September 6, 2010

SO WILL THE TRIAGE TEAM LET HER BLEED OUT?:

Fiorina comes out ahead on TV: Both she and Boxer need more debates. The voters need more too. (George Skelton, September 6, 2010, LA Times)

[I]f one watched the show in comfort on TV, as I did twice, Boxer's message often came through as disjointed. She raced through lines, focused on notes, fidgeted, failed to speak clearly into the mike and talked to the hundreds in the audience rather than the hundreds of thousands at home.

She relied too much on eye-glazing Beltway lingo and blew what should have been easy shots.

Example: Trying to refute Fiorina's false assertion that she had shepherded only four bills through Congress, Boxer countered that actually "1,000 Boxer provisions have been enacted." Huh? Provisions? Is that like amendments? Just call them pieces of legislation.

Example: When Fiorina defended possession of assault weapons, Boxer could have recalled the drifter who shot up a Stockton schoolyard with an AK-47 in 1989, killing five. A Republican governor, George Deukmejian, then signed the first assault weapons ban.

Boxer seemed rusty — she was uncontested for the Democratic nomination — and in need of a workout by a debate coach.

In contrast, Fiorina looked polished, in control and a master of details. She seemed senatorial, a new face one could visualize in Congress.

Her main message: Boxer is a liberal career politician whose "policies are devastating for this state." Nothing new there. Opponents have been claiming that for years. But in hard times, there's likely to be a more receptive audience.

" 'Recovery summer' has become the summer of despair in California," Fiorina said.

It wasn't her words that especially scored, however. It was the demeanor and smooth, steady attacks that seemed to keep Boxer off balance, and perhaps drive home to some viewers Fiorina's simple message that they need to send different people to Washington.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2010 8:16 AM
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