FULL DRAMA QUEEN MODE
Alyse Galvin stalked off the stage after scolding Don Young for shaking her hand “too hard” subsequent to their debate at Alaska Federation of Natives.
“You hurt me! You hurt me!” she barked at him, well within range of the microphone, and then she hastily exited the stage without thanking the moderators.
“Ow,” she said, as she left the stage. Young had apologized, but she did not accept it. This was not one of her better performances.
To the viewer, the hand shake appeared to be normal, and Young is, after all, a strong 85 years old. Young appeared surprised at her dramatic exit, but he then got up from his chair and thanked the moderators before exiting the stage himself.
Galvin started out her debate performance by channeling her inner Sen. Elizabeth Warren: She adopted an accent reminiscent of Native Alaskans. Ethan Berkowitz also did this oddity of speech in 2010, and his strange new accent was remarked upon at the time as he ran for governor.
Galvin culturally appropriated the speaking pattern, slowly forming her words in a noticeable fashion, one that was not her usual style of speech.
“First. I. Would. Like. To. Acknowledge. That. We. Are. On. Dena’ina. Land. Today. And. Every. Day,” she started.
It was her best Native accent.
At times, she appeared on the verge of tears, with deeply flushed cheeks and quavering voice, while at other times, she forgot to speak in her idea of a Native accent, and lapsed into her normal Midwestern intonation.
Don Young was Don Young: Plain spoken, always making the case for why he is still the best congressman for Alaska.
Galvin suffered from some of the questions because she clearly was unaware that Rep. Young had sponsored a lot of the legislation that she says she supports — Indian Child Welfare Act, and the 8A program, which she was unable to articulate to the audience.
In fact, as Young pointed out, about 60 percent of the bills he works on are for Alaska Native interests. “Because I listen, because I work, and because I’m dedicated,” he said.
But in spite of the emotional perfomance and the bizarre ending, she received a lot of applause from the same group that clapped hard later for Mark Begich, in his debate with Mike Dunleavy. It appeared to be an organized effort.