Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | October 23, 2002

Reaction to final Bush/McBride debate

In this horribly mislabeled "news analysis" (it's a freakin' opinion column -- call it one!), a Miami Herald reporter bashes McBride's performance in last night's final debate between the two Florida guv candidates.

With the race for governor coming down to a handful of waffling voters, the most widely viewed televised debate of the campaign offered the Democratic nominee a prime-time stage to make a compelling pitch for ousting Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.

But a flurry of questions from the debate's relentless moderator, NBC's Tim Russert, flummoxed McBride and laid bare an agenda lacking in specifics.

Across the Meet the Press-style table, Bush appeared relaxed and in command. And, most important, the governor offered an artful argument for voters to reelect him on Nov. 5.


But the onus was on McBride, as a challenger who polls show remains largely unknown to nearly one in three Florida voters, to pull off a dramatic performance.

At times his performance was dramatic -- dramatically abysmal.

Then read down to the bottom of the article, where the author hands over the piece to Jeb's media consultant. If this is "news analysis", then Fox News is fair and balanced. Jesus, is it asking too much to ask that opinion pieces be relegated to the opinion pages?

On the other hand, this article tread closer to the middle, and viewed through impartial eyes, McBride had his best performance of the three debates.

It was the best performance yet for both candidates. Bush portrayed a sense of control, showing that he is comfortable at the state's helm and understands the varied issues facing Florida.

But experts said McBride might have been the real winner because he held his own against Bush, performing as well or better than many had expected, using the debate to display his folksiness, military background and willingness to stand up for the average Floridian.

"It's the personality more than the issues that were revealed to the undecided voters," said David Niven, a political science professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Posted October 23, 2002 12:25 AM | Comments (15)


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