Monday, October 16, 2006

The KY3 Debate: Reaction

Reaction from our KY3 U.S. Senate debate is coming in fast and furious . . . from the posts here, to e-mails, phone calls, text messages, news stories and the blogosphere.

But first, I must thank the tireless production staff and news crew who worked tirelessly to put this thing together. Kudos to all! Live debates. This is why political TV is so important.

Now to the fallout . . .

CHATTER blogs the debate live (Props . . . we know how tough it is!) and declares Claire McCaskill the marginal winner.

KC Buzz Blog notes a "far more negative tone" than previous debates.

STL Post Dispatch - One of the few "deans" of political coverage in the state, political reporter Jo Mannies calls the debate "a barrage of attacks." She also gives KY3 a thumbs-up, saying we did "an outstanding job." Shweet.

The News-Leader focuses on the mud, with a particular focus on the tax question.

The Associated Press puts the Talent tax attack in its lede, notes Talent "on the offensive."

Immediately following the debate, I received numerous calls from viewers. One conversation that stands out is the talk I had with Don Maloney, a self-described Republican who plans to vote for Sen. Talent, but was not impressed with his performance and is worried that his Republican friends are thinking of abandoning the junior Senator this November.

"I'm voting for for Talent because of his position on gun rights. McCaskill once told me she didn't see the use of why people needed to have firearms, and I resent that," said Houston, Mo. resident Don Maloney.

"But what I'm worried about is a lot of my conservative friends staying home and not voting at all," he added. "They won't vote for McCaskill, but they're not going to come out for Talent."

What would drive them to stay home, I asked?

"They're not going to vote for her necessarily, but they are talking about not voting or voting Libertarian because of the spending deal. He was part of that big prescription drug spending deal, and he stumbled on the spending thing tonight. He didn't answer a damn thing. He cottonballed it," Maloney said.

"This is going to be so damn close it's scary. McCaskill is obviously part of the big government expansion group. But if either of them got helped a little by the debate, it was probably her. The good ole boys out here fed up with Iraq and spending are going to stay home," Maloney added.

"I'm very concerned about this whole damn election, but I wouldn't bet on it," Maloney said. "I wouldn't bet a dollar on him. I think you folks on the panel did a good job. If I was there, I'd been thrown out halfway through the thing, because neither of them answered a damn thing."

Then there are my instant-views from non-Missourians, friends of mine of all political persuasions who I asked to watch the debate on CSPAN for a fresh perspective. No, none of them are Missourians. They won't be voting in Missouri, but here are their impressions. They aren't very kind.

-Moderate Married Female from Chicago, IL - She didn't answer the questions, but neither did he. I like strong women, and she looked strong so I liked that.

-Conservative Married Female from New Jersey - Why does the Democrat just blame everything on Republicans? There's something I don't like about her (McCaskill.) Just because you're personally opposed to abortion, doesn't mean anything.

-Conservative Single Male from Charlotte, N.C. - Man, I wasn't impressed with Talent. Why didn't he answer the questions? He looked on the defensive about too much. I wanted someone to interrupt him and force him to answer. It was great that you had the questions up on the screen while they talked about something else. Made them look soo stupid.

-Moderate/Liberal Single Male from Chicago, IL - Neither of them really impressed me, they just weren't personally inspiring.

Man. Rough reviews for both.

Personally, I wished both candidates would have done a better job staying on point with questions. I credit both candidates for agreeing to a live debate in Springfield. But in phone calls and emails from voters afterward tells me that they picked up exactly what we did . . . the avoidance of specific answers to specific questions.

The bottom line is Sen. Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill don't fool voters by pivoting to another answer or attack, they just infuriate voters.


Euclid said...

Neither one did a good job of answering the questions and they were even on the mudslinging. I'd say it was a tie. If I lived in Missouri I would have a lot of thinking to do before election day.

Denise said...

I'm really disappointed in both candidates, but that's nothing new. If a candidate in one of these debates actually answered the questions asked without slamming the opponent, they'd probably win in a landslide!

notsobigmac said...

Okay. Ms McCaskill the President agreee with Sen. Jim Talent a lot of the time, and Senator Talent believes we need to stay in Iraq until we have won. I'm still voting for Talent.

Clairie tryin to be a good ol' country gal is getting old. Seriously, is McCaskill going to answer for her tax problems, and apparent lack of scrutiny for nursing homes.

Betty B. said...

Talent's attacks were personal smears that were nitpicking and misleading. Claire had no choice but to respond to those attacks. She has every right to challenge his voting record and point out his pattern of playing hooky from his assignment on the Armed Services committee. We are involved in a bloody and expensive war, in case he hadn't noted.

We need a Senator who will help extract us from military involvement in the middle east, and pay attention to the needs of the majority rather than spending all their time catering to the fat cats and religious extremists.

tom said...

I wonder what would have transpired if the political process was open to all FOUR candidates on the ballot. Could it be the monopoly two are scared of competition? What a sham placed before us by KY-3 an everyone else involved. A simple search will point out 4 people are valid candidates and we get the two biggest butt kisser on television.
The viewers have been robbed once more by a media that is said to be nonbiased.
To all the networks and newpapers that have dwindling viewership and readers alike, could it be that since you try to form the news the populace is getting fed up with non factual reporting??
Talk radio has become the fastest growing news wing in the industry, is it any wonder?
To everyone involved you passed an injustice onto the people trying to promote the candidates of your choosing. One day when the mindnumb populace wakes up it will be quite interesting to see the result.

Bull into Orbit said...

Government isnt set up for a 3 party or more voting system. Sorry, blame the founding fathers for that.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

I watched the Arizona governors' debate. There were three candidates... R, D, and Libertarian. They didn't seem to be butting up against time constraints or other limitations. And it was FAR more interesting than the McTalent infomercial.