The sad victory of Julia Carson

Dateline: Wed 08 Nov 2006

Columnist Matt Tully in Tuesday's Star paints a searingly honest portrait of Rep. Carson's health, both mental and physical:

"As U.S. Rep. Julia Carson walked into her polling place early Tuesday, it was hard not to hope she was wrapping up her final election campaign.

"She walked slowly, as she has of late, and some of her comments to pesky reporters were confused, as they have been of late. She talked to me about returning to the Indiana General Assembly, though she last served in that body 15 years ago. And the ballot confused her, forcing officials to void it after Carson filled it out incorrectly.

"So ended a sad campaign for the Indianapolis legend. It was a campaign that never hit its stride. Carson waited too long to reach out to voters, leading her nervous party to send out some of the nastiest, most desperate mailings of the year. She made a series of clumsy television appearances, and in the end worried about losing to a guy who raised just $53,000."

Tully also describes Carson's TV appearance Sunday, when she rambled on and looked lost.

His point, he notes, is not to criticize Carson per se -- he loves her for her years of service and her innate ability to steal almost any scene. But he concludes that it is time for Carson to step aside, after this term.

I have to wonder if reporters at the Star had more consistently reported on Carson's health, mental alertness, her voting record, etc., would she have been re-elected? Tully's upclose and personal look at her, tinged with humanity, is too little, too late.

Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana got it right when he said, "The 7th District deserves what it elected tonight: the absolute worst member of the U.S. Congress."

One has to conclude that Carson has been ill-served by her own party, which apparently prefers to prop her up in spite of everything rather than face facts ...she is old and she deserves a rest.

comments: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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