GOP counter Town Halls build momentum for 2010


Republican challengers across the country have found a new way of capitalizing on the roiling emotions surrounding congressional health care town hall meetings.

Driven by intense voter interest in the topic, the almost-certain promise of media coverage and the opportunity to upstage incumbent Democrats, GOP candidates in state after state are holding their own health care town halls — and reveling in the subsequent publicity bonanza.

The health care events are proving to be a boon for those seeking to oust incumbents, delivering the most precious of political commodities — voter attention and local press coverage.

Florida Republican Allen West, who is running against Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), said his Deerfield Beach town hall meeting earlier this month drew several hundred local residents, many of whom stayed long after the 90-minute session ended to chat with him.

Just as important, the event was the subject of extensive media coverage and was streamed live on a local news website.

Edwards is a Democrat in a Republican leaning district and in the past he has been successful at dodging the obvious conflicts by pushing a conservative message. The health care debate has been difficult to dodge and I think it has hurt him. Whether he can make voters forget in 2010 is another matter.

I think there are two questions that will continue to give him problems. One is the lack of tort reform in the "health care reform" legislation. The other is a political question. How can he claim to be a conservative and vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker?

These counter Town Hall meetings also are an indication that the Democrat attacks on critcs of their plan are way off the mark.


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