by mbryan, Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 11:11:26 AM EST
Last week I interviewed Patty Weiss, former Southern Arizona newscaster, and currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Congressional District 8 seat being vacated by Jim Kolbe. I have to confess to a staggering feat of amateurism; my tape of the interview came up blank. Luckily, I have a good memory, took some notes, and Patty was kind enough to review my notes to ensure that they accurately reflect her positions. As a result, the responses I attribute to Patty on the issues I raised are at best paraphrasing, not quotes, though she did sign off my recollection.
My impression of Patty was that she is a very intelligent and articulate person, the sort that might overwhelm less active intellects, and garner a certain reputation from the envious or less able. She is well-spoken, as one would expect from a professional communicator, but I never got the feeling she was just stringing together talking points, though, of course, there was some that, naturally. There were also moments when she was less guarded than any professional politician would have been and that could, unfortunately, cause her some embarrassments in the future.
It is obvious that Patty is not just `interested in politics' (a quote that has been used widely to cast her as a dilettante); rather Weiss is possessed of a well-considered viewpoint on the issues. Anyone who thinks that Weiss is a less than serious candidate, or one who will turn off the electorate upon greater exposure is in for a rude awakening. She looks great on TV, and has charisma. The wildcard may be how she fares in face-to-face retail politics. I suspect that she will be better than most. In my opinion, Weiss is likely to exceed expectations upon greater exposure and develop into a formidable political contender. Her wide name recognition could very well translate into wide electoral support as voters come to know her and like her in this new role.