We've called him Jonny LITE and such, but were surprised to read some blog accounts saying he handled this poorly. Instead, he reined in a rowdy bunch of rubes and kept things flowing.
Before starting, he had the unenviable task of cleaning up from his stations' elephants. They refused to join with the large MSM group in the previous debates. So, he was left:
- Following close behind the recent debate.
- Trying solo (without reporter backup) to produce meaningful, fresh questions.
- Wrangling that foursome who are clearly out of patience with each other.
Then he enforced it. He didn't use a gavel or shout for a candidate to be quiet, but he reined them in better than the past couple of moderators.
Here is a major problem we find with Kerry Healey. She is fond of pointing out that she went to a public high school before Harvard and that she worked to help the family during high school.
Somehow, she came out of that (if those depictions are accurate and full) as a princess with a bad attitude. You can watch her color up, stiffen up even more than normal and pounce when anyone dares, dares I say, to challenge her generalizations or her twisting of their own comments. She plainly is not one to re-evaluate herself easily or accept criticism.
Beyond that, she has the debating style of a private-school boy. She habitually talks over people, shouts at them, and repeats herself when they try to speak. She is loud and iterative as a way of trying to silence her opponents. That's not what they teach in public school. Perhaps she picked that up at Harvard.
So, as usual, she was the primary offender and breaker of the rules. Deval Patrick was clearly irritated after several of the debates where she acted out so badly.
Let us pause to consider a favorite Black Eyed Peas lyric snippet (from Where is the Love on the Elephunk CD):
What's wrong with the world, mamaWas it only the morning before this debate that the Boston Globe ran a fluff piece about Healey and her mom, Shirley? It seemed to be straight PR trying to soften the image of the Baroness of Beverly. Yet, we still have to wonder how she was raised.
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
Keller was firm, if a little slow, from stopping all the candidates, but particularly Healey from abusing the rules and good manners. He's been the best at this so far.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, governor, Deval Patrick, Kerry Healey, Jon Keller, debate