Telegraph Editorial

“Be prepared” is the Boy Scout motto. It’s also a song from Disney’s “The Lion King.” And it should be the motto of any candidate for public office sitting down to talk politics with Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Williams, especially with more than 100 business people and the media watching.

Witness 2nd District congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia. The Salem Republican, who is seeking to unseat Democrat incumbent Ann Kuster, was paddling along quite nicely Thursday morning, regurgitating her carefully constructed talking points, when Williams adeptly sliced a few holes in her fragile little dingy.

The issue that rattled Williams’ cage the most was extending commuter rail service to Nashua and places north. Garcia pleaded ignorance of the issue and told Williams, “I’ll get back to you on that.”

Garcia is not ignorant of the issue, and Williams knew it. As a state representative, Garcia has a track record of opposing commuter rail initiatives. Williams, a knowledgeable business advocate and student of state government, called her on it.

Most amazing about Garcia’s embarrassing response is that she clearly wasn’t prepared to address the issue. Hello. This is Nashua. Commuter rail is an important issue here. It’s an important issue to the Chamber of Commerce as well. An astute candidate attending a political forum in Nashua, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, would have anticipated the question and been ready to offer an intelligent response. Garcia was not, and for that there is no excuse.

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Annie Kuster for Congress

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