Plenty of SPOILERS here so don't read until you've seen/heard the first debate.
KDVS was plagued with technical difficulties during the live broadcast, but is rebroadcasting Thursday, September 30th night 6pm-7pm. If you missed it then check it out!
This is my aftermath analysis of the Round 1 California 2010 Gubernatorial Debate between foes Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman.
Full disclosure: I have no background for this. I don't think either candidate will be great for California, but we never seem to get a good governor so it is all about degrees of good and bad. Hope you find my analysis interesting just the same.
1. Very well polished. She could have been giving a PowerPoint presentation in the way she was able to speak about the issues.
2. I have no idea if they got to see the questions before the debate, but she was ready for whatever came her way.
4. She was able to talk about many things in good detail and only sometimes getting a bit too general.
5. Courteous and good stage presence.
Depends on What You Think:
She spoke well to conservatives/republicans/tea partiers. Great for big companies and wealthy people. Sometimes felt a bit like reading campaign literature, but that was on both sides. She was tough on crime, tough on death penalty, and tough on immigration. Supports 3 Strikes crime law. Wants to help small business and manufacturing (ie. big business) by removing fees, red tape, and taxes. She didn't seem to think deregulation and lower taxes for wealthy (which she is a part of) would add to California's bleak outlook. Somehow, jobs, no matter how bad they are, would all of a sudden show up and fix the economy. She was for the water bill that got pushed back. She thinks unions are bad and wants to dismantle the State to a certain extent. Thinks technology will somehow solve a lot of issues without taking a good look at everything. Felt there was way more welfare fraud going on.
1. Probably hurt herself with a large portion of Latinos because of her stance on immigration. She did try to back peddle a little bit, but she never condemned the Arizona law and instead said that it would be too much tied up in legal matters for California.
2. Shot herself in the foot with students when she said she'd give the extra money she was somehow going to raise over to the reagents to decide to do with whatever they felt was good.
3. Working people may have heard her saying she wanted to create jobs, but her example was getting a call center into California. She might have just as well said more fast food jobs or more Walmarts. People are looking for meaningful jobs. Yes, call center jobs are jobs, but they are high turn over jobs and lack stability.
4. Brown called her out on her idea of doing what Bush did in the White House by deregulating and giving money to the rich Wall Street types and she never distanced herself from that.
5. She didn't see anything wrong with the obscene amount of money she is spending on the campaign. The only thing that comes to mind is Ross Perot.
6. In many respects, a lot like Schwarzenegger. Brown did point this out and she didn't distance herself a lot from that.
7. Thinks cutting jobs at the State is somehow good for the economy. More unemployed people! Just keep piling them on! One of the dumbest things I've heard in a long time.
She commented on how Brown (right after he had talked about it during this debate) had changed to someone who is not against the death penalty. He clearly stated that he was morally against the death penalty, but that it would not deter himself from carrying out California law.
Whitman was accused of running deceptive campaign ads that Brown called out during the debate. She denied this even when it was cited by one of the panel. (See at end for more info.)
1. Gave some thought to some of his answers. Maybe it is because he's so old, but he had that Eastwood type of "to hell with you, this is what I think dammit" sort of mannerism about him that people like. 2. Valued public service and has tons of experience.
3. Was able to explain some of the nuances in public service, while Whitman seemed either blissfully unaware or didn't care. You got the feeling Brown was the kind of guy you'd see in the street actually getting stuff done while Whitman would be seen in her office saying she was getting stuff done while surrounded by all the niceties of not having to deal with the real people.
4. He knows about what students in California have to deal with because he's gone through the California school system. He knows that it used to be affordable. He wouldn't make a campaign promise he couldn't keep by saying he'd repeal the fee hikes, but he realized it was a real issue he'd like to get to.
5. Against Prop. 13. One of the most debilitating laws to the State we've ever seen.
6. Understands some of the State budget nuances that Whitman seems oblivious about.
7. Used humor in a good way.
Depends on What You Think:
Wants rich people to tighten their belts first. Tough on crime. Proud to deny workers pay increase even when State workers lag far behind Federal workers in terms of compensation. Morally against death penalty yet is able to support it through law. Supports charter schools.
1. Less polished and slow to start. Seemed to fumble a little bit at times.
2. Doesn't seem to understand Green jobs can help, but will not be the entire solution to the job market woes of California.
3. Can be seen as a career politician.
Note the popular comment on the SacBee.com:
"If the state's budget is really out of whack by 19 billion, then how can anyone propose a 5.3 billion dollar tax cut? How blind are you people out there? The republican party is about coddling to the rich, the very rich." -- duncanjbb
Round 1 definitely goes to Brown. Whitman is going to have to either do some crazy political maneuvering or really start talking to real average people and get on their side otherwise she may be down for the count. Brown just needs to keep doing what he's doing. If he doesn't do anything crazy then Brown is a good win.
Addendum: After writing this posting, I remembered one other good thing Whitman said. She said the State should go on a two year system for the budget. This could be good, but it would not solve all the problems by itself and it could create other problems if not done correctly.