Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WPXI / JCC Debate Analysis

We did not attend the debate this last Sunday morning, but we dispatched two representatives: Comet senior political analyst Morton Reichbaum, and Secret Agent Klezmer.

Agent Klezmer says if DeSantis could go back and change one thing, he ought to have taken a course in public speaking prior to his campaign. She felt the challenger had "a better idea what was going on," but too often he muttered his best responses under his breath.

She said that Mr. Ravenstahl proved himself to be a bright young man, very well prepared -- and an excellent public speaker. Her main criticism was that he seemed a little "out of his depth."

Surprisingly, Agent Klezmer also insisted that Mark DeSantis is cute. She hastened to add, "you know, like-a-geek cute, but definitely." She had nothing to say about Mr. Ravenstahl in this regard.

Comet senior political analyst Morton Reichbaum called the debate "boring." He said you knew what both sides were going to say ahead of time -- particularly Luke. He did however say that DeSantis showed he was the candidate that was "more up on everything."

That's when he said, "I'm telling you -- I think DeSantis is going to win."

This brought us up short; we had never encountered that opinion before. We started talking about the 5-1 registration advantage ...

"No, no I'm serious," he interrupted us. "People are turning on Luke. I think a lot of, lot of people are gonna be surprised."

"This DeSantis comes across as a decent guy," he explained. "I first saw him on that John Pintek -- who I can't stand -- but he was, you know, he was fine."

We asked what exactly he liked about what Mr. DeSantis had to say.

"Nothing, really," he conceded. "But next to Luke -- people are getting tired of Luke's -- shall we say -- his gaffes."

Video clips from that debate have been organized here. Another debate will air this evening on KDKA ch. 2 at 7:00 PM.


  1. Debate 1 = Draw.
    Debate 2 = DeSantis won.
    Debate 3 = DeSantis wins tonight.

    But it will still be a close race. If the mayor's polling was great he would have been showing those cards all along. I don't buy those 70% poll numbers thrown out by Matt H since he has never been able to back them up and has been rather creative with the facts in the past.

  2. Let me just elaborate a bit...

    By "geeky-cute" I meant...professor-cute. Like, how can you resist an obviously brilliant guy with cute glasses and a sly, knowing smirk across his lips? Adorable. He has a great vision, I just wish his confidence and intelligence would carry over to his speaking abilities. He just isn't as smooth as he could be. He's probably one of those people who thinks faster than he can get the words out. It works for me, but likely not the majority of wolfpack democrats.

    On the other hand, that's one of Luke's advantages - there aint as much going on up there in his case, so it's easy to fill his head with carefully-prepped cans of defensive and change-the-subject schtick. "I've learned a lot," "I'm comfortable with," and "We've accomplished" go a long way when you're speaking to the right group of ignorami, of which Pittsburgh has an abundance.

    The bottom line is, Luke has clearly been practicing, maybe more so now that there seems to be a real challenge. He's even managed to mostly conceal his thick Pittsburgh accent, although the occasional substandard phrase still emerges from time to time. Unfortunately, he may just be good enough at this game to squelch the uprising.

    I eagerly anticipate the result.

  3. I just want to hasten to add that I think most Pittsburghers think most Pittsburghers are ignorant yinzers. It's kind of like thinking everyone else doesn't know how to drive. Maybe it's one of the adorable things about this town.

  4. Do you mean "ignorant" according to the yinzer definition? Like, "Why you gotta be ig-nernt?" They really mean "rude." People misuse that word all of the time in this town, as well as the word "whenever," but that's beside the point. I was using "ignorami" literally, and specifically with regard to Pittsburghers' general lack of effort to research beyond the Democratic nominee for any given election. As far as their ignorance on any other topic goes, who am I to judge?

    By the way, yinz, there's a great film at the Regent Square this Sunday at 1PM. It's part of the Three Rivers Film Festival. I'm changing the subject. I learned it from Luke.

  5. Comet senior political analyst Morton Reichbaum called the debate "boring." He said you knew what both sides were going to say ahead of time -- particularly Luke.

    I agree with your senior political analyst. I fully expect Luke to open the debate with his three standard talking points:

    1. Strong fiscal management- “We've had 2 consecutive structurally balanced budgets”

    Bob O restructured the existing debt - pushing it into the future. Luke had nothing to do with it, yet he likes to takes credit for it.

    2. Economic development - "We can no longer afford to drive development away......."

    I don’t think anyone (including DeSantis) disagrees with that statement

    3. Cleaner and safer city

    Again, Bobby O's platform

    He will also, at some point, say, "My opponent sold the city dahna the river, and utter the phrases, "That's unfortunate" and "move forward" multiple times.

    To be fair, DeSantis will be sure to mention working with Heinz and his small businss loan program.

  6. Just saw the Point Park U debate this afternoon that will air this eve on CBS 2- KDKA. It was a lively and well run debate. Questions were aked by KDKA TV on air folks and Students from PPU. Typical questions were asked such as fiscal responsibility, ethics,buisness improvement. One part of the debate that was a bit different from the others was the question posed to both candidates, name one good thing and one bad aspect of the other candidate. DeSantis said Luke was guilty of not feeling bad for his actions and that he was a young guy with potential down the road. The mayor said DeSantis had ties with the Bush-Republicans but he was a smart guy with numbers and had very beneficial experience in buisness and development. This debate moved pretty fast and was covered very heavily by the media. I counted 16 TV Cameras and a slew of photogs. The event closed with KDKA TV Political reporter John Delano taking a fall from his seat on the stage. Who rescued him ?? Let's hear it ladies and Gentlemen for MR DeSantis.

  7. The Mayor is probably in the low to mid 50's. The question is whether he can keep it that way until Tuesday. An open question, and a real election. I'll give the Republicans credit: they put up a real fight this time, which is what the city desperately needed. So, for once in my life, thank you Republican Party.

  8. And thetruth is prescient. Ravenstahl: 'I submitted balanced budgets.' DeSantis: 'I worked for John Heinz and I'm going to give micro loans to black people.'

    A welcome change was the absence of FOP endorsement nonsense.

    I thought both candidates actually did fairly well tonight.

    Most memorable exchange: Luke asked DeSantis how he intended to work with politicians who had endorsed Luke, Mark's reply: "I don't care what other politicians think of me."
    With that query, is Luke discreetly acknowledging that DeSantis might win?

    Either way, I let out a hearty guffaw.

  9. I don't care what other politicians think of me either.

    Working together is a 'duty.' If they don't play well with others, it would become obvious.

    And, working out in the open is a way to insure that the others pull their own weight in the realm of cooperation.

    Every letter and business email sent from me would be archived in the open for others to see and scroll through.

    I'd create various count down and count up tickers on deadlines, time to respond, repeated requests and so on.