I mean, in his Sunday column, Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph cited a Becker Institute poll saying that Paul Hodes was in the lead against U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, 48 to 39, with 13 percent undecided: ["Lynch airs his picks"]. Another poll by Becker also shows U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley with a lead against Carol Shea-Porter, 49 to 37, with 14 percent undecided. This is kinda shocking considering NH-CD 1 is considered a safe Republican seat. A 12 point lead is pretty safe - but not with 14 percent undecided.
Over the last month or so, I've been wondering about the Hodes campaign. It seems a tad lazy, almost not there in many ways.
I've been wondering about this since I found out that his campaign fired media rep. Michael Shea & Associates last month. Shea is one of the better Boston ad guys who has worked with all the top candidates. He knows the region and he is a hometown guy. According to Shea, he had been working with Hodes for more than two years and then was dropped like a hot potato for a big D.C. firm. Shea wouldn't comment on the record about the situation but you could tell that he was pretty hurt by the whole thing.
Not long after the sacking of Shea, Hodes went on the air with this almost silly TV ad attacking Bass for his Iraq votes, stating "I've got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you ..." The ads though say nothing about himself or what he would do if elected. Bass quickly cut the ad up into pieces and showed Hodes saying, "We cannot just abandon Iraq ..." while at the same time campaigning to bring the troops home.
The ads were put together by Tom King Communications, an ad firm from Virginia, but they say nothing about Hodes.
Mike Pride, the editor of the Concord Monitor, posted this piece on his blog recently about Hodes' mailers: ["Hodes's folly"]. Mike makes some good points, especially in light of the sarcastic TV ads.
Compare this to Shea-Porter's tenacity in her race, pounding home the issues and standing tall against insurmountable odds. There doesn't seem to be any waivering with her. There doesn't seem to be any sarcasm either.
Lastly, in the wake of the Rep. Mark Foley page/instant message scandal, and Hodes criticism of Bass on the issue, one has to wonder why no one has yet analyzed the lyrics of the Hodes co-penned "Oscar Wilde" opera. The racy opera debuted last spring and I had to heavily edit before airing. The lyric about Wilde lamenting the fact that he couldn't have sex with boys and live like the Romans did would turn just about anyone's stomach.
And yet, here is what Hodes said about the Foley scandal to AP
Don't get me wrong: I like Paul and it is probably time for Bass to go. While we should fear no art and maybe Wilde did have such thoughts in his head, do we really need to know about them? And why would Hodes work on such an opera a few months before announcing his campaign to run for Congress? These issues and the sarcastic ads which tell us nothing about Hodes, make one wonder if he is the best candidate to replace Bass.
"Look at it this way, if Mark Foley was a teacher in the school and Dennis Hastert was the principal and the principal learned that the teacher was sending Internet messages to a student, asking for pictures and having the kinds of conversations that were had...what would have happened? There would have been an outcry. There would have been action taken."