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September 9, 2010 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Phil Davison is a member of the city council in Minerva, OH. But what he'd really like to be is Stark County Treasurer. He'd really, really like that.

The video of Davison's impassioned/crazy speech at last night's meeting of the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee was posted early this morning by Martin Olsen, an "independent minded political commentator" and blogger. In addition to CQ Politics Political Wire, the video was quickly picked up by MSNBC and the Huffington Post. PBS landed an interview with Davison, who appears much calmer in print. Davison did not win the nomination

“My speech last night — I knew it might be a little over the edge, but that’s how I felt at the time,” Davison said. “If it spurs someone to go on and say, ‘You know what, I want to go up there and talk like that too, I want to make a difference, I want to get involved in my community.’ If it affects one person in a positive way, then it was worth it.”
posted by brozek (78 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I made it to 0:23. If you're the kind of person who gets vicariously embarrassed (vicarrassed?) watching sitcoms, don't even bother trying to watch this. Yikes!
posted by i'm offended you're offended at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


who appears much calmer in print

The actual content of his speech was pretty calm, too. But his delivery didn't match the text at all. It makes me wonder if someone else wrote it and he delivered the speech without reading it beforehand.
posted by The World Famous at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2010


...meeting of the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee...

He be stark raving mad, indeed!
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on September 9, 2010


It would be much more compelling if he didn't have to keep looking at his notes. He could've got a cadence going with the frothy rage.
posted by disillusioned at 2:36 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


...and then he returned home to his van down by the river.
posted by Crane Shot at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


I think he may have been a little bit nervous.
posted by mazola at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


And a Master's Degree in Communication!!!
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [29 favorites]


I am sure I have MC-ed a wedding in much the same manner at least once.
posted by mazola at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR MY TONE TONIGHT!

My guess is this guy learned public speaking techniques from professional wrestling.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Excruciating. Although I was momentarily amused by him mentioning his super-favorite Einstein quote, then fucking it all up until he double-checks his notes.
posted by Skot at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2010


Meth use sure can get ugly!
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


So pain can be transmitted via the Internet - if we could distil the gut-wrenching cringe and aim a bit lower, the fabled TCP/IP cockpunch can only be a short step away.
posted by Abiezer at 2:43 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


You have to love the way so many "conservatives" are anything but.
posted by Decani at 2:45 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Worse delivery than Johnny's speech for Middle School Student Council President.
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on September 9, 2010


Un. Comfortable.

Also: this seems a little mean to make fun of someone who's clearly unhinged.
posted by ColdChef at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


WHO SAID THAT?!
posted by ColdChef at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Actually, now that I think about it, I have a new theory. His emotion and delivery are clearly not correlated to the content of the speech. Why is that? I think the quick assumptino that everyone is jumping to is that the guy is crazy. Well, maybe he is and maybe he's not. But I wonder if someone on the Executive Committee or some other powerful person connected with the Committee sat him down shortly before the meeting and told him in no uncertain terms that there was no way he was going to be nominated, that they wouldn't let him be, but that he would be allowed to deliver the speech he had prepared if he really wanted to. Having seen the inner machinations of political races up close, I wouldn't be at all surprised if something like that had happened. I'm not saying it did. Just a theory.
posted by The World Famous at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


You ever see a high-school metal band play? And the lead singer can't remember the lyrics so he tries to keep them in front of him? Except screaming metal lyrics while trying to read them just doesn't work very well together and he ends up looking like he's got some sort of odd speech impediment because he keeps breaking mid-line from the screaming to read?

That is what watching Earth-Prime Rob Riggle is like.
posted by griphus at 2:49 PM on September 9, 2010


(Also the drummer is Earth-Prime Chris Farley.)
posted by griphus at 2:52 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I couldn't watch very much before the empathetic embarrassment kicked in and I had to turn it off.

This is also why I can't watch many sitcoms.
posted by brundlefly at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Lewis Black had a routine about how, when asked, people feared public speaking more than death. Iit rings more true every time this kind of meltdown comes up.

Also, 'GO FOR IT' is for bungie jumping and beer bongs - not high-preparation, high-function tasks.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2010


I wonder if he took cues from the angry rhetoric that has been spewing around us for the past few years. He may have decided to mimic the 'over-the-top' delivery of folks like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbuagh, etc. and thought such would suit him. Unfortunately, he's not a skilled public speaker, as he obviously got carried away in his delivery which overshadowed and obscured his message.
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My guess is this guy learned public speaking techniques from professional wrestling.

If he would lose 30lbs. and change his name to Jim, his campaign motto could be 'Step Into A Slim Jim!'
posted by mannequito at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2010


If the level of embarrassment I felt via the internet is this high, I can't imagine what it would have been like to have been in the room. This is one of those times I suddenly have to take a phone call out in the hallway to let that look of horror melt off my face.
posted by msbutah at 3:18 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the similarity to Dwight Schrute's (in)famous speech where he channeled Il Duce.
posted by scalefree at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


That little inhale-yelp thing he did at 1:47 scared me a little.
posted by rachaelfaith at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was that other guy though, that lost his 2008 primary race thingy for looking completely barking, and it turned out he was just shouting over the crowd. By then he was a lost cause, what with having looked unstable and been made fun of too much. I can't remember who he was but Bill Maher apologised on his show for it.

So you can't tell everything from tape. This one seems to be admitting to being impassioned so that might be true or it could just be the best spin he can put on it.

I'm bad at public speaking and feel bad for people.
posted by shinybaum at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Government may be about service; politics is about winning."

I liked that statement, but it doesn't sound like he thinks that a bad thing. And that I don't like.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2010


Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up.

Did he just mime using a screwdriver? Because when I think of the various tools knowledge can metaphorically manifest as, I think of something like a lug wrench or a bolt cutter, you know, like a normal person.

This man is clearly unhinged.

So on second thought, maybe he could use that screwdriver.
posted by phunniemee at 3:51 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


STEVE HOLT!
posted by The Whelk at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


There was that other guy though, that lost his 2008 primary race thingy for looking completely barking, and it turned out he was just shouting over the crowd. By then he was a lost cause, what with having looked unstable and been made fun of too much. I can't remember who he was but Bill Maher apologised on his show for it.

Democrat Howard Dean, running for President.
posted by scalefree at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2010


If nominated tonight I can guarantee with 100% certainty that what you are seeing from me tonight is what everyone outside those doors is going to get over the next eight weeks!

Oh God, no.
posted by greymullet at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2010


Funny, through all that frothy bluster he didn't actually mention one single concrete thing he would do as the new Stark County Treasurer.

Maybe that's another reason he didn't get the nomination.
posted by Camofrog at 4:00 PM on September 9, 2010


griphus and "Earth-Prime Rob Riggle" FTW.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:09 PM on September 9, 2010


Tip O'Neill was right--All politics is loco.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I say Davison beats Jan Brewer in terms of cringe-worthiness of performance, but Brewer scores big points for national relevance.

I call it a draw.
posted by auto-correct at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2010


Is there a transcript anywhere? I'd like to see what the words look like written down
posted by rollick at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is-a why you don't take-a elocution a-lessons from Dottore Emilio Lizardo.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now I'm worried about infestation....

And eagerly awaiting his "Web Redemption"
posted by drezdn at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2010


Treasurers Treasurers Treasurers... Treasurers Treasurers Treasurers... *clap clap clap clap*

He's really trying for that demagoguey thing, but man, Hitler never had to use notes.
posted by symbioid at 4:34 PM on September 9, 2010


This is-a why you don't take-a elocution a-lessons from Dottore Emilio Lizardo.

Says-a you, monkey boy! The Stark-a County Repooblicanse will harness-a their-a greatest resource-a in l'elettione contra the Democratti--OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:34 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whoa, the guy has never heard of YouTube. It's ok though, he's a treasurer and isn't good with electronics.
posted by mathowie at 4:47 PM on September 9, 2010


"electronic server"

as opposed to the traditional kind, which he's more used to slapping on the ass and then not tipping.
posted by The Whelk at 4:51 PM on September 9, 2010


That little inhale-yelp thing he did at 1:47 scared me a little.

I actually physically cringed right there. My arms drew up and away from my keyboard & my fingers kind of curled up. It was an interesting sensation. I don't think I've ever actually cringed with embarrassment like that before.

posted by Devils Rancher at 5:07 PM on September 9, 2010


I think this guy lives in a van down by the river.
posted by slackdog at 5:16 PM on September 9, 2010


ah damn it, Crane Shot...
posted by slackdog at 5:18 PM on September 9, 2010


I can attest that our servers are in fact electronic, and not clockwork or pneumatic as some have rumored.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2010


Bad media coach.
posted by sfts2 at 6:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the TPM piece mathowie linked:

We asked Davison about Pastor Terry Jones' Koran-burning plans in Florida. He said they are "indicative of the unrest that our country has right now" and stressed that Jones has a Constitutional right to do what he wants.


"I have a Constitutional right to do what I want!" is now going to be my go-to line for when I get thrown out of Applebee's for unruly behavior.
posted by fryman at 6:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"And I will not apologize for my tone tonight!"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:23 PM on September 9, 2010


"Watch this, Lis. You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:26 PM on September 9, 2010


He didn't get my vote, but I now feel a strong urge to invade somewhere, maybe Poland.
posted by Pantalaimon at 6:28 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


We asked Davison about Pastor Terry Jones' Koran-burning plans in Florida. He said they are "indicative of the unrest that our country has right now" and stressed that Jones has a Constitutional right to do what he wants.



oh, those elusive constitutional rights! somehow they just aren't there for Muslims, but are there aplenty when the Koran is being burned.

Regarding Mr. Davison - you know, I started to watch the video thinking, "I wish more people were passionate about holding public office" but by the end I just felt sorry for the guy, yet relieved that he didn't get the nomination. And then I made a joke about him on the internet.
posted by dubold at 6:30 PM on September 9, 2010


If he wasn't who he was I'd suspect he watched that episode of The Wire and got himself all worked up about what a great politician should sound like, minus the acting lessons. Carcetti's speech can still make me look for the nearest voting booth.
posted by shinybaum at 6:41 PM on September 9, 2010


There are some quality quotes in that interview (after you see the video):
Of his situation now, at age 39, he added: “You would think a guy with four college degrees isn’t working blue-collar jobs in factories. And that’s what I’ve done.”
And probably my favorite:
“Some people call it fanaticism. I call it being a believer,” Davison said.
posted by frenetic at 7:02 PM on September 9, 2010


He seems so ... surprised by himself. That moment after he talks about how he's been a Republican for so long, around 1:28, the look on his face is more shocked than anything else. It's an oh-my-God-what-the-fuck-am-I-doing look.

Pretty much every day now I wake up thinking "well, this is basically the most I can hate politics, I guess; this is basically the most disappointed I can be" and the world is all, "yeah but have you seen this one thing yet?"

INFEST-ATION
posted by penduluum at 7:30 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I don't think he's nuts. I suspect he was trying to come across as all forceful and passionate and really had no idea that he sounded like he was going to burst into tears any minute. He probably thought all that intensity makes him a great public speaker and he was going to have that crowd on its feet (rather than edging slowly toward the exits).
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is clearly just one of those rare individuals who watches Steve Ballmer keynotes and thinks: "Yeah. Yeah! This is good! I can do this! This is how I should talk! Maybe even to my family! Why doesn't everybody communicate important ideas like this?"
posted by tapesonthefloor at 8:40 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!"

I had to look up the Atari's song, and now it's stuck in my head.
posted by shinyshiny at 8:46 PM on September 9, 2010


Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:17 PM on September 9, 2010


Ah, but don't feel sorry for him just yet. ericb's right on target for comparing the delivery to Glenn Beck (over-the-top impassioned screaming, on the verge of tears) and clearly it's a strategy that worked there. As completely insane as it sounds, I can see this guy becoming a conservative folk hero in the days or weeks to come.

(OK, so my conservative friends are in hysterics over the guy too. But still!)
posted by naju at 9:28 PM on September 9, 2010


My first thought was "Nicolas Cage".

I don't like having these thoughts.
posted by hermitosis at 9:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are endlessly fascinating.
posted by davebush at 9:51 PM on September 9, 2010


And to think i could have attended this speech...

To give you a little background on why this race is even happening... The treasurer resigned because one of his deputies stole about 2 million dollar in cash from the county vault. Dude regularly walked out the door with duffel bags of cash and nobody caught it. He's getting 10 years, and of course his boss the Treasurer was forced to resign.

Sure, it's painful to watch, but consider that his wildly emotive delivery is against a backdrop of massive fraud.
posted by freq at 9:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think he's nuts either. Definitely tone-deaf though, some kind of aphasia there. But I wouldn't even call him a blowhard, because I think a blowhard would sound better.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 10:46 PM on September 9, 2010


You know, I usually get exquisitely embarrassed by things like this.

But not this.

Why? Because this man is a monster. It's 2010 and he's stumping for the Republicans. There are, as I keep mentioning, hundreds of thousands of innocents dead, murdered by the Republicans, the Grand Old Party of the United States.

Being embarrassed in front of a room of people is far, far less than this monster deserves.

So I actually enjoyed this. I would have enjoyed it more if someone had leapt out and started stabbing the monster in the head with an ice pick.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:46 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lupus Y isn't bitter, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:31 AM on September 10, 2010


"Chaos, Mr. Who," Lupus Yonderboy said. "That is our mode and modus. That is our central kick."
posted by Babblesort at 7:57 AM on September 10, 2010


I HAVE A MASTER'S DEGREE IN COMMUNICATIONS!
posted by Mister_A at 9:01 AM on September 10, 2010


MY NAME'S PHIL AND I WANT TO BE ELECTED!

And who the fuck switched my decaf latte for a crack pipe?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:19 AM on September 10, 2010


I have to watch this in chunks, it's too much cringe for a single straight-through viewing.
posted by Mister_A at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2010


If Mel Gibson ever ran for County Treasurer, this is the kind of speech that he'd give.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:59 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to watch this in chunks, it's too much cringe for a single straight-through viewing.

Oh no, it's best all at once. When he stands at attention at 5:04, puts his hands behind his back, and recites, "I believe in the entities and principles of the national Republican party, the state of Iowa Republican party, and the Stark County Republican party!" I sorta feel like lupus_yonderboy. This guy is Greg Stillson w/o the charisma or speaking skills.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:10 AM on September 10, 2010


I HAVE A MASTER'S DEGREE IN COMMUNICATIONS!

I thought about getting a Masters in Communications.

I laid down for a while and, thankfully, the feeling passed.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:40 AM on September 10, 2010


SOMEBODY GIVE THIS MAN AN HOUR ON COMMUNITY ACCESS TELEVISION EVERY WEEK. HE IS THE SHOT IN THE ARM THAT CATV NEEDS. GOD BLESS THE ADVISORY BOARD.
posted by Spatch at 2:47 PM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay, I know that "needs autotune" is sort of a trite meme right now, but I really want to see an autotuned version of this, or a techno remix or something. There's just so much material.
posted by NoraReed at 3:13 PM on September 10, 2010


You know what would be totally crazy? A video of a GOP candidate calmly articulating concrete policy plans. That would FREAK ME THE FUCK OUT.
posted by mkultra at 7:53 PM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


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