Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nothing Doing

DeStefano Fails to Capitalize on First Debate Success

There really isn't much to write about the second gubernatorial debate. It was a tie: which means that Jodi Rell walked away the winner.

John DeStefano needed to connect in a big way with voters and build on the small amount of momentum he got from his first debate performance. He didn't. DeStefano seemed less concise and less focused--his answers often veered far away from the questions. He also wasted time by repeating the phrase "selling tickets" over and over, in reference to the Lisa Moody scandal--which is something most voters don't seem to be at all interested in.

Jodi Rell, by contrast, was a lot sharper than she was last week in New London. Her performance still wasn't exactly stellar, but she managed to be a lot more aggressive and clear than she had been. She even attacked DeStefano over his proposals, saying his suggestions for how to pay for them all simply "don't add up." She managed to look and act every inch the stern, canny grandmother Connecticut believes her to be. She still didn't offer that much in the way of substantial plans for the future, but she didn't really have to.

In short, DeStefano needed to do very well and Rell had to do very badly in order for the dynamic of this race to change. That didn't happen tonight.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

JDS is lucky that Jodi was too polite to have taken the plethora of indicted or ousted New Haven pols on his watch and shoved them down his tonsils when he blathered on about Lisa Moody

Can you imagine if the old NH Advocate "City for Sale" cartoon had emerged from under Rell's podium?

Anonymous said...

It was no tie. JDS got his butt handed to him, at the worst possible time.

Rell was on her game and he wasn't. It is OVER. And JDS knows it. Let him save face while he can ... but he's telling even his contractors "it's over ... just remember, I'll still be Mayor."

Anonymous said...

C'mon. Rell prattled on like a typical politician. Lots of words signifying little to nothing.

DeStefano on the other hand spoke directly to the voter, with plenty of valid criticisms of the status quo, and plenty of positive ideas for the future.

Rell's idea of campaigning? First a bunch of false advertising about how Connecticut is leading New England in job growth. Then a stupid ad featuring her grand-kid Tyler, which is plenty nice on the surface, but pretty depressing when one realizes it comes from the same politician who thinks she has what it takes to lead Connecticut forward over the next four years.

If Rell is such a solid governor, why is she out-and-out hiding during campaign season?

What is embarassing is that which passes for accountability in the post-Rowland Rell administration. Give us just one public forum where everyday folks could ask their "leader" questions, and then I'd feel much differently towards the poseur-in-chief.

Anonymous said...

Canny Grandmother? Hardly. Instead Rell came off as exceedingly defensive, and as someone clearly hiding from her record.

DeStefano talked to me as someone who wanted to earn my vote. Rell came across as someone who was taking her support for granted.

Park the Conventional Wisdom. No one has ever voted for Rell, and as people take a close second look at Jodi, plenty of her support will break to the more substantive candidate. At least DeStefano has half a clue.

Anonymous said...

stupid republicans will vote for granny rell who uses kids as political props. I wish Schlesinger could take Rell's place for govenor. At least I know the sob would be fighting to protect my social security money.

Anonymous said...

As someone who was leaning to DeStefano, I clearly changed my mind after listening to the debate. Rell seemed to me much more direct and genuine. DeStefano seemed out of touch and quite frankly clueless on the biggest issue facing many middle class Connecticut families---taxes.

My mind has been changed, I am voting for Rell.

Anonymous said...

where are all the DeStefano bloggers...out trying to promote a better debator, Alan Schlesinger?

Maybe their guy is out looking at a Metro North schedule since even though the trains run right to his city he doesn't know Shoreline East trains don't run to Grand Central

Shadow said...

DeStefano edged out Rell in the debate, but by an unnotable enough margin not to have any bearing on this race at all, so I agree with the conclusion that the net effect is a tie. Ultimately, neither one was really appealing, and each only managed to prove that the other one has serious ethical problems; that being said, Rell did do a little better than last time's abysmal performance.

But ultimately I have to ask, if those allegations about DeStefano admitting to contractors that the race is over are true, why the HELL did he railroad Cliff Thornton from debating, which would have saved all Connecticut viewers from the MOST BORING, POINTLESS SNOOZEFEST EVER. I can see now why there's no third two-way debate between Rell and DeStefano; the suicide rate in CT would skyrocket.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again Genghis,

Rells approvals were at 50 going in and falling.The freefall will continue.Rells an empty suit and she proved it again in this debate.

DeStefano is going to win because every Republican is coming to realize the only real Republican on the Statewide ticket is Alan Schlesinger and Rells Double dealing with Lieberman and her people going to the press with the gambling stories cost him big.

I'd rather have a guy who gambled a little as my Senator than a woman who closed her eyes, ears and mouth for 9 yrs knowing full well her boss and his cronies were robbing this state blind.

Gerald Ford was he accidental President and Jodi Rell was the accidental Governor.The big difference was Ford was really a decent Human being while Rell really isn't.

ken krayeske said...

Sometimes I sit here and wonder how many of these anonymous posts are from DeStefano campaign staffers. Only a paycheck could create such blindness and distorted analysis.

Last night was as tepid a debate as I have ever seen - and I could only stomach five minutes of it while I snuck out of Torts.

No mention of our burgeoning prison population and its effects on the state budget, no discussion of how repealing car property taxes will actually subsidize the automobile transportation system at a time when we desperately need to make cars even more expensive to get people out of them, and not a word about structural ethical and democratic reform.

DeStefano didn't have the courage to challenge Rell to more debates, nor did he demonstrate enough chutzpah to ask her if she was complicit or incompetent - did she know about Rowland and go along to get along, or was she just too dense to not realize or understand we were being taken to the cleaners? Either way, she is unfit to govern and he lacks the guts to lead.

And beyond that, they are both guilty of gross suppression of the civil rights of Cliff Thornton.

It's time for real change in CT. Vote Thornton.

Ghost of Yogi said...

I am saddened by the level of discourse on this site. "Rell didn't offer much in the way of solutions, but then again, she didn't have too." Is that what constitutes success?

In my mind, all you pretenders out there who decide good and bad, right and wrong, winner and looser, based on appearance, deserve every ill fate you receive by your incompetent leaders.

We shall see on E-Day, Genghis. You can editorialize all you want, but she still has to play the game. And E-Day is when it counts.

CT Expatriate said...

"stupid republicans will vote for granny rell who uses kids as political props."

WHAT? Did you perhaps miss Destefano's failed publicity stunt with "real" hospitable kids? There is nothing wrong with the fact that Jodi Rell is an extremely likeable, down-to-earth Governor. In fact, I bet that everyone who hates "Granny Rell" so much says so because they can't stand knowing that their unattractive, whiny, and undignified candidate will lose this November. His pathetic campaign consists of one desperate attempt to smear the Governor after another. Plus, your "big ideas" just don't add up, as the Governor pointed out last night.

Genghis Conn said...

I wonder what a Rell-Malloy debate would have been like?

Anonymous said...

The time and taxpayer money Rell spent getting coached for the past few days leading up to the debate showed to anybody that knows she's been reading from a script for the last 12 years when she wasn't collecting toys for tots at Christmas. If DeStefano has the money he ought to do a side by side replay of Rell and Rowland campaigning using the same lines. Rowland was detached because he was in it for himself and Jodi is detached because she's in it for hereslf and in over her head.

Shadow said...

Probably just as disappointing, Malloy was even less appealing than DeStefano (if that's possible to imagine right now). CT Democrats should vote Green in these state elections until the party starts nominating better candidates.

Anonymous said...

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-govdebate1019.artoct19,0,593447.story?coll=hc-headlines-home

Rell says she was a "firewall" on fiscal issues the same way Rowland used to say he was a "firewall" between the legislature. Bull, they all spend.

And Rell says Moody broke her rules but not the law on Moodygate. OK fine, but then she says she wants a law that can be used to prosecute Moody if she ever does it again.

Ghost of Yogi said...

Genghis Conn,

Not sure. Malloy lost in the primary. And, given his last reelection bid, he probably won't get a shot.

Anonymous said...

Malloy is definitely smoother than Rell and DeStefano but not quite as smooth, or slick, as Rowland. Not sure smooth and slick is in this election season.

CTRevolution said...

DeStefano wins again. That's it. Everytime those two are together, DeStefano is by far the better candidate. He's more knowledgeable on the issues and has the right solutions. Rell was just left staring at her notes wondering what was scripted for her. It's likely Rell loses more points and if DeStefano is within 10 before election day he wins this race. Everybody has seen Rell. The voters have given her and the Republicans a shot for 12 years, only to get nothing in return. When they come to the polls on election day, very few Democrats will want to vote any of the Republicans back to continue their failed leadership.

bluecoat said...

Does that mean we'll soon have Republican control of the State Senate and House with a Democrat for Governor?

Anonymous said...

Ding Dong DeStefano is Dead His Gubernatorial Campaign is so in the red.4 more years of Jodi is what I said!!!!!!

Ned Lamont.....Too Much Money, Too Much Time Not getting elected Senator on my dime!!!!!