Here is the flash news - updates to follow1) Spivack stared out kind of slow, but warmed up well and did a great job.
His best line was regarding our health insurance crisis: "What good is stem cell research when so many American can't afford the benefits that stem cell research offers?"2) Castle was surprisingly bad.
I honestly excpected Castle to kill Spivack. Castle has been doing these for 30 years - so I felt like I was probably going to Spivack's funeral. Castle had one attempted zinger that fell flat (see #3) and other than that is was the emptiest of empty political rhetoic. Castle's repsponse to a question about our national debt was typical. After bloviating for what seemed like three minutes he finally said the debt was, "a significant problem. Something has to be done about it."
3) The most reported sound bite
might be be this attempted zinger that fell flat. Castle fished around in a notebook and picked up a piece of papaer, all happy like a two year old fishing a penny out of a dirty diaper and asks Spivak, "Dennis, you say that you opposed the war from day one and yet I have this check for $100 from you dated the day after the Iraq war vote - how does that square with you opposing the war from day one?" Spivack totally stomped on the zinger
by simply replying "Of course I contributed money to you, like probably everyone in this room I voted for you and what choice did I have? I gave you money and right after that saw you at an event and said What are you doing? Why are you voting for this war? And I saw Joe Biden at an event and I said, "Joe everyone can see this war is bogus - why did you vote for it."
5) I ran up to Castle after the debate and asked, "Congressman, after your stem cell bill was vetoed - did you regret supporting George Bush in the election?" And then a miracle happened. After eight months of asking that question, I got a direct answer. "No." he said. I was a little shocked but recovered to ask, "Do you think Bush should fire Rumsfeld?" Castle looked flustered and said something like "I'm not commenting on that." So I asked, "Do you think Preisdent Bush's failure to fire Rumsfeld in spite of his abject failure makes Bush seem weak?" At that he started to walk away.
Later I was aking Dennis questions and I was pretty wired so I asked, "Mr. Castle does not think Bush should fire Rumsfeld, what do you..." At that Castle poked his ogre head into the little semi-circle of journailsts talking to Spivack and yelped, "I did not say that I said 'No Comment'" So I rolled my eyes and said, "Mr Castle has no comment about whether Bush should fire Rumsfeld and if Bush not firing Rumsfeld makes Bush look weak. What do you think?" The WBOC camera was right there and I hope they got Spivack's answer because it was great. [The funny part about all of this is that Castle was real proud of himself for corrcting the record. That's right. He is proud of the fact that he has "no comment" on the question of whether Rumsfeld should be fired. That tells the whole story.] 4) Elizabeth Wenk hates my guts.
After the debate I asked Elizabeth if she got my email and she said, "No." I said, "really" and she said "No. I'm busy. I get a lot of emails." All bitchy and crazy. So I said that I'd try again and I said, "So after the election are you taking a vacation? A little lobbyist paid junket or something?" At that she did an about face and started walking away. So I was not doing anything so I followed for a few steps asking "Aruba..? Jamaca...? No? I'll take that as a no comment." At another lul I was standing next to one of Castle's peep named Matt and I asked him the same question. He said "No". Then I said, "Elizabeth says no comment to that question - do you think I should take that as a yes?"
Matt did not say anything to that and I said, kind of in passing "I don't know how you guys can sleep at night." And that pissed him off a bit so he shot back "You have a problem with me?" To which I replied, "I have a problem with the way this country is being run and I wonder why you don't."