What is the price of a stamp? How much is a gallon of gasoline?
Many of us can answer this question without hesitation, because many of us have to send out bills frequently and fill the tank with petro to get to and fro in life.
In a recent debate televised by 9News, U.S. Senate candidates Wayne Allard, a Republican, and Tom Strickland, a Democrat, were asked these so-called “pop-quiz” questions meant to measure the candidates’ connection with the prosaic realities of daily life. And they didn’t know.
The Rocky Mountain News ran a staff editorial Sunday basically saying the fact these candidates didn’t know was no big deal and that they were close enough. For example, Allard said stamps cost 35 cents when they actually cost 37 cents.
But the candidates’ wrong answers do show they are out of touch with the people. If these guys don’t know how much we pay for gas, how will they know what we want them to do when debating future oil policy? Especially as we face a war with Iraq and potential soaring gas prices.
We understand they may be busy and not paying attention to the exact prices of these mundane things, but that is the point. These people are running to represent us.
In order to accurately do that, they need to have at least a general idea of how we live and what sorts of things we face every day. These examples show that they don’t even seem to have a vague idea.