A vast amount of the media took the usual route with covering the Roanoke debate of candidates for the Virginia Republican nomination. Most reporters performed admirably in filing the statements of the GOP candidates. However, one overlooked moment was not effectively reported.
A question was posed to the candidates asking there opinion of the size and effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security. Candidate Jamie Radtke, former Chair of the Virginia Federation of Tea Party Patriots, laid out a line that chilled the room filled with media and the public. She answered the core part of the question with the need to reduce the size of government. Then, she continued about the federal infringement of civilian rights. She ended her response stating,
"The best defense for Americans is the Second Amendment. That's the best defense."Groans of discontent by the audience followed her over the top response. In many ways, her crass statement turned off the public. The audience proceeded to effectively tune her out for the rest of the debate.
Radtke attempted to land verbal blows on Allen throughout the debate. None landed. And, the audience quivered every time she attempted to attack one of the candidates. She's attempting to gain traction against the front runner to boost her poll numbers. However, her attempts are appearing more desperate than effective.
Obviously the clock is ticking for Radtke. With very low polling numbers and only weeks until the primary, more of her futile scorched earth tactics are sure to be on the horizon.
The latest polling has former Governor George Allen with a commanding lead for the Republican nomination. A Washington Post poll shows Allen with 62%, Delegate Bob Marshall with 12%, Radtke with 5% and E.W. Jackson with 3% of likely voters.