Friday, October 13, 2006


I can't believe I missed this last night.
To say that KDKA moderator Ken Rice lost control of yesterday's debate between U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and state Treasurer Bob Casey would be fallacious, because it suggests that he ever had control to begin with.

In short: bad manners.

But great political theater.

In this debate, sponsored jointly by KDKA and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the issues took a back seat to the candidates' sparring and demeanor. Mr. Santorum, a Republican, frequently challenged his Democratic foe to "look in the camera" and tell Pennsylvania the truth. After many of Mr. Casey's responses to panelists' queries, Mr. Santorum rolled his eyes and said: "You will not get this man to answer the question."

Mr. Casey, meanwhile, repeatedly alluded to the incumbent's poor poll numbers.

"Hey Rick, I know things are tough," he said. "Don't be a desperate campaigner."

And that was just the first 10 minutes.

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