A gaggle of reporters, photographers and cameramen clamored to get in a few questions to the former Secretary of State after the forum on Mackinac Island where she and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, separately offered their thoughts on issues, the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and stories about their lives.
She didn’t want to do the traditional media scrum, a normal fixture for politicians where reporters gather round in tight quarters and throw questions at the candidate. She preferred one-on-one interviews with reporters, but eventually agreed to the scrum. And the microphones, cameras and cell phone recorders emerged in her face.
At one point, looking slightly panicked and clearly uncomfortable, she pushed microphones away and said: “I can’t do this. I talk with my hands.”
Then there is THIS:
Land was absolutely dreadful. She came across like a high school student who had memorized a speech. You had the terrible sensation that if interrupted, she would have had to start all over from the beginning. She spoke in slogans, seemed incapable of providing specific answers, and seemed not to understand the current hot-button issue of “Internet neutrality,” which threatens to allow rich conglomerates to dominate cyberspace.
Good luck if you ever hold public office other than the one that issues drivers licenses, Ms. Land. You’re going to need it. As Chad Sewelski at Politically Speaking put it, “If a senator Land can’t handle a media scrum and if she can’t provide real answers to reporters’ questions, well, the Washington press corps will eat her alive.”
Terri Lynn Land. Out of her league. Not ready for the Big Show. The Michigan Embarrassment.
UPDATE: Here’s the last 37 seconds of Terri Lynn Land’s ill-fated 2½ minute press scrum, courtesy of the MDP. You might even call it the end of Land’s campaign.
REPORTER: Were you opposed to the [auto industry] bailout in ’09?
TERRI LYNN LAND: Um, I think it’s important that we have, um, that we support our auto workers. I think it’s important that we make sure that never happens again, that we don’t over-regulate, that we don’t over-tax, and that we make sure that the auto industry is able to grow jobs, create a green economy here in Michigan, and I support the auto industry.
REPORTER: Would you have voted for it?
LAND HANDLER (as Land detaches from the press scrum looking overwhelmed): Thank you so much, guys. [unintelligible] That’s the last question.