Andrew Halcro was the live guest on KNOM's Touchstone program this morning. I was actually somewhat shocked at the response we got, as numerous people called or e-mailed in questions that demonstrated the usual insight and knowledge I've come to expect from our listeners. I just didn't expect so many callers for the third-party candidate.
- Halcro is a talker - I couldn't get him to give short, easy answers to questions I was hoping we could move through quickly. Then again, perhaps the problems facing the state doesn't deserve short, easy answers.
- He backed away - somewhat - from his plan to take minors' PFDs and put them in savings accounts. He kind of soft-pedaled the idea as part of the importance of taking a new look at the PFD. But to his credit, he didn't shy away from it even to a rural Alaskan audience that dearly prizes its PFDs. He even mentioned my blog post about this idea, which shows he at least has good reading taste.
- He was asked the important question about the viability of his candidacy from a self-described "pragmatic voter." Basically, why should I vote for you when you're so far back in the polls? And he gave a good answer, I thought, noting that the two-party system has failed the state ("we had eight years of a Democratic governor and four of a Republican governor and we're still talking about lowering rural energy prices") and it's time for a candidate who'll speak honestly about the issues. I think that sort of rhetoric (stressing his independence) might be more successful than what I feel I've heard so far from him, which has basically been that "I'm a Republican and would have been slaughtered in the primary so I opted to run as an Independent."
- While I admire his candour on many important issues, he could do a better job of getting to the point and clearly communicating his message. When we asked him about his running mate and how that situation changed, it took him at least 30 seconds to mention his current running mate's name and in an answer that was at least two minutes long, he never referred to her as anything other than "Faye". How about her last name? Had I been him the first three words out my mouth would have been "Fayevon Gemmingen."
- He has a good grasp of the issues. When he was giving answers on complicated topics, like coastal management zones, I felt like he knew what he was talking about. I definitely did not feel that way with Sarah Palin last week.