Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Sestak - Williams Debate

Spencerblog went the congressional debate between Rep. Joe Sestak and Republican challenger Craig Williams at Swarthmore College.

It was supposed to start at 10 a.m. and I got there at about 10:10. The only seat open as I walked in was in the front row, between an old gentlemen in a fedora and Williams campaign guy, John McNichol Jr.

There are a lot of Joes in this year's political season. Joe Biden, Joe Sestak, Joe Six-Pack and Joe the Plumber.

When it comes to making gaffes, Biden isn't the only Joe in the race.

(Read the rest in the comment section.)


Blogger Spencerblog said...

At Swarthmore, Joe Sestak welcomed everyone and thanked Williams "for being here for this bipartisan debate."

Bipartisan? Well, of course. It wouldn't have been much of a debate if his Republican opponent hadn't shown up.

Joe went through is military biography and how it helped him live the American Dream. He told the audience he got into politics "to pay you back."

Williams introduced himself: federal prosecutor, Marine reserve, veteran. He said he running as a "moderate that is conservative."

And we're off.

First question to Joe Sestak.

No, says Joe, the first question goes to Craig Williams. The moderator looks perplexed.

"Unless you want to change it," says Joe. He looks at a staff member. No, it was already changed.

Fine, says Joe. (But something tells me a staffer is going to be reamed out.)

Health Care: What should the government do about it and helping more people get health insurance. And something about Medicare.

Sestak says 80 million people don't have coverage at one time or another during the year. We need a plan like Massachusetts passed in a bipartisan manner a few years back.

"It seems to be working," says Joe.

He mentions his daughter and her illness. (It will not be the last time he does so.)

Williams says the typical number Dem's provide for the uninsured is 48 million. Joe has it a 80 million. He said voters should do what he and his wife teacher their children: Question everything. He says of the 18 million of those 48 million are illegal aliens.

(I question that number. Does mean I can be one of Craig's kids?)
On Medicare, Williams suggests thought experiment. He says imagine instead of medical care, the government offered free food instead. Imagine what that system would look like. Seniors would go shopping at a government supermarket and pay for whatever food the government thought they needed. Supermarkets would charge the government whatever they decided was fair.

He said another driver of health care costs is lawsuits and malpractice insurance.

Sestak shoots back that malpractice costs add about 1 percent to health care costs.

Williams says there is no reason we can't cover every citizen who needs to be covered but first we need to know the real number of uncovered Americans and why they are not covered.

Williams on the economy: He briefly explains the "liquidity" crisis brought on by the mortgage crisis. He says he'd rather spend $700 billion on energy independence. He blasts Fannie and Freddie Mac executives for cooking the books and perpetrating a fraud on the U.S. taxpayers.
"I want to see prosecutions. But at the end of the day I want to see job." Jobs building oil and natural gas pipelines and nuke plants. Drilling for oil means jobs.

Sestak on the economy: First, stop the meltdown. Second, start paying of the national debt. and 3, invest in education.

As for prosecutions, there are 30 FBI investigation going on and he's "written a letter to the Attorney General because we need to do more."

As for the Bailout: "I stood tall and voted for it."

We need to cut excessive executive compensation. And own the houses that are foreclosed on so the taxpayers can get their money back.

He said Republicans have had $30,000 of debt to every man woman and child... (I think over the course of their life time.)

"I'm for middle class tax cuts and I voted (for them.)

Williams counters that Sestak voted for tax increases and the biggest budget in U.S. history.

Sestak says for every dollar the Republicans gave taxpayers in tax cut, they gave them $4 of new debt. (A strong shot.)

On foreign policy, Sestak said the same thing about the war in Iraq, it was a "tragic mistake."

Williams strongly counters that it would have been an even greater mistake if the Congress and the president had followed his advice and "cut and run" in early 2007.

"The surge in Iraq has worked," said Williams.

Joe Sestak presented a one paragraph "bill of surrender" to have all American combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2007.

Thank goodness that their approach stalled out. With a change of leadership and strategy, as argued for by John McCain, "we are going to win this war and our troops are going to come home with honor and dignity."

And to Sestak: "Why on earth you would continue to deny the success of the surge except for your own personal and political gain."


But Williams strongest shot of the day came on immigration.

He noted an immigration bill drafted by North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler (former quarterback of the Washington Redskins) that is a good, fair bill. He said that Sestak was even one of the bill's co-sponsors but that when the bill stalled in committee because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't like it, Sestak refused to sign the discharge petition required to get it out for a vote. That's an example of Sestak not standing up to the liberal wing of his own party which he voted with 97 percent of the time.

Sestak claimed Williams was distorting his record. He said he co-sponsored the bill with "my friend Keith Shuler." Uh-oh.

And when it was Williams pounced. He said he wasn't distorting anything. That when you co-sponsor a bill its your job to help move the bill along, vote to get it out of committee and to the floor for a vote.

"And by the way, you're very good friend's name is Heath, not Keith."

Even Joe had to laugh at himself.

(More later.)

October 29, 2008 at 2:22 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

I was almost a lock for Sestak, now I'm wavering. I read about the 96-97% line voting with the democrats prior to your post; it doesn't please me in the least bit(to be fair - a 96-97% voting with republicans wouldn't please me either).

Sestak was part of the Democratic takeover in 2006 where the magic word of the mid-term elections was "independent" (As opposed to 2008's "change"). Sestak championed it while Curt Weldon tried desperately to imitate it; however in the end, voters (including myself) felt Admiral Joe was worthy of their vote.

While two years isn't a lot of time to build up a big resume, let's remember that we are electing our congress to JUST two years. And, voting 97% with the left is as far from 'independent" as you can get.

October 29, 2008 at 2:27 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

any chance there's a video of the debate being edited for the website similar to last year's county council debates?

October 29, 2008 at 2:29 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Those decisions are made above my pay grade. Check with the Heron's Nest.

October 29, 2008 at 2:38 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

Randal's Debate Recap

I was gonna ask if anyone else attended the Sestak/ Williams debate at the Lang Liberal Cancer Center of Swarthmore College yesterday.

Here’s an honest recap you won’t see in the newspaper…

On the drive there it was noticed that along Balitimore Pike ALL the Williams signs had been obstructed –surounded- by Sestak signs plastered right up against them. Typical underhanded petty Lib election gameing… “By any means necessary”… Like ACORN wannabees but on a non-criminal fraud level.

The Libs in the crowd outnumbered the Repubs as the Donkey section spilled over into the “Middle” area of the hall. This likely can be attributed to both the Lib location of the venue and the fact that most Repubs go to work every day to earn the money Socialist Obama wants to “spread around” to the lazy Libs who had to take time from watching “The View” to attend the event.

During a question and answer period before it started a questioner asked the League of Women Voters lady how they selected such a “neutral” site for the debate. The question drew laughter from the crowd. She danced and avoided answering.

Before the start the audience was asked/ instructed to not show support or disdain during the taping of the debate –no applause or other audible expressions, please. Per usual, the Liberals there disregarded this edict of conduct and openly applauded and booed several times, requiring even Rep Joe to scold them and call for “decorum”. Libs have little regard for things like rules and laws. The only time the orderly Repubs violated the order was to oppose the Libs’ recurring violations.

Rep Joe really sounded like a petty whiner when he complained about the first question mix up.

The lights turned out when Rep Joe started to hee-haw. What a metaphor for the Dems taking control of the country… Lol…

Sestak is a terrible public speaker, over and over employing some softening tone at awkward moments that sounds forced and fake. Williams did great. He’s pretty impressive. He would make a great congressman. And his wife is hot.

Before leaving, some nameless someone partook in some gorilla politicking by placing a NObama sticker on the urinal stall divider in the mens restroom. Right in the heart of the Bastion of Intolerant Liberal Indoctrination of Delco! Hehehe!… I can just see the Baby Lib student who finds it going into a shaking and crying fit!

After I got out of there I felt like I needed a shower. My clothes smelled like a Donkey stable, dripping with Liberalism. I hope the drycleaner can get that out. At least our car –adorned with Repub stickers- didn’t get vandalized in the parking lot. The Baby Lib students must not have seen it.

Anyone see me in Axel Rose’s piece on the debate in the DT today?

October 30, 2008 at 12:02 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Thanks. Sorry, jerk.

October 30, 2008 at 5:31 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and the fact that most Repubs go to work every day to earn the money Socialist Obama wants to “spread around” to the lazy Libs who had to take time from watching “The View” to attend the event."

I guess that means you are not one of the "most Repubs" that goes to work everyday, since you managed to attend.

"My clothes smelled like a Donkey stable"
That sounds more like a personal hygiene you should have tended to before you got there.

"Baby Lib student". Yeah, you really don't seem to get whole idea behind people wanting to have a college education. Sounding a little jealous though.

"He [Williams] would make a great congressman. And his wife is hot.

Well, gee. Why did you bother with that whole description of the debate since the "hot wife" is obviously the determining factor for you.

October 31, 2008 at 12:36 AM 
Anonymous Ray said...

Williams has been running radio ads bellowing about his endorsement from "Bible Spice" herself, Sarah Palin.

That ALONE should raise questions of his judgement, if not outright disqualify him from office.

It certainly makes me blanch at the thought Craig will be getting his legislative marching orders from Caribou Barbie, as she seems to think the VP directs the Congress...despite what it says IN THE CONSTITUTION!

That's assuming attack bunny Sarah doesn't back-stab and double-deal Craig, just as she's been doing to Grampa John lately.

Or maybe Craig will have to pay off part of her Nieman-Marcus charge card bill to show his fealty...

October 31, 2008 at 2:13 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Wow. The petty LibDems are really getting, well, petty in their angry little cheap attacks on Palin.
Looks like you about covered all the whining bases, Ray. Glad to see you guys sticking to the “important issues”.

All the while they are all too willing to dismiss the many very real and alarming concerns about their secretive chosen Affirmative Action Candidate.

Witness the Blind Partisan Liberal Politics of Hurt Feelings.

October 31, 2008 at 1:37 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Hey, do you know Dishonest Dave Diano and Boring Bob, Petty Ray? Lol…

October 31, 2008 at 1:38 PM 
Anonymous Ray said...

"Important issues"?

Like Williams' "hot wife"?

It's what we DO know about Old John and Sarah the Simpleton that makes me cringe.

McCain obviously has sold his maverick soul to try and win, broadcasting lies he KNEW were lies, then trying to backpedal when it goes off in his face like a trick cigar (e.g.: the loony lady who called Obama "an Arab"; his two-step with Letterman), not to mention his being a loyal Bushie 90% of the time.

And I don't have enough space here to lay out the ridiculousness that is Sarah Palin. Suffice it to say, Tina Fey shows more gravitas PLAYING her! Even most REPUBLICANS think she's unqualified. Once she returns to "Seward's Icebox" on Wednesday, I'll be laughing out loud when she gets impeached as Alaska's Gov for Troopergate. Or the full extent of her and the First Dude's involvement in the AIP Secessionist movement gets exposed. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

November 3, 2008 at 12:10 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Nah, you're not shrill and petty, Ray. Nah. Lol...

November 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM 
Anonymous Randal said...

Since there's no Wallingford Rally thread I'll put this here...

Randal’s Wallingford McCain Rally Recap

We went earlier this time than we did for the rally in Media last month so to get a better viewing spot. And it paid off.
Standing outside Strath Haven High School in the chilly morning reading my Daily Times we met a lot of nice folks.

When we got inside, the railing at the front of the stage –the “rope line”- was only one-deep, so we scored an unobstructed viewing spot right up front this time.

Several nice young ladies we were standing and chatting with in line weren’t permitted to bring in their homemade signs. As compensation they were offered access to the VIP section. Which evolved into being asked to come up on stage to be part of the backaudience. They were thrilled. It was neat to see them up there, mere feet from McCain and the other dignitaries there on the stage when moments prior they were just regular Joes likes us standing in line.

Things were running a little behind but they did not skip the pesky protocols of reciting the Pledge or singing the Anthem as some Obama rallies have.

The speakers, in order, were former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift, Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, Cindy McCain and John McCain.

The speeches were kinda boilerplate –as always happens toward the end of long campaigns- with only a few new lines sprinkled in. But it was fun. And it was good to see Tom Ridge.

The crowd was noticeably young and actually quite raucous for Repubs. You could sense the urgency in the energy with the impending election. Some of this thanks to me. See, Repubs are always on their best behavior and as a result they can be somewhat subdued. They just need someone to rev them up a bit and get them started. I take personal responsibility for starting some of the chants and cheers and boos and the like. Not that I’m one of those jerks who shouts out while a speaker is talking. I wouldn’t do that. But I’m familiar enough with the speeches and with political theater in general to know when the applause line is coming and I strike first, right at the precise proper moment. At various points, Lieberman and Mr.&Mrs. McCain all looked directly at me and smiled during their applause pauses. One or two of the chants were my doing and mine alone. Really.

Once he was finished speaking, McCain made his way along the rail and I got to shake his hand and I snapped a pic right in his face with his hand reaching for mine. I took the opportunity to say (mouthed, really, as the place was rather loud at this point) “Thank you” and he replied with a sincere “You’re welcome”, complete with eye-contact. Very classy. My girl got to shake Mrs. McCain’s hand.

I took a number of pictures but at some point the camera somehow got switched to the wrong setting resulting in about half of my pics being blurry. That sucks. But I did get some REALLY good ones. And the close-ups of McCain at the end turned out great.

It really is remarkable how pleasant and well behaved Republicans are at their rallies. This, in contrast to the Donkey shindigs of which I have gone to a couple over the years. The Repubs are just nicer, classier –better- people than Democrats. And Repubs are better looking people too. They’re just better all around than Donkeys. Everyone should strive to be a Republican.

This rally, unlike the one in Media, lacked any noticeable angry LibDonkey protestor presence. None that I saw anyway. Although there were a few lame little homemade signs illegally posted on telephone polls along Providence Road, not that many folks likely noticed them. But leave it to Libs to always go the illegal route…

There was one recurring theme that ran through nearly every conversation I had (No, it wasn’t my doing. I let them talk. When I’m not ranting myself I am quite a good listener and interested in gaining insight into others’ perspectives.) It was how they couldn’t stomach the level of dishonesty, secrecy and deceit of the Obama campaign and his supporters. And the flagrant abuses by the Liberal Media on display throughout this election season was mentioned over and over. They just couldn’t believe that we are as close as we are to having the unqualified Radical Leftist liar Obama as president. “It’s like a bad joke”, remarked one guy. “Like a bad dream”, intoned a woman nearby. “That we even find ourselves at this place is an outrage” said another. Clearly they will view an Obama presidency as Affirmative Action on a presidential scale (Yeah, this was my line.)

If Obama wins it will be the greatest scandal ever perpetrated upon the American people. And these folks are not going to be happy about it. Obama’s “historic” election and his brand of “unity” will test America at its seams. But should our candidate lose, angry Repubs are not likely to riot like blacks have promised to should their Black Messiah go down on election day.

November 3, 2008 at 11:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from the zingers, does anybody seriously think williams has the credentials to be a U.s. congressman? He's not representing ME, that's for sure.

I hate gung ho ex-marines who have nothing to say but how tough they were. This clown makes a mockery of everything Jane Fonda fought for in vietNam.

November 3, 2008 at 11:43 PM 
Anonymous Randal said...


I gave my voice for Republicans that day in Wallingford. It’s still not altogether back.

The number of people in attendance at the rally was greater than has been reported by some Lib places.
And the caption of the picture accompanying the story in the DT the next day was misleading. It said “…during the presidential campaign rally…” while showing a nearly empty auditorium. Clearly the picture was taken before the event got under way and this is what the caption should have said. This mistake –real or calculated- created the impression that the event was sparcely attended, while the truth is, during the event the place was packed to capacitiy. And there were even more people outside who couldn’t get in –another 1000 by one estimation. There were speakers set up out there so they could still enjoy the audio of the event if not the visual.

November 4, 2008 at 2:50 PM 
Anonymous r said...

He's not representing ME, that's for sure.

There's that LibDem "unity".

November 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM 

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