Debate in Bozeman
That was entertaining. Tester, Burns, and the blue man himself, Stan Jones, faced off tonight. Tester did an excellent job, perhaps without some of the better one liners from the Butte debate, but excellent nonetheless. Burns was his normal incoherently rambling self. Numerous times I had to to turn to Scott to make sure I heard his nonsensical comments correctly.
The real star of the debate was Mr. Jones. I remember watching him in the 2004 Bozeman governor’s debate and thinking of him as simply a slightly eccentric libertarian. Tonight, he was so much more. Global warming is natural! We’re turning into a police state! Fantastic stuff. His closing statement opened with “I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist…” which you know is always the prelude to something bizarre. He told us we’re on the road to “one world communist government.” Our constitution is going to be replaced by one like the Soviet Union’s. We’re going to have a new currency called the “Amero.” Holy crap. In spite of all that, though, the real highlight was when Burns was responding to Jones’s criticisms of the Patriot Act. He said that only one kind of people should be worried about the Patriot Act – terrorists. Right as he says terrorists he turns and points at Jones. The place erupted with laughter. The highlight of the night.
Next up was the Lindeen-Rehberg-Fellows debate. Fellows seems like a nice enough guy, but he has voice problems and the charisma of a small house-plant. Still, he gets points for mentioning PERA. Lindeen did alright. She opened with a lot of personal stuff and didn’t get a chance to really say anything of substance. She sounded passionate about immigration (part of that was probably standing closer to the microphone) and her closing statement was solid. Rehberg was his usual slick self, which drives me nuts. As far as presentation, he probably won the debate. The contrast between him and Fellows couldn’t be greater. Sadly, at the end of the debate Rehberg clearly had the most support in the room.
So, the lessons seem obvious here. Tester again showed that he’s the right man for the job. Burns makes us wonder what the hell he’s thinking. The Libertarian party will never become more popular unless they start field candidates with public speaking skills and general sanity.
A more substance filled debate review can be found by Shane at LitW.