Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Memorable Moments from the Last Crist-Scott Debate

If you didn't watch the debate last night, you need to find a recording and watch it. It was pure gold.

In my opinion, the three most memorable (and thematic) moments were:

1) Scott pulled out one of his latest attack ad themes, that Crist grew up rich and was out of touch with everyday people. This seems like a pretty foolish tactic for someone like Scott who wipes his behind with a $100 bill every morning. But Crist twisted the knife into it by pointing out how his physician father, prior to his successes, helped the family survive by delivering  newspapers, and Crist pointedly told Scott to stop telling his (Crist's) story.

2) The exchange over Pam Bondi and the Marshall Gore execution delay. Okay, technically, this lasted too long to be a "moment" but it was absolutely picture perfect in showing not only that Scott didn't take his duties (or Bondi, hers) seriously, but also how Scott could not answer simple questions even if you put a thumb screw over his skull. Crist asked repeatedly if Scott knew that Bondi asked for the delay because it was for a campaign function, and Scott would only say over and over that Bondi had apologized. 

3) Scott also pulled out his attack ad theme of Crist's association with Scott Rothstein, the convicted schemer. This is another one that seems pretty foolish, since the entire Florida GOP was also pretty tight with Rothstein. But it led to the moderator asking Crist about it, and Crist gave an excellent answer: Look, none of us has a crystal ball, and we can't always know when people will go bad. For example...Jeb Bush had a prison chief who went bad and is now in federal prison. This was an absolutely solid retort, and effectively shut Scott's mouth because there was no way he could be critical of Jeb Bush, and no way he could defend himself, since Crist didn't (but could have) point to any number of people on Scott's staff who resigned because of scandal.

Something else memorable was the way Scott kept using Crist's first name. We expect debate opponents to address each other by name, but Scott kept using it over and over again, so many times that it seemed like some kind of fetish. It was downright creepy.

In close, to show I really am an "independent thinker" I'll note Crist's biggest shortcoming in the debate. He really didn't answer well when the moderator asked what he would say to a worker who lost their job because of a minimum wage increase. The moderator posed the question on behalf of a viewer who said that if the minimum wage went up, they'd have to let go of 1 of their 17 workers.

Crist didn't answer well, but here's what he could have said:

"In either scenario, I'd have to deliver bad news. In one I am telling as many as 17 people they will have to struggle to keep their heads above water. In the other I am telling one person they are out of a job. But with the first scenario, I have no good news to deliver to go with the bad news. In the second scenario, I do. First of all, I can tell as many as 16 people that their life will be better and they won't have to struggle as hard. But I can also tell that one person that even if they are out of a job now, they won't be for long, because it has been proven that economic growth has occurred in places where the minimum wage is raised. In fact, since some of those other 16 people would have been holding more than one job to make ends meet, some of them will probably be able to quit one of those extra jobs, and the one person without a job will have many opportunities to get one very quickly."

Anyone who votes for Scott at this point can only be doing so out of ignorance or because there's something in it for them (e.g., they're wealthy). The Bing survey results were hopeful last night: There was a 7% swing in Republicans from Scott to Crist, and a 6% swing with Independents. (Democrats remained the same, but they were already 97% in favor of Crist.)

As I passed a nearby poll station this morning, I saw a line of cars to get in to the place. I really hope that means this debate gave people their final impetus to dump the monster Rick Scott.

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