Hamline Debate Highlights

I watched and live-tweeted yesterday’s gubernatorial debate from Hamline University, which was telecast on Fox9.

For starters, it wasn’t the worst debate format I’ve ever seen.  Fox 9’s crew of hairdos (I have long since stopped paying attention to Twin Cities anchor teams) largely stayed out of the way of the three reporters – Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck and Bill Salisbury – who did most of the questioning.  And most of the questions – the ones that didn’t get into personal lifestyle issues (do we really care if either candidate ever smoked pot?), anyway – were pretty good. 

Oh, yeah – Johnson shredded Dayton.   I know, I’m partisan – but I’m pretty clinical about public speaking.  Johnson is cool, calm, collected, an on top of his facts.  Dayton – as Johnson quipped, at one point – pretty much ran through his ex-wife’s chanting points. 

The three highlights, in my book?

Number 3: The Aisle:  When asked if they were capable of working across the aisle, Dayton’s response amounted to “I could – if it weren’t for that stupid opposition!”.  It’s the GOP’s fault he can’t work across party lines!

Number 2: Pot Calling The Kettle A Pot:  At one point, in one of his few spontaneous moments of the debate, Dayton scolded Johnson about a perceived (and false) inconsistency in his record, ending it by telling Johnson to “pick a side and stick with it”.  I laughed so hard, I nearly soiled myself. 

That’s Governor Dayton; the guy who’se argued both sides of medical marijuana, the minimum wage hike and tip credits, the Vikings stadium subdidy, Gift, B2B, gas and Warehouse taxes, cigarette taxes, fixing MNSure, sex-offender releases, expanded notification of mental health issues to the NICS database (the list of people who can’t legally buy guns), and even on the availability of his daily calendar.  

Number 1: That Definition Of Insanity:  Questioned by the panel and Johnson about the MNSure debacle, Dayton let slip that he thought the real solution was single-payer healthcare.

That’s right – when the government makes a collossal botch of centralizing most of healthcare, let’s let them centralize it all!

The one thing the DFL was able to salvage from the debate was an “oops” from Johnson; asked to define “middle class” in terms of a dollar threshold, after Dayton waffled and proved he didn’t have a clue, Johnson said “I haven’t a clue”. 

Of course, there is no hard-and-fast dollar figure as to where the “middle class” begins and ends; it’s more a matter of circumstances; the middle class are those who don’t live off of investments and spare Renoirs,oroff of charity and subsidies.

9 thoughts on “Hamline Debate Highlights

  1. The one thing the DFL was able to salvage from the debate was an “oops” from Johnson; asked to define “middle class” in terms of a dollar threshold, after Dayton waffled and proved he didn’t have a clue, Johnson said “I haven’t a clue”.

    If the race tightens at all, we’ll see that sound bite over and over.

  2. If the polls are correct (and I am hoping like hell they are not) and Dayton gets re-elected, I will changing my stance on one issue…for if that does indeed happen, Minnesotans as a whole are too damn stupid to light a firecracker.

  3. Nobody wants to define the term “middle class” because everyone believes that they are middle class and all politicians say they support the middle class. No politician wants to exclude anyone from the middle class, so this is ‘gotcha’ question, and one politicians are smart enough to sidestep.
    It would be better if politicians were asked about the median incomes of Minnesotans, the average family size, house size, electric bill, etc.

  4. At some point — I’m not sure when — the words “wealthy” and “rich” stopped referring to people who didn’t have to work and began refering people who were well-paid. I reckon it changed because there isn’t much of an ownership class anymore. In the Old Days it was easy to make a division between people who made a living by owning things, and people who made a living by working for the people who owned things. These days what the truly wealthy own isn’t land or factories, it’s cash — or “investments”.
    The bad guys these days are people like pre-presidential Barry and Michelle Obama — highly paid professionals who would likely scoff at the notion that they were “rich”.

  5. Johnson should’ve had a better grasp of the statistics. However one chooses to spin it, Dayton came up with a credible answer and Johnson didn’t. I support Johnson, although i must say, he’s been a disappointing candidate thus far.

  6. Johnson should’ve had a better grasp of the statistics

    No. Johnson should have thrown the question back. “Middle Class” is not a number, or even a range of numbers.

    There are families making under $40K that are middle class. And as Hillary Clinton told us, it’s possible to make millions and still be poor, poor, poor.

  7. MBerg:
    Tell that to the thousands of ‘undecided’ voters who will be watching Jeff Johnson in the DFL ad claiming that he “has no clue” how to define the middle class.

  8. Furthermore, it goes to show how unprepared Jeff Johnson and his team were for this campaign.

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