Unfortunately, when the first debate between former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Delegate Bob Marshall and Richmond Tea party Activist Jamie Radtke was supposedly being live streamed by Bearing Drift, WSLS and WDBJ, I was out and about. So I am hoping the entire video will be posted online. Until that happens, I am stuck hearing what others said about it, and I don’t think that helps much. See for yourself.
- VA Right live blogged the event, Va Senate Debate – Roanoke – Live Updates, summarizing the candidates’ responses to questions. That is probably as neutral a report as we will get.
- An AP reporter, 4 GOP contenders varied little on policy in debate, had trouble telling the candidates apart. As usual, the Lib reporter went looking for fireworks, not substance.
Radtke was sharpest in her attacks on Allen. She accused him of voting for thousands of earmarks tucked into federal budget bills that directed specific spending projects. On the question of support for keeping federally backed student loan rates from increasing, Radtke said Allen had gone along with expansions of government numerous times. She said Allen was part of a GOP-dominated Senate that failed to hold federally-backed home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accountable before a meltdown in the home mortgage and real estate industries helped plunge the nation into a deep recession four years ago.
- Bearing Drift carried Roanoke Post-Debate Statements from GOP campaigns. The fact candidates believe they need to produce that stuff cracks me up. Who expects a campaign team to provide anything even approaching an objective report? Yet “expert politicians” always do that sort of thing. So we have to wonder why? Just how gullible are we?
- In its report, Rivals criticize George Allen in first debate in Va. GOP Senate race, the Washington Post (George Allen’s macaca nemesis) made a point of demonstrating the hopelessness of running against George Allen.
While several surveys have shown Kaine and Allen to be neck and neck, no recent polls have been taken of the primary contest. However, Allen enjoys stratospheric statewide name identification that his opponents don’t. He also has a massive fundraising advantage: Allen had $2.7 million in the bank as of March 31, while Radtke was second with just $80,000.
Roughly 500 people attended the debate at the Sheraton Roanoke, and it’s not clear how many other Virginians will end up seeing the session. It was streamed live on the Web site of a Roanoke television station, and each campaign is to receive a copy they can post on their sites.
- Perhaps the Richmond Times-Dispatch provided the most interesting report, Fiery Jackson makes impression at GOP U.S. Senate debate — and yes, Jackson really is a fiery speaker. What the author did in this report is listen to what each candidate had to say. He explained that these candidates are not carbon copies of each other. He also noted whose conduct has earned the GOP’s candidates greatest ire.
Like Jackson, most of the other candidates — former governor and Sen. George Allen, tea party activist Jamie Radtke of Chesterfield County and Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William – reserved their harshest words for President Barack Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Timothy M. Kaine.
That’s not to say it was all hugs and kisses.
Radtke at several times attacked Allen, sometimes directly, sometimes less so.
So what is the point? Actually, I have two points.
- Apparently, Radtke did attack Allen’s record. After all, she is running because she thinks she can do a better job. However, what really bothers her and all the GOP candidates is the state of our nation. The people we have put in charge are making a big mess. Our leaders are bankrupting us. If we do not stop them, we will leave our children and grandchildren both impoverished and enslaved to arrogant tyrants.
- If we really want to understand who is running against George Allen, we each have take the time to find out for ourselves. Each of these candidates worked hard to get on the ballot, and each has a record of public service that deserves our attention. Of the four, I think Delegate Bob Marshall the best. However, Marshall is not indispensable. Any one of these people could do a good job. We, however, are indispensable. If we don’t take the time to study the candidates, the news media will choose our U.S. Senator, just like they picked Mark Warner, James Webb, and the current occupant of the White House.