Tales from the Trail

When politics feels like a bad flight

October 27, 2010

ALITALIA

He sounded like someone bombarded by too many election ads.

“I call it the perfect storm of bad manners,” Steven Slater told CNN’s Larry King. “I was angry at all of it.”

The former JetBlue flight attendant, who famously quit his job by jumping down an emergency chute, beer in hand, was talking about his life in the U.S. airline industry — not politics.

But his words could just as easily have described what some people think about the tone of the 2010 midterm election campaign – like audience members who booed Republican California gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman for refusing to stop TV ads attacking her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown. 
    
USA/This election year, negative ads can be mild compared with campaign events on the ground.
    
Last week, Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller’s private security guard handcuffed a journalist for asking questions the candidate didn’t want to answer. This week, video footage from Kentucky shows a woman protester from MoveOn.org being dragged to the ground and stepped on by supporters of Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul. 
    
Among voters, the anger appears aimed mainly at Democrats, who the Cook Political Report’s pre-election House outlook now predicts will lose 48 to 60 seats, with higher losses possible.
    
Republican officials are already preparing for an invasion of fresh new GOP House members, some of them Tea Party candidates who say they want nothing to do with business as usual in Washington. USA-POLITICS

How are party officials preparing? So far, they’ve assembled a list of experienced insiders and lobbyists to help fill top positions on the staffs of those newly elected GOP lawmakers.

Yes, insiders will still be running the show.  And nobody’s booed, at least not yet.

Click here for more political coverage from Reuters

Photo Credits: Reuters/Chris Helgren (Air Rage); Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi (Tea Partier); Reuters/Jim Young (House Freshmen of Yesteryear)

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