So I had the pleasure of watching the Gubernatorial Debate, that was hosted at the Mississippi College School of Law, twice last night and here are my thoughts on what went down.
Most Polished Showed
Without a doubt there were 2 candidates that clearly looked more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd and on television and that was Dave Dennis and Phil Bryant. It was not even really close in my opinion and honestly if you had to pick a 3rd I’d go with Hudson Holliday. Dave and Phil were on point and clear with both of their separate messages and speaking in general last night. If I were a Democrat I would be disappointed with the showings of Bill Luckett and Johnny DuPree. Luckett seemed dull and looked tired and mumbled his way through his answers while DuPree seemed to lose focus on the questions that were being asked and was cut off by the moderator about 4 times during the 8 question debate for going over his time. Ron Williams had a clear message as well and stuck to that throughout, bucking the establishment and “good ole boy deals,” but he did not look entirely comfortable with public speaking. James Broadwater had no business even being there and was completely out of his element constantly pausing to look at his notes and creating some awkward moments, although he’s your guy if you are looking for a Fair Tax approach.
On The Issues
The questions that were asked dealt with the following: Obamacare, State Lottery, Voter ID, Fat, Poor and Dumb What To Do, Illegal Immigration, Redistricting, Jobs, Open Primaries.
On Obamacare all the Republicans supported the state’s lawsuit against it while the two Democrats naturally opposed the lawsuit to fight it. The state lottery question was interesting and Luckett and Holliday said they would favor it if the money went to the right places, while the others opposed except for DuPree who never really answered the question, but instead suggested that taxes needed to be levied on corporations in the state. Voter ID stuck to party lines again with the Democrats saying they would abide with it if it passed, but they both suggested that the real fraud was in absentee voting not at the polls. The what do we do about being fat, poor and dumb question generated some fluffy comments that really are not even worth mentioning. Attention then turned to Illegal Immigration where Luckett and DuPree support amnesty programs to give illegal citizenship, while the Republicans all talked of getting tougher and strengthening laws. Dave Dennis had the following quote, “Press 1 for English, Press 2 to disconnect and learn how to speak english.” I’ll skip the what to do about redistricting and how have you created jobs questions that really brought nothing to the table. The last question posed to the candidates dealt with whether they would support open primaries and this question seemed to be the one that most divided them. Broadwater, Williams and DuPree favored it, Dennis and Bryant do not, Holliday had mixed emotions about it and Luckett would like to study it.
Bryant: Individual responsibility
Dennis: Private sector
Holliday: Tired of waiting
DuPree: Well in Hattiesburg……
Luckett: Get It Done Tour Starts Tomorrow
Williams: Good Ole’ Boy Deals
Broadwater: (Pauses)(Looks at notes)….Fair Tax
Dave Dennis and Phil Bryant both looked strong and poised last night and Dennis did start throwing some punches at Bryant about lack of leadership. These two were clearly on a tier above the others and it showed. I don’t think you could really say there was a real clear winner as the style of the debate did not really dictate one candidate beating another, but it was interesting to get to see all of the candidates and hear what they had to say.