Speaking of New Advertisers on Pols – AARP

The ads on Pols appear to be more plentiful and somewhat more colorful.  Aside from Allstate, Vonage, and other corporate giants, the ones that stand out most to me are the ones for out of state candidates like Angle and Paul.  Why advertise here?

But I also have been struck by the AARP click through add “Find out where the candidates stand.”  

I am not a member of AARP. But the limited experience I have with their political analysis is that they do not actually endorse, they explain various issues and current candidate positions and the impact to their membership on the key issues.

I clicked through and experimented with several addresses around the country to see what AARP had to say about the various candidates.

Here’s what they had to say about Bennet & Buck.

Social Security Solvency

Bennet: working to keep SS solvent, opposed to privatization

Buck:  SS is a promise to seniors, but eligibility age must increase

Me: No mention of Buck’s prior statements about his preference for privatization nor his questioning SS’s constitutionality.

Deficit Reduction and Social Security

Bennet: “An important component for guaranteeing the long-term viability of Social Security is to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, without raiding Social Security to do it. ”

Buck: nothing

Me:  Being serious about deficit reduction means understanding that SS, Medicare and defense spending are and will be the long poles in the tent.  Affirms for me that Buck wants to campaign on assumption and impression, not facts or clear policy expressions.

Access to Physicians for Medicare Beneficiaries

Bennet: “Medicare currently reimburses health care providers on the basis of the volume of care they provide rather than the value of care. For each test, scan or procedure conducted, Medicare provides a separate payment, rewarding more tests instead of better outcomes. Health reform moves our system toward paying for quality and value and reducing costs to Colorado’s seniors. ”

Buck: Nothing

Me: Because Tricare is related to Medicare, the Medicare improvements improve Tricare too.

…plan to help older workers get back to work and to improve economic security for people of all generations?

Bennet: “We closed the prescription drug donut hole, helping seniors afford the rising cost of prescription drugs. Moving forward, we must get credit flowing to Colorado’s small businesses, allowing entrepreneurs to hire new workers. And we must provide Coloradans re-entering the workforce with the training and skills they need to compete in the 21st century. In the long term, we must retool our economy to promote innovation and imagination. We must break our reliance on foreign oil and build a new energy economy that creates clean energy jobs. We absolutely must rein in rising debts that threaten our children’s choices. And we must do so while protecting and preserving critical programs like Social Security and Medicare that keep millions of older Americans out of poverty.”

Buck: “Candidate did not respond.”

Me: Bennet’s answers are too long to be good sound bites or simple one liners, though I agree that policy can be nuanced. And one-liners are often so overly simplistic as to be useless, but I question voters’ willingness to deal with the long answer.

OTOH, it appears that Buck would like to run his general election campaign with one loud if vague message: There’s an R after my name.

Anecdotal canvassing – I showed the AARP summary to some U neighbors this weekend.  The one who said he’s going to support Buck anyway (because of that R) said he didn’t think Buck or the rest of the teapartiers would be effective doing anything to SS. (His vote for Obama 08 was the first D prez vote since 1964)

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