Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Caroline was reluctant to embrace the “Queen of Hydroponics” title bestowed upon her by her fellow members of the St. Swithun’s Horticulture Klatch.

When you have been involved in politics as an activist and a writer as long as I have it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while. It doesn’t happen often, which makes it even more enjoyable.

Kari Lake — the Republican candidate for governor here in my native Arizona — has been the biggest surprise for me in this most important of election years.

I was skeptical of Lake during the primary, as were many of my conservative friends. She seemed rather new to conservatism. After a conversation with my good friend and colleague Kevin Downey Jr., I was reminded that not everybody comes out of the womb a conservative as I did.

My skepticism quickly disappeared as soon as Lake won the primary and hit the campaign trail. Her career behind enemy lines in the mainstream media gives her an advantage that even veteran Republican politicians don’t enjoy. Lake knows how to handle them because she was them.

In the past six years, only two prominent Republicans have known how to handle hit jobs from the enemy of the people media: Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. Trump does it with his natural combativeness, DeSantis honed his craft under relentless assault beginning in the early days of the pandemic.

Kari Lake showed up armed with insider information that she uses to lay traps that idiot reporters keep walking into.

Recently, a faux journo type hit Lake with the “ELECTION DENIER” talking point, obviously hoping for a “Gotcha!” moment. He no doubt ended up regretting that.

Matt has the story:

During a campaign stop on Monday, Lake was asked her thoughts about her name being linked to denying election results, and she really let the reporter have it.

“I’m actually shocked you asked that question,” she said before she called upon a young campaign staffer named Anthony to present 150 examples of Democrats denying election results. She took the stack of paper from him and went to town. “Is that an election denier?”

She then cited Hillary Clinton calling Trump an “illegitimate president” and a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, “Was the 2016 election legitimate? It’s now definitely worth asking the question.”

“So it’s okay for Democrats to question elections, but it’s not okay for Republicans. It’s a crock of B.S. Every one of you knows that,” Lake continued. “We have our freedom of speech and we’re not going to relinquish it to a bunch of fake news.”

Matt has the video and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Lake is icy cool in every one of these encounters with the press. Her two-plus decades of on-camera experience shows. She’s never rattled. That must drive them crazy.

Lake is so smooth that Democrat Katie Hobbs is terrified to debate her. Heck, Hobbs can’t even handle a political conversation with a random Uber driver.

Kari Lake was dismissed as a Trump-endorsed newcomer when she won the primary in early August. In the two months since she’s been garnering more national attention. On Monday, Tulsi Gabbard flexed her new independent clout by endorsing Lake and announcing that she would be campaigning for her.

Kari Lake has been a bright ray of sunshine here in this already sunny state. In the short period of time that she’s been the nominee she’s proven that, should she win, she’ll be an asset not only for Arizona but for the national GOP as well.

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