Thursday, November 02, 2006

Michele Bachmann Up Close at the Debate

A few highlights from the MPR debate at the Andover High School yesterday:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having participated, as a candidate, in many debates, I was quite amazed to hear the moderator change the subject in order to argue with Michele. I have never seen that happen before. Specifically, in answer to whether she approved an ad, Michele said that Wetterling had said she (Wetterling) would "negotiate with" terrorist groups. I know she said that because I heard her say it. There was nothing surprising about that - it was a position taken by many, if not most, Democrats. But, the moderator began to argue that our current administration negotiates with terrorists, including Kim Jong Il. That is true, but Michele has no obligation to defend our administration. Her ad said that Wetterling said she would negotiate with terrorist groups, and that is a true statement. Voters can decide whether negotiating with terrorists is a good idea. End of story.

Campaign ads have never been expected to give "the whole story". A political candidate should tell the truth, but it is up to the opponent to supply mitigating factors. If Ms. Wetterling wants to say that President Bush negotiates with Kim Jong Il, she can do that. It is not the place for a debate moderator to defend a candidate.

Similarly, it is not unusual for candidates to associate views of an opponent with those of contributors. Whether it is reasonable or not is up to the voters to decide. But, this moderator called Michele a liar for associating Ms. Wetterling's views with those of a contributor.

Candidates were referring left and right (pun intended) to one another as "extreme". I never heard anyone accused of "making that up" before.

In my view, it was the moderator who was out of line. I have faced moderators who were clearly biased, but not to this degree.