Can pure charm float a sucessful political career?
Annie Fischer, gush-crush reporter at the Pitch, seems to think so in this week's "This week we love" column.
Exccept when Tony Ortega wrote about dead Confederates unearthed during Sprint Arena excavation, I can never figure out the sarcasm in the too-hip-4-me Village Voice baby that is the Pitch, so I can't be too flippant about Fischer's evaluation of Missouri Representative contender John Joseph Rizzo.
But. . .
I guess Annie Fischer (or Nadia Pflaum, who was the only Pitcher I spotted at the candidate forum) went to college with J.J.? That was his name the last time he ran for office against now-incumbent John Burnett, back when he was indeed a student at Rockhurst.
I've heard the elder Rizzo refer to his son as "Johnny Joe," though, so that supports Fischer's "he's so sweet" take, too:
But we're impressed that Rizzo — still a little shy, by all appearances, but not lacking self-confidence — wasn't fazed by his opponent's jab. Yeah, OK, so he's young. With that beautiful youth comes optimism, tenacity and longish hair shinier than the coat on a black lab in a dog food commercial. Things could certainly be worse, right?
Yup, the kid of 25 does have self-confidence. He is confident enough to stop mid-sentence and say, "no, wait," then back up and continue, almost as if he's memorized a statement and can't catch up with the facts when off-structure.
He was confident enough to gloss over the fact that he really hadn't graduated yet from college during his campaign two years ago. ie: He lied to my face (and my tape recorder).
I'm over that, though, and was hoping that this time around, the young man who, finally, we appreciate, moved out of his parents' home, had learned a thing or two about government.
So far, I see a smoother coat, yes, Annie, and increasing alacrity with "the issues" that people he meets and greets door-to-door are telling him are important, but he's still really, really bad with facts.
Could it be worse?
Indeed, as demonstrated by the last campaign. This year's is charmingly free of antics, though, and if charm can build alliances with rural Missouri House Republicans who don't care about substance, maybe cute and optimistic is the way to go.