Cannibal council

By AL DIAMON  |  September 22, 2010

LePage brushed the question off, refusing to answer.

Later that day, in Augusta, he got more of the same at a State House press conference, where nosy reporters wanted to know why his name had been taken off the deed for his Waterville house. Rather than answer, LePage denied it happened, sputtered a bit, and stormed out, promising never to discuss the issue again.

He broke that promise a couple of hours later in Portland, offering a confusing explanation that opened the door to even more questions (Who's managing your campaign, Dan Skolnik?). He also managed to swear at a reporter (Dan taught me that word, and he said it was OK to use when the microphones are turned on).

Whereupon, he returned to Augusta to try to make amends by granting interviews, during which he further confused the issue of where his wife lives, where his kids live, why he doesn't pay property taxes, and whether he can ride a unicycle (Yes, and I can juggle at the same time).

LePage later told reporters the day had been an "absolute disaster."

He's right. It's one thing for soon-to-be-ex-city councilors or soon-to-be-unsuccessful legislative candidates to behave like loons. It's quite another when the frontrunner for governor does it. It indicates a lack of political smarts, an inability to deal with conflict, an uncertainty about the truth, a disorganized campaign structure, a failure to attract qualified advisors, and a habit when rattled of resorting to profanity.

Maybe those are the qualities you're seeking in a governor.

I know they're the ones I'm looking for in a column subject. That and a tendency to eat one's words.

As a diet, it beats whatever goes with fava beans.

Bite back by e-mailing me ataldiamon@herniahill.net.

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