Monday night’s Senate debate was only slightly less jangly than the average David Gergen sentence. Gergen, who moderated the debate, started off with a litany of luminaries who had occupied this particular U.S. Senate seat over the years: Ted Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams.
That, of course, led any sane person to respond, “Wait – could we kind of postpone the January 19 special election and find some more, well, weighty candidates?”
But you go to the polls with the ballot you have, as Rummy might say. So, a few observations:
• If you chose “lawyering up” or “a half-trillion-dollar cut in Medicare” for your drinking game, you were knee-walkin’ by 7:20.
• The three candidates – Martha Coakley (D-Is It January 2o Yet?), Scott Brown (R-See My Pickup Truck?), and (Not That) Joe Kennedy – performed pretty much the same as they have all along, only more so.
• Brown spent the entire evening playing to the cheap seats. On healthcare reform, he represented the I-Got-Mine wing of the Republican party, asking why Massachusetts residents should subsidize other states that aren’t as legislatively advanced as we are with our pathetically underfunded healthcare system. He also accused Coakley of being soft on terrorists and hard on third-trimester fetuses.
• Coakley, who’s clearly just looking to run out the clock, tried to be more aggressive, but just came off as trying to be more aggressive.
• (Not That) Kennedy was the only candidate who had the courage to inject Warren Harding into the race. You could almost feel the momentum shift – back to Gergen.
Even lower points:
• Brown’s hypothetical about his daughters getting raped was flat out creepy. Kineahora.
• Just when the hardworking staff at Campaign Outsider was having a good thought about (Not That) Kennedy, he goes and says this: “I’ll repeal Obamacare.” So, what – he’s running for king? I don’t think so.
• (I’d criticize Coakley here, but she wasn’t really there.)
• After Brown essentially called Coakley a baby-killing, terrorist-loving, pocket-picking liberal, he said “We’re both good people.” Actually, no – one of you isn’t.
Is it January 20 yet?