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Why Sue Lowden lost Nevada's GOP Senate primary

Much attention has been paid to Sue Lowden’s comments on bartering chickens for health care as a reason for her loss in the Nevada GOP Senate primary yesterday, and no doubt they were harmful. But a simple slip of the tongue would not have been enough to sink her with the Tea Party movement that is the driving force in so many GOP primaries today. Lowden’s problems with were more deep-seated.

As I pointed out in March, Lowden earned the ire of Nevada libertarian activists back in 2008 for what they see as her hijacking of the state party convention. John McCain had sewn up the GOP nomination before Nevada Republicans gathered, and Lowden had put in place a set of rules designed to rubber-stamp a slate of McCain delegates. But the convention was taken over by Ron Paul supporters, who launched an insurgency on the convention floor and succeeded in overturning rules.

Lowden -- who was then the Nevada GOP chairwoman -- panicked. She and other state GOP leaders shut the convention down, promising to reconvene the delegates at a later date. But they never did. Instead, Lowden held a private conference call with state Republican leaders who secretly approved the slate of McCain delegates. The Libertarian activists -- many of whom now populate the Tea Party movement in Nevada -- never forgave her.

Lowden was the GOP frontrunner for a time, but once the Tea Party endorsed Sharron Angle, the writing was on the wall. The chicken-bartering comment sealed her fate, but the seeds of her demise were planted two years earlier.

By Marc Thiessen  | June 9, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Comments

Who cares what Thiessen, Bush apologist, er, speech-writer, says? His presence on this page is just another fine reason to boycott the Post.

Posted by: hairguy01 | June 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean by "a slip of the tongue"? Did she really mean to pay for medical fees with fresh turkeys and said chickens by mistake? I think it was a slip of the old intellect.

Posted by: rj2z | June 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

As I recall she stood by her comment on the chickens. I've been meaning to ask conservatives if they've tried out her suggestion and how well it worked.

Posted by: James10 | June 9, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Remember folks, no page views or comments for this cheney bu!! boy, let him torture himself.

Posted by: calif-joe | June 9, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

While Harry Reid is delivering his victory speech in November, I hope he will thank Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement for delivering his re-election.

Posted by: gfinley | June 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen, what is your point? Is your analysis of tea partiers of any interest to us? Can you not find heavier issues to joust against? Is this how your former bosses, Helms, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush would have wished?

You continue to be a Post editorial page dope, never having done anything, not having a body of work (Fred Hiatt notwithstanding), having been reamed by Jane Mayer, and casting yourself as an analyst on Nevada, a state you have never visited. Am I wrong?

Posted by: harper-d | June 9, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Why Sue Lowden lost Nevada's GOP Senate primary"? You serious? The reason is pretty clear--I'm thinking chickens. You should be thinking chickens too.

Not rocket science. Once you get known as "chicken Lady" your chances of being elected to anything dramatically decrease.

Posted by: Carl_Goss | June 9, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Why Sue Lowden lost the primary--because she's an idiot?

Posted by: nicekid | June 9, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Mark Thiessen finally posts a truly informative item and all most people can do is cr@p on it? I'm not generally a Thiessen fan, but I'll at least give him credit for pointing out a root cause of Lowden's loss to Angle.

You really shouldn't dismiss useful information just because you don't like the messenger.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Thiessen, Bush apologist, er, speech-writer, says? His presence on this page is just another fine reason to boycott the Post.


Posted by: hairguy01
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Thanks for boycotting Hairguy, don't forget to trample Helen Thomas on the way out!

Posted by: ZZim | June 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Lowden wasn't in trouble until she made her chicken comments, tea party nonwithstanding. She could have beaten Reid and so could've Tarkanian. But now Harry is facing nutsypoopy Sharron Angle. A few well covered Angle events, a couple of Jon Ralston show appearances and a debate or two and I think we can safely say hasta la vista, Mrs. Angle.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

If anyone still doubts that the tea party is composed of GOP-leaning voters only, then let them read this article. Theissen, no objective viewer himself, goes into great lengths to explain the "inside baseball" behind Lowden's loss. Only a political policy wonk would pay attention to the GOP delegeate selection process to the national convention.

Posted by: LeftGuy | June 9, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen, are you upset that Sue Lowden would barter you for health care?

Cluck-Cluck, Pilgrim.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 9, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh Sue full of botox the lord was not with thee.

Posted by: whocares666 | June 9, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I guess we as a society have completely lost the ability to discuss issues in a civil, rational manner. When Lowden mentioned the idea of trading chickens for healthcare she was correct--that is what sometimes happened in some rural communities in the past. I also heard--on NPR no less--that some doctors used to provide free healthcare to their elderly patients prior to the creation of Medicare (Medicare also led to the current fee-for-services system, as the NPR story explained). These are facts. Can they not be discussed? Or must all facts be denied or mocked if they stand in the way of what some "progressives" consider to be "progress"?

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Torture Thiessen is wrong. Lowden lost because the wingnuts are taking over the Republican party in her state. Pure and simple. It's the foreclosure center of the universe and there are a lot of angry rednecks who want to take it out on somebody. If Bush showed up in Nevada they would be throwing their slot machine tokens at him. In fact, what is happening in Nevada right now pretty much sums up the self-destruction of the Republican party. Hooray!

Posted by: gposner | June 9, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess we as a society have completely lost the ability to discuss issues in a civil, rational manner. When Lowden mentioned the idea of trading chickens for healthcare she was correct--that is what sometimes happened in some rural communities in the past. I also heard--on NPR no less--that some doctors used to provide free healthcare to their elderly patients prior to the creation of Medicare (Medicare also led to the current fee-for-services system, as the NPR story explained). These are facts. Can they not be discussed? Or must all facts be denied or mocked if they stand in the way of what some "progressives" consider to be "progress"?
_______________________
if she had mentioned chickens on the way to making a valid point, there would have been no problem. as you note, it's true. so was providing free care to the elderly poor before Medicare. it's when you don't have a point, claim that the elderly should just look for kindhearted doctors like they used to, and the like, that you get in trouble. and Medicare didn't invent fee for service.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@ Comment below, what if Obama had proposed chickens for free health-care? Would you honestly still feel the same?

ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse
I guess we as a society have completely lost the ability to discuss issues in a civil, rational manner. When Lowden mentioned the idea of trading chickens for healthcare she was correct--that is what sometimes happened in some rural communities in the past. I also heard--on NPR no less--that some doctors used to provide free healthcare to their elderly patients prior to the creation of Medicare (Medicare also led to the current fee-for-services system, as the NPR story explained). These are facts. Can they not be discussed? Or must all facts be denied or mocked if they stand in the way of what some "progressives" consider to be "progress"?

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TraderX | June 9, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

She also lost the Nevada Drs vote
They didn't want to be paid in
chickens. A survey should have
been done to see how many Drs
would have left Nevada if she
got elected.

Posted by: donald10 | June 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Medicare didn't invent fee for service.

Posted by: JoeT1

I never said medicare "invented" fee for service--just that NPR had stated that it led to the current system, which is based on fees per service (as a way to win support from doctors who initially oppsed Medicare). If you disagree with that, take it up with NPR--they're the ones who said it (http://m.npr.org/news/front/124090475?singlePage=true).

As for Obama and chickens (from the other post), believe me I'd much rather he'd proposed THAT than what he did come up with. At least a chicken is palatable!

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The same NPR report also notes that it was Medicare that also helped to create the system in which doctors request more and more tests:

NPR noted that the "Medicare solution for how to pay doctors put into cement this idea of fee for service, paying doctors per procedure for every test, every scan. That sounds reasonable, but it served as a nudge to err on the safe side - to do more tests, to do that exploratory surgery."

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Thiessen, you are a manipulator, not an honest man.

nothing good comes out of you.

Posted by: vigor | June 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

So in case anyone fails to connect the dots: The government that NOW claims that fee for service and (supposedly) excessive testing are bad things was in fact the very group that created those problems ... so perhaps some people trust them to fix the problems they brought about, but I sure don't!

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Marc, did Jesse Helms pay you in chickens?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

ToughChoices: NPR noted that the "Medicare solution for how to pay doctors put into cement this idea of fee for service, paying doctors per procedure for every test, every scan. That sounds reasonable, but it served as a nudge to err on the safe side - to do more tests, to do that exploratory surgery."

Uh, so, you'd have doctors just *guess* despite the fact that CT Scans, Pet Scans, MRI's can now let them know for sure? It's not the "fee for service" that encourages doctors to schedule tests. It's the fact that tests not previously even invented are now available.

My father was a neurologist. He used to diagnose tumors purely based on symptoms reported by patients--and then send them to the neurosurgeon for a looksee. Once the imaging scans were available, he'd get quite an ego boost if the CT proved his guess about the location of a tumor was correct, but the times he was proved wrong made him grateful the scans existed. I remember one occasion where he diagnosed a rapidly growing tumor that a scan showed was actually parasites (eeeeuuuuuuu). Rather than the brain surgery my father would have referred her to in the pre-scan days, he prescribed an anti-parasite medicine. Less traumatic for the patient. Cheaper, too.

Posted by: multiplepov | June 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If you ask me I would have said Tark has the best shot to beat Reid. People don't like to bring it up but I will, Mormons in UT and NV vote their religion. The Catholic Lowden would have been acceptable, the Baptist that helped with a Scientology program won't pass the grade. Hispanics would go to Tark, maybe Lowden, but Angle strongly against immigrants will have them mobilize for Reid. Bias will also hurt in SC with an Indian descendant that converted to Methodist but still attend both services. Please no nonsense about LA, NOLA has been a melting pot since it was settled, SC was the home of the Klan in Stone Mountain.

Posted by: jameschirico | June 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse


"slip of the tongue"?
She talked about more, defended it, denied it, embraced it again.

This writer is so dishonest so dismally
idiotic he gives the Bushies a bad name.

Posted by: whistling | June 9, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe dishonest propagandist Thiessen has been given space by the Post. There is no need to "balance" allegedly liberal columnists with outright liars.

Posted by: terry-the-censor | June 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Sue Lowden definitely lost because of the chicken comment. Now Angle will lose as soon as her beliefs are known. Get rid of Social Security, the Dept. of education, the EPA, the Dept. of Energy, etc. She also wants to make all liquor illegal, this in a state where Casinos and hotels are the main source of income. She's a whackadoo. She won only 40% of the Republican vote last night, so she's in trouble before her campaign even starts.

Posted by: CRinVegas | June 9, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

ToughChoices: NPR is dead wrong. Medicare was simply the existing Blue Cross/Blue Shield indemnity system. Fee for service is how all docs were paid, period. And they don't get paid for ordering a lab test or MRI unless they own the lab or the imaging center. That's a whole different problem. There is no Medicare payment for ordering an MRI, for example.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 9, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The day Thiessen utters a factual comment is the day Palin wears slacks.


Posted by: ScottChallenger | June 9, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Someone who actually does his homework. For those saying it is a lie, last time I checked, videos of the entire state convention were still on youtube.

Posted by: sailingaway1 | June 9, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Amazingly the Leftwingtards peddle the lie they know to be a lie that people will vote for someone else when they discover what their preferred candidate wants to really do.

That's so much nonsense.

People vote for candidates on the basis of what they think the candidate can stir up ~ if stirring up is what they want ~ or can do ~ if doing is what they want ~ or cause trouble for ~ if they want someone to cause trouble for something.

The voters don't always vote their "needs", nor do the voters perceive candidates like Angle to be voicing beliefs totally at odds with normalcy ~ and Harding did win eh!

Given a choice between Angle or Reid, a rational resident of Nevada is no doubt torn ~ vote for crazy ol'Harry so he can continue ripping off real estate deals, or vote for crazy ol'Angle so she can can push for some serious (and necessary) Social Security reform.

Actually, that's going to be a difficult choice for Democrats anywhere.

It's not a difficult choice for Republicans.

Posted by: muawiyah | June 9, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on.

You and both know she lost because of her wanting U.S., citizens to use Chickens as a bartering tool for their Health care. Eeven after she was asked, if she made a mistake about those comments several times later, she stood by those remarks.

Here are her remarks:

"Before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I'll paint your house."

"I mean, that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors," she said. "Doctors are very sympathetic people. I'm not backing down from that system."

Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.....

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 9, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

multiplepov:
You missed my point. I have NO problem with doctors performing tests--it's Obama's people who complained about that. I simply pointed out that the government created the very "problem" they now complain about.

Posted by: ToughChoices | June 9, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party is a pile of marginally educated fools who think they know more than they do because they read a very little. There's nothing like half the truth to burnish the lies people want to tell themselves.

They're interesting to watch. Deluded, angry, and stupid, but entertaining clowns in trifoil hats tebagging each other.

Posted by: Nymous | June 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

So the teabaggers punished Lowden by selecting extremist nutjob Angle.

Next, Nevada voters are going to punish the teabaggers by re-electing Reid.

Way to go, teabaggers! Another nice job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | June 9, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Keep it up, Mr. Thiessen.

The more the loons on the left cackle, the more you can be sure you are on the right track.

Posted by: etpietro | June 9, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Is that, oh yea, that's right SHE'S STUPID!

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | June 9, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen and all the posters here miss the boat completely. The reason Sue Lowden lost wasn't because of her "chickens barter" comment nor was it her Botox or her strikingly gorgeous looks nor was it the Libertarians that Thiessen thinks control Nevada Republican politics. The reason she lost was two-fold:

-She didn't come off as being very bright and

-She split the Moderate vote with Tarkanian

If you look at Indiana, the same thing happened but in reverse! The two conservatives split 51% of the vote, the conservative portion ending up with 25% each while the RINO carpetbagger won it with just 39% of the vote. There's no telling the outcome had either Tarkanian or Lowden bowed out and backed the other.

Posted by: levotb1 | June 10, 2010 4:00 AM | Report abuse

This is an email I sent to Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Jane Ann Morrison:

Jane, You failed to recognize, in your latest column, the reprehensible conduct of Sue Lowden at the 2008 Nevada State GOP Convention in Reno. Those of us who were there were stunned at the absolute corruptness of Lowden and her lackey Bob Beers. I and many others vowed that we would do everything possible to see BOTH their political careers end in miserable failure...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! Just like most of the mainstream media, you chose to ignore the ongoing effect of the Ron Paul 'Revolution'. We never went away as so many in the media predicted. Continue to ignore us at your own peril...we will continue to shape the issues and the political direction of Nevada AND the United States. What's the bottom line for us? The Constitution!! We know that an economic collapse is coming due to the complete ineptness and serial Oath BREAKING our politicians are engaged in. Get out of the FALSE LEFT/RIGHT PARADIGM (google it!). I don't expect you to change
overnight, but would hope that you will begin to see the TRUE change that's in the air. I welcome the coming collapse of the political status quo. Millions of Americans are waking up in spite of the media's kowtowing to corporate and political interests. I'll keep reading and listening to see when YOU wake up!!

Our military, law enforcement, and ELECTED OFFICIALS need to HONOR THEIR OATH TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION!!!

oathkeepers.org

Posted by: dan_kempf | June 10, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen is absolutely correct. Ron Paul supporters who attended the Republican state convention are, after all, elephants, meaning we do not forget. The convention in Nevada was a travesty, sort of like the one I attended today in Washington state, with lots of rule manipulation and collusion among the Rhinos and the Dinos(aurs).

As to the chickens, they are an example of using the barter system which is a way of exchanging goods for services when cash flow is limited. Get a grip, and be prepared as that is what is likely coming when out dollar is not worth any thing any more. Better to have something of value to trade for something you want....like a chicken for healthcare.

Posted by: Blonduxo | June 13, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

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