Just two weeks away now from midterm elections and tonight was the New York State Gubernatorial debate. Rolling seven deep, fisticuffs were to be had. Not only Democratic and Republican candidates Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino were a part, but five other third party candidates including James McMillan of the “Rent’s Too Damn High Party. “ and Kristin Davis, the former madame who allegedly sold Elliott Spitzer prostitutes, campaigning to legalize Marijuana.
This babe could be your next governor and she loves smoking weed.
It was a real shit show, with each candidate having 30-90 seconds each to answer questions, usually just ending up shouting towards the end trying to yell over the moderators to get some last words out.
The clear winner of the debate was James McMillan, who ended every statement with, "and that rent is too damn high!" To bring down the rents that are too damn high, he would call for an economic state of emergency, and use the funds provided from the Obama stimulus to cut taxes and bring down rents across the state. (?) He also claims to be a karate expert, and has strong views on gay marriage. "If you wanna marry your shoes, I'll marry you." You can check out his amazing website here.
Cuomo came off polished, with well-crafted rhetoric that sounded better than most Democrats around the country. Paladino was...Paladino. It's really something strange to hear the guy talk. Paladino, the millionaire real estate developer from Buffalo, who's stunts over the past few weeks have ranged from goofy and weird to ugly and offensive, railed against Albany with the zeal of a senile, bigoted grandpa. He tried to come off not as angry (which he did), but as a regular guy who cares about your kids (which came off creepy). His promises went from unrealistic to bombastic, pledging to totally strip down government, talking about people "feeding off parasites." In another hard to explain statement, he talks about the "shame" of taking five- and six-year-olds and putting them in "urban schools."
Cuomo was sent to the lions from both the left and the right, with Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Warren Redich coming out with the Zingers, taking him on for special interest donations such as a Manhattan parking lot with a Delaware address, as Redich claims. Redich actually came off the most well spoken, a libertarian who's smart enough to disguise what that really means for a New York audience. I think he literally said, "schools, parks, and bridges" every time he spoke.
While as strange and surely entertaining it was to listen to seven candidates, most with no chance of winning and just wanting to talk about issues, it seemed like overall a safe night for both Cuomo and Paladino. While initially Paladino was egging Cuomo on to debate him, it's clear his lack of er- rhetorical skills would've left him dusted by Cuomo. And for Cuomo, he didn't have to risk sitting next to Crazy Carl. Surprisingly, with the exception of Redich, no one called Paladino out on any of his behavior. Most of the shots were about Cuomo's camaign money and business ties, which he never addressed when attacked on. It's safe to say Paladino can safely set himself up on the wingnut talk circuit in the next few weeks, and with the democrats facing serious threats around the country, it seems like New York, surprisingly or not, will go against the trend.