Hiller Instinct: Democratic governor\'s debate
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Democratic governor's debate
If you wanted a war of words, you got it, mostly thanks to Tom Reilly, who started on the attack, and never really stopped going after both of his opponents, Deval Patrick and Chris Gabrielli:
"When you were a private lawyer and a high ranking official at the justice department, the United States of America had to impose a tax lien on you to pay your taxes," Reilly said. "You can't buy the governor's office in Massachusetts in office, it's not for sale."
Gabrieli showed a sense of humor, responding to the charge that he's already spent nearly eight million dollars of his own money to buy a victory:
"Well, my wife's here...she just heard those statistics. Sorry. My kids are are there, too, so there are a lot of people worried about this issue," Gabrieli said.
Reilly may have been programmed to attack, but he wasn’t programmed to counter:
"Every Attorney General in this country went after Ameriquest and your company and your board, and we got massive settlement of $350 million," Reilly said.
"And you know perfectly well that I was brought in to be a part of that solution," Patrick said. "I helped deliver that settlement, and I am proud of that, and you ought to be proud of it too."
Patrick also showed a deft touch, handling a question about whether he's too liberal to win:
"By the time this over I will be called everything but a child of God," Patrick said. "It's happening already in the primary. For goodness sake, that is part of the politics as usual and it's why so many people check out."
Picking the loser of this debate is much easier than picking the winner.
Tom Reilly was tight lipped and too tightly wound. His attacks were more desperate than bold. He must think he's in third place in this race, and in this debate he was.
Deval Patrick and Chris Gabrieli were both gubernatorial, and I’m sure each will have supporters who claim victory. But expectations for Patrick were higher. So I’d say the debate winner was Gabrielli, who exceeded expectations, by showing there's a lot more to him than just TV ads.
Gabrieli likely gained voters; Patrick didn't lose any, but I’d bet Reilly did.
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