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What Do Media Choices Tell Us About Potential Mayors?

A scene from ABC sitcom "Modern Family"

Every election cycle, the local media sends out questionnaires that ask candidates about their background and policy positions. Sometimes they even ask frivolous, but interesting questions about favorite movies or places to eat. Beating everyone to the punch, the Florida Times-Union today rolled out 5 candidate profiles featuring questions like "what's your favorite TV show" and "describe yourself in one word" -- you know, hard-hitting stuff like that.

Unfortunately they forgot to ask the candidates the all-important "if they were a tree, what kind of tree would they be?"

But these kind of profiles are actually very interesting because they give you some clues into who the candidate is as a person. Or at least who they want you to think they are.

For example, on the question of favorite television show.

A couple of the candidates are apparently regular viewers of TV Land. Alvin Brown says "The Cosby Show" is his top choice, while Mike Hogan breaks the rules and names "The Andy Griffith Show" as one of his two choices.

Crime procedurals are also a safe choice. Democrat Warren Lee likes all version of "Law and Order" while Mike Hogan's other topic pick is "NCIS" -- a show that we learned from Wikipedia centers around "a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps."

Sports is also a safe choice, and Rick "Everyman" Mullaney picks ESPN's SportsCenter as his favorite way to kick back and watch some TV.

The only really interesting choice came from Republican Audrey Moran who cited the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" as her favorite show. It's a popular program that revolves around the lives of three different families, all related. One of the trio is a gay couple raising an adopted baby.

$10 Million Dollar Jackpot?

Another thought provoking question was what would you do if you suddenly won $10 million?

The obvious, and honest, answer would be to divert $2 million of it into their mayoral campaigns and drop the other $8 million into the bank or the stock market.

But that wouldn't be very politically correct.

So, apparently Audrey Moran would start a foundation and give it away to charity, while Warren Lee would start a scholarship fund. Hogan would setup a "missionary trust" after buying a new house for his parents and some things for his children. Alvin Brown would set aside money for his kids and give the rest away to his church and local universities. Rick Mullaney joked he would use it all to pay for his daughter's tuition, because she chose to go to college out of state.

The Bible, Of Course

Rick Mullaney, Alvin Brown and Mike Hogan all picked The Bible as their "favorite book."

Audrey Moran picked "The Prophet," a book of 26 poetic essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran and published in 1923.

Warren Lee was the only one with a contemporary choice: "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election"

Casting Call

Both Democrats, Alvin Brown and Warren Lee, picked Michael Jackson as their favorite musician. However, they don't agree on everything. Lee seems to enjoy the work of Will Smith, picking "The Pursuit of Happyness" as his favorite film and choosing Will Smith as the actor he'd like to have play him in a movie about his life. Alvin Brown chose "The Cosby Show" as his favorite TV program and Bill Cosby as the person he'd want to play him in a movie of his life.

Seriously? No one wants Denzel?

Moran went with Sigourney Weaver, Hogan chose Jimmy Stewart and Rick Mullaney went with comic actor Ray Romano.

What do you think? Are these questions revealing anything about the candidates and their real personalities?

Would you watch "Everybody Loves Rick: The Rick Mullaney Story" in the theaters or wait for DVD?

See all of the candidate responses to these questions in today's Times-Union...

- Alvin Brown, Democrat
- Audrey Moran, Republican
- Warren Lee, Democrat
- Mike Hogan, Republican
- Rick Mullaney, Republican

3 Responses »

  1. While running for office, I think candidates should be a Christmas tree! Kill a tree, drag it into the house (as the pagans of yore did) then decorate it (as we do today, with Chinese Communist glitz) and have their "friends" deposit presents at it's foot.

    After the election, I think candidates should be a hemlock bush and suck their own juice.

  2. What is wrong with modern family? I was skeptical about it at first but after watching a couple episodes I got hooked on it. The show is funny and is exactly what the title says it is a "Modern Family." The problem that the republican party and the conservative movement has is that yes we say we have a big tent and are open, but not when it comes to the definition of a family. If you look at the show from the fact that you have 3 hard working families, each having there own little quirks, then you can see that it's an okay show. I think as conservatives we should be happy that it's a show where there are 3 stable and loving families, even if one of those families does not meet the acceptable definition of family. It could be worse, it could be a show where it's showing a single mother that has no idea who the father is or where half the family is messed up on drugs. I for one enjoy the show and recommend everyone goes to HULU and watch at least one episode.

    • Stephen,

      I actually agree - enjoy Modern Family each week.

      The only thing interesting about her choice was that it bucked the trend of everyone giving nonsense answers, and thus exposes that Moran is either consciously courting a more "progressive" type voter, which is unusual for a Republican to do. Or else she's just shooting from the hip, which is refreshing.

      Do candidate's favorite TV shows matter? Not really, but it is amusing to see how they answer these types of questions.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Austin