by Kerry Dougherty
Elaine Luria is snotty.
That’s my takeaway from Wednesday’s 2nd District debate sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce at the Oceanfront Marriott.
Yes, the Democrat had the built-in advantage of incumbency and a command of lots of numbers, which she spouted with abandon during the debate with Republican challenger State Sen. Jen Kiggans, but it was Luria’s asides, the condescending way she treated a fellow Naval officer that revealed much about this close political ally of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.
Want proof? Here, go to 1:18:51 in this link. Debate moderator Chris Saxman tells the candidates that there are just “two more questions.”
In a barely audible voice, Luria mutters “Thank God.”
Is Luria completely unfamiliar with history? Is she unaware that many analysts say the moment President George H. W. Bush looked at his watch during a 1992 town hall-style debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot was the moment he lost the election.
By looking at his watch, Bush appeared bored, indicating he had somewhere better to be.
Luria’s snide under-her-breath-but-into-the-microphone comment gave the same impression. She didn’t want to debate Kiggans. There were other things she’d rather be doing. She wanted the audience to know that.
Throughout the debate Luria referred to the state senator as “Mrs.” Kiggans, a not-so-subtle refusal to acknowledge that Kiggans, too, holds elective office.
The deliberate use of “Mrs.” seemed odd, coming from this outspoken feminist.
After all, Luria dressed in all-white like AOC and the rest of the loon squad at President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address, to show her “solidarity” with American women.
Just not Republican women, I guess.
Actually, Luria set her tone for the debate in her catty opening statement.
Kiggans won the coin toss and went first. She introduced herself by saying that a few years ago she was alarmed by the direction of the country and decided to “get up off the couch” and run for office.
Luria snidely opened her remarks by saying “I was never on the couch so I never had to get up.”
Honestly. What was the point of THAT?
Luria knows that Kiggans was a Naval officer and a helicopter pilot who served overseas during the Gulf War. And that after she left the Navy, Kiggans became a geriatric nurse practitioner who also raised four children. I think it’s safe to say that — like most accomplished women — Kiggans spent little time sitting around.
Clearly she was speaking metaphorically.
When Saxman asked the candidates to rate the Biden economy, on a scale of 1 to 10, Kiggans gave it a “one, maybe one half.”
Luria said she wanted to be “more realistic” and gave Biden’s inflationary mess a 6.
That alone should be disqualifying. I don’t know anyone else who would rate the current economy higher than a 1.
Luria proved masterful at spinning and taking credit for the entire defense budget. Something Kiggans said was inadequate.
Kiggans landed some punches — and clearly pushed Luria’s buttons — when she pointed out the massive profits Luria made on stock market trades while in Congress, adding that even fellow Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger supports a ban on stock trading by members, something Luria – and Pelosi – adamantly oppose.
(Pelosi, sensing the mood of the country, has tepidly agreed that members of Congress shouldn’t hold stocks because of potential conflicts of interest. Luria wants to stick with the status quo.)
When it came to abortion, Luria attempted to paint Kiggans as a pro-life extremist, while Kiggans nimbly pivoted. She pointed out that Luria continuously “lies” about her position – Kiggans says she supports abortions in cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother – and that it’s Luria who voted twice in Congress to pass a federal law legalizing abortion in all 50 states up through the 9th month of pregnancy. At taxpayers’ expense.
Luria couldn’t resist interjecting a nasty aside into the abortion discussion too. She claimed that as soon as the Supreme Court released the Dobbs decision “Mrs. Kiggans” jumped into “her car. Not a car a MINIVAN” Luria sneered, her voice dripping with contempt for moms who drive the kid-friendly vehicles.
We get it, Elaine. You don’t respect mothers who drive minivans. Perhaps that will endear you with the Tesla crowd.
In a final act of political desperation Luria closed by saying Kiggans was “unfit” to serve in Congress.
Correct me if I’m wrong, Navy vets, but for one Naval officer to comment on another’s fitness while in the service would be grounds for disciplinary action.
Experts say debates usually change few minds. Voters know where the candidates stand on issues before the debate begins. The only thing revealed during a debate is the demeanor of the candidates.
In that case, Kiggans, who was polite and poised throughout, was the winner. By contrast, the cranky congresswoman appeared angry, irritable and indignant that she had to share the stage with Kiggans, a woman.
Not a good look, Mrs. Luria.
This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.