Last night’s Florida Senate candidate debate

It was worth watching!

ABC News correspondent Amy Walter’s analysis of last night’s debate between Charlie Crist (I), Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R) is a good summary.  Give it a read.

As I listened, I was struck by the way each candidate directed his remarks to a different audience. 

Crist was speaking to seniors.  Several times, he said Rubio had supported privatizing Social Security and raising the eligibility age.  He was trying, I thought, to scare us.  He was also speaking to the Jewish community.  Several times he referred to his support for Israel, and at one point he said that he had “actually married a nice Jewish girl.”

Meek was speaking to the middle class.  Over and over, he repeated that he was the only candidate who was focused on jobs and standing up to special interests.  He was also speaking to his base.  He proudly stood up for having voted for health care reform and the stimulus bill. 

Rubio was speaking to his base.  As Walter said: “Rubio’s message – which he diligently stuck to throughout the one-hour debate was pretty simple: I’m the anti-Washington, DC candidate. Calling the health care bill and the stimulus “disaster[s]”, Rubio said, “if you like Obama care, if you like the stimulus” then vote for Crist or Meek.

This was the first time I’d heard Rubio or Meek speak at any length, so I’m glad I watched.  All three were strong, articulate speakers.  I thought Crist seemed a bit on the defensive, but Rubio and Meek were both combative. 

It you missed it, you can still catch up, through the wonders of YouTube.  Click here.

Did you watch the debate?  What did you think?  Did you learn anything?

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