Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
Here’s a quick write up of something that happened almost 24 hours ago.
Priyanka Dayal, over at the Telegram, continues her solid coverage of the 3rd district race with her recap of last night. I suggest you read that.
But, here are a few gut reactions to last night’s Northborough Tea Party sponsored debate:
1) It was the best debate yet in this race, all the way around
The Northborough Tea Party put together a well-organized event. Hank Stolz, as moderator, kept everyone on track to answer the prepared questions as asked, cut off the candidates when time ran out and added some light-heartedness to the mix. Each one of the candidates presented themselves better than they had in their previous debates, too.
2) McGovern finally had to answer the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: would he support a one-world government?
The answer is no, but while his opponents said the UN was corrupt and had lost its value, McGovern defended the US’ presence and the UN’s purpose, saying it helps build relationships, and has led to the eradication of disease in a number of countries. “It’s important to talk to people, even people you don’t like,” he added.
3) Patrick Barron went after Marty Lamb just as much as he went after McGovern
It was a savvy strategy by Barron. He showed poise, a sense of humor and stayed consistent in his message the whole night through. While he’s much more libertarian than either Lamb or McGovern, he certainly backed up his arguments well. His point that candidates/incumbents don’t need legislation to put an end to campaign finance issues certainly resonated with many in the crowd.
4) Lamb asked questions that McGovern didn’t want to answer
The problem was, though, they were often rolled into one much larger question, which allowed the incumbent room to manuever around what he didn’t want to talk about. An example of this is when Lamb cornered him regarding a letter he sent to a judge, asking for leniency for a twice-convicted drug dealer, but he lumped it into his frequent attack that in order for a business to get McGovern’s attention, they have to donate to his campaign. The audience wanted to hear McGovern explain his letter to the judge, but because the pay-to-play accusation has been a constant attack of Lamb’s recently, McGovern focused on defending it, and spent his allotted time doing that instead of touching the drug dealer issue.
5) The political ghost of Brian Herr lingers
Both Barron and McGovern cited Lamb’s primary challenger, Brian Herr, to attack Lamb, or parry a Lamb attack. Herr was in the audience just as tie-less as he was when he was in full campaign mode. Expect to see his name again on a future ballot. Remember, he wanted to run for treasurer, but then he would’ve had to face Karyn Polito.
6) All three candidates had reasons to walk out feeling good
McGovern supporters swarmed the entrance to the debate as he arrived, proving that he’s still got a large amount of support in the “woodwork” ready to come out for him. Lamb made maybe as convincing a case as he ever has that he’d be a viable “citizen-politician” to send to DC. As for Barron, he walked out with more votes than he had when he walked in. If this debate had happened earlier in the election season, he could’ve really turned this into a momentum generator.