Who is Debbie?
Clarification wanted from Democratic Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.
1:45 PM, Aug 25, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
In 2000, there was Kailey. Today, there’s Debbie.
On October 3, 2000, America watched the first presidential debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush. That night, Vice President Gore told the emotional story of Kailey, a 15-year-old girl at Sarasota High School who was, supposedly, the 36thstudent in a 24-student classroom. “They can’t squeeze another desk in for her, so she has to stand during class,” Gore said.
As it turned out, that wasn’t really true. The next day, the principal of Sarasota High School told a Tampa Bay radio station, “I think the facts that he was provided with were inaccurate because we don’t really have any students standing in class, and we have more than enough desks for all of our students.”
Oops. The story wasn’t the reason Gore lost, but it certainly didn’t help the campaign.
Flash forward 10 years. Last week, Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias addressed roughly 1,500 people at a brunch hosted by the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association in Springfield. From the State Journal-Register:
Bernard Schoenburg, political columnist for the State Journal-Register raises an excellent question: Who is Debbie?
This is certainly a heartbreaking story – and all the more reason America needs to change direction in November and get our economy back on track. But, what if the story is not accurate? A quick search of news articles in Illinois finds no mention of this story. Of course it’s possible this tragedy occurred and was not covered by the media, but it’s equally possible that Giannoulias is the latest in a long line of fabulist politicians.
This should not be a difficult question for the Giannoulias campaign to answer: who is Debbie? It’s been a week since Giannoulias told this story and still no one knows.