I surfed around this morning looking for reactions from some of my California friends to last night’s debate among gubernatorial candidates, but found none. I have to wonder if they’ll even vote. Even though I’m far from the action, I had to tune in to watch, since it’s Arnold’s only scheduled faceoff with his opponents. For the most part, it wasn’t much of a real debate.
The only fireworks were between Arianna Huffington and Arnold. She rightly went after him from the beginning, sensing that he’s really just an empty suit. He was unimpressive. He carped on and on about the current government, and spouted a few generic platitudes (“we need to fix the economy”, “we need to attract more business”, “we need to take care of kids”) but had absolutely no solutions. I hope I’m not the only one who can see that.
I was most impressed with Green Party candidate Peter Camejo, who never even got to talk about environmental issues. Far from being a one-issue, “hippy” party, the Greens actually had some sensible positions on most issues. Only his lack of government experience would really hold him back. And although I disagree with almost all of his positions, Republican Tom McClintock was equally impressive. He held clear positions and articulated them carefully, without attacking anyone. I think he’s in the race because he’s annoyed that Arnold isn’t a “real” candidate. I respect his integrity.
So, although Gary Coleman wasn’t there, I found the debate interesting, though a real debate format would have been better (ie. no foreknowledge of the questions, letting each candidate state his/her position and then face rebuttals from the other candidates). Good luck, Californians!