Espiner on the Debate

November 4th, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

From the Press:

Labour leader believes she had her opponent, , “rattled” during last night’s leaders’ .

I am always amused when Helen Clark political commentator judges how well Prime Minister Helen Clark has done. Are the two Clarks related?

After a scrappy but ultimately even contest between the two leaders, a defiant Clark told reporters she had got her points across well, rejecting suggestions she had been more defensive than Key, who appeared relaxed throughout the hour-long show.

He was more relaxed but less so than the previous TV debate I thought.

“I don’t think I was the one who came across as defensive,” Clark said afterwards.

Is that the PM defensively saying she was not defensive?

Key refused to declare a victor, saying he thought the debate had been scrappy at times, but that both sides had a fair hearing.

“In the end, I thought did a good job.”

He did, but I think he asked too many process questions instead of policy questions.

He revealed that Clark had complained at one point during a commercial break that she had not had enough air time a point she disputed after the show.

Clark complained last debate also and it turned out she had more airtime.

Key struck back over a discussion on the nanny state, telling Clark her Government was “storming through your front door” with new regulations on lightbulbs and shower heads, prompting Clark to utter her least believable line of the night: “I’m a free spirit”.

Exactly.

Overall, Key appeared more relaxed than Clark, but both were on top of their game and able to foot it with each other and with Campbell’s attempts to catch them out, and the debate appeared to be an honorable draw.

I agree.

Clark got in a final parting shot at TV3′s downbeat post-match panel, saying “I thought the panel needed Prozac, but perhaps it’s too late at night for them”.

I thought was great!

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22 Responses to “Espiner on the Debate”

  1. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    A draw? No way.

    A debacle for Clark.

    Key once again flawlessly revealed her as the intellectual pigmy she is.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,793 comments) says:

    Why did none of them call Clark over the economy?

    Clark says unemployment was low because of “her” government . But, she then goes on to blame increasing unemployment on the global crises.

    She cannot accept, that unemployment has been low because of the global economy and really had very little to do with government.

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  3. DamnedAngry (242 comments) says:

    The old crow needs to go!

    And DPF, you really need to get rid of that fucking red banner showing the false Helen!

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I’m a free spirit””…!!!????

    How nauseating.

    She is a totalitarian socialist using the power of government to impose her ideology on every other NZer. If she truly sees this as acting in the manner of a “free spirit”, she needs a psychiatric examination.

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  5. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Clark got in a final parting shot at TV3’s downbeat post-match panel, saying “I thought the panel needed Prozac, but perhaps it’s too late at night for them”.

    Gratuitous, bitchy and (dare I say it) more than a little defensive sideswipe from Clark there.Who needs Prozac when you’ve got two downers on legs like Clark and Key wasting an hour of your life you’re never going to have back again? Sorry if the truth hurts, Hels, but you both got a well-deserved ‘acceptable, must try harder’ grade from that panel, and in my view they erred on the side of generosity.

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  6. Monty (966 comments) says:

    Of course the winner in both the Herald Poll and the TV3 poll has John Key the winner by 2-3 to 1.

    Clark is becoming more and more unstable as the final days of the election make it evident that Clark will be evicted from office on Sunday morning. I hope she is clearing out her office in anticipation.

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  7. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    It looked like a very clear win for Key to me.

    But Jenny McManus? Sorry DPF, but I thought she was appalling, with her totally cynical witch-like prognostication that we are all doomed.

    She said Key was totally unprincipled and would do anything to get elected? Huh? This is the man who ruled out ever working with Peters.

    She bitched about the leaders presenting no policy. Actually, they presented lots – especially Key. He gave as thorough a description of how National would get the economy going again as you could possibly do in a debate when all answers are limited to about 60 seconds. What more did McManus want? A 300-page policy document read out in a monotone?

    She (and the other commentators) complained that it was boring. What did they want? Screaming, shouting, tantrums and blood on the floor? Sorry, but that is not the kind of behaviour I want from a prime minister.

    In fact, this is why Key’s performance was so good: he was calm, collected, confident, reassuring, non-threatening, quick on his feet, polite, reasonable, knowledgeable … everything you want a PM to be. That is why the polls show he was the winner, because the public were watching as potential voters, looking for a PM, not as spectators at a pro wrestling bout looking for hits.

    [DPF: I didn't agree with everything McManus said, but I did agree with her that we are taking this crisis far too lightly]

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  8. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    She said Key was totally unprincipled and would do anything to get elected? Huh? This is the man who ruled out ever working with Peters.

    Well if you ignore ‘Working for Families is communism by stealth’ etc then yes, Key is totally principled and always sticks to his guns, no matter what.

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  9. Scott (1,735 comments) says:

    “John Campbell did a good job” — very diplomatically put by John Key. I thought the same as many other commentators — that John Campbell interrupted far too much and the show seems to be all about him. He never let them answer questions without interrupting and I found his thought processes to be very sloppy.

    The panel appears to me to be deeply depressed as does John Campbell. I think the reason they are depressed is that they are creatures of the left wing who don’t particularly like National. This can be the only explanation for the immature and vacuous comments that they gave us as so-called “analysis”.

    I think John Key has given us lots of policy and he is a definite change from Labour. Elect National and we will have a government committed to ongoing tax cuts and more freedom and less nanny state. One that doesn’t tell us how to raise our children, what food we can eat at school canteens, how much water we can have going to our showers etc etc etc.

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  10. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    People probably wouldn’t have to worry (much) about Campbell doing a good job if the candidates behaved like the American ones. One of them speaks…then when they’re done, the other one speaks. Wahay!

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  11. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    [DPF: I didn't agree with everything McManus said, but I did agree with her that we are taking this crisis far too lightly]

    Maybe she is and Clark is, but Key is not. He has a plan to save the Kiwi economy.

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  12. JC (932 comments) says:

    s.russell.. what you said.

    I thought the debate could be summed up in the panel itself.

    Linda Clark wanted more “desperation” and presumably rudeness from JK. How juvenile and shallow.
    The university bloke was fairly innocuous and McManus shallow, ideologically driven, and inaccurate in some of her comments.

    The format of the shouting match, the demand for 10 second soundbites, a windbag moderator and absence of structure gave the panel and Campbell exactly the result they wanted so they could complain about the candidates. Like most of these events, it was designed to showcase the rock stars of TV land and not the candidates… a shallow non intellectual wank fest.

    JK, as marginally the least involved of the six wankers had to win.

    JC

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  13. Philip (9 comments) says:

    DPF, with that Labour advert on your site, do you get paid more if we click on it? If so, let us know, as i am sure we would all be happy to click away and shift some cash from Labour to you.

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  14. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    I agree with Stephen. Whatever you think of their respective politics, McCain and Obama treat each other with respect.

    Can you imagine how Clark would debate with McCain? She’d come across as a bombastic tesetsefly.

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  15. baxter (893 comments) says:

    I thought John Campbell was the winner he spoke most and loudest and the other two were in a supporting role. It was rather dull. The electoral commission should consider whether CLARK was breaching the act by wearing a bright red blazer.

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  16. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Reading thru these comments, it just makes me think to myself, Jezuz H Christ on a bike- so much of NZ political opinion comes from the chatter of idiots like John Campbell, so far left he thinks Jim Anderton is a protege of Margaret Thatcher. Linda Klarke, the gape jawed mongoloid who makes the Jerry Springer show look sophisticated, and other sundry lazy arsed ignoramuses who in terms of political nous would probably know a bit more than the male rapists of Deliverance notoriety. But not that much more.

    These people are political DINOSAURS. All socialists, and we must break free of their dated partisan political perspectives. Hell, a large portion of the Kiwiblog commentors are more informed than this gaggle of clapped out left wing losers. No wonder NZ politics is in such a basket case state. No wonder the MM is slowly going broke. Old, tired and unoriginal, they’ve got nothing. A waste of time and space, they should all be placed in a time capsule and buried for posterity’s sake. And for democracy’s sake. Just utterly useless the lot of ‘em.

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  17. dad4justice (7,957 comments) says:

    I agree redbaiter, there isn’t one politician that is worth voting for ! Idiots, the lot of them!

    Edit – John Campbell should front play school!

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  18. Brian (Shadowfoot) (80 comments) says:

    For the time issue they should have something like the speed-chess clocks, tied to their microphones. No interruptions, and it would encourage concise answers. If they ramble on too long their opponent will get a big say at the end without any chance of rebuttal.

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  19. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    I agree with Stephen. Whatever you think of their respective politics, McCain and Obama treat each other with respect.

    What a load of rubbish. Did you see the last debate? Obama degraded McCain’s wartime experience as irrelevant, refused to respect McCain’s service and claimed that he knows just as much as somebody who has risked his life for his country. Pathetic!

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  20. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    I agree redbaiter, there isn’t one politician that is worth voting for ! Idiots, the lot of them!

    Dad, John Key is not an idiot. He is a successful international businessman and brilliant currency trader who understands well the workings of the international economy and how it can be used to benefit New Zealand and our allies. He is well deserving of your vote.

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i thought it was a draw all right..

    ..they were each as bad as each other..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/it-wasnt-a-drawit-was-an-ulimately-depressing-debacleumcould-we-became-an-honourary-american-statefor-the-next-little-while/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Connect the fuckers up to a polygraph wired to send 20,000 volts through their carcasses.

    Then we’ll see a good debate.

    I don’t think Helen would have much to say though. It would be better than hearing the scratched record of (assume deepest throatiest, hairiest testicly voice) “proven leadership”, “my dream for all New Zealanders”, “trust”, “prudent economic management” etc, etc…

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