Debate in St. Cloud
Eric Black has the story about tonight's debate at a St. Cloud senior center. There's nothing in it that we didn't know before about the candidates, but it's still worth a read. Perhaps he'll have more on "The Big Question" blog later. I also expect Lawrence Schumacher to weigh in; he normally covers these debates. The play-by-play according to Mr. Black:
Binkowski, a political newcomer with a low-budget campaign, may have stolen the show as he aimed courtly barbs at both opponents, whom he called "the two lovely ladies sitting on either side of me." He accused Wetterling and Bachmann of having campaigns that are funded and run from Washington and that follow talking points from Republican and Democratic leaders.
Wetterling's strongest rhetoric was on domestic issues such as whether Congress should fully fund its promised 40 percent share of the cost of mandates on public schools for special education.
Bachmann said that Congress would never provide full funding so she favors eliminating the mandates. Wetterling replied; "We cannot not fund special education? That's criminal and against everything I believe in."
Bachmann's biggest ovation came on a national security issue. Binkowski had set the stage by accusing the Republicans of fear-mongering on terrorism, leaving Americans cowering in front of their television sets.
Bachmann replied that her brother is defending the country in the U.S. Navy and he is "not cowering."
If anyone was there, please tell us about it. I'm interested in more details on the candidates' styles and speaking ability, and how each of their messages was received.
The candidates will debate Friday night on Almanac. Hopefully I'll be able to watch it.