A few more debate thoughts

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, he’s 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.

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10 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Agree

    Keller appears to be leaning towards Healy and is constantly bailing her out.  Example (both Healy and Patrick win...blah blah blah!And what's this about the internet friends not knowing what charter schools are.  He then goes on to explain Healy's statement regarding making the public schools charter schools. Has he had a recent convo with her.  He then bails her out when it was obvious by the audience response and my response that her message was clear.....we can't all be wrong...Keller is supposed to be an analyst but one wonders if he says only what is obvious to the rest of us...I mean he jumped all over that Grace Ross statement with no evidence to support it...Im just saying, I don't take his analysis for fact....He might be Adam Sandler throwing the game in the longest yard...just my opinion

  2. No question, Keller is a Republican

  3. I didn't say it was a tie...

    ... that was my colleague Joe Dwinell, who was live-blogging from Faneuil Hall last night. (I was there, but I was covering the event with only a pen and a notepad - no laptop.)

  4. The problem with punditry

    For a political pundit, this is Christmas!  You have a hot race, lots of interest, lots of ads to examine.  It's no fun if all the excitement is out of state, and except for the governor's race, all the hot races are elsewhere.

    What incentive is there for a pundit to say, "this race is over?"

    If Healey is slipping, any pundit with a nerve connected to his or her enlightened self-interest is going to try to prop up Healey as long as the cardboard cutout isn't totally soggy and incapable of standing against a wall with a liberal application of duct tape.

    Or, to use the football analogy:

    Patriots 51 Buffalo Bills 28

    9:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.  Announcer:  "Well, if the Bills get three touchdowns and a field goal, they could win this game.  And the Oakland Raiders came back from a 21 point deficit against the Jets in 1968 with less than four minutes remaining."  They will never say, "Forget about this one.  Go watch the pandas on the nature channel."

  5. Please.........

    It was at that September 13 debate that he flip-flopped.

    Prior to that, he was unequivocal in opposition to lifting the cap - and you know this:


    • Please yourself.

      Your link (to a site whose purpose is to advance charter schools) proves nothing.  Got a better one?  I've never heard Patrick say he's unequivocally opposed to lifting the cap.

      • The link.....

        The link reiterated a Boston Globe report of the same day:


        And then there was this report from 2005:


        • Sorry, I'm not sold.

          We all know where Lehigh stands on this, and the other article is too short to be reliable.  Unless you can show me a place where Deval Patrick himself said something like "I'm opposed to lifting the cap, period" -- which I don't believe he's ever said -- I'm convinced that his position is, and has always been, that he's opposed to lifting the cap until the formula is changed.

      • biased link

        This is a link to a 501(c)3 non-profit that is actively advocating for candidates.  They were out there against Murray in the LG race, now they are trying to pull down Patrick.

        Of course, Kerry Healey said last night that she wanted to convert all schools to charter schools. 

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Mon 27 Mar 6:39 AM