Orlando Sentinel and Barry University Congressional Debate

I want to lead off, first and foremost saying that the Orlando Sentinel and Barry University put on a great event last night, at the Winter Park Civic Center. The host Greg Fox and the panel consisting of Lauren Rowe (WKMG 6), Scott Maxwell (Orlando Sentinel), and a third panelist who’s name I missed (if someone caught it let me know!), were all terrific. The venue was great and despite the fact that a major candidate was missing, the showdown on I4 was entertaining.

I lead off with that info, because the rest of this post is just a mess!

Despite drastic philosophical differences between myself and Congressman Alan Grayson, he whooped up on Independent candidate George Metcalfe and Florida TEA Party* candidate Peg Dunmire. It was bad, we’re talking Gator football this season bad. Alan Grayson put on a clinic against the kind of candidates, he insists represents everyone who is not a Democrat. Daniel Webster sat out the debate (more on that later), which cleared the runway for Grayson to destroy his two opponents and attack an empty podium.

This simply would not be a responsible post if I didn’t say that.

Alan Grayson was not at any point stumped, threatened or prompted to attack anytime last night. The two candidates that were there last night, never put him in a position where he had to. Here are a couple of the sound bytes.

“If your not tough enough to show up and debate, then your not tough enough to do the job”

“Webster would cut entitlements”

“Webster wants to make women 2nd class citizens”- He also stood behind the Taliban Dan ad.

“Voting for health care was the proudest moment of my life”

His opponents did not offer any serious rebuttals and allowed him to calmly explain his positions, in a rhythmic fashion. When they did take shots at Alan Grayson, he deflected them like Darth Vader deflected lasers in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

Alan Grayson was vaderesque in deflecting his opponents attacks on Wednesday

What did his opponents do? Well Peg Dunmire and George Metcalfe both decided that they would criticize the media because of the lack of attention their campaigns were getting.

Because that’s’ what you do when your panel consists of a popular anchor and an influential columnist, attack the media, right?! Complain that your not getting your “flicks” instead of using this opportunity to trumpet your plans for the district, when everyone in Central Florida is watching.

“Webster doesn’t want to be there”- Dunmire

“I’m not in cahoots, with Grayson”- Dunmire….could have fooled me. She could not have made it, easier for him.

“Make your own, Peanut Butter” Dunmire, in a very condescending reply to Lauren Rowe, when Rowe asked about food safety measures, and her concerns when feeding her children.

“Absolutely yes”- George Metcalfe on oil drilling within three miles of the Florida Shores.

He also dissected the panel’s questions, got snippy and did a poor job of translating his policy.

The whole time, Alan Grayson’s campaign staff and supporters, cheered, laughed and giggled and why shouldn’t they? This was a beating.

I’m use to the antics of Alan Grayson, they don’t bother me and his supporters are as loyal and dedicated as they get. The one statement that really, really bothered me last night?

“Bi-partisanship is a fallacy” – Congressman Alan Grayson

That’s not true Congressman, you just have to remember that, at the end of the day we’re all Americans, not just Republicans and Democrats and its not about who get the glory, it’s about making the country stronger. We need leaders that operate on the higher plane of thought, when we send them to Washington.

Alright, alright, so what about Daniel Webster. I was asked to do analysis last night after the debate, outside of the civic center. You want to know why Daniel Webster wasn’t there? I got two answers for you.

1. He didn’t need to be:- article attached-
If Dan Webster felt that not showing up to this debate was hurting him, he would have been there. These campaigns cost a fortune guys, and he’s not going to throw it all away because of stage fright.

2. His word: – As frustrating as it may be to a lot of his supporters, Daniel Webster said at the beginning of this thing, that he would not attack his opponents. If you can’t attack, then you can’t debate. He’s convinced that when threatened, Alan Grayson would turn this into a mud-slinging match and thats exactly what Webster doesn’t want.

Alan Grayson won last night. The only question now is, will I be typing that on Wednesday morning.