Interesting calls from the pundits on the outcome of the debate — in the sense that no one seems to agree with anyone else. Andy Hiller says Patrick won (click the “watch the video” link for Hiller’s commentary). Herald guy Joe Dwinell says it was a Patrick/Healey tie. Adam Reilly thinks Ross won but thought Patrick was weak. Jon Keller seems to think that Healey had the best night, but Patrick won for not losing. I didn’t hear the whole thing (had to jump out at about 40 minutes through), but the best one-liners I heard were all directed at Healey (Christy’s incredible “then you don’t love Massachusetts,” Patrick’s devastating “if you’d come down off that high horse of yours sometime and see how it actually works in the street I’d be happy to show you around”). Generally, I thought Patrick’s opening salvos on crime were excellent. And I’m really not sure what Adam was hearing that he found so bothersome.
I thought Healey’s monumental gaffe when she couldn’t bring herself to criticize Romney for trashing Massachusetts was, well, monumental. It’s not like she hasn’t been distancing herself from him on other issues. That she couldn’t bring herself to do it on the most basic question for a gubernatorial candidate — do you believe in the state you want to govern — was, frankly, pathetic. Don’t think that one won’t get noticed.
Now, I have one major bone to pick with our friend Jon Keller, who comments:
Grace Ross really stripped some bark off [Patrick] when she pointed out how all of a sudden, hes open to lifting the charter school cap.
What’s this “all of a sudden” bullshit? Let’s set the wayback machine for September 13, 2006 — a debate among the Democratic primary candidates hosted by Jon Keller:
Deval Patrick on Education…
Veto moratorium, but cap charters until funding is reformed…
PATRICK: Chris, you’re wrong that I don’t support charter schools. As important as charter schools are and as helpful as they are, we need to come up with a different and better funding mechanism before we raise the cap….
Source: MA gubernatorial debate on CBS4 news Sep 13, 2006
And the Springfield Republican reported the next day:
Patrick said he supports more charter schools, but not until the state financing formula is changed. He said charter schools take money from public schools.
Sounds pretty much like what he said tonight:
I think we can lift the cap on the number of charter schools, David, when we fix the funding formula, and it’s broken right now.
So Grace Ross, however well she did in general, was clearly wrong to say that this was “the first time I’ve heard you say that maybe someday we’ll lift the cap.” (Unless she didn’t watch the Sept. 13 debate.) Keller shouldn’t be repeating her error.