Who won the debate?

Published October 8, 2014

By Tom Campbell

by Tom Campbell, Executive Producer and Moderator, NC SPIN, October 8, 2014.

I can’t say for certain who won but I know who lost. We lost an hour of our valuable time. Nothing new or revealing was said. We could have just put up a big screen and replayed their TV ads ad nauseum, because once again they hammered the same themes repeatedly. After two debates and $53 million spent I don’t think I like either candidate very much.

Once again, Tillis’ demeanor and speaking style were better than Hagan’s staccato, sometimes frenetic pacing, which makes her appear uncomfortable. This time it was Hagan who was somewhat condescending and definitely more aggressive, repeatedly reminding ABC TV host George Stephanopoulos to get Tillis to answer the question. While correct in her chiding she was also guilty of not answering some of George’s questions. Her wardrobe consultant did a much better job. Tillis lost points on his failure to explain his desire to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriages. Hagan has obviously decided she has no answer to why she missed so many Armed Services Committee meetings, but her silence is telling. She also dodged the accusation that she was Harry Reid or Barack Obama’s surrogate. Tillis failed to answer questions about reducing interest rates for college loans, ensuring equal pay for women and Medicaid expansion. He didn’t respond to Hagan’s repeated attacks on his leadership and even though he said once that the $500 million in education cuts wasn’t accurate he could have explained himself better.

This was uncomfortable to watch and nothing visionary, enlightening or uplifting was offered. Our nation has some very serious problems and it seems neither Hagan nor Tillis appears to have any worthwhile solutions.

At the end of two debates neither candidate scored a decisive win. In politics, the tie always goes to the incumbent.

October 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm
Richard Bunce says:

Politics as sport... we have met the enemy and he is us.

October 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm
Richard Bunce says:

Too bad the Libertarian candidate did not participate...