Is Ben Quayle More Like Hillary or Bill?

August 18, 2010

Ben Quayle’s lack of significant life experience has been well-documented across the board as his family attempts to buy the young man a Congressional seat in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District.  Money can help one overcome a lot.  It certainly did a lot for Dan Quayle.  Young Ben Quayle endured a recent scandal when it was revealed that he apparently helped create and promote a sexually charged, racy website that is highly demeaning to women.  You’ve read about that here.  It’s not hardcore pornography.  It’s just TMZ-on-crack online.  It’s like a cheesy online Maxim or Stuff magazine targeting shallow young men (and the women that love them).  More importantly, much has also been made about Quayle’s making one claim about it, admitting his earlier claim wasn’t entirely accurate, changing his story, changing his story yet again, and then trotting out a public relations pro to parse words and play the Bill Clinton “that depends upon what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

Quayle’s lack of voting experience in Arizona primaries, his barely having lived in Arizona and his securing a house in the district, a pretty wife and a dog (from the shelter which the campaign promotes and makes you think they focus-grouped before going in the shelter direction) and most disturbingly posing for pictures with kids on his lap pretending they are his was troubling.  Those things bear similarity to Hillary buying a house in Westchester County, throwing a Yankees hat on her head and saying “It’s great to be back in New York and I want your vote.”

All of those things are disturbing and admittedly making Arizona the subject of laughter and ridicule across the country.  Comedians, bloggers and all others outside of Arizona (and throughout much of our 3rd District) seem to think it’s absurd that a young Quayle can run and win a seat based on nothing but a name and whole lot of money.  The Quayle name isn’t exactly a name that evokes thoughts of great-minded leaders.

Disturbingly, it has been reported in other blogs that the Quayle family may have made millions of dollars (or avoided losing millions of dollars) through the federal government’s bailout of Chrysler.  Some have criticized the Quayle campaign for raising nearly $50,000 from those who arguably benefitted from the bailout.  I’ll be honest, the Quayle family is extremely wealthy.  And they did have a significant stake in a firm that owned a big piece of Chrysler the best I can understand.  How many millions they might have earned will have to be researched by the Democrats should Quayle buy his way through the primary.  Rest assured the Democrats are salivating at the opportunity to face Quayle.  He gives them the best chance to pick up a seat in a Republican District in a Republican year.  It’s because he’s a bad candidate, he’s absurdly unqualified and his name will be a serious detriment and not an asset outside the most conservative, partisan of circles.

What I find most disturbing is Quayle’s less that pure pro-life position.  I know once this post is published, I’ll be buried by Quayle kids screaming about what it says about being pro-life on Ben’s website.  None of that is what I’m referencing.  And of course, the politician’s website lays it out the way he wants.  What disturbs me is that Ben couldn’t answer three specific questions in a very well-respected survey from a socially conservative group in Arizona.

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It’s easy for a DC politician to avoid answering questions.  Or to not really answer the questions and provide only a self-serving answer that affords plausible deniability in the event one is challenged.  That’s what Ben did in this survey.  He couldn’t answer “YES” or “NO” like the other candidates did.  He gave his own slick answers.  Just like his public relations man was trotted out to parse answers when Ben denied having posted on the racy website.  His PR man explained that Ben had not lied.  He said that Ben claimed to have not written on which he had not.  When Ben wrote under the name of a fictional porn star, he actually wrote for so there is no lying or misrepresentation.  That’s nonsense.  And offensive to voters.  But money can overcome a lot.

One of Quayle’s opponents famously referred to him as “Hillary Lite” in the media because like Hillary he was trying to move to a different state and buy himself a seat in Congress.  But, he got the “Lite” portion of the nickname because at least Hillary had some policy experience, had worked on Capitol Hill as legal counsel to the Watergate committee, started a law firm, served as First Lady in Arkansas and in Washington, while Ben had none of those credentials or anything close.

I clearly understand the “Hillary Lite” reference and find it to be quite accurate, but there is a serious argument to be made that Ben is actually more like Bill in his parsing of words, avoidance of candor and desire to explain his way out of a mess of his own making.  In both cases, you wish they never created the mess.  But in both Bill Clinton’s case(s) and Ben Quayle’s you wish they could just be honest and not wiggle their way out of accountability.

And when you go back to the survey, you wonder why Ben could not say he opposes embryonic stem cell research.  He refused to say that he opposes it.  He signed it.  Why I have no idea.  It would be a lot easier to just check the “NO” box but the “NO” didn’t work for Ben.   His DC consultant answer is “oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.”  And for a pro-lifer that should mean little.  If you allow embryonic stem cell research,  you also potentially create a market for aborted fetuses and one step further you create a market for deliberate pregnancies for the purpose of securing embryonic stem cells.  Basically if you’re pro-life, you view this as creating a market for dead babies and a market for dead baby parts.

I’m not going to debate the merits of his position.  I’m just troubled that he couldn’t answer.  And he couldn’t answer the same-sex marriage question or the question providing a choice between fair or flat tax.  That’s NOT a good sign.  Frankly, the young man is absolutely unqualified to even be a candidate.  He’s only a candidate because of his father’s name and his father’s money.  Let’s hope Arizona doesn’t become the laughingstock of America.  Right now America is standing up to defend Arizona on immigration issues in our battle with the Obama administration.  Doesn’t nominating Ben Quayle sort of hurt our credibility?  I would think so.


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