So here we go:
8:03: The intro panel of three old white guys like me who are representing sponsoring and hosting groups is way too exclusive and off-putting.
8:07 - - Opening statements. Tammy Baldwin going straight after Tommy and his special-interest representation. Tommy invokes his history, mentions his wife. Says Tammy is number-one liberal and spender in Congress.
8:09 - - First questions. Softball to Tommy. What's the worst ad thrown at him? Woof! Tommy is all over the place, claiming to be a farmer. Second mention of his wife.
8:09 - - Same question to Tammy. She's responding with comprehensive answers about GOP spending. To this point, Tammy has more command of facts. Tommy is all 'aw-shucks.' '90% of the people in this great state know me as Tommy.'
8:10 - - Question about fiscal cliff. Tommy says we're heading for a recession. No back-and-forth. Weak format.
8:14 - - Taxing and spending question. He wants a balanced budget amendment- - but that would take effect years and years down the road, maybe. Weak answer. Tammy would end war spending. Hits Tommy's giveaway of drug prescription purchasing power. Tommy is smirking at Tammy's answer. Arrogant and cheesy.
8:16 Tax question. Fast-paced Q & A. Too bad there is no cross-talk. Tammy specific on getting rid of deduction that enables out-sourcing. Tommy talks about some company he worked at, LHI? Who knows what that is? Tommy is his folksy self tonight.
8:19 - - Q. about congressional procedures. Be specific. What needs to change? Tommy is talking again what he did when he was Governor. He says people should sit down and talk, then hits Tammy for being too "out there." Big smile from Tammy: She should do that more often.
8:22 - - Q. about Social Security. Tammy is now a little more conversational. Looking more relaxed. She wants Soc. Sec. left alone. Strong answer. Tommy says he wants to fix Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Strong answer. But where is the mention of that tape where he said he'd get rid Medicare. Panelists missed an opening there.
8:25 - -Q. to Tommy on ObamaCare. Tommy says he's the health care reformer in the state. Tammy says ObamaCare should be put into full effect.
8:28 - - A follow-up Q! To Tommy: anything worth saving in ObamaCare? Wants it changed. He says it all should be up to the states and individuals, not the federal government. Tammy says Tommy's position is absurd. She hits Tommy again on the loss of federal drug purchasing power.
8:31 - - Q. about Medicare. Tammy opposes vouchers. Says Tommy supports that. If seniors are listening, this is a potential rough spot for Tommy. Tommy is laughing. Says he didn't do that. Says she wants to "tear down and criticize." Says the program will go broke in 2022. Fact-checkers?
8:33 - -Tommy asked about Israel and using American troops. Mispronounces name of Iranian president twice, and name of and major waterway. Wants "the red line" drawn! Tammy strong against Iranian nuke. Backs Obama, and sanctions. Would not send US troops into harm's way without serious thought and an exit strategy.
8:36 - -Mideast q. Tammy begins by defending her early support for Afghanistan war support after 9/11.Tommy says Tammy misstated her Iran sanctions' votes. He says he built a women's hospital in Afghanistan He did? Tommy wants all troops out. So does Tammy. Wisconsin still an anti-war state.
8:39 - - Energy. Tommy wants drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Says the drilling area is as small as a postage stamp on a football field. Really? Roads and vehicle storage, for instance?
Also the Keystone pipeline. he says he went to ANWR to take care of people there? Grandiose. Tammy is talking green energy. Stark difference in answers.
8: 41 - -Job creation Q: Close-up on Tommy. Those jowls. Yipes! Says he's tired of being attacked on job creation when he's in the private sector creating jobs. Says there is plenty of money to be invested, but there is uncertainty?
8:45 - - Abortion q. Tommy says he is and always been pro-life, with some exclusions for health and life of the mother. Ten-second answer. Tammy says she is pro-choice. For as few abortions as possible.
Follow-up, though it's a different issue: Same sex-marriage q: He supports the anti-same-sex marriage vote in WI referendum where it passed in 71 of 72 counties. Says it's a state issue.
Tammy says she supports marriage equality. Gets cut-off for time.
8:48 - - Asian carp q. Tammy is for more cooperation among the states. Wants more cooperation on invasive species. Tommy says this is her first answer where he's not being blamed by Tammy. he's buying and spending time, it appears.
Says he's for sealing the waterway with wire. What? Talks about the Army Corps of the Engineers. Oops.
8:51 - - Q. for Tommy. Would be obstruct Obama agenda as GOP has been doing. Gives stump speech answer about working together. Bombast. Not moving me. Tammy brings up Tommy's singing Grover Norquist's no-tax-pledge.
8:52 - - 90-second closing statements. Tommy is running for his kids and ours. "I'm a reformer, ladies and gentlemen." Third mention of his wife. Says ObamaCare will ruin America. Asks for people's votes.
Tammy's closing statement: Wants tax fairness. Tommy wants tax cuts "weighted to the very wealthy." Wants end to Afghan war, tax breaks for the wealthy, the sacrificed drug purchasing leverage Tommy supported. She asks for people's votes.
She hit more issues in that closing statement. Tommy a bit more rhetorical and theatrical.
And by the way, this live-blogging is for the birds. I'm no stenographer.
Friday, September 28, 2012
So here we go: