Two Uncomfortable Moments in McLean
As I reflect on the debate this morning, I am overall convinced that there was not anything earth shattering or game changing about what took place. I was however interested in two interesting moments that took place in the debate, courtesy of the Times- Dispatch’s crack political reporter/columnist Jeff Schapiro.
In all manner of full disclosure, I happened to be a big fan of Jeff’s. I love his throwback style and his unabashed approach to reporting the news. This has only been heightened by the T-D’s new use of video commentaries, which Jeff delivers in a witty and memorable style.
Back to the matter at hand. Jeff asked two very tough questions that forced both candidates out of their comfort zone. The first question was posed to Governor Gilmore. Schapiro was looking for a reason why Gilmore’s fundraising had fallen so far behind, despite his connections to wealthy donors during his time as governor and then later on as Republican Party Chair. He gave a list of potential reasons and asked Gilmore to choose from the list- the last choice being the most stinging. Schapiro wondered if the reason donors were not knocking down Gilmore’s door was because people “dislike you personally.” To see Gilmore’s response, check out our video player.
The second moment came when Schapiro again, posing a question to Gilmore, asked if Governor Warner’s financial success was in part due to “sweetheart” deals from relationships he had developed in the business sector and government. Gilmore at first seemed glad to accept the chance to pounce on Warner, and called his business efforts a “government giveaway”, but then backed away and said, he wasn’t sure how to answer the question. Then came Warner’s response, or lack there of which you can see in the video player.
Interestingly, Schapiro also asked how the millionaire candidates’ portfolios were doing in the wake of the financial crisis. Warner stumbled a bit and said he thought he’d lost 10-15%, Gilmore said he had no idea.
By no means incredibly big pieces of news, but interesting moments in an otherwise dull debate.