Friday, September 5, 2008

Take Debate

On Wednesday I attended a debate between the two politicians running for the state Senate in next week's Democratic primary. It was sponsored by the Citizens Union, who were going to base their official endorsement on the debate's outcome. They said a couple times at the beginning and end of the event that they would post their decision on their website the following day—Thursday—but as of noon Friday there's still no word.

The debate itself was a blast. I went in uninformed, undecided, and leaning towards the young challenger, Daniel Squadron. But the incumbent Marty Connor really just wiped the floor with him, I thought. Squadron has marketed himself as a reformer, but Connor's not corrupt and not part of the Brooklyn machine, so the race has mostly amounted to discussions over things like "energy" versus "experience."

The Gotham Gazette (a Citizens Union publication)'s Wonkster blog reported on the debate, and acknowledged the "little difference" between the two candidates "policy-wise," and then makes no mention of the promised CU endorsement. My guess is that CU expected to endorse Squadron (as the Times and Paper have), but found themselves so unimpressed with his vague promises of "change" during the debate that they're not sure which way to go.

One other weird note in the Wonkster coverage is the idea, at the end of the piece, that the primary battle "could be a microcosm of this year’s election as a whole." Surely this can only be true at the most superficial level: one older candidate having held office for some time versus a younger opponent promising change. But nothing in the presidential race parallels the dynamics of the state Senate going Democratic for the first time in 35 years, the possibility of which has reverberated throughout the primary; and nobody could possibly pretend that Obama and McCain are anywhere close to one another "policy-wise."


Anonymous said...

Every paper that I have read said the opposite - that Connor came off as a whiny, defensive old-time Albany player. I am going to vote for Squadron and hold him accountable in 2 years. It's time for a change.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

An Open Letter to Martin Connor, State Senator...

Dear Senator,

You stink.


Trig Palin