I just got through watching the Harry Reid and Sharron Angle debate. I agree with the consensus that Harry Reid lost this one. I think Reid lost it because he was up against two challengers. First was Sharron Angle who despite not being a polished debater, appear sane and competent and spoke with conviction. The other opponent was Reid himself. For someone who has been in Washington for 30 years, Reid turned in a very armature performance. From convoluted answers to shuffling papers, Harry Reid did little to make the case for the status quo in a year where people are looking for real change.
Reid poor performance was evident from the get go. His opening statement was an awkward combination of his personal history and a questionable laundry list of Democratic accomplishments. Compare and contrast with Sharron Angle whose opening statement was smoothly delivered by identifying with the everyday man.
I think after this debate, thing will start moving in Angle’s direction. Reid and the Democrats spent a lot of time and money trying to paint Angle as a crazy extremist. There was nothing in her performance that lends credence to that. Reid on the other hand, did very little to showcase his experience and thus left Nevada voters little reason not to change senators.
Below are some notes I jotted down throughout the debate. They are in no particular order.
Man up: Did Angle say this in reference to Reid’s opening remarks that he was not as big a man as his father? If so, that was very slick on Angle’s part.
Angle’s performance: My major criticism of Angle is the smiling. I understand she might have been nervous, but some of the things she discusses are dead serious and a smile is so inappropriate. I am glad she addressed this in her closing remarks. My other criticism is more of a nitpick; Angle seemed to struggle to deliver some of her remarks almost like she had committed some of it to memory. I suspect as she gains more experience she won’t have that problem again.
Reid’s poor performance: I think the reason Reid did so poorly is because he had the harder job. He had to defend policies that the American public is forcefully rejecting. As such, he had to pick and choose his words and was forced to make arguments for a define set of parameters. Angle on the other hand could speak much more freely and forcefully because she is working with simple commonsense solutions that the public has been asking for.
Moderator Mitch Fox: All the major networks should take note of this guy. Fox knows how to moderate a debate. He pressed both Reid and Angle hard when they tried to avoid answering questions. I got the distinct feeling that Mitch Fox was on the side of all Nevadans rather than a party hack masquerading as a newsman. Too bad Christine O’Donnell did not have a moderator like Fox for her debate.
Palin Red? Have any of you notice that a slew of female Republican candidates are now sporting red jackets like Sarah Palin did in 2008? Is Angle sending a Mama Grizzle message?
Another Reid gaffe: Reid called the Department of Education the Department of Energy (see 42:45 mark)
About those Benjamins, Harry: To me this was Sharron Angle’s best moment (see 51:30 mark). Every politician on the public dime, who has a huge increase in their line 23, should be asked this question. How did you get so rich on the government dime?
Closing statements: Reid digging for papers? Are you kidding me? Angle’s use of the word “angle” was rather cute.
Video h/t: Left Coast Rebel