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Reactions From The Political World On Senate Debate

This article is more than 9 years old.
Sprint To The SenateMonday night's Democratic debate was a chance for the U.S. Senate candidates to introduce themselves to many Massachusetts voters for the first time. Political observers generally agree that no candidate emerged as the clear winner. Here are reactions from around the political blogosphere and media outlets.

On Style, Likability

(Capuano) really failed to motivate undecided voters, because in terms of persona, he lost the debate.
--Todd Domke, Republican political analyst, on WBUR


I saw no evidence that (Coakley's) position as frontrunner was jeopardized based on last night's performance. But at the same time, she didn't sparkle, and nothing she said stood out as memorable.

--Ken Rudin, NPR's Political Junkie

It’s not that these four entirely capable contenders aren’t smart. They are. It’s just that they either suffer from an abundance of caution — that would be Attorney General Martha Coakley — or get stuck in the thicket of Washington-speak — that would be Rep. Michael Capuano.
--Boston Herald editorial

Do these candidates think they’re running for Governor of the United States? All their “I’ll do [this]” and “I’ll make [that] happen” is the biggest fairy tale this side of Cinderella. You’re running for a spot in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body, people. You don’t make things happen in the U.S. Senate. Things happen to you.
--John Carroll, media analyst and professor, on his blog

Alan Khazei was relaxed and dynamic, a very good outing for a novice candidate. One too many references to his father being a doctor.
--John Keller, WBZ, in a blog post

The 'Kennedy Seat'

If not exactly reaching for the mantle of Kennedy, all four Democrats at least referred almost reverentially to it.
--Brian Mooney, in a Boston Globe article

None of the four Democrats vying to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate came across as the one true heir or heiress to the seat that Kennedy held for 47 years.
--Joan Vennochi, in a Globe column

Connecting With Bay Staters

Of the five Democrats on the stage at the Kennedy Library last night, the one who struck me as most senatorial was the moderator. Unlike the candidates, only Meade seemed consistently willing to acknowledge that the job of a senator often involves making difficult trade-offs.
--Jeff Jacoby, in a Globe column

Instead of seizing Meade’s out-of-the-gate offer to show their human side, the candidates each pulled the trigger on their rehearsed pitches.
--Jessica Van Sack and Hillary Chabot, in a Boston Herald article

Foreign Policy

She was really playing an empathetic woman and probably gave a lot of people who weren’t sure about her on the war, (she) gave them some comfort.
--Dan Payne, Democratic political analyst, on WBUR

On foreign policy, Pagliuca and Capuano opposed a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Coakley and Khazei fudged the question.
--WBUR's Fred Thys, political reporter, in his debate analysis

The Economy

Investor and Celtics part-owner Stephen Pagliuca of Weston, whose omnipresent television ads have raised his once nonexistent profile with voters, is staking out turf as the candidate who says he can help create jobs. Citing his 25 years of business expertise, Pagliuca said he has been touched by voters who approached him in tears because they have lost their jobs. "I can really do something about this,’’ he said, “and put those skills to work bringing jobs back to Massachusetts."
--Brian Mooney, in a Globe article

None of the candidates understand anything about basic economics and all vigorously support passing a second stimulus package either because the first one failed or because it was wildly successful — take your pick.
--Arkady, in a post on the blog Right Condition

This program aired on October 27, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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