep them in the backyard, I’ll need to have the poultry store act as my bank.”

    “Seems to be needlessly complicated.”]

  4. Laura says:

    A “barter” is considered taxable income. Sue Lowden is proposing new taxes on the already suffering people of Nevada. Shame on her.

    Save a chicken, vote Harry Reid

  5. Marla says:

    While Sue stumps for old school bartering as a means of dealing with the escalating costs of healthcare, a poll on her OWN website shows that 60% of respondents support the new health care law. Take the hint, Sue.

    Your Opinion

    Do you think government-run health care will improve the quality of our care?

    * Yes (60%, 13,317 Votes)
    * No (40%, 8,970 Votes)

    Total Voters: 22,287

  6. LestYeBeBugged says:

    Chickens for checkups has gone techno!

  7. Ed La Cruze says:

    Since it is hard to show up at the doctors office unannounced with live stock (or dead stock) or paving stones, one needs to barter with recognized coin of the relm. Offer to pay cash for the services of the good doctor. Two things can be accomplished, the doctor may cut out the cost of the middleman, and the recipiant of the services feels the real cost of the transaction. Barter: trade by exchange, the exchange is whatever is acceptable to both parties. Show up with cash. It will probably be accepted.

  8. Mark Noonan says:

    It’ll be up to Lowden to put the record straight, but the point she was trying to make, in my view, is that once upon a time no one had health insurance and everyone could see a doctor. Lowden’s trouble is that if this is her point, she made it in about as bad a way as you can. I doubt she’s expecting people to start putting the doctor bill on their MasterCluck Card.

    Her recovery from this should take the form of a broadside against the very concept of insurance – especially government insurance (Medicare, eg) – and how it has wrecked our health care system.

  9. Cluck Muck says:

    Lowden’s press shop should have been all over this and squashed it instantly. Not-quite-ready-for-prime-time candidate.

  10. Bruce Feher says:

    Several media outlets and private citizens have been having fun with Sue Lowden’s comments about bartering.

    Maybe they should consider this; as the Federal Government continues to debase the currency by printing more and more money to cover all the entitlements they need to buy votes, there will be a tipping point; in Germany it was called hyperinflation.

    In addition, when was the last time you saw a silver dollar, quarter or dime? Sooner or later the masses will figure out that there is no money, just worthless pieces of paper.

    Perhaps Ms. Lowden is a visionary.

  11. Laura Hummel says:

    Oh my this could be devastating to the entire Republican Party statewide. I certainly hope we don’t forget this by Primary Election day. There are some really excellent candidates running for the US Senate Republican nomination. The Nevada Republican Party has failed to elect in four previous Senatorial elections. If we don’t choose the right candidate this time it will be the fifth. If Harry Reid wins this election he will have served Nevada for 50 years. I realize he is very powerful, but so is an earthquake. What has he done for Nevada in the last 23.5 years?

Leave a Reply