Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Whitman vs. Brown: Debate No. 1...

Tonight's early scorecard from the Whitman vs. Brown gubernatorial debate...

Overall, I score Meg the winner.

Neither one scored a decisive blow/knockout...tough for either to maximize their answers - or their opponent's - in the campaign.

Brown was much more energetic (someone cut off that guy's coffee intake, please) and Whitman came out of the box sounding like she was over-rehearsed.

There were 10 questions plus a closing statement (1 hr.)...

Round by round scoring, courtesy of this ringside judge...

1 - Budget: Brown
2 - Death penalty/crime: Whitman
3 - Jobs: Whitman
4- Public employee pensions/unions: Whitman
5- Experience: SPLIT
6 - Holding the line on cuts/funding for higher education: SPLIT
7- Campaign ads (misleading?): SPLIT
8- Immigration: BROWN
9 - Campaign funding (self vs. special interests): Whitman
10- Water: Whitman
CLOSING: Whitman

My scorecard: Whitman 4, plus closing; Brown 2; SPLIT 4.

The event, held at UC Davis (not far from Sacramento), was staffed by Sacto area media. The questioning was pretty predictable and weak. At least one question was a direct jab at Whitman.

Both had funny lines. Brown, taken to task by Whitman for his own stake in the state's pension system, said that his longevity (which precludes him tapping into it until he "retires") was a plus...joking that he's "best pension buy California's ever had" since if he wins, he won't collect till 76..or even into his 80s. Whitman's most memorable line: "Putting Brown in charge of pension reform like letting Dracula run blood bank."

Two more debates to go...


Anonymous said...

If you rate experience and attack ads as "split," then you are clearly delusional.

Montana said...

Could it be that these two republican women are falling in the polls because they look better on paper than in real life or are people finding out who they real are? Lets face it Carly Fiorina was basically fired from HP, but not before she sent HP USA jobs overseas. California has already tried a so-called outsider Independent Republican, his name Arnold Schwarzenegger, we all know how that turned out. Meg Whitman, thinks she can buy the election, but what puzzles many is if she real cared and loved California then why not do your civil duty and vote, seems she is more rhetoric than anything (in good times we would give her a try but not in our disaster mode that we are in). She is finding out that California is not for sale and that you can’t buy everything! What a waste of money!

The Progressive said...

I'm with Anonymous regarding experience. Whitman's experience at eBay -- and she did a great job -- doesn't prepare her for the governorship. And I thought Brown made a couple of comments that showed he understands things about running a government with which Whitman is completely unfamiliar.

And I agree with Bliss that Whitman came off over rehearsed. She ran out of material early on a couple of questions, so she just reverted back to some completely unrelated talking points as filler. It was refreshing to hear Brown's clearly extemporaneous straight talk, on the other hand, although maybe not censoring himself enough a couple of times.

But overall, Whitman held her own. I call the debate a split overall.

Jeff Bliss said...

@ Anonymous- I was merely trying to score each question as if it were a round in a boxing match. Brown clearly has more govt. experience - which could be viewed as a plus - but Whitman's experience in business also could be viewed positively, especially in light of the state's dire economic situation.
@ Montana - Interesting, though not unique observations/message points.
@ The Progressive - I thought Meg was a bit of a Focus Group-messaging robot, but I found Brown to be all over the place. Go back and look at some of the old skits on SNL parodying him/his style. Nothing has changed.