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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NY-Sen: The Thirty-Two Second Gap

Posted by DavidNYC

Jeanine Pirro kicked off her campaign today, and it was filled with not a few inauspicious moments:

Ms. Pirro appeared poised during her first interaction with reporters today, even during a 32-second pause, mid-speech, as she searched for a page of text. "Could I have Page 10?" she asked an aide, Michael McKeon, who provided the text and said later that she had been writing until the last minute and left that page in another room.

Not unexpectedly, New York Democratic Party officials, who sent an aide to monitor Ms. Pirro's speech, seized upon that long pause as an excuse to tweak the Republican as minor league.

"Today's announcement speech of Jeanine Pirro shows she may not be able to take on her primary opponent, let alone Senator Hillary Clinton," Denny Farrell, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement. "The speech was long on attacks and literally silent on specifics for New Yorkers - 32 seconds of silence that spoke volumes."

Why am I highlighting this particular bit of coverage? Well, even though the reporter (Patrick Healy) claims Pirro was "cool," think about this: Healy had her clocked on a stopwatch. He didn't just say, "paused for half a minute" - he knew the exact amount of time she floundered. Perhaps Healy himself wasn't timing it and learned the length of the pause later, but still, that suggests to me that we can expect pretty brutal coverage of Pirro. I mean, timing her down to the very second? Yikes.

Of course, I could have just started with the first two paragraphs of Healy's entry to prove that point - but the image of Pirro and her aides nervously sweating during what must have seemed like an interminable wait was just too delicious to pass up. In any event:

Decrying Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's "empty promises," Jeanine F. Pirro got her 2006 Senate campaign off to a fiery but rocky start today, broadly attacking Mrs. Clinton in a speech but struggling with questions about abortion, taxes, Iraq and her husband.

Ms. Pirro, the Westchester County district attorney and the top political prospect of 2006 for many Republicans, began a three-day statewide tour at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan this morning with a dozen friends and family members. Conspicuous in his absence was her husband, Albert, whose personal and legal problems have proved a liability in Ms. Pirro's career, and whose role in this campaign was left unclear by Ms. Pirro today.

Turnabout, as they say, is fair play. Rocky start, struggling with questions, Al Pirro's run-ins with the law - all well above the fold. It's nice to see a Republican get put through the same wringer that Dems get squeezed through by the corporate media every day. Jeanine Pirro now has a glaring spotlight cast upon her, and I can only bet that the media's coverage of her campaign is going to get more intense as the campaign goes on.

Memo to Ed Cox: Hang in there!

Posted at 03:29 PM in | Technorati