To Lisa Goich, Tuesday’s gubernatorial election pits run-on Gray Davis against lilting Dan Lungren. Last January, Goich, then a temp, was hired by Democratic hopeful Al Checchi (remember “Call Me Al”?) to transcribe each of his speeches, and those of his opponents, along with every debate. Checchi’s words fell on deaf ears with the public, but Goich was subsequently retained by an L.A.-based think tank to transcribe the oral meanderings of primary winners Davis and Lungren. To date, that has meant 36 speeches and eight debates totaling 1,168 pages of election speak.
Not surprisingly, Goich, 36, who does stand-up comedy and once hosted a KLSX radio show, is an expert on the pols’ oratorical idiosyncrasies. Davis wins as the unwitting master of the run-on sentence, not to mention the endless summation. “He would say, ‘In conclusion,’ then 8 to 12 pages later I’d finish,” Goich reports wearily. Lungren likes to employ colloquialisms such as “gonna” and “shoulda”; he also invariably works into his speeches, in places it seemingly doesn’t belong, “My father was a doctor who made house calls in Long Beach.”
Though her job description could have been written by Dante, Goich has emerged remarkably unscathed. “It’s fun,” she says. “I learn. I think everyone should have a chance to listen to the candidates as closely as I have.” Her one request? “If they keep it fresh, I like it more. There’s a tip for the guys. Do it for me.”