Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mourdock, Lugar Debate; Draw No Blood

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar R-IN
For a meandering hour, Richard Mourdock and Richard Lugar debated questions provided by the voters of Indiana, and it was an overwhelmingly civil discussion of the issues of the day.

The debate was moderated by former local news anchor Phil Bremen, now at Ball State University, and sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission.  Bremen's performance was the lowlight of the event, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt because I don't know if he was receiving stage directions in his ear or not.

Lugar fumbled his opening statement, and he clearly appeared uncomfortable in a one-on-one debate with Mourdock, but he found his stride when the debate turned to foreign policy.  Lugar made a few errors that were immediately pointed out by people on Twitter when it came to drawing attention to how long he had been in the Senate.  With that said, other than the bad start, he appeared to be himself.  Solid and in command of the issues he's worked on over the last 35 years in the Senate.

Indiana Treasurer
Richard Mourdock
Mourdock was also connected.  He appeared to be the most aggressive of the two candidates.  Raising his voice to get points across at times, Mourdock showed a good knowledge of mostly Tea Party policy positions.  Mourdock was honest when he didn't know the answers, and he deferred to the Senator on foreign policy by simply acknowledging that Lugar is more experienced in that realm.  Towards the end of the debate, Mourdock tried to make a comparison between the Titanic Disaster and the state of the United States today in his closing remarks.  It was a poor finish, and it failed to make the case as to why Hoosiers should elect him.

So, with Lugar fumbling the opening kickoff and Mourdock going cheesy on his closer, I think this debate was pretty even.  Lugar scored big points on foreign policy, and Mourdock seemed to have the conservative pulse on domestic issues.  Thus, I call this one a draw.

I don't think this debate likely helped Mourdock or hurt Lugar.  We should be back where we started before 7:00 p.m. last night.  This one is going to be a close race, and it will come down to turnout.

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