Friday, August 11, 2006

Thoughts on the Wisconsin AG debate

Okay, I've listened to the debate. It is every bit the embarrassment that the stories made it out to be, particularly segment one and just into segment two. This was a very unprofessional debate on the part of the candidates. They not only gave their Democratic opponent to be ammunition, but they probably blew their chance to reach the ears of many voters that they'll need after the primary. The first segment was particularly damaging in that I could almost hear radio stations being changed all over Wisconsin as listeners grew quickly tired of the bickering that overwhelmed any issues.

My impression is that Bucher has some fine talking points that could be effective against Van Hollen. Unfortunately for Bucher, his abrasive personality in this debate overwhelmed those talking points and may have even created empathy in some listeners for Van Hollen. Van Hollen's reasonably calm, confident style may appeal to voters, but if he allows Bucher to get under his skin, that is going to go away quickly. Either way, if this type of interaction between Bucher and Van Hollen continues over the next month, their intraparty warfare is only going to make the Democrats' candidate stronger and more difficult to defeat, regardless of which one of these two win.

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