The first Boston Media Consortium bakeoff (accent on Con, since it required participants to raise $100,000 by October 1, even though the debate took place on September 21), proceeded smartly last night, thanks in no small part to moderator John King’s gatling-gun questions.
The CNN anchor/chief national correspondent was sharp, focused, and well-grounded in the major issues of the Massachusetts governor’s race. But that didn’t mean he had an iron grip on the candidates.
Ads ‘n’ ends from the gubernatorial rumpus:
End of the Daze
If you chose “end of the day” for your drinking game, Charlie Baker had you knee-walking by 7:30, passed out by 7:44.
Tea Party for Aunt Zeituni
The first question out of the box went to Baker (R-Blue Shirt Republicans). King asked him if he’s a Tea Partier. Baker essentially said he’s a Tea Part-timer.
Soon after, King asked Jill Stein about Monday night’s WBZ-TV interview with Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango, an illegal immigrant currently living in Boston public housing.
Baker said he’d check the immigration status of anyone receiving government benefits. Tim Cahill (I-Will Bust You) is willing to go the Arizona route if need be. Deval Patrick (D-We’re #1!) just wants us all to get along.
Easy to Be Hard
Cahill called Baker a liar, Baker absolutely blowtorched Cahill in return, Patrick accused Baker of kicking Bay Staters to the curb when times are tough.
Overall, Baker seemed the toughest. His problem, though, is that he’s right on the line between aggressive and abrasive – a highwire act very few have carried off in Massachusetts politics. (See: John Silber, circa 1990.)
Dr. Jill, We Hardly Knew Ye
Jill Stein delivered a skittish, not-ready-for-primetime performance that virtually guaranteed we’ve seen the last of her. Maybe it’s time for the Green-Rainbow party to choose another standard-bearer.
Ad at End
As soon as the debate ended, a Deval Patrick TV spot began. Once again, the hardworking staff protests.