[posted 10/4/10 to http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com]
First exchange + Blumenthal with his “plan” to “target tax cuts” w/out “holding hostage to top 2%.” McMahon also strong. Substantive.
2nd round, dueling negative ads: Blumenthal “takes accountability” for Vietnam misstatements, uses to put McMahon on defensive on min. wage.
Blumenthal continues to take a scalpel to McMahon’s business-growing rhetoric: small businessman or corporatist?
McMahon tries to say her “review” of minimum wage was to consider an INCREASE. But says she doesn’t know if current min. has a sunset date.
McMahon: “stop counting my money” & I won’t talk about how your family owns Empire State Building. Who told her that was a good comeback?
Blumenthal is coasting right now: questions about bailout allow him to play “outsider” to senators who voted for it.
Blumenthal cites 2 programs he’d end and integrates it with his AG experience (Big Pharma, etc.). McMahon vamps, unconvincingly.
Blumenthal: “I boxed above my weight” by reaching out to both parties. Great, subtle use of existing rhetoric in the water supply.
I’m biased, of course, but I don’t think McMahon’s vague riffs about being a consensus-builder in business impress voters.
McMahon: WWE’s $1 million lobbying expenditures were for “Smackdown the vote” and “Tribute to the troops.” What a crock!
McMahon blames outsourced merchandise manufacturing on WWE licensees. She challenges Blumenthal, “How DO you create jobs?”
McMahon strong w/ “more govt.” contempt for Blumenthal policy proposals. But Blumenthal stronger: I won’t legislate “like an entrepreneur.”
McMahon testy about minimum wage “lie” & simply calling more attention to her gaffe. Shut up, Linda, and cut your losses on that one.
Health care reform question to McMahon. Will Blumenthal kill her in his response? WWE CEO & health care are oil and water.
Blumenthal: “No American should go bankrupt paying for health care.” (Subtext: McMahon went bankrupt on Evel Knievel stuntcast.)
Blumenthal wins health care round 10-8. He slips in WWE lack of health care & investigation of “independent contractor” misclassification.
And Blumenthal does so with wonkish correction on Medicare & health care bill. McMahon is rattled. She’s defending her “wellness policy.”
Blumenthal makes easy pad save on McMahon insinuation that state investigation of WWE is politically inspired. Stiff Linda: “No comment.”
Blumenthal manages to avoid a Danny Thomas spit-take when McMahon says, “The people of Connecticut can’t be bought.” More than an LOL…
“Lightning round”: what a dud. But at least moderator Blaier didn’t Foxize the debate.
Summary: I’m surprised by how well Blumenthal wove his public-service narrative in & out of the q’s in this forum. Will people in CT agree?