Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Debate # 1: No winner out of the first 25 minutes I actually watched

A quick take on yesterday’s debate. I probably don’t need to say too much as many other people have many more things to say and we even get a little high quality snark from Todd Dorman (thank you). Besides, I’m sort of coffee boutique with the regulars and the drop ins, so the economics of blogging are obvious in terms of my personal investment decisions.

There are no winners in my debate analysis; I don’t want to be an enabler to self-doubt.

Anyway, this is my version of the highlights, that is, the highlights before I feel asleep, which was about a little over mid way through the debate. This is a list of favorites from the first 25 minutes.

The awkward intro. What debate format doesn’t plan to start with an opening statement? So what do the candidates do? They create their own moments. Nussle worked a moment of silence into his opening in remembrance of the two most recently fallen Iowa soldiers. It forced Culver to play along, which I am sure he found annoying. In fact, so annoying he felt the need to wing his own moment. I am starting to think it is always a bad idea to let Chet wing it.

The oddball question on slogans. Jim Nussle was prepared. It’s a little strange to think that Nussle was actually prepared to talk about the marketing slogan Iowa uses to attempt to keep people driving into Iowa. It was something about a Burma shave for the big cities that would extol the virtues of Iowa in three or four billboards with the final billboard saying something like, “if you were in Iowa you would already be there by now”, the routine big city traffic joke. A little lame. Once again, Culver had the wide eyed ‘hey wait a minute that wasn’t in the debate prep’ look and rambled aimlessly about the two slogans life changing and fields of opportunity and stumbled onto “goldmine of opportunities”. Ouch.

That expletive bullying question. (I take pleasure in poking ironic fun at the number of people who have made this issue, which is really a non-issue, a problem.) Bruce Aune asked the question of Nussle, to which Nussle responded that he supports anti-bullying legislation, but it should be about all kids not just gay and lesbian kids. He sort of stumbled over the term sexual persuasion, I suppose some individuals don’t agree with the academic term sexual orientation so the needed a safe way to say it, but Nussle dispatched the issue quickly. The question went to Culver, he started in on how it’s an important issue and Jim Nussle should join him in supporting it. Was Chet listening? I think Nussle did say he would support anti-bullying legislation. ‘Nuff said.

I did listen a little longer, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open and succumbed to a more pleasant state of being for the last half of the debate. I’m thinking this might be a pattern for me; start out watching and drift off after the first pat answer or bumbling reach for something golden.

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I want answers. What’s going on over at Political Forecast? Chris et al, have you been grounded for the duration?


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