Tales from the Trail

Arizona sends a Quayle back to Washington

The famous Quayle name is back in politics. Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, won a comfortable victory in Arizona’s strongly Republican Third Congressional District.

In his first run for office, the 33-year-old beat back a challenge from conservative Democrat John Hulburd to win the seat vacated by veteran Republican Rep. John Shadegg by a nearly 12-point margin.

His father served under senior President George Bush, and is perhaps best remembered for famously misspelling the word “potato” while campaigning in 1992.

USA-ELECTIONS/In a brief victory speech at a hotel in downtown Phoenix late Tuesday, Quayle tipped his hat to voter anger at soaring public deficits which helped the Republicans take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and clinch victory for him.

“When I decided to run for office … I saw our country being taken down a dangerous path where opportunities for future generations would be minimized,” Quayle, flanked by his wife Tiffany, told supporters.
   
“But now tonight we actually have let our collective voice be heard, and tonight we are going to turn that path around and put us going in the right direction,” he added, promising to work hard to meet voters’ expectations.  

Washington Extra – Special Day

CHINA/Before heading off to enjoy your weekend, I would encourage you to take a look at Emily Kaiser’s special report on income inequality in the United States, and a growing body of opinion that links high levels of income inequality with financial crises.

It may not be a coincidence, many economists believe, that income inequality in 2007, just before the latest crisis hit, reached its highest level since before the Great Depression. Read on.

And in other news, as they say in the business, Dan Quayle’s son can spell potato.  Ben is vying to represent the Third Congressional District in Arizona, where he has come under fire for being too young and inexperienced to hold office. But as our blog reports, at least he passed the spell test. 

Ben Quayle’s famous last name a double-edged sword in Arizona House race

David Schwartz takes a look at the latest Quayle seeking to go to Washington.

Ben Quayle knows how to spell potato.

The son of former vice president Dan Quayle also knows that his famous last name is a double-edged sword when running for elected office.

“You get name recognition right off the bat,” said Quayle, vying to represent the Third Congressional District in Arizona. “It also opens you up to more scrutiny and immediate ridicule. Some people enjoy picking on Quayle again.”

In his first run for office, the 33-year-old is regarded as the front-runner when voters in his Republican-heavy district go to the polls Nov. 2 to replace veteran GOP Rep. John Shadegg. Quayle faces Democrat Jon Hulburd.

Political dynasties shift in election-year tremor

After the November election, there will not be a Kennedy in Congress for the first time in almost half a century because Representative Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has decided to retire from his Rhode Island seat.

“My life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year,” Patrick Kennedy said in a video announcing his decision nearly six months after his father, the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate, died.

Of course there is still time for another Kennedy to step forward and declare intentions to run for office, but we haven’t heard any whispers.