They met some big wheels, and do not
Let you forget it. — Auden
I went to Tom Reed’s April 21st Corning farewell meeting and found it interesting. There were about 30 people there mostly family, staff, and government officials. The first 30 minutes were introductions and banter, the next 15 minutes Tom’s practiced monologue, a few questions and fewer answers filled out the hour. I was at Tom’s first town hall meeting 12 years ago; his act has changed little since then.
The Corning meeting affirmed that in the eyes of local Republicans Tom has done well, leaving the GOP firmly in control of local government, which is what matters to them. He kept Democrats at bay for twelve years, his most significant accomplishment.
Jasmine Willis, reporting for WRFA, gave a detailed account of the meeting. She omitted a few things, probably because Tom’s rambling talk was hard to follow. She wrote:
After an emotional statement of thanks to all those who have supported him over the years, Reed talked about several big topics on everyone’s mind. He thanked family, friends, neighbors, staff, and local officials for all the love and support. He said it is people like his neighbors and friends who made Corning a good place to live and grow up. Reed said everything he did was for the people, and he hopes to stay in the political arena working for our freedoms.
Tom disparaged Communism, always a safe subject. He opposed political violence, but didn’t mention the former President who instigated it, whom he has said he would vote for again. In response to a question (prearranged?), he agonized over national debt, without mentioning his support for tax cuts. He took a swipe at “entitlements. He assailed a strawman, “Modern Monetary Theory.” He complained about “the politics of fear,” but didn’t note the role it played in his election campaigns. He said he would support responsible candidates for office, but has endorsed two who don’t support his relatively moderate views. He said he was a big supporter of renewable energy, but only in the bye and bye.
It wasn’t Tom’s views, any contradictions, or any accomplishments that mattered to his audience, it was that he was their guy.