The day after: what's the media saying about the debate
Oh all the newspapers who covered the debate, The New Haven Register seemed to nail the opinion of most who attended the debate (my goodness, did I just say that). With the headline " Schlesinger steals the show" the Register gives credit where credit was due (my GOD, did I just say that about Schlesinger...what's wrong with me).
Alan Schlesinger, the forgotten U.S. senatorial candidate, came roaring into public view in a televised debate Monday as he put the two leading contenders on notice: "Look out Ned and Joe, here I come, baby."The Register touch on two moments in the debate that I highlighted in a earlier post. I thought these were the two key moments where Schlesinger really hit Lieberman hard and caught him off guard.
The GOP candidate, who has consistently scored in the single digits in every political poll since the spring, came off as the most aggressive and colorful, as he advised the crowd of business people to vote for him and not his two rival "liberal Democrats."
Schlesinger blasted the Clinton administration for a lack of verification in its dealings with North Korea, and he held Lieberman accountable. "Joe, you had more moral outrage about Mr. Clinton's indiscretion than about North Korea's proliferation," he said, referring to the Monica Lewinski affair.Schlesinger made some very valid points and showed why he's the true Republcian in the debate attacking Lieberman over North Korea and most notably, Social Security. I think when he mocked Lieberman for "drinking the kool-aid" in 2000 with the "lock box" concept, Schlesinger help himself by painting Lieberman as a liberal and which might catch the attention of fiscal conservatives who believe the Democratic party is the party of taxing and spending.
A considerable amount of time was spent on Social Security, with Schlesinger accusing both rivals of "standing for Social Security and Medicare bankruptcy," while he characterized the Senate as "the ostrich club," because they (the members) stick their head in the sand and they hope something good will come of it."
He called future funding for the entitlement programs "the greatest iceberg that this nation is facing. Right now, our ship is headed for it and these two are arguing over who gets the best deck chair to watch the crash."
He said Lieberman "drank the Kool-Aid," when he agreed with 2000 Democratic presidential contender Al Gore to put Social Security in a "lock box" to protect the program.
"You want to put an IOU from Joe Lieberman in a lockbox. I'd rather have cash. When I retire, I want a check," Schlesinger said. To solve the problem, he said he would take the money that is earmarked for Social Security and put it into mortgages for Americans.
Here's a replay of those two moments (FYI: Schlesinger comment regarding North Korea is now in the top 25 viewed video clips on You Tube).
As readers of this site know, I was really hard on Schlesinger for a good amount of the campaign but after watching him debate Lieberman and Lamont, I think less known of the three candidates came across pretty well. Schlesinger stuck to his conservative views on such topics as illegal immigration, fiscal responsibility, and security as well as did something the other two candidates did not do, try and offer a possible solution to a looming problem, Social Secuirty.
Hell, don't take it from me, look at what another newspaper said about Schlesinger.
The Stamford Advocate:
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman went into yesterday's first debate anticipating attacks from his primary opponent, Democrat Ned Lamont.From a second article in the Advocate
He was stunned, however, when some of the harshest criticism came from Alan Schlesinger -- the Republican candidate who has been overshadowed in the race and trailing far behind in polls.
"I thought the attacks were only going to come from this side," Lieberman said at one point, referring to Lamont.
Observers who watched the debate live or on television said the Republican, who has been hemorrhaging party loyalists to incumbent Joseph Lieberman's petition candidacy, made the most of the opportunity.
"You can't really say he hit a home run," University of Connecticut pollster Chris Barnes said last night. "But the fact he's there, he's on stage, it elevates his credibility."
In the end, Schlesinger had nothing to lose in coming out swinging as hard as possible. His presentation was informatinve as well as entertaining and it was a welcomed relief from all the attacks and mud slinging we've grown accustomed to over the last ten months.
Now I know what you're saying...oh, you're just trying to prop Schlesinger up and to that I say, all you need to do is look at my video footage in the previous post and it will speak for itself.
For a more detailed analysis on the media's take on the debate, check out bluestater's report at MLN. I was able to ask Schlesinger a coiple of questions after the debate and I'll bring you that footage later today.
UPDATE: Read The Hartford Courant Rick Green's take on the debate as it seems like we walked away from the event with the same impression.