Pence Wins the Debate

Scott Jennings
“Debate moderator Susan Page was fabulous, even though it’s already clear she will be assailed by the left to explain Sen. Kamala Harris’s failure. Pro tip for the left: complaining about the moderator means you lost.
Kamala Harris flopped in epic fashion tonight, while Vice President Mike Pence followed in the footsteps of Joe Biden (2012) and Dick Cheney (2004), former vice presidents for incumbents presidents who had tanked in their opening debate, and then saw their number two’s step up and right the ship.
Pence conducted a masterclass in how to prepare for and execute a clear, winning debate strategy. He sliced and diced his way through taxes, fracking, the Green New Deal, and which ticket is best to handle America’s future recovery, winning every exchange on those topics. Pence did what Trump failed to do in his debate against Biden—recognize his opponent’s mistakes and then clearly drive home the winning point. The exchange over packing the Supreme Court was an epic failure by Harris (and Biden last week), and Pence played it perfectly. Pence flawlessly weaved in people and stories he brought along to Salt Lake City to score several points.
Harris’s record, combined with a relative lack of experience and success at this level on the national stage was a real problem for the Democratic ticket tonight. Biden clearly wants to run a moderate campaign, but he picked a running mate who has said she would repeal Trump tax cuts, was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, had said she would ban fracking, and voted against the USMCA trade deal (even though it had wide bipartisan support).
Biden was so eager to check identity politics boxes in picking Harris that he never stopped to ask: Is she any good at this, and does her record match my desires?
Tonight, we found out the answer (again): No.”

Jessica Anderson
“Before this debate, the American people wondered which Kamala Harris would show up — the loyal running mate or the liberal warrior? Now we know. She showed that progressives are trying to be Joe Biden’s boss. And that cost her the debate.”

Danielle Pletka
“Scoring the round, it seemed that Pence edged Harris slightly, if only because he spoke to more than just his base. Harris effectively reminded her audience of the many Covid-related failures of this administration, but otherwise failed to move much beyond the standard Democratic Party talking points.
Pence, on the other hand, effectively underscored what to many is one of the more frightening likelihoods of a Biden-Harris administration: A packed Supreme Court. The fact that Harris refused, like former Vice President Joe Biden before her, to answer the question of whether a Biden administration would support upending the court in order to secure a liberal majority only further implies that this is indeed likely their plan.”

Alice Stewart
“Undecided voters often decide on style and substance over policy. With that in mind, Pence won the night. Hands down. He was calm and in command as he outlined the contrast between the Trump ticket versus the Biden-Harris ticket.
Harris’ smirks and laughs came across as abrasive and not likeable. Persona often outweighs policy with the swing voters.
While there is room for debate about the current administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vice President did well to outline what has worked, including restricting travel from China, providing resources to doctors and nurses and prioritizing the development of a vaccine.”

Source – https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/08/opinions/who-won-vp-debate-roundup/index.html

The Kerry School of Campaigning

Feltes Flips on Commutation for Cop Killer: ‘I Would Negate That Vote’

A day after NHJournal asked if law-and-order issues were hurting Democratic candidates in New Hampshire, the party’s nominee for governor reversed his position on commuting the death penalty for a convicted cop killer.

During the final Democratic gubernatorial primary debate, state Sen. Dan Feltes said he would commute the sentence of Michael Addison, New Hampshire’s death row inmate, who shot and killed Manchester police officer Michael Briggs during a 2006 crime spree across New Hampshire.

But in an interview with WMUR’s Adam Sexton released Friday, Feltes said he would not commute Addison’s sentence.

“What I said during the debate is we ought to move forward with the commutation process,” Feltes claimed on Friday. “Any first-time commutations petition should have a process. In this particular situation, with the facts that we know, I highly doubt the executive council would vote to commute. But if they did, I would negate that vote.”

In fact, Feltes explicitly said during the debate would commute Addison’s death sentence, not merely support the process.

Feltes’ opponent Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky was asked by WMUR what he would do as governor regarding the Addison case.

“If the council voted to commute Addison’s sentence, I would approve that,” Volinsky said.

Feltes’ answer: “I agree with Andru, and that process — look, put it before the council. We repealed the death penalty. If the council voted to do that, we would move forward with that.”

During the full WMUR interview, which aired Sunday, Feltes claimed that he had never endorsed commutation, merely that he supported the review process (“Any first-time commutation petition should have a process.”) He then went on to accuse Gov. Chris Sununu of rejecting that view.

“The problem here is Chris Sununu says we shouldn’t go through a process. Setting this data for possible litigation because he doesn’t even think a commutation petition should have a process. That’s not right. Either he does not know the law or he thinks he is above the law,” Feltes said.

In fact, Sununu has never commented on the process, merely the outcome: “I stand with law enforcement and the citizens of Manchester. I stand with the citizens of the state who say commuting the death sentence of a cop killer is the wrong thing to do.”

Feltes’ flip-flop sparked immediate reactions from both sides of the partisan aisle. Republicans were gleeful, while New Hampshire progressives like activist state Rep. Sherry Frost and the local Black Lives Matter organizations were “disappointed.”

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