Thursday, September 25, 2003

(Re)Call of the Wild

First of all, my sincerest apologies to Jack London for the above.

Now on to the recall. I thought I'd take a few moments to run down the list of candidates and give them the futurballa rating of how they did. Perhaps later this morning if I come across some particularly pithy comments in the blogosphere, I might share some links. So, without further ado, from left to right (or right to left, depending on how you look at it).

Arnold - Still no substance. Continues to talk in generalities, platitudes, and sound bites. Took the bait from Arianna, which showed his need to dominate and some general testiness. If we are using the GWB debate standard of exceding lowered expectations, then this was a good outing for Arnold, but if we hold him to the same standard as other candidtates he was weak. I'd call it a wash for Arnold.

Tom - Best performance for a guy I don't agree with on virtually anything. He affirmed his straight shooter creds, knew his policies, expressed them well. His closing statement was an honest statement of why he probably can't be elected to state wide office in California. Anti-Abortion, Pro Gun, too conservative for California. He most likely helped himself with his base and maybe picked up a few conservatives who were holding their nose while intending to vote for Arnold.

Peter - The Green candidate is the McClintock of the left. He knows his issues and policies. Was agressive without getting personal. All in all Camejo did a great job, but the Greens just aren't ready for state wide office. Probably didn't win too many votes because I think most Democrats are still stinging over Nader, but he cemented his creds with the far left. Good performance.

Moderator - Didn't like this guy. A bit too much in love with his own voice and trying to be amusing.

Arianna - Just there to steal the spotlight, and showcase her pet issues. Trying to score points on her opponents. Probably hurt herself as far as getting votes, but I think she may be more about promoting herself and her causes than about getting votes, so that may not matter to her.

Cruz - Passive, tried to stay above the fray. A bit patronizing to Arnold and Arianna. Overall, I think it was a wash for Bustamante. Didn't hurt himself, may have slightly helped himself by just seeming like a reasonable guy, but I would have liked to hear more from him.

The Format - Free for All is the term the news media is using. I think a better moderator would have helped.

The Coverage - Switched between local news (KRON), CNN and Fox for the after debate wrap-ups. Fox, as would be expected was pumping up Arnold. CNN was a bit more balanced (go figure). Both Fox and CNN cut away to Arnold's press conference giving him an extra 10 minutes uninteruppted to spin his performance. To my feeling he came off arrogant and teutonic. The biggest laugh was his spin on why he is only doing one debate. He stated that he did this one because it got high ratings and didn't do the others because nobody was watching. Of course if he had participated more people would have watched. A Catch 22 of course.

I'll be interested to see if there is any movement in the polls in the next few days. I think the man who wasn't there might have been the real winner.

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