Friday, October 06, 2006

The Kreider-Goodman debate wrap-up post

Now that I have time to sit down and report, I find there is little left to say. My first impression at the debate was that Emily appeared nervous, inexperienced, but sincere. Goodman, on the other hand, seemed confident and experienced, comfortable in the role of politician. The debate itself wasn't that contentious, with the candidates in basic agreement on issues like homestead exemptions (good) and the TEL amendment (bad).

Slowly, however, both candidates started showing more confidence. Mrs. Kreider could have still used some polish, but she was getting more comfortable on stage. Goodman's confidence, on the other hand, was slowly morphing into that kind of smirking frat-boy smugness of the young Republican. That plays okay with some folks, witness W, so my aversion couldn't be taken as a reliable sign of debate weakness. By the end of the scripted questions, however, it was obviously a pro-Emily audience, and Goodman's repeated statements to the effect that the legislature was doing a great job running Ohio were falling flat (eventually culminating in the "cynical laughter" reported by the Dispatch), while Emily's stance that Ohio hasn't had a working legislature in a decade resonated.

It was in the audience questions, however, where Emily started really scoring points. {The following are paraphrases. They are as close to direct quotes as I can recall} For instance, on abortion:

Emily -- I drafted a plan, called the 95-10 plan, to make abortion in Ohio rare. ... We can do this without criminalizing abortion.
Goodman -- I am a pro-life Republican. I don't approve of abortion as birth control. But I'm, I've, I know that this is a topic where there are ... ... I've got an open mind.
Emily -- I. Cannot. Believe. You just accused women of using abortion as birth control. I don't know which thing you say to believe... Many people believe that you were pro-choice until recently, and that your pro-life stance is -
Goodman -- I never said I was pro-choice. I have always been -
Emily -- Mr. Goodman, why would so many people believe -
Goodman -- People make a lot of assumptions. I never said that.
Emily -- You never said that you were pro-choice?
Goodman -- People assume a lot of things. Maybe because I'm Jewish and lots of Jewish people are pro-choice, I don't know.

See, what happened here is that every bit of slimy politician started to ooze out of Goodman's pores at this point. He looked mean-spirited (abortion as birth-control), unprincipled (flip-flops on moral issue), opportunistic (flip-flopped because pro-life Republicans win district races in the suburbs), insincere (I've got an open mind), dishonest (I never said that. For some reason people just jumped to that conclusion) and pandering (the district, especially here in Bexley and the surrounding area, has a much higher Jewish population than the typical Ohio District).

The same thing happened when asked about his attack ad. He puffed up and explained that he thought it was perfectly reasonable that missing a local election should disqualify a person from ever holding public office.

When the fireworks started, I think the audience was prepared to cut him some slack, as the whole thing came off like an ambush. The Dispatch reported that he "remained calm." Well, sort of. He kept smirking, but his face was tighter. He went out of his way to state that a man named Mr. Habib had practiced law in the office next door, but was not a law partner of his. No one had made this assertion, at least that I heard, and I have no idea why it would be relevant.

When the 'Justice For Kids' activist was shouting at him, he could have been expected to get angry. It wouldn't have neccesarily been inappropriate. As soon as it became apparent, however, that the crowd thought the man had had ample opportunity to air his grievance, Goodman started his "my door is always open" bit. Ummm, the one thing the shouting guy had going for him was a list of phone calls and a stack of printed emails to back up a claim that they had been making a real effort to get a meeting. Maybe the guy is crazy. Maybe his cause is against Goodman's principles or outside the purview of a State Senator. Maybe Goodman only takes meetings with residents of the district. I don't know. Any of those could potentially explain why Goodman hadn't yet had a meeting with these folks. That would be okay. But "my door is always open?" that's the one thing we can surmise wasn't true, or Goodman would have mentioned their prior meeting(s).

Ugh. Emily Kreider really is one of us. Maybe David Goodman was at one time, but certainly not at this juncture. David Goodman practically sneered "I've always had other sources of income. I don't need this job."

Believe me David. It showed.


Anonymous said...

I understand that you are a left-wing liberal, so your version of the debate will come from that viewpoint and I'm not surprised that you distorted the whole debate. I also attended that debate, and here's what I saw:

Emily Krieder has no idea what she is talking about. She's doing what most Democrats across the state have been doing...saying nothing and meaning less. A perfect example of that is when an audience member asked her how she would fund Ohio's education system. All she could muster is that (and I'm paraphrasing) that she has a plan and that she will work with Ted Strickland on the issue. The audience members even pointed out that she DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION. And I thought that education funding was a focal point of her candidacy...

On those two "activists": David brought up an excellent point. Why call him when West High School is located in State Sen. Ray Miller's district? Is it because the Krieder campaign wanted to use this as a cheap political stunt? I'm asking that last question.

And on that last part, where you quote David saying that "I've always had other sources of income. I don't need this job." Krieder whole message was that David was beholden to special interests; David was saying that simply to prove that his main reason for running for re-election is because he enjoys working for the people.

David was not polished. He rambled a bit, but overall you got the feeling that he knew what he was talking about. You did not portray the whole story and you should be corrected on it.

Anonymous said...

LOL,anonymous sounds like a 3rd grader.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "On those two "activists": David brought up an excellent point. Why call him when West High School is located in State Sen. Ray Miller's district? Is it because the Krieder campaign wanted to use this as a cheap political stunt? I'm asking that last question." First I thought part of you job as a State Sen. was to help all the people of you state? Maybe I am wrong here but it is his job. As far as the Kreider campaign using this as a cheap political stunt is well going aginst your statment "Emily Krieder has no idea what she is talking about." You would have to be vary smart and know what your doing to pull that off. I understand why Mrs Kreider did not say what you would have liked her to say. It is about taxes and you know as well as I as soon as a Dem. says or thinks the work tax it will be on a TV ad the next day.

Anonymous said...

To the first guy: Thanks for addressing all of my points.

To the second guy: You're correct when you say that State Senators is to help the people of the state. However, it sounds pretty random to me that they would call David, whose district is no where near West High. That area is represented by Ray Miller and he should be the one to call. Or get in contact with the Columbus Public Schools.

Also, a candidate can have no clue as to how the legislative process works or has no clue on the issues (which was my point in the first post), but the same candidate can still play politics.

bonobo said...

Please don't let me interrupt, but I thought I'd clarify a couple of things - First, I highly doubt that the questions at the end were 'a campaign stunt.' Both of them seem to have arisen from long-standing situations that pre-date the Kreider campaign. In case it didn't come across well I'll clarify: The charge of racism was hearsay, and it is possible that the original source has a motive to spread this charge. I can't imagine that anyone who values critical thinking enough to attend a debate would take that charge at face value. Likewise, I think there are a number of reasons off the top of my head that Mr. Goodman might have had to legitimately avoid a meeting with the JFK folks (the district issue being one of them). My point wasn't that he was a bad guy for not meeting with them, once again, I have very few of the facts. My problem was the disingenuous implication that he's always been willing to have a meeting at any time.

You thought Goodman rambled a bit. I thought Kreider sounded too much like she was reading a prepared statement at times. I really didn't take it as a knowledge difference. Goodman was comfortable on stage. Emily wasn't, especially at first. She got better as things went on, and I expect her to get better. For instance, she refused to be baited into the negative ad trap at least three times. It's possible that the audience member who kept asking for specifics actually just wanted to know the answer, and wasn't aware that he was paraphrasing the first paragraph in the Republican operative book of dirty tricks. But, well, he was. Stupid game. Republicans won't tell you specifics on programs to be cut when taxes are cut, and Democrats won't say how they plan to fund proposed programs. That's campaigning. But actually, it seems to me that if property taxes are lowered as a result of funding reform, the overall effect on the aggregate tax burden of Ohio will be neutral. If property taxes don't go down, it will simply be because, as Mr. Goodman said, those people want to keep paying them.

Which brings me to my final point of clarification. I am a liberal Democrat. Right now, I believe that we need change in the Statehouse. Emily Kreider is endorsed by the Buckeye Firearms Association. David Goodman is endorsed by Equality Ohio. I'd prefer a race where those were reversed. I'm guessing you would, too. Even so, I feel that Emily Kreider would represent me, and represent a majority of the district, much better than Mr. Goodman.

But I appreciate that you've taken the time to read my opinion and engage in a discussion,


Anonymous said...

How can asking for specifics from Krieder 'dirty politics'? When I candidate wants your vote, a question as harmless as that one shouldn't be a problem; that goes for both sides. If Krieder's not supporting a tax increase, she should say so and stop hiding behind 'I have a plan' or 'I will work with Ted Strickland'.