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Rosen's puffing about role on 1 October could leave a mark

Jon Ralston
Jon Ralston
Ralston Reports

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are…the true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching.”

—John Wooden

Rep. Jacky Rosen is known for being a relatively sober, careful elected official.

So when I first saw the video of her at a Seattle fundraiser bragging about her role on arguably the worst day in Nevada history and making it seem as if she was The Iron Lady among the feckless, I was stunned. And it takes a lot to do that.

I expect neither campaign will be happy with how we wrote the story because Megan Messerly reported what Rosen said and also provided facts and context. If the campaign teams don’t like our report, it will feel familiar — because campaigns only care what is, in the parlance, “reprintable” or “re-airable.” In other words, what can help and what can hurt in paid media.

Fine. Par for you know what.

My view is that this is not just problematic politically for Rosen. I’d go so far as to say the video is disturbing. Watch it a few times, as I did.

It is — dare I say it? — almost Trumpian in its change-of-thought-in-mid-sentence-feel, as well as in the parenthetical braggadocio.

Consider the two most egregious remarks:

---“None of the other politicians— they said, ‘What do we do?’”

They did? There is not one scintilla of evidence that this occurred. Rosen talked as if she was the only one who knew what to do, as if people looked to her for her wisdom and guidance. But nearly every elected official did essentially the same thing in the aftermath of the shooting: visit the hospitals, comfort the families and friends.

---“So they put me in front and I just did that because I knew. I’d been there.” What? No one — I mean NO ONE — put her out front. None of the news coverage from that time reflects Rosen as being pushed to center stage, by anyone, to comfort the general populace and the injured. Her central claim is just not true.

And: she claims she “knew” what to do because she was president of a synagogue? Really? As opposed to, say, a sheriff? Or anyone with a compassionate heart and an ounce of sense?

I don’t know if this was Rosen simply getting carried away during a speaking engagement (who among us…) But in a place far from her home where she thought no one would know better, she came off as someone who grossly exaggerated her role on a terrible evening, simply to make herself look good.

I wonder what her rabbi would say about that.


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