Carryin’ signs say hooray for our side

The debate between Jim Oberstar and Chip Cravaack on Duluth News Tribune TV seems like a lively affair. The crowd had to be talked down from catcalling several times. The audio feed was weak and my rural satellite internet speed is not helping me this morning. I’ll catch the full debate on television this Friday, the same day as another debate at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. Because of my day job, I generally don’t go to community colleges on Friday nights unless there is a pit orchestra and people wearing stage makeup. From what I saw, that might have happened today in Duluth. I’ll keep my social calendar open, which is probably implied.


  1. I was able to attend the debate this morning. First off, I will disclose that I’m a Cravaack supporter.

    If there was a winner in the debate, it was Cravaack. While I don’t think Oberstar made the glaring really, really stupid error that Chip may need to pull the upset, he did make a couple of smaller ones. While justifying his vote in favor of cap and trade, Oberstar called skeptics of global warming part of the “flat earth society”. Also, he had a really angry look on his face a couple of times that could look really bad in a negative ad. There was absolutely no need for him to insult a good portion of the 8th district. All he had to say was that he thought the cap and trade bill would help the environment and didn’t necessarily agree with the figures that show electricity costs rising due to the bill. But he took a cheap shot.

    Chip got a lot of his talking points in, but didn’t get the one significant line that made Oberstar look really stupid or out of touch. He did sound a lot more humble and far less conceded than Oberstar.

    The normal rule for debates (other than for president) is if you’re ahead, just be as vague as possible and don’t do anything stupid. One can probably assume Oberstar was ahead coming into this debate. While this particular debate was seen by a lot more people than most congressional debates, I don’t think enough people will see it for it to make a difference overall in the race.

  2. Thanks for the perspective, Todd. I wasn’t able to see or hear much of the debate. The overarching perception on my part was the rowdy crowd. That crowd probably rattled Oberstar more than Cravaack, but that’s what would frustrate me if I were a Cravaack supporter. The uncivil members of the audience neutralized what might have been a clean win for Cravaack in the debate. I respect Oberstar, but it’s true that he hasn’t faced a serious challenge in more than a decade and needs to be conscious of how he looks/sounds in these things.

    And yes, few will ultimately see this or pay close attention to the responses.

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