So who won?
I prefer Patrick Colbeck for the GOP nomination, but an honest critique of the Grand Rapids debate is warranted here. The one hour forum broadcast with at least 5 minutes of technical difficulties, and a scheduled emergency broadcast test in the middle offered voters a better picture of who ought to represent as gubernatorial flag bearer for the GOP in November.
Bill Schuette, Brian Calley Patrick Colbeck, and Jim Hines participated. Each candidate was clearly prepared, and felt comfortable in front of the camera.
Jim Hines – Dr Jim Hines has grown since he first announced. He has a better handle on the issues, cause, and effect than when he started his journey as a candidate from nowhere. He attacked on the career politicians aspect, and correctly called out those who have occupied seats responsible for some of Michigan’s problems as being hypocrites for now talking about those problems as their mission. Jim over-performed this evening, and if there was a debating handicap, wins, getting a B+.
Brian Calley – Lt Governor Brian Calley was unafraid to hit Bill Schuette, adding to the fun of the evening. His blows were mostly whiffs but performance was fair .. as expected. Brian even got off a mention of his pet topic of Autism. However, other than platitudinous answers he debates well, and knows when to not say something that will bite him back. He knew Schuette was going to hit him, and accused the AG of using Flint as a campaign tool. Brian Gets a B-
Bill Schuette – Attorney General Bill Schuette fought back against the accusation of using Flint as a tool vigorously. He pretty much shamed Calley for stating as much. He is comfortable in his skin and deflected other accusations as if they never happened. Bill is not a novice in political parley, and was the only one to offer a solution to the line five issue which may well (unfortunately) sway Northern Michigan voters one way or the other come November. He did as expected, and gets a B.
Patrick Colbeck – Michigan Senator Pat Colbeck also performed as expected. As I have said before, he is my personal favorite. He validated that for me as he was the one in the room with the most solutions, and definitely a legitimate wearer of the title ‘rocket scientist. ‘ He is clearly the smartest guy in the race. And, he was able to point out his signature gathering effort was 100% grass roots, and unpaid. Pat was clear and made his points well, but danced around the line 5 issue, clearly avoiding it on a positional level. Pat’s performance was clearly solid and earned a B+ to maybe an A-
Hines probably did the best if one takes into account he had no idea of the complexity on Michigan political issues until this year. Calley and Schuette didn’t ‘hurt’ themselves, but with Hines over-performing, and the ability for Michigan voters to see Colbeck in action, future polling will adjust to some degree.
Any of these men are head and shoulder over whatever offering the Democrats might produce. Greg Gutfeld today referred to Democrat as having candidates coming form “A bench the depth of a kiddie pool.” To which I say:
Swim well mi amigos.