(Indianola, IA) Former State Senator Staci Appel (D-Ackworth) and David Young (R-Van Meter) met in their 2nd debate in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race. The first debate Young was solid and Appel’s performance was marred by the terrorist passports gaffe.
The second debate was a colossal disaster for Appel. She looked ill-prepared. She was unable to clearly articulate her positions. She was ready and willing to take the advice of others be it the State Department or the CDC without critically thinking out a position on a particular issue such as passports for terrorists or whether we should have a travel ban to areas impacted by Ebola.
Here is a tweet that sums up what many voters exposed to Staci Appel for the first time are probably thinking…
As the debate ended my husband got out of his chair and said "Staci Appel is not that bright or articulate." #iadebate
— Patti Brown (@pattibrown) October 7, 2014
What did we learn about Staci Appel from tonight’s debate? Here are seven observations.
- She’s a mom of six… seriously how many times did she preface an answer to a question with that? I counted at least 8 times. To be fair, I think Joni Ernst plays the mom card too frequently as well. I don’t dispute that women have a different perspective, but I think we can all agree that there is not a universal “mom” perspective. I’m sure Appel supporters believe all mom’s happen to be raging liberals, but they are not.
- She supports Obamacare – wholeheartedlyand seemingly without reservation. She also says she believes that Iowans should be able to keep their health insurance, but it’s pretty clear that Obamacare interfered with many Americans’ ability to do just that. Young scored points by pointing out her vote against an amendment that would have addressed this. Obamacare is toxic and Appel willingly hung that albatross around her neck.
- She is a revisionist historian. I know she’d like to go back in time and change her answer about terrorist passports, but she can not. She said it, and she changed her answer after it blew up in her face. But hey… she’s a mom of six. Also she wants to redefine her Iowa Senate record. She would like you to think she was the model of bipartisanship. That was hardly the case. She would like you to believe that she practiced fiscal discipline, but she voted for numerous spending increases. Her record in the Iowa Senate is why she was routed in her reelection bid. Thanks for reminding us.
- Her answer to every problem is to “fully fund” a federal department. Last debate it was fully funding the Small Business Administration. Tonight to get a handle on the Ebola outbreak we need to “fully fund” the State Department and CDC. While I’m not saying the CDC could not use more resources (I haven’t researched it), I think there is more that can be done. This goes to what I said earlier – she doesn’t have a thought out answer on these issues.
- Her biggest accomplishments are expanding government. The first two things she mentioned was universal preschool and the smoking ban. She also stated tonight that she wants to expand preschool at the federal level.
- The first bill she would offer is expanding minimum wage. Small business owners be damned. At least Young, who said he was willing to discuss such a thing, said it needed to come with a tax credit. Don’t worry though small business owners, Appel will make sure the SBA is fully funded so you can get a loan.
- She wants to demagogue the HHS birth control mandate. I almost laughed hysterically when she insinuated that a woman’s employer (one who opposes having to pay for birth control anyway) are somehow tagging along to her doctor’s appointments and interfere with their decisions. First this is not about banning birth control, it is about who will pay. Second, this is very much a religious liberty issue. Hobby Lobby didn’t ban the four abortifacients, they just didn’t want to pay for coverage for them. They did cover 16 different types of contraceptives, not that Appel or liberals ever want to acknowledge that.
More could probably be said (I didn’t even mention her remarks about election spending), but this was not a good night for Appel. David Young was articulate, provided thoughtful answers, and easily deflected Appel’s attacks. He was tonight’s clear winner.