My plan was to keep pressing until I got a commitment for a time that Vincent Sheheen would sit still long enough for us to shoot an installment of “The Brad Show” with him, and then to turn and press Nikki Haley for an interview as well — having heard she was reluctant to do such things. Sort of the way I’m currently playing Joe Wilson and Rob Miller off against each other. (Oh, wait — you don’t suppose they’ll read this, do you?)
But the strategy fell all apart today, when the Sheheen campaign called and said, “What about today?,” which set off a scramble to act on that opportunity. Jay and Julia gathered up the equipment, and at 4 p.m., we spoke with him in the conference room over at James Smith’s law office, a few blocks from ADCO. The interview ran about 23 minutes, same as the one with Dr. Whitson.
The show should be up on the blog by the end of the day tomorrow, if nothing more arises to prevent Jay from getting it ready.
To whet your appetite, I share with you the list of questions that I prepared as a crutch before the session. Back when I was at the paper, I almost never prepared questions (or anything else) ahead of time. In keeping with the Fremen dictum to “Be prepared to appreciate what you meet,” and being a believer in the Dirk Gently holistic method of investigation, I liked to go in and see where the interview would go. And often it went in interesting directions that I could never have anticipated.
But with video, I’m a little less confident still, and like to have some questions in front of me in case I freeze up and can’t think of anything to dispel “dead air.”
So I prepared this list ahead of time (it took no more than five minutes) — and we actually got to most of the questions, as you will see tomorrow:
Questions for Vincent Sheheen
“The Brad Show”
October 13, 2010
At the Columbia Rotary Monday, you said this is the most important gubernatorial election in SC in 40 years. I concur. Or at the very least, it’s most important since we missed our chance to have Joe Riley as our governor in 94. But what are YOUR reasons for saying so?
Early in 2009, you jokingly asked me, “Am I making you hopeful?” Well, at this point I would say that depends: Can you win this election? Elaborate.
Why should you win it? Compare and contrast.
One beef I hear from readers on my blog is that sure, maybe Vincent Sheheen is a nice guy from a good family, but what would he DO? Talk about your vision for South Carolina. What do you want to accomplish as governor?
I particularly enjoyed hearing you speak Monday about one of my favorite topics – reforming state government. You have a plan for doing that that originally I wasn’t too crazy about – it involved a lot of sweetener for the Legislature. But since then, I’ve reached two conclusions: One, that’s the only way we’re going to get reform, and Two, your approach actually points to an important difference between you and your opponent.
Could you summarize that plan for our viewers?
Issues, plans and programs aside, elections are, to some extent, about character. Is this one more so?
How do you deal with all the revelations coming out about your opponent without seeming to be too negative? Do you think you’re hitting that note at the proper “Goldilocks” point – neither too hard nor too soft?
And your opponent aside, what the most important thing voters need to know about YOU?
What are you hearing from voters?
Where do you go from here?
By the way, with both Caroline Whitson and Vincent Sheheen, I did an unconventional thing. I gave each of them a brief glance at the questions I had prepared before we started, just so they could be thinking about the answers as we proceeded. I’m more interested in getting thoughtful answers than I am in ambushing sources.
I’ll gladly do the same for Nikki, if she’ll sit down with me — while at the same time telling her what I told Caroline and Vincent, that the questions were not an absolute guide. If things start to move in a promising direction that I didn’t anticipate, I revert to form and run in that direction.