Sunday, October 29, 2006

Debatable value

I really dislike debates. I rarely learn anything of ‘positive’ substance from them. They’re uninformative, contrived, and can be rather embarrassing to watch.

Still, I forced myself to watch portions of the two debates tonight for Senate and Governor.

Let’s start with the Governor’s debate. Of the two this forum had the most polish. As such it was predictable and low on the ‘embarrassment’ quotient. The only thing of real interest I saw was the Independent candidate still promising to steer government from hard issues that the people want addressed, or what he called “the 7 Gs.” I wrote about this before ("Independant Thoughts - 10/01) and can’t believe that he hasn’t figured out that this is a losing position to take. Tim Pawlenty had an excellent response to this assertion that good government means avoiding divisive issues.

I also loved the contradiction by Hatch and Hutchenson that we need to make higher education more affordable by…covering more college expenses for more students! Gee, like that’s going to help keep state expenses down. In Mr. Hutchenson’s case, this includes footing more of the bill for illegal aliens as well.

I saw less of the Senate debate, because I really couldn’t take too much of it. The candidates were amateurish, yielding high embarrassment. The independent candidate, Fitzgerald, was the most professional looking on stage. To bad his answers lacked any link with reality (illegal aliens need full participation in our democracy, or else we have an apartheid government? Please…)

Klobuchar gave answers that were goal-driven, with no process to reach them. She did an excellent job giving answers that belied the liberal label, like support for the patriot act. To be honest, though, she’ll be just another ‘empty suit’ filled by the likes of Clinton, Leahy and Schumer.

My guy Kennedy was a disappointment. We may not need more lawyers in D.C. but they sure do better asking and answering questions during a debate. And he looked terrible. Whatever boost Kennedy got from his ‘Security’ ad, it wasn’t added to tonight, and he may have lost ground by hitting that note one too many times. I have to say, though, he had the best closing remarks.

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