That’s what is happening right now in the 9th Congressional District. Todd Young sent Baron Hill a letter trying to engage the Congressman in seven town hall-style meetings between now and the election. On the face of it, it sounds very reasonable, but, peeling back the onion, it’s nothing more than grandstanding raring its head. Young knows that Hill cannot possibly agree to the terms that he has set. Here’s the letter:
The Honorable Congressman Baron Hill
Member, U.S. Congress
Dear Congressman Hill,
As you know, the general election is just over three months away. Our nation faces challenging times and this is a critical election. I hope you agree with me that it is important for us to meet jointly and directly with voters so they can hear our views. It is even more important that we take time to listen to the opinions and views of residents of the 9th District.
As you know, the district encompasses a large geographic area. Because of this, I am open to your suggestions of when and where we should meet but I would like to offer the following for your consideration:
I propose that we meet jointly at least seven times.
I recommend that we meet in the following areas: Jeffersonville-New Albany, Columbus, Jasper, Paoli, Seymour, Madison, Lawrenceburg and any other areas you suggest.
We have a moderator to ensure that each of us has an equal opportunity to speak.
We take questions directly from 9th district voters.
I recommend that we meet in the evening when most people are home from work or school, but we could consider Saturday afternoon events as well.
I hope this proposal meets with your approval. Would you please contact me at 812-250-6446 as soon as possible so that we can get the dates on our calendars?
I look forward to hearing from you.
See, Young knows that Hill cannot meet seven times. He knows that he cannot do seven evening sessions with a full Congressional schedule. That would be next to impossible given his campaign responsibilities and responsibilities as a Congressman.
So, he has said up the proverbial straw man. If Hill ignores him or comes back with anything short of the demands he has set up, Young will cry bloody murder to his supporters, the bloggers, and the media. It’s an effective strategy in a close race.
Of course, Hill also has helped Young by his conduct in town halls previously. No need to rehash that mess again, but I think Young may be actually trying to open up a bit of a wound here on Hill that may cause some damage.
It’s political grandstanding, and, like I said, both parties have done it. David Sanders used it in the 4th District against Steve Buyer. As you can see below, he's using it again against Todd Rokita (totally different than challenging a sitting Congressman to seven town halls, btw).
Carlos May was trying to use it in the 7th against André Carson (before he was upset by Marvin Scott).
It’s textbook politics, and Todd Young is playing it. Set your watch for the “Hill doesn’t want to talk to voters” message coming from Todd Young in the next couple of weeks.
It didn't take long! Todd Young was Greg Garrison's guest on his WIBC program this morning. That was the topic. Young let Garrison carry the water, but let's face it. Garrison is just Rush Limbaugh without the national audience.