Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Now the real debate can begin |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Now the real debate can begin

So you think Romney received a tremendous boost in actual voters after last week’s debate?

Don’t be too sure, and certainly don’t let it go to your conservative head, because my sources tell me it was all a liberal strategy to accomplish two main goals:

• Lull the Republicans into a false sense of security, thus lowering their total voter turnout potential.

• Wake up the previously lulling Democrats from their already existing false sense of security that they were afraid was lowering their total voter turnout potential.

Don’t laugh. It actually might be true. And sure, my sources are about as reliable as a political poll conducted immediately after a stump speech from the exact crowd applauding the speech. But this will prove itself one way or the other a week from today, during the second debate.

Remember how both sides were kissing up to each other all week before the debate?

“You’re great.”

“No, you’re great.”

“Well, you’re greater than I am.”

“Oh, no, certainly not. You’re much greater than I am.”

“Aw, shucks. You’re just sayin’ that. I really think you’re the greatest.”

“Well, I think you’re pretty great too, and your hair, I love your hair …”

And on and on it went, incessantly, for the entire week leading up to the debate. Look my picture in the eye and tell me you don’t think that was a strategy. It’s an old ruse, and when done correctly, it pays off in spades.

Speaking of debates, since we all are apparently fully aware of the strategic maneuvering that can occur during these staged pretend arguments, think about how you can be directly affected when it comes to Eagle County commissioners and the decisions they make on a weekly basis.

This Thursday at 7 p.m., all five commissioner candidates will be debating at the Homestead Court Club in Edwards.

Yes, they’ve already had a few debates, and yes, the Vail Daily has been asking each candidate a specific question once a week. But we all know there is no such thing as having too much information when it comes to choosing political candidates (post-Kennedy administration, of course).

I hope most of you read the individual profiles last week, and have at least a glimpse into each candidate’s personal history, and their goals for the future. But Thursday night is an opportunity to learn a little bit more before we all start using those mail-in ballots.

There will be a few questions asked by the moderator at the beginning, then written questions will be accepted from the audience. After review, and time permitting, some will certainly be asked and ideally answered by the candidates.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, I’ve never thought “all politics is local,” yet the effects of all policy changes at any level will always either begin or end locally. Like it or not, that is a huge part of what makes a county commissioner position so potentially powerful.

Pay attention, ask questions, understand issues and don’t feel like such an uninformed dork when you vote.

And yes, the Biden-Ryan vice presidential debate will be on the boob tube at the same time. But who really cares about sitting through that nonsense when you can watch our local nonsense live, and possibly even have the question you ask answered?

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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