THE NORTH ABACO BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGNS – ACCORDING TO SHARON TURNER
Now that the Miami-Dade public school system has confirmed that FNM candidate for North Abaco Greg Gomez was telling the truth in his recent interview with the Nassau Guardian, wherein he stated that he is an educator who was employed at several Miami middle schools, the time is due for the Leader of the Free National Movement to step in and clear up any lingering doubts or concerns about the viability of his Party’s candidate because of his perceived performance during that interview.
From a journalistic standpoint, the recent interview conducted by the Nassau Guardian with Mr. Gomez was a fair and balanced interview. If I tell you today is my birthday and you respond by asking “how old are you?”, that is not a trick question – it is a logical question for you to ask me based on what I told you.
Yes, the performance of the candidate during the interview was less than stellar but the interview itself, which was requested and arranged by FNM officials, was proper and in the end, has resulted in the Nassau Guardian receiving official confirmation from Florida State authorities that the information provided by Mr. Gomez was in fact accurate.
I, having been in the field of journalism and communications for about 11 years, also did my own independent inquiry with the State district’s public education authority and was able to obtain the same confirmation.
Politics is a very rough business, especially for those who are fresh and brand new to the gladiator’s arena. As much as political parties may want to hit a home run every time, sometimes interviews and media encounters simply just don’t work out the way they would have hoped (just ask the campaign workers for Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney!!!).
Or bringing it much closer to home, just ask the camp of the governing PLP, which last night along with viewers and listeners, witnessed the stunning and passionate statements by the mother of its by-election candidate Renardo Curry, who accused the PLP of victimising her now deceased husband and father of the PLP’s candidate. The mother also blasted her son and MP-hopeful for being in what she said, is support of political vicitimisation she says her son’s Party carries out. The mother’s comments sparked such an uproar that a live town meeting in Abaco where she made the remarks had to be paused to restore order to the event. Hardly the type of “too-close-to-home” statement a political party would have hoped for at a live town meeting in the constituency it hopes to capture in just under two weeks!
I am not a surrogate of nor spokesperson for the FNM or its candidate so I cannot and will not attempt to give explanations for some of the aspects of Mr. Gomez’ recent interview that persons may have found confusing or disappointing, but his Party’s Leader most certainly should be able to do so adequately and truthfully, and should, so that any misconceptions about his Party’s candidate can be straightened out for the voters of North Abaco and the country at large who has been following the by-election campaigns of the major political parties.
My main suggestion is that in addressing any misconceptions the Leader of the FNM believes or knows to exist, he should not take the public for granted. Interviews that don’t turn out so well will create interest, questions and concerns. It would not be wise for the Opposition Party to seek to run away from that reality, but it should rather just simply speak to the concerns with the level of respect due to Abaco’s voters.
When United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s now infamous “47%” statement made at a Republican fundraiser went public, it certainly wasn’t a good day for that campaign. Romney had to be sensible and realistic about the bad press he knew his comments would create, and address the fallout as best as he and his team felt they would be able to. In the end, he told the American people during his first presidential debate that he was wrong to have made that statement.
Whether the American people accept his admission may be seen when voters there go to the polls next month, but he at least appeared to respect the electorate enough not to try to convince them that they did not hear the words he spoke at his fundraising event.
The FNM should also follow this example, because not doing so well in an interview does not necessarily mean a candidate should be written off by voters or that the candidate is not worthy of being elected to office, but it does beg explanations that a thinking electorate can respect and understand.
Hopefully, this is what will be shortly forthcoming.
Editor’s NOTE: POINT OR CORRECTION: Actually that was NOT the mother of PLP candidate Renardo Curry – It was his father’s wife – so right away, Ms Sharon Turner is mistaken. In fact, that was stated by Darold Miller last night right after Mrs. Curry spoke on television for the nation to see. So why does Ms. Sharon Turner perpetuating such lies?