On New Orleans radio station WWL, a 50,000-watt powerhouse on the AM band which reaches large parts of the Gulf Coast, talk show host Tommy Tucker interviewed the three leading GOP presidential candidates and asked each one how they would deal as president with Louisiana's coastal erosion problem, a serious issue in the Pelican State.
Mitt Romney told Tucker that he would "have to study" the issue and began talking about Florida. When Tucker interrupted and tried to get the former Massachusetts governor to actually address his question, Romney got more than a little testy with Tucker, explaining that he's "not sufficiently briefed" on the issue.
When it was Rick Santorum's turn to field the question, the former Pennsylvania Senator went on a tangent about the need for a healthy national economy and what things a president could and could not do. Like Romney, Santorum was not familiar enough with the issue to discuss it. Also like Romney, Santorum was somewhat short-tempered when pressed by the host.
By the time he interviewed former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Tucker admitted that he was "crotchety" because of the responses he got from Santorum and Romney, who both "seemed pretty stumped" by the question. But after asking the question to a third candidate and hearing Gingrich's well-informed and detailed answer, the host seemed pleased with the response, telling Newt, "Now I'm not crotchety anymore."
Tucker then asked Gingrich what it says about his opponents when they didn't have any idea of what he was talking about. The former Speaker make the point that "understanding what each state needs is part of what running for president is all about. You ought to be sensitive to the economics and the culture and the needs of every state, and every state is different."
Which just goes to prove that another former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, was right about at least one thing: "All politics is local."