Spin Control

Senate Debate aftermath: Claiming victory

After last night's Senate debate, the two combatants -- er, candidates -- came out for the obligatory post-event press conference to answer questions. The obligatory first question was, how do you think you did.

Surprisingly, each thought they did well, but their opponent? Not so much.

"I feel great about it," Sen. Patty Murray said, reiterating what she repeated several times, that she had answer questions but her opponent had not.

"I think it went well," challenger Dino Rossi said, grousing slightly that they didn't get a question about the bailouts. But he answered the questions, he added, and Murray didn't.

(An aside: From the debate set, it seemed each had instances where they preferred to answer the questions they wanted to be asked, rather than the questions they actually were asked. Don't know if it looked like that on television.)

Both campaigns were attempting to "fact check" the opponents answers during the debate, sending out e-mails questioning the veracity of some part of an answer.

First to declare victory was the Washington State Republican Party, for Rossi. Amazingly enough, they declared victory at 8:01 p.m. with a written statement quoting state chairman Luke Esser. So folks at the state GOP can either type really fast or were predisposed to declare Rossi the victor. We're guessing the former.

Rossi's campaign declared victory at 8:08 p.m., and the Murray campaign at 8:18 p.m., because they first issued one more challenge to something Rossi said in the closing minutes.

Strangely enough, the Rossi and Murray camps agreed on one key point: that the debate offered the voters a "clear choice" in the election. Considering that both sides have commercials suggesting the opponent is so low they'd have to climb an extension ladder to be equal to pond scum, that may be welcome news to voters thinking there's not a dimes worth of difference between these folks.

If you want to decide for yourself, click on the box above to see the debate, courtesy of KXLY-TV's website.


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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.





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