Gubernatorial Debate Impressions

I watched the gubernatorial debate last night sponsored by WBZ.  The format of the debate worked well and Jon Keller did a good job as moderator. Over the one hour the candidates covered many issues with “money, or lack of” being the most important.

Here are some of my general impressions about each candidate…

Democrat Deval Patrick hasn’t lost his ability to express himself clearly and confidently. He IS the Governor and he came across that way. But at times I thought Patrick backed himself into a corner trying to convey the message that things are getting better and the state is on the road to recovery. Whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. It is going to be difficult to sell “optimism” right now to the average guy whose house has lost 30% of its value recently.

Republican Charlie Baker had a better command of the issues than I expected. He fired most of his barbs directly at Patrick with side zingers toward Cahill. Being continuously on the attack has its problems and it showed. In my opinion Baker came across a little flippant and nasty. And it is obvious from last night that his opponents see the Big Dig as Baker’s Achilles heel.

I thought Independent Tim Cahill underperformed in this debate, so much so that I wondered at times if it was part of his strategy. On many issues Cahill was happy to let Baker and Patrick battle it out then simply state that he is the alternative to this. Patrick gave Cahill an easy ride for most of the night, but Baker had not problem throwing Cahill’s own words in his face. The sharpest moment came when Baker made the Treasurer address his statement that patronage is part of the culture on Beacon Hill.

Finally I remember listening to Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein debate eight years ago when she first ran for Governor. I thought she did an excellent job back then. But truthfully Stein didn’t live up to my expectations last night. She seemed off target. Health care dominated her discussion as she called for reform…over and over.

Did anyone win this debate? Not in my opinion.

2 Responses to Gubernatorial Debate Impressions

  1. Robby says:

    Nobody won the debate. I agree with that.

    But if there was a loser, it is by and far, Deval.

    Ne now knows what its like to be Kerry Healey + four years.

    He was on the defense the entire time, which should be to no suprise. We The People are supporting on a 2-1 margin Not Deval for Governor. The governor’s support for a liberal incumbent in MA is pathetic at only 1/3. Nobody wants him!

    False promises (still waiting for that property tax relief) were made by deval four years and We The People are simply holding the man accountable for his promises. Dont make us promises if you cannot keep them. Then there was giving illegal immigrant kids money to go to school even though WE taxpayers have no money for school!

    But I guess that would be the “socially moral” thing to do, huh?

    The governor and his supporters are so beyond out of touch its pathetic. I look forward to more debates.

    Cahill will weaken and fade out as the campaign REALLY begins and people realize he’s nothing but a corrupt Democrat in a Scott Brown suit. Cahill supporters are the weakest amongst the 3 candidates, and as people realize a vote for Cahill is a wasted vote, they will vote for Baker.

  2. Andrew says:

    I think Patrick’s polling numbers are actually looking fairly decent; 39% from Rasmussen, which routinely skews rightward, is nothing to sneeze at. If the election were held today, he’d win.

    One thing to note is that the polling data from this race is all over the place, so it’s predictive power isn’t exactly something I’d place a lot of faith in. The election will of course come down to turnout. Unfortunately, as with so many races this year, the turnout is going to be not-Tea-Party versus anti-incumbents with very few actual policy ideas playing a role in the election.

    As for Cahill, I doubt that he will just fade away; he’s raising some serious money. And he’s the Tea Party candidate; does anyone really think that Tea Partiers will support Baker, the ultimate centrist establishment Republican, when they have someone whose catering to their interests to vote for?