By Misha Isaak of Portland, Oregon. Misha was campaign manager for Attorney General Hardy Myers in 2004. He is temporarily living in Philadelphia completing law school.
In his enthusiastic effort to insult the intelligence of every voter in Oregon's Fifth Congressional District by trying to buy an election with his personal fortune, Mike Erickson has doubly insulted 24 percent of the voting public.
In this week's face-off between the millionaire challenger and the popular incumbent Darlene Hooley, Erickson delivered this focus-group-tested gem-of-a-soundbite (according to the Oregonian):
Noting that Hooley had held local, state or federal office for some 30 years, Erickson said, "It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks." Hooley, 67, amiably brushed off the comment. "I don't think I'm an old dog," said Hooley, who explained how her experience has benefited her constituents over the years.
That's right: Darlene Hooley isn't qualified for office because... she's too old. Conventional wisdom might suggest that experience, in life and in government, is a virtue. I guess not if you're a young, ambitious millionaire running for Congress with no experience in government to speak of. (To his credit, Erickson does have one kind of valuable experience: This guy seems to have run for every office -- in every different district -- imaginable!)
In the long-shot-challenger tradition of stooping to the level of playground-caliber personal epithets, Mike Erickson has joined the ranks of Hillary Clinton-rival John Spencer in accusing his opponent of being too wrinkly.
It's too bad, Mike, that Republican icon Ronald Reagan served as president well into his seventies. Indeed, Hooley -- a vivacious and energetic, sneaker-wearing, sixty-something policymaker -- is in good company: 21 American presidents have served terms into their sixties.
Oh, and, let's not forget that 24 percent of the voting public is over age 60. But I guess Mike Erickson will just blame his impending Election Day defeat on the fact that those voters, in his view, are just a bunch of senile "old dogs."