[PP adds: You may have read about the values Voter Debate elsewhere, but 3B actually had a correspondent in the room- the Random Randroid!!!!]
Dear internets, a great thing is that P. Punko probably would have spontaneously combusted at the Values Voter debate. He would have shouted things from the audience and tried to ruin it for everyone. Yet unbeknownst to him, he did play a part in ruining it. I called him while they were singing “Why Should God Bless America?” so he could hear the words.
He couldn’t hear, but he did call back, and also sent me a couple of text messages. I had my phone set to VERY LOUD, and each time he called, it happened to be when the audience was quiet and some religious nut onstage (pre-debate) was talking. Everyone – EVERYONE – heard my cell phone each time it rang. Awesome. Nice job, P. Punko!
[PP adds: I seriously couldn't tell what the eff was going on, I felt like someone was either calling Cthulhu from the depths of unimaginable darkness, or maybe the Randroid was at some overly earnest elementary school program]
Anyway, we didn’t stick around till the end of the VV debate, but the straw poll results – as voted by the 340 hand-picked VV delegates (deleagtes picked by “social conservative leaders” who organized the debate) after the debate were as follows:
1. Huckabee 64%
2. Paul 12%
3. Keyes 5%
4. Brownback 5%
5. Hunter 4%
6. Thompson 4%
7. Tancredo 2%
8. Giuliani 1%
9. McCain 1%
10. Cox 1%
11. Romney 0%
Huckabee running away with it wasn’t surprising. He debated well and is a great candidate for this crowd. I don’t much like his views but his campaign has been impressive – he has the best shot of breaking into the top tier.
I didn’t think Paul had his A game at the debate, nor was on his “home field” with this social conservative base – I would have guessed he’d finish mid to low in this pack – his 2nd was surprising. I may have to re-evaluate my support for him.
As for Keyes and Brownback, how do you not kick Ron Paul’s ass in this venue? Granted Keyes just announced, but he is a brand name among the social conservatives, and he screamed really loudly about God the whole debate. I think Brownback should hang it up and Keyes should think about it.
One more comment is that Brownback and Keyes almost have to drop out now as a matter of principle. When Janet Folger (a debate organizer) was speaking pre-debate, she declared that tonight wouldn’t be just a regular debate and a regular straw poll – tonight God, via the delegates, would be revealing His choice.
And He did. As men of God, Brownback and Keyes should submit to His divine will and throw their support behind Huckabee.
Hunter didn’t do well but like Paul, he wasn’t on his home field, so if he’s stayed in so far, he may as well keep going. Tancredo and Cox weren’t on their home field either, and I must say I like the two of them better than Huckabee, Keyes, or Brownback – but they lost to Fred Thompson, who didn’t even show up. And that’s sad. They should probably call it a day too. But I will still go to a Tancredo event if Nutter invites me.
A couple more highlights from Values Voters:
The biggest applause lines of the night were interesting. Was it when Janet Folger said God would be revealing His choice tonight? How about one of the times Keyes thundered about doing God’s work? Or maybe it was when Tancredo said that Bill Clinton brought White House morality down to the level of an alleycat. All well-received, but none of these were top 5.
Actually, the biggest applause lines came from people merely introducing themselves. A questioner shows up, “Hi, I’m Bobby Schindler” (Terry Schiavo’s brother). Big applause.
“Hi, I’m Judge Roy Moore”. Very, very big applause. “Hi, I’m a formerly gay man who was saved by Jesus….” Massive applause.
But the surprise winner was before he debate even started, when a man walked on stage and said, “Hi, I’m Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. THUNDEROUS spontaneous applause. And the man is a Democrat in a Democrat town. Say what you will about the VV audience, you can’t call them blindly partisan – they don’t care if there’s a D or an R after your name, if you stick a finger in the eye of the homosexual community, they love you.
[PP adds, isn't Naugle worried about robotic toilets defying their masters and turning us all into batteries or something??]
A very sad element was that it seemed a lot of audience folks didn’t show up. You had the VV delegate area in the mid-quality seats, you had the upper deck seats for the riff-raff, then you had the VIP seats (where of course, we sat, having the ——- campaign seats). The VIP seats were virtually empty, sort of an embarrassment for the organizers, so pre-debate they had the riff-raff filter down to the VIP area make the venue appear more full. Janet Folger gave some pathetic explanation on stage – “well, some of the VIP people, ah, couldn’t make it, so we have a chance for some of you to move down, and that’s the way it should be anyway, you folks are the ones who matter.” Man, she was dancing hard. The whole event had fallen apart, and she was trying to save it. Fun to watch.
When the debate organizers issued a press release the next day, it referred to the “sold-out” or “seated to capacity” Broward Center for the Performing Arts, whereas the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel more accurately described it as about 2/3 full. And this is not a big venue, a few thousand seats max.
By the way, that guy who was saved by Jesus and has been happily married for all these years and says he “used to be” gay – he’s still gay. I’m just not sure if he knows it.