Friday, October 15, 2010

Nevada Senate Debate Recap

(Was there any hope of me getting any calculus done with CSPAN on? Of course not! On that note: can you be addicted to CSPAN? I have a feeling I'm well on my way. Anyway.)

Harry Reid was a train wreck.  And I'm saying this as a diehard liberal who has appreciated Reid's work in the Senate for years and who thinks Angle is a bit of a nutcase.  Reid was full of traditional Senate-speak (Dude, if you're going to mention the CBO three times in as many minutes, at least do the non-political-junkies in the audience a favor and explain that it means 'Congressional Budget Office'), dated himself constantly (people don't want to be reminded that he's a Washington creature), and missed beautiful golden opportunities to attack Angle on education and Social Security.  And don't even get me started on his weird description of colonoscopies (EW!) or his painful 'watch me fumble for my notes and then rush through a few talking points' closing statement.

Sharron Angle, on the other hand, benefitted from the incredibly low expectations everyone had for her. She only had to come across as mildly competent for her to be able to chalk this up as a win.  Is anyone else appalled at the low standard we have set for the lady who's likely to be our next senator from Nevada?  Most of her answers were very obviously canned one-liners (I literally fell out of my chair when she brought out the "man up, Harry Reid!"), which makes it even more pathetic that she basically trounced Reid on many questions.

Overall, I don't think either Reid or Angle clearly won the debate.  Which, in this case, means that Angle won.  Normally in debates with no clear winner I'd award the debate to the incumbent, but this is a special occasion.  Voters, after all, are looking for an excuse to get rid of Reid (which is why a large part of Angle's campaign has been to say 'Whatever Reid did, I won't do).  They don't really care about Angle's Social Security flip-flopping, or her bizarre ideas about getting rid of the Department of Education and the EPA.

So, what does this mean for the election?  I don't know that either candidate did well enough to sway a significant number of voters -- or even really any voters -- to their side.  Actually, I think that if any candidate benefitted from the debate, it's that quirky, special-to-Nevada "none of the above".  Heck, if I had the chance (read: if I lived in Nevada instead of Massachusetts and was old enough to legally vote) I'd pick "none of the above".  I do think though that if Democrats manage to retain control of the Senate they'll think twice before keeping Reid as majority leader.

Drinking game buzzwords (I was drinking tea, y'all, get your minds out of the gutter ;D): Reid -- "Extreme", and all its variations.  Angle -- "Obamacare", "Ronald Reagan", "Unconstitutional"

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