Republican Michael Shaw was the very last candidate to sign up for Project White House, but he’s gotten more press than many of the other candidates because he made a speech as Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer held a lottery to determine ballot order.
The best political speech I’ve heard in some time was delivered by Republican presidential candidate Michael P. Shaw, who wore sunglasses and a T-shirt that read “Geek Squad” to a public event at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
State elections officials, campaign workers and a number of reporters had gathered at the Capitol to watch Secretary of State Jan Brewer conduct a drawing to determine the order that the names of Arizona’s 48 official candidates will appear ballots for the presidential preference election is Feb. 5.
Shaw was one of two presidential candidates who attended the drawing. He stayed afterward as a press conference broke out. Shaw watched the Q&A session for a while, then objected quite strongly when I asked Brewer whether she thought political pranksters had juked the system to get their names on the official ballots.
I included part of Shaw’s speech in the paper. Here’s the whole rant.
“I have a question: How much experience do you think the Congress and President Bush have? They have a lot of experience and they’ve ran the country into the ground,” Shaw said.
“So this guy asking the question, it was really directed toward me. Why am I here? I’m here to represent the ’hood, because nobody else is representing the ’hood. And Bush and everyone else who’s got all the experience – all the experience – have run the country into the ground! It’s like the
Valdez oil spill. And that’s what the country’s turning into,” Shaw said.
“That’s why I’m here, sir, because I can do a better job than what’s being done right now, sir! So that question you had asked, sir, was to me, sir! And I’m here because I am a registered voter, sir. I voted for Bush two times in the past eight years. I’ve been a Republican for 10 years, 17 years in Homeland Security, 10 years as a truck driver. Street credibility is insurmountable, sir!” he said.
“And that’s why I’m here, because I worked from the bottom and worked my way up. I’m not going to start at the top and work my way down,” he said.
At that point, Shaw pushed his chair away from a table in the crowded conference room, striking the knees of a man sitting behind him. “Hey man, you just lost my vote!” the other man said.
“I didn’t know I had votes,” Shaw responded. “I didn’t come here for votes. I came here represent the hood.” He apologized to the other man and left the room.
It should be noted that while it was my question that set off Shaw, the presidential candidate directed his rant toward Capitol Media Services reporter Howard Fischer, who wasn’t even standing that close to me when I asked the question.
Fischer politely took notes.