Monday, October 23, 2006

Debate Report

I apologize for the lack of a debate play-by-play. Since so many of us were here, apparently no one thought to put up a thread for you guys!

So here's what happened. This was a very lively debate, probably the most lively of the three, mostly due to the fact that the audience was not stopped from applauding or making noise after candidates gave their responses to questions. There was loud applause after each statement.

Alan Schlesinger probably made the biggest impression on the audience for several reasons. First, he was his usual entertaining self. He had the crowd in stitches several times. Second, Schlesinger's ideas were different enough from Lamont and Lieberman's that they were almost surprising. His ideas are relatively new to people.

The third way that Schlesinger made an impression was during the second disruption, during which a group of LaRouche supporters started singing an insulting and loud song about Lieberman when the senator was speaking. The first happened during a routine answer to the question: the second during Lieberman's closing statement. All the candidates asked the hecklers to stop, and audience members started shouting for them to shut up. Schlesinger leapt out of his chair, clearly enraged, and shouted for them to "show some respect for the senator!" And, for just a second, they stopped, while the crowd applauded wildly.

Ned Lamont seemed to do well enough, although he seemed to wander here and there. Lieberman, despite his cold, essentially repeated his performance from the last two debates.

Very little was said on policy that was new or different from either the candidates' earlier positions or commercials, or from the earlier debates, with the possible exception of Alan Schlesinger (whose positions are less well-known).

George Stephanopolous was a disappointing moderator, breaking in when Schlesinger veered away from a question (to Schlesinger's irritation), but failing to do so when either Lamont or Lieberman did the same (Schlesinger later called him on this). It is also the job of the moderator to control the crowd. Stephanopolous did not do this at all, and he managed time poorly.

Both Schlesinger and Lamont have expressed a willingness to have more debates, while Lieberman demurred.

I have included pictures here from the scene right before the debate. These pictures were taken by both CGG and myself. At least one shows an anti-Israel group which had a significant presence at the debate, while another shows the bagpipe band which accompanied Lamont down the street.








15 comments:

Bobby McGee said...

What's stopping Schlesinger and Lamont from having a debate between the two of them? I'm sure they'd get plenty of media coverage.

anonymous said...

Did Lieberman really call Lamont a "goddam sonofabitch""? Ooooohh, tell me somebody got audio.

CC said...

The photos of the Lamont supporters with the "Stop the Aid to Israel" signs SHOULD (but won't) put an end to speculation that a portion of Lamont's supporters are anti-Israel. Is it really a stretch to believe that Lamont would vote against Israel's interests?

MikeCT said...

In addition to multiple blog confirmations, The Day confirms that the hecklers were LaRouche nuts:

Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger, were each showered with applause, hissed at in derision, and ultimately delayed, twice, by the singing supporters of a guy who's not even in the race - the perennial presidential also-ran Lyndon LaRouche.......

The senator raised a finger to his lips to quiet the crowd, when a small clutch of people - who later said they were supporters of LaRouche - stood and began to sing to the senator, over the increasingly angry complaints of the rest of the crowd.....

There was also a second disruption from the group, who passed out LaRouche campaign literature and performed their song (one audible phrases identified Vice President Dick Cheney as a “fat-ass Nazi”) for passersby.

Shadow said...

Wow, what a debate. I predicted Lamont and Schlesinger would do well and Lieberman would do poorly, but wow... that was a massacre. My parents (who looked at me like I was nieve this past weekend for questioning Lieberman's lead in the Q poll) both watched the debate and said Lieberman just came off so terrible and insincere, there's no way anyone watching could see him in a positive light.

I thought this was Lamont's best performance ever, and grading the debate objectively, almost all of Lieberman's points fell apart in Lamont's and Schlesinger's rebuttals. The Lindon Larouche hecklers were a waste of time; it was bizarre that, after Lamont said to the audience "everybody please stop" so that Lieberman could talk, Joe immediately used it to turn around and blame Lamont for their presence, yelling to the audience: "your candidate, Ned Lamont, has asked you to stop!" Lieberman took Lamont's sticking up for him as an opportunity to attack him, and did it in front of everybody without shame; it was worse than in the first debate when Lieberman's response to being apologized to was "apologize more!"

Showing class is not a partisan trait, and the lack of class he's been showing in these debates appeals to no group of voters.

Anonymous said...

Dennis House just reported it was Lamont supporters who disrupted the debate. Does local news ever fact check?

Anonymous said...

After all, Lamont vs. Schlesinger would be a debate between the two major party candidates.

Anonymous said...

Schlesinger will be on WTIC with Ray & Diane on Tuesday morning. He was interviewed on WNPR a couple days ago.

The Caretaker said...

Lieberman never did answer the question whether or not his ads were true.

ken krayeske said...

according to jane hamsher at firedoglake:
"Evidently after the debate Lieberman walked up to Ned and said "You goddamn sonovabitch," and something to the effect of "how dare you run those direct mail pieces accusing me of voting for the energy bill in 2005 because of campaign contributions from the oil companies." Joe's losing it."

Great TV commercial here:
http://liberaltopia.org/

cgg said...

They were in fact LaRouche supporters. I talked to the head of security for the theater and a Captain for the New London Police to confirm this. No one was arrested, and the jerks stayed outside singing for awhile after the debate.

I attempted to talk to the LaRouche supporters as well, but all they would do was give me some literature.

Anonymous said...

shadow, spot-on analysis IMO.

bobby, excellent suggestion

Anonymous said...

The anti-Israel people were all Green Party members. As a Lamont supporter I bitched them out. In return they all gleefully said they were voting for Ferrucci.

Part of me believes they were Karl Rove plants. None of them struck me as your average Peace and Justice type. Basically Lieberman has proven that nothing is beneath him. I mean to whine about negative advertising after all the LIES his campaign has put forth?

The Lamont crowd might not be 100% angelic. But at least we aren't whiners.

Anonymous said...

Interesting photos - what was up with the bagpipers?

Anonymous said...

Oh really, but you whine about how polls are unfair and rigged. How's that not whining??

I just love the hippocracy from the Lamont crowd. They think they're the best thing since sliced bread. But I can't wait for them to lose, just so I can say "I told ya so". But then we'll have to hear the whines about how Joe did this, or Joe did that, blah, blah blah.