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Booze, rowdiness and zingers

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012

* If you listened to last night’s debate between Tammy Duckworth and Joe Walsh, you might’ve noticed that the audience was quite rowdy. The Daily Herald has one explanation

a boisterous crowd free to purchase liquor throughout the night — fueled the heated, vitriolic two-hour match between the two candidates

Oy.

I dunno who made that stupid decision, but booze at a debate? At a Joe Walsh debate? You’re just asking for trouble.

* But as this video shows, the crowd was pretty darned revved up even before the debate began

* Tribune

At times, the shouts and boos from the audience were louder than the answers.

* More on the crowd’s response

“I never said she wasn’t a hero,” Walsh said of Duckworth, who lost both her legs while piloting a helicopter in Iraq. That caused a major groan to wash over the auditorium.

“Yes you did!” someone shouted.

Walsh was responding to a question about whether he was “too extreme.”

Walsh won a chorus of groans later when he tried to defend another comment he made over the summer. He was explaining his remark about Duckworth picking out an outfit to wear at the convention when he said she should have been back in the district talking to people.

It was at that point that Walsh held up the photo he said showed Duckworth shopping for a dress.

He couldn’t even finish his remark. The crowd drowned him out in disapproval.

“What a dork!” said one man, who was wearing an anti-Walsh sticker.

Duckworth was quick with a retort: “I wear one color, it’s called camouflage.”

* I listened to the debate last night. In retrospect, I should’ve live-blogged it. If you scroll down in the ScribbleLive feed in the center column, you’ll see a lot of Tweets from the debate. The Sun-Times Storified it, so you can look at the play-by-play. I can’t find an audio file, so if you know where one is, please let us know in comments.

Duckworth talked quite a bit about bipartisanship, about Republican bills she could support and about how she backed Speaker Boehner’s budget compromise. But, mainly, the debate was all about the zingers

Chicago Prime Steakhouse in Schaumburg — where Walsh and Duckworth had met, separately, with area business owners — became a talking point for both candidates over how to reform health care. Walsh challenged Duckworth to sit down with owners together to ask “what they’d like to do with Obamacare.” If the restaurant owners said they would keep the controversial legislation in place, he said, he’d personally donate $2,500 to her campaign.

Duckworth dismissed the bet as “classic Joe Walsh grandstanding.”

* More zingers

“He’s voted against this district time and again; he’s not there to serve this district, he’s there to serve the tea party and that simply is not good enough,” said Duckworth.

“She has established a long track record at the Illinois V.A. as a failed bureaucrat who wasted taxpayer dollars,” said Walsh.

* A lawsuit filed by a couple of Duckworth’s former employees was also an issue. From a Joe Walsh press release…

“However what really concerned me is that tonight Ms. Duckworth lied to every voter in the 8th dstrict. When I asked if she was being sued for terminating and humiliating employees that tried to expose political corruption, she said that was not true. Unfortunately for Ms. Duckworth and the taxpayer, who is footing her legal bill for the past three years, she is currently being sued and she should come clean about what happened during her time at the Illinois VA.”

* The video of the exchange

It wasn’t exactly clear what Duckworth was responding to, but the lawsuit does exist. Click here to read it.

* Walsh distributed copies of the lawsuit during the debate, and Duckworth was asked about it by reporters after the debate ended

“This is what Walsh does,” said Duckworth, who later described suits as “common to a head of any agency.” “He tries to distract from the issues at hand. If you want to make this about finance and being sued by former employees we can talk about the fact that you were sued by your former campaign manager for not paying his salary,” she charged.

* Related…

* Marin: Walsh gaining ground on Duckworth’s territorial advantage: But there is a growing sense that the race is tightening. Sean Trende, an election analyst for RealClearPolitics.com, said Tuesday that the website, which aggregates polling data, is considering downgrading its rating of the Duckworth-Walsh contest from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic.”

* Brown: Using Walsh to bash reps unfair

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    Could’ve been worse. They could have given out guns.


  2. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    Did they have chicken wire between them and the audience? Lol


  3. - Esquire - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    Whenever a politician or talk show panelists starts, but saying “Don’t go there” and tries to evade a question, I think that a point has been scored.

    It is hard to judge from the quality of the audio, but it sounds as if the more boisterous and aggressive audience members were Duckworth supporters. I thought that Duckworth has claimed that she was going to campaign on the moral high ground.

    Who moderated this event? It sounded like an intimidated Paul Green.


  4. - Climax - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    Foster - Reminds me of Bob’s Country Bunker.


  5. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Walsh held up a photo of Duckworth shopping for a dress? That is just pathetic of Walsh. Next thing, he’ll be holding up a picture of her eating, saying she shouldn’t be indulging in food, just talking to voters in the district.


  6. - amalia - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:50 am:

    wow, when did Survivors, the Senior Edition, premier?


  7. - Slick Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    At what point does Duckworth run on her record as a politician and not her military service? I am not in her district, but it sure seems like that is her go-to position. “I wear one color, its called camouflage”. Falling back on her military record is getting to be a bit weak.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    ===it sounds as if the more boisterous and aggressive audience members were Duckworth supporters===

    Maybe on this clip, but it was pretty much equal during the debate.


  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    To expand on that last comment, at one point Duckworth talked about how Illinois teachers don’t get Social Security and lots of Walsh supporters said “Awwww” in unison.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    In other words, try not to Wellstone funeral this one. Thanks.


  11. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    Brown’s column is a welcome dose of sanity into the election cycle. Sometimes things get too overheated and outrageous and partisan for decent people to ignore. Brown’s knowledgeable, and he’s a respected and widely read political reporter for a reason.


  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    “…Duckworth, who later described suits as “common to a head of any agency.” ”

    I think Walsh is an idiot, but this is scary stuff. She seriously thinks that being sued by her employees is a commonplace occurence? Sheesh.


  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    –She seriously thinks that being sued by her employees is a commonplace occurence? –

    It happens all the time.

    Walsh was also sued by his ex-wife for not paying child support. That happens all the time, too.


  14. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    Anon 11:17,

    If you head up a large agency you are going to be sued by employees. Period.

    It’s just a standard legal tactic whether the agency head was in office a day or years or even was directly involved in the issues behind the lawsuit.


  15. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:27 am:

    Oh I forgot to mention that Walsh is a vile individual and will do well on Fox news after his electoral spanking next month.

    I can just see him screaming now on promos. They need to find an appropriately attractive and Stepfordy blonde anchor to be his partner.


  16. - I'm Just Saying - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Walsh was sued by his campaign staff for non-payment….


  17. - Allen Skillicorn - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Is it true the pre-made sign were paid for by Credo PAC?


  18. - ZC - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    Joe Walsh just strikes me as the Platonic example of a politician who will anything, anywhere, for the audience at hand.

    You want him to be a pro-choice, anti-gun moderate Democrat when he was running ages ago against Jeff Schoenberg? Fine, he’ll be that.

    You want him to be a fiery-eyed Tea Party crusader when he’s on the stump talking to the base? OK, he’ll be that.

    Before the Trib editorial board (see their comments), you want him to be a sober exponent for the need to cut down on entitlements and apply a rigorous (but respectful) “tough love” approach. OK, he can play that too.

    It’s just some folks think that he really is this wild and unhinged guy who calls it like he sees it - when it seems clear to me that what he is, at his heart, is a -phony- par excellence. He will be anything he needs to be, switch gears in a second, just to keep himself in power.

    Lord, I hope he loses in November.


  19. - ZC - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    But I’ll add on, what that also makes him is obviously a skillful politician who the Democrats underestimate at their peril.


  20. - Bitterman - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    What? Two politicians and their partisans screaming at one another, lying about issues, fabricating and planting stories about the other…..we expect something different? This is typical of politics for mmmmm… centuries I suspect. One would hope for change (where have we heard that before?) but chances are slim and fat…take your pick.


  21. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    I dunno, Rich - maybe alcohol should be served at every debate so people can actually sit through them. :)

    This is a prime example of why the general public hates politics. Here you have a war hero and a dedicated public servant (yes, Walsh is dedicated and does work hard) and yet they are campaigning to the bottom faster than two teenage girls running for homecoming queen. And this is in the national spotlight! I think it might be time for campaigns to start looking into hiring some regular folks or people who haven’t been ingrained in the business for 20-25 years.


  22. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    === I think it might be time for campaigns to start looking into hiring some regular folks or people who haven’t been ingrained in the business for 20-25 years. ===

    Well, that is one sure fire way to lose an election.


  23. - Esquire - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    @I’m Just Saying:

    It is correct that Walsh was sued by his former campaign managers concerning unpaid wages and a settlement agreement resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit. Walsh had turnover on his campaign staff and his office was almost penniless and in serious debt throughout much of 2010. Somehow, he still managed to eke a victory against a well-funded opponent (Melissa Bean).


  24. - WhatRecession? - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    ” –She seriously thinks that being sued by her employees is a commonplace occurence? –

    It happens all the time. ”

    - Then why did she lie about it?


  25. - WhatRecession? - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    “I wear one color, its called camouflage”

    - I’m no military expert, but I’m pretty sure that jacket is polka-dots, not camouflage, Tammy.


  26. - Fight for Elk Grove - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    “It’s helmet night at the Walsh-Duckworth debate!”


  27. - formerpolitico - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Booing and cheering at a campaign debate just identifies those people as real idiots!!!!


  28. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    Just - what’s wrong with bringing in some people who have earned their living outside of the political spectrum and mix them with operatives? Perhaps bigtime campaigns like Walsh or Duckworth would benefit from some levelheadedness.


  29. - Piggy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    This race has rekindled my love of Illinois politics. Things have been far too tame for too long.

    Tammy and Joe - I love you both, and as a low information voter, I’d vote for you both if I could.


  30. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    An open bar at a debate…. Brilliant!


  31. - Sideliner - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    “I wear one color, it’s called camouflage.”

    That explains why no one has seen her around.


  32. - ZC - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 1:31 pm:

    I admit the whole rowdy debate style is not such a problem for me, the Brits do it all the time.

    They could have done it really British debating style and at the end of the debate had two exits, so people could leave by the exit marked who they felt had done better.


  33. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    Tomorrow’s Question of the Day: develop a drinking game for watching state legislative political debates.

    1. Drink everytime someone says “tea party”
    2. Drink everytime someone says “unfunded liability”
    3. Drink everytime someone says “pension swap”
    4. Drink everytime someone says “Obamacare”
    5. Drink everytime someone says “Corrupt”
    6. Double drink everytime someone says “Blagojevich” and “Ryan” in the same sentence.


  34. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    Hilarious!
    Reminds me of the fight in Charlotte over putting the word “God” back into the platform.


  35. - Shore - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    every news organization in the city was there. plus trackers, plus campaigns and 2 stations broadcast the thing and no one has a tape/recording of the entire thing?


  36. - Tom Robb - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 3:39 pm:

    Not much discussion of this Duckworth lawsuit, here’s our take at the Journal

    http://www.journal-topics.com/election2012/article_c7646a74-12f9-11e2-a236-001a4bcf6878.html


  37. - Papa Golf - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 4:34 pm:

    The lawsuit by the former employees is not common. Duckworth personally fired the whistleblowers. She did not have an underling do it. Turns out it was a mistake and was reversed. It is costing big legal bucks.


  38. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 5:49 pm:

    === Just - what’s wrong with bringing in some people who have earned their living outside of the political spectrum and mix them with operatives? Perhaps bigtime campaigns like Walsh or Duckworth would benefit from some levelheadedness. ===

    Nothing is wrong with it, except for the fact that people that have never run a campaign before know nothing about running a successful campaign. Same reason you don’t go to a plumber to get your cavity filled. The non-professional campaigner would likely want to blow the whole budget on buttons, yard signs, and parades.


  39. - Chucky Jay - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 6:59 pm:

    ===The non-professional campaigner would likely want to blow the whole budget on buttons, yard signs, and parades.===

    And as a professional campaigner, I can tell you that those darned parades can be expensive!


  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:17 am:

    “An open bar at a debate…. Brilliant!’

    LOL


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