It was an interesting debate tonight, Moderator Michael Goldman a long time political commentator started the evening in a classy way by remembering his friend Paul Sullivan who he said would have loved this and would have been the moderator tonight. Mr. Goldman asked some unique questions to draw out the differences in the candidates because they are so similar on many major issues. I’m only posting what I saw has the highlights of the 90 minute debate.
At one point Mr. Goldman asked for Yes or No answers and they agree on many issues like Casino’s, but no stand alone slots , Death Penalty (NO)- Pro-Choice- MCAS – later they agreed they oppose the 40B ballot question but agree current Law needs change – support the creation of the UMASS Law School
No opening statements but 20 seconds to “state your fundamental difference from your opponent”
Chris: Solid Plans which he has presented, new direction, Prosecutor
Eileen: experience in serving, Positive campaign versus negative campaign
In his 30 second rebuttal Chris pointed out that Nikki Tsongas accused Eileen of running a negative Congressional Campaign and Eileen defended it saying she was just pointing out the facts. That is exactly what we are doing. You have a record but you say things that you are not consistent with.
In my view, this seemed to throw Eileen off a bit. It was like she never expected this to come up and seemed to me to stun her a bit.
When Goldman asked why the campaign had become “tenacious” the responses were:
Eileen: Not from my side , we stayed Positive. His side because of distortions, misrepresentation.
Chris: Fact driven, people have issues with lobbyist, pay raises and tax increases. If you say one thing politically but perform differently in your private practice or your past service which one is real.
On whether City/towns should have Plan Design without having to Bargain with Unions:
Eileen: Need labor at the table, they get some $$ from savings, it works if done together with labor.
Chris: Needs to be negotiated through collective bargaining.
What do you DISAGREE with Sen. Panagiotakos on / What would you continue that he does:
Disagree: Both stated the Senators stance on marriage equality
Continue – Chris: Being accessible and not taking pay raise
Eileen: Partnership with City, Federal Officials
Goldman brought up the fact that Eileen ran for the Council, then for Congress, now State Senate while this is the Only office Chris has run for. If the Congressional seat had been open, would she have run for that? This seemed to make Eileen uncomfortable and she stated probably not, she would have run for this seat and that it is hard to answer a hypothetical question.
Why did Chris decide to run for this seat? Has a prosecutor he was a voice for people who needed a voice and now more than ever the taxpayer needs a voice.
You are now your opponent’s Campaign Manager, why should people vote for your candidate? Neither one would say anything positive. Eileen: Comic Relief
Chris: Defend your record, Defend your stances on issues
Goldman followed that up with will you support the winner of this in the General Election. BOTH: YES
Goldman: If you can’t say something nice now, why can you next week and why would people believe it then?
Chris: We are fighting hard with passion, we share some common goals but think she needs to defend her record and positions when we point out they are in conflict with her statements.
Eileen:The campaign reflects the candidate, how they act, are they fair, mature. Judge a person by how they run their campaign. Okay to disagree but do it maturely.
When getting 2 minutes to summarize:
Eileen: Serious times we are in, not time for jokes, need grown ups at the table and need the teamwork that worked when she was a City Councilor. People have no confidence in the State Gov’t
Chris: Voice for people who need a new voice, has listened and knocked on 10,000 doors, has solid Plans that he has presented.
MY VIEW: I thought Chris was much stronger tonight then he was at the first debate at Lowell High. He seemed confident and although he had his binder didn’t seem to rely on it as much. Seemed to knock Eileen off a little with the Nikki Tsongas comment and seemed confident in his plans and the way he ran his campaign. He constantly pointed out that he had plans and had shared those while implying Eileen hasn’t.
Eileen seemed stunned and uncomfortable early on. Goldman called her Eleanor and joked about it which seemed more to annoy her than upset her. To me it seemed the Nikki Tsongas comments are what bothered her. She got stronger during the debate but still wasn’t has strong as I though she was in the first debate
If I had to pick a winner – Chris Doherty
What did you think?