Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Victory at the Debate!

Sure, I'm biased. That doesn't mean that I can't say that Libertarian candidate for governor won his debate with sitting Governor Joe Kernan (D) and Mitch Daniels (R). He did. He struggled at first, thanks to an uncooperative sore throat, but once he hit his stride, Kenn was on. Of course, as a former preacher, he feels at home behind the lecturn. C-Span footage. Debate transcript. Review.

Gividen's ideas struck many observers as novel and innovative. (It struck me as odd, though, that Kenn was the only candidate to tout his own website.) In fact, Kenn was convincing enough to have Daniels compliment him during the debate five times. This is a big deal.

Traditionally, Democrats and Republicans marginalize Libertarians and other third party candidates by ignoring their presence. Kernan took this tack, only acknowledging Kenn once, and then strictly as an opponent. But Daniels said plainly that he felt that Kenn had good ideas in his approach to education.

This makes Daniels the runner-up. It isn't because he was the nice guy to my guy. It's that he isn't so full of himself to think that he is the only one with a good idea, nor too stuck up to give nod to an opponent. Nobody has it all right or all wrong, and I appreciate the reality check Daniels provided.

The acknowledgements could not have gone unnoticed, which should do wonders for our credibility.

Another way Kenn won was in strictly presenting his ideas as worthy of consideration, never criticizing his opponents personally. Meanwhile, Kernan and Daniels were increasingly negative throughout the debate, leaving Kenn above the fray. Negative campaigning has done nothing but hurt candidates here in Indiana. The display of Kernan and Daniels could benefit Kenn significantly.

At least, that's my hope. For now, I'll savor Kenn's showing.

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