Monday, October 09, 2006

Quickie Allen vs. Webb Debate Review

How many times did Allen invoke the name of Hillary Clinton? Was it double figures? It certainly seemed more than I heard him say “George Bush.” Maybe I’m wrong. Allen managed to work Ted Kennedy in a few times, as well.

Most important -- Allen kept his temper. He spoke exclusively to his base, saying I’m OK, don’t worry. We’re still in this together. He mentioned 9/11 and lowering taxes whenever he could. Yet, Allen seemed more self-conscious than I remember him being in past debates.

On a zero-to-10 scale Allen’s overall performance gets a five from SLANTblog.

Jim Webb revealed more of his thoughtful style than I’ve seen before from him, while standing behind a microphone. He probably didn’t score as well on Iraq as he needed. He built the case that intellectually he is indeed a Democrat; on that Webb was keen and focused.

Moreover, Webb appeared more comfortable with the stress of the live confrontation under the lights than his opponent. Accordingly, Webb gets a seven from SLANTblog for his overall performance.

While neither man scored a knockout, Webb was the clear winner in my view. With no traction from tonight’s effort Allen’s negative momentum continues.

Bottom line: My first sense of the debate -- which was well-run -- is that I can’t see how Allen will feel all that good about how he did on stage. And, Webb is probably all smiles as I’m writing this.

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