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Gubernatorial Master Debaters

August 5, 2010 at 11:18 am Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

And the debates are planned… ready, set, don’t tune in!:

The major-party candidates for governor have agreed to two televised debates hosted by the Ohio Newspaper Organization, an association of the state’s eight largest newspapers.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and Republican challenger John Kasich will face off Sept. 14 in Columbus and Oct. 7 in Toledo. The one-hour debates will be televised by the local TV partners of The Dispatch and The Blade of Toledo, as well as by ONN, the statewide cable news network.

A panel of four newspaper reporters will pose questions at each debate, and each debate will be moderated by a staff member from WBNS-TV (Channel 10) in Columbus and WTOL-TV (Channel 11) in Toledo. The candidates will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The exact locations of the evening debates have yet to be determined.

Although the gubernatorial candidates will appear jointly at other events and venues during the campaign, their campaigns agreed on only two statewide television debates. In 2006, Strickland and his Republican opponent, J. Kenneth Blackwell, participated in four head-to-head debates.

Kasich was represented in debate negotiations by former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson of Reynoldsburg. Strickland was represented by David Wilhelm of Bexley, who managed President Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign.[...]

Herb Asher, an Ohio State University political scientist and expert on Ohio politics, said that with the election expected to be close, the two debates “could be consequential for the outcome.”

Thank you, Dr. Asher for the brilliant commentary. I also would like to tattoo on old man Joe Hallett’s head that Asher is actually a Democrat operative who wrote the failed pro-Democrat 2005 Reform Ohio Now redistricting ballot issue… But I suppose Joe couldn’t see it in the mirror anyway due to serious eye sight problems in addition to dementia.

The debate will include opening and closing statements with general questions going to candidates on a rotating basis. I would love to know the rest of the debate agreements, as in 2006 both gubernatorial campaigns agreed to the strictest of rules… As a staff member of the Blackwell campaign, we were not allowed to record video and chop it into clips for instant fact check. Why campaigns would agree to such rules is beyond my comprehension.

And it’s very unnerving that the representative was Jo Ann Davidson, as it’s a sign that a liberal, baby-killing, Third Frontier-lover will have serious influence in a Kasich administration and in Ohio Republican politics in general. She really needs to go on vacation on an island with Betty Montgomery and stay there permanently.

I will post videos of Strickland’s old debate videos once I digitize them… After studying them closely, it’s clear that Strickland isn’t a lightweight debater. He is older and is known to become quite shaky on television when the pressure is on, but his ability to obfuscate issues- such as taking credit for a homestead tax credit paid for by tobacco settlement dollars or for an income tax cut which his only involvement in was reducing the size of- is absolutely breathtaking to watch. He embraced his big government liberalism and that got him tossed out of office in 1994 by Frank Cremeans… and has since learned the lessons taught by Gov. Rhodes that it’s OK to raise taxes and grow government at the margins, just don’t be so damn obvious about it.

Strickland never had a serious debating opponent. Ken Blackwell, who at times can be a fantastic public speaker, stumbled often and made ridicious faces throughout their three debates in 2006… and this was after weeks of serious preparation.

And the most striking issue I noticed is that in almost every final debate with the candidate who Strickland is about to soundly defeat, they ALWAYS bring up the issue that Ted Strickland voted “present” for psychological study which said consenting sex between adults and children is OK. This issue was compounded as Strickland’s former chief of staff Bryan Spect, (who Plunderbund’s Brian Hester worked for) exposed himself to two 12 year old girls in a public park and masturbated in front of them. (These records were expunged, but I have them.) Later, Strickland used campaign dollars to charter a private jet for a vacation in Italy with Bryan, while Mrs. Strickland stayed home in Kentucky.

If this issue ever comes up, the race is over. It’s a stupid attempt to depress voter turnout and became the low point of Ken Blackwell’s career. And I suppose the same could be said if Team Strickland starts pushing the rumors that John Kasich, who was reportedly quite the ladies man in his youth, is a homosexual.

John Kasich’s biggest challenge will be to meet his own expectations. He was a Fox News contributor and is quite a gifted public speaker. But this isn’t the O’Reilly Factor where he was allowed to brilliantly rip off Naomi Wolf’s head… and Kasich in his “I Worked at Lehman Brother’s Ad” is literally shouting at us. I think he needs to take it down a notch, especially since there is no question that Strickland, who is in the political fight of his life, will try to throw him off early in the debates. Kasich’s talent for soaring rhetoric is so high that the post-debate spin will most certainly be that he was a disappointment, as a formal debate setting takes him out of his element.

Also, the best questions in 2006 came from scrappy reporters in Youngstown. The questions from the Columbus media will be gentle and ratings will be low, so it will be up to candidates to draw enough blood to make these debates matter.

Related posts:

  1. Gov. Ted Strickland Worried About Democrats Lack of Enthusiasm
  2. Rasmussen: Kasich 47%, Strickland 41%
  3. Rasmussen: Kasich Up by 7, Holds Heavy Lead Among Independents, Tied With Chicks
  4. Brian Wilson on the Ohio Gubernatorial Race
  5. Strickland Leads in new Quinnipaic Poll, But Voters Believe Kasich Will do a Better Job on Economic Issues

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