By Art Parker
Governor Kay Ivey is not a hot prospect to pitch for my beloved New York Yankees this season after failing to find the strike zone when throwing out the first pitch at the Birmingham Barons baseball game last Thursday night. However, in baseball terms whenever a pitcher throws at least one pitch from the mound it is officially recorded as an “appearance.”
The Governor can be proud of her professional baseball career and making an appearance. Too bad she failed to make an appearance at the same time for a gubernatorial debate held at a Birmingham TV station. Since Ivey didn’t even start the debate; the bullpen was called upon for relief appearances by all the other GOP candidates.
It is a shame. It is spitting in the eyes of the electorate. It is cowardly. I personally equate this action by Ivey to be similar to public officials who do just about anything to avoid releasing public records. The only way a politician can be trusted is to show up and always open up. Too bad the CEO of the State of Alabama is too much of a chicken to stand up with her challengers and answer the questions important to the people.
‘The people be damned, I got other things to do.’ That’s what I took from her absence.
It is true that one old and often used political rule is that the incumbent doesn’t have to debate. It looks like Ivey, or her handlers, decided that was the thing to do.
Much has been said about the way she played her debate cards and much has been said about Ivey having a clear lead in the polls. So, she is playing “catch me if you can.”
I hope they all catch her.
Ivey is an incumbent only because she was at the right place at the right time and her predecessor was a blithering idiot that couldn‘t keep his hands to himself. She wasn’t elected to be Governor. She was elected to Lieutenant Governor. Of course, that played well for her because of Robert Bentley and our state constitution.
That brings to the thought of who does she think she is? It seems to me that Ivey would want to debate and show she is tough and can lead. Instead she is doing what Gerald Ford tried to do when challenged by Jimmy Carter in 1976. Ford stayed in the White Rose Garden and signed legislation and a mountain of other things to look Presidential. It didn’t work. Carter whipped his butt. And like Ivey, Ford became a chief executive because the other guy had to resign.
By the way, there are a couple of more debates scheduled and Ivey is apparently going to stay away and play the incumbent card of not debating.
One of the things that really bothers me is that I have heard nothing from the Republican Party on Ivey’s failure to appear. The GOP will try to disqualify a candidate for ridiculous things like not being Republican enough or because you accepted money from AEA, etc. But I don’t see the party pressuring Ivey to participate. This is illustrative of why I think political parties are the worst thing for this country and are our biggest problem. Truthfully, like the Democrats, the GOP doesn’t care about anything except winning. If Ivey refuses to talk or show respect for the citizens of this state the GOP does not care as long as she wins.
If the GOP wanted the citizens of Alabama to trust it (the party) and if it truly wanted to give Alabama the very best Governor, then the party would be standing on Ivey’s desk demanding that she show leadership and participate in debates. But that’s not going to happen. The GOP sees Ivey as its best chance of winning.
One thing for sure. I will not vote for Ivey. I’m not going to support anyone who lacks the leadership to debate. I want answers and I do not wish to be ignored.
Not as long as I’m paying the bills.