In 1979, when challenged by Senator Ted Kennedy from the left of his party, James Earl Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States, adopted what was known as the "Rose Garden" Strategy. Carter didn't go on the campaign trail in the primaries. He stayed in the White House, acted presidential, held events in the Rose Garden covered by the media, and looked busy and presidential to potential voters in primary states. Carter beat back Kennedy's challenge in the primaries but lost the general election to Ronald Wilson Reagan, who famously, in one debate, delivered the death blow to Carter's chances by saying "There you go again" before responding in full. Game. Set. Presidency.
This past week there was an FACDL Candidates forum. We wondered in a previous post if one candidate in particular would entertain everyone will a few stanzas of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" ?
That candidate for circuit court was Rosy Aponte, and she was a NO SHOW at the FACDL forum.
Aponte has shown, to her credit, a deft hand at using the political gambits of better known politicians. When challenged about ethnicity and her use of a rather unpopular offensive term of "colored people" at a candidate event sponsored by an African-American Bar association (we know, we still cannot believe she said it there of all places) Aponte played what we called the Elizabeth Warren gambit by claiming Indian ancestry (she was not sophisticated or caring enough to use the term "Native American").
Now Aponte has adopted the Carter Rose Garden strategy by avoiding candidate forums. Call it Rosie Garden. Maybe she had other plans this past week. Cooking for the coloreds at Camillus House comes to mind.
And maybe Aponte just realized, based on past performances, that when she opens her mouth nothing good for her campaign happens. Which means the astute candidate learns to keep their mouth shut. Give her credit for learning. But we are left with this thought: If you cannot handle yourself in a candidate forum, how in the world are you going to handle a courtroom full of aggressive lawyers and litigants?
Not every judge can hide in probate (apologies to the robed probate readers for that- but as we understand it, there are no trials and most decisions turn on the rule against perpetuities and interpreting cases like In Re: Cox's Estate "Cox died intestate and his executrix challenges the distribution of the pregnant sow whose value was not sufficiently determined..." ).
In any event Judge Tunis appears to have the forums to herself. Rosie is in her garden.
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