Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Debate: The Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party

I was going to live blog tonight's debate, but I bagged on it. Just didn't have the fire.I figured that no one was going to win the race based on tonight anyway, but I suppose someone could lose it. I'm not sure either of them happened, but here are my thoughts...

Mike Capuano and Steve Pagliuca appear to have embarked on a strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction. Capuano is right on this one: Pags is lying about his record. But the two of them go back and forth at each other like schoolyard rivals, and it ends up sullying both of them. Capuano just keeps sniping at Pagliuca for his wealth and ability to run TV ads. For two straight nights, he's accused Pags of being willing to send women into back-alleys to get abortions (for what it's worth, Martha Coakley lent credence to his charge by not disavowing the point when given the chance).

Pags volleyed back by comparing the abortion charge to the Republicans' nonsense about "death panels." He then called Capuano the "Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party." Which is just ridiculous. Pags is not a fighter. He comes across like the nerd who makes fun of the class bully than tries to find a way to keep his nose from getting broken. His charge fell as flat as you would expect.

Of course, the more those two guys fight, the better off Martha Coakley is. I have to say, she is looking better and better to me with each performance. I'm not sure if it's because she is becoming a better candidate or if it's because she is elevated purely by the Capuano-Pagliuca sideshow, but whatever the reason, I would be much more comfortable voting for her next week than I would have been had the primary been held three weeks ago. I still think she's too cautious and I disagree with her on important issues like the PATRIOT Act, but I haven't ruled her out.

As with last night, I thought the other candidate who did well was Alan Khazei. If I were scoring a winner, I'd give tonight's debate to Coakley and give second place to Khazei, but that isn't to say that Khazei did poorly. On the contrary, I think he again made a very good case for his election. He spends too much time talking about PAC and lobbyist money (I really don't think that wins too many votes--certainly not enough to warrant the attention he gives it), but he also articulates more solutions than any of the other candidates.

I'm still not sure which direction I'm headed, but I guess it's about time to get off the fence.
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