Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Big Debate



(Photo from WDSU-TV)

Some observations from the New Orleans Mayoral debate. Transcripts will be coming soon.

1. Ray Nagin is going to win. If Landrieu even comes close, the votes are against Ray Nagin but not for Landrieu.

2. All future Presidential debates between the two eventual nominees should be handled in a similar format. Two candidates; two moderator/reporters; video clips from former debates and news; no time limits on answers, responses or rebuttals; clarification of questions. Basically, no rules.

3. Chris Matthews is a partisan hack. He should not be involved in any future debate in this or any other kind of format. He may have actually had more to say than the candidates on his way to occasionally asking questions.

Examples: [To Landrieu] You're kind of seen by people to be the classic Democrat, you care about people and you're about programs, you have to spend money and raise taxes but everybody likes you [to Nagin] you're seen as the guy making business decisions to get stuff done and it can kind of cause divisions. What do you see as your big phiosophical difference as it relates to being Mayor?

Can New Orleans be rebuilt without illegal labor [from illegal immigrants]?

What do you think of Hillary Clinton running for President? (To which Landrieu responded she had "no chance" but he liked her, he would vote for her and she'd do a good job. Bonehead)

How do you convince Republicans like Karl Rove to help you rebuild New Orleans and Louisiana, the only Southern state where Democrats can run statewide and have a chance?

Digust, utter disgust with Chris Matthews.

4. On the other hand Norman Robinson (the other reporter/moderator, picutred above) should have his own national news show on either CNN, Fox or MSNBC. While Chris Matthews was being a tool, Mr. Robinson was well spoken, asked very well thought out questions, letting the candidates respond and demanding clarification when he thought a candidate did not answer his question adequately.

5. Nagin has some really good debate preperation, and (chocolate city comments aside) could be one of the best off the cuff speakers I've ever seen on TV. Every time he stumbled on something he said he just powered through it and pretended it wasn't there.

For example: When asked by Mr. Robinson if a Nagin win would be more for ethnic solidarity than for accomplishment, Ray said something much like: In my first race [for Mayor] I captured a significant amount of the white vote. I also captured a significant amount of the black vote. This time the opposite could happen. But I don't think its about all that, its about someone who gets the job done.

5 comments:

S.A.W.B. said...

There's a reason why Matthews show is now derisevly called 'Softball'. Now you know why...

Dante said...

Pat, Chris Matthews is a hack but I find it hard to see how you've determined that he's a partisan hack by his moderation of a debate between two Democrats. So is he pro-Democrat or pro-Democrat? Even if you've determined he's a partisan hack from elsewhere and are just seeing it in action here, what does it matter in this debate? Shouldn't that mean that both sides will get equal treatment?

Patrick Armstrong said...

Well, despite his long history of jackassery (equating Democrats with terrorists), the partisanism in this particular debate was working in favor of Nagin (a Democrat supported by important Republicans).

His general disdain for Democrats in general manifested itself (in my eyes) as much greater hostility to Landrieu. It also manifested itself in the form of questions unrelated to the New Orleans debate: "What do you think of Hillary Clinton?"

I thought I had provided enough examples in my article. I will find the transcript and give a greater list.

Patrick Armstrong said...

I've found the transcript. I'll work on it during the lunch break.

S.A.W.B. said...

I think this is more of a case of Matthews picking a side in the debate, rather than being 'harsh on Democrats'.

His show has been monickered 'Softball' because of his tendencies to lob softball questions at Democrat/Liberal guests, and generally thrash anybody on the right. http://www.mediaresearch.org/ has more to say on it. Btw, the other end of that dog is http://www.mediamatters.org. Just so I don't get throw under the bias bus. See what both ends have to say about Messer Matthews.

To sum it up, I think Matthews is a journalistic hack, who will take whatever partisian side will give him the best ratings. It's frankly a brilliant strategy, since it brings viewers in from both sides of the table.