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The debate, moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, didn’t have a clear cut winner as far as who answered better, though I’d say that O’Donnell will receive the most benefit from this debate. O’Donnell gave strong answers to her questions despite Coons’ continual downplaying of every word that came from her mouth. On several occasions Coons started his rebuttals by saying “I don’t know if I can respond to that” or “There’s just so much to say about that”, which won’t go over well with independent voters who, this election cycle, would rather hear policy than snide retorts. O’Donnell gave surprisingly well thought out answers on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Abortion, and even did a decent job defending her bizarre comments on China’s immanent takeover. Coons gave good answers as well (though I don’t agree with most of his stances), but skirted the issues on several occasions, including questions about his history with unions and his property tax hikes as New Castle County Executive.
O’Donnell’s only major slip up came when she was asked to name a recent Supreme Court decision that she disagreed with and couldn’t name one, saying “she’ll put it on the website”. Blitzer offered Roe v. Wade as an option, to which Christine correctly responded by saying that she didn’t consider that recent. The media will go crazy with this, but it’s really not that big of a deal considering our current Senators don’t read bills and for the most part don’t much about the policies they’re pushing.
The most striking component of this debate for me, however, was Wolf Blitzer’s obvious bias against O’Donnell. On several occasions he cut O’Donnell off in mid sentence, while letting Coons talk until O’Donnell announced that his time was up. Blitzer also protested a few non-answers from O’Donnell, while leaving Coons to skirt answers at his own discretion.
As a whole, I think this debate will boost O’Donnell’s a bit, but it’s not going to push her to victory. Without the supreme court misstep, she would have stood to gain more, but unfortunately our soundbite media is going to pounce on that.
We’ll post the FactCheck later. Early reports show O’Donnell passed, whereas Coons stretched it a bit.
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