Debate Notes on a Republican Larry Hogan Victory Against Democrat Anthony Brown


 Richard E. Vatz

      Opinions on the first 2014 Maryland general election gubernatorial debate between Larry Hogan (R) and Anthony Brown (D), moderated by WJZ’s Vic Carter and The Baltimore Sun‘s Andrew Green, October 7, 2014:

     Good format; good length of time; and plenty of substantive clash – as opposed to campaign with emphasis on abortion, Hogan’s conservatism, tasteless advertising, and fatuous attacks, especially by Brown

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     Great moderators – completely unbiased…unlike Candy Crowley and Brian Williams…brought up Peter Franchot’s reluctant testimony criticism of Democratic Administration.

     Issues raised:  all good but absence of Brown’s Healthcare rollout, which could and should have been brought up by Hogan: budget, increased state spending, taxes, business climate, and others.
     Consistently Brown wants to depict himself as the agent of change, but Hogan correctly points out it is his Administration whose policies he pledges to change:  loss of Maryland businesses to other states, loss of Marylanders, gerrymandering, etc.
     Brown always avoids consequences for humane-sounding policies:  no solution for illegal immigration of children; no concern for precedent set.  Hogan, while feeling for children, finds Maryland’s being a repository for illegal immigration irresponsible.
     Brown’s sophistry in attacking Hogan is manifold:  Hogan pointed out that he has not opposed pre-K – says just wait ‘til we can afford it…Brown’s negative attacks, false, irrelevant and tasteless, are always a little always a little tricky and fast and loose: on tuition, Brown says Hogan must have supported Maryland’s tuition rising since he was part of the Administration that appointed the regents who raised tuition [huh?].  Brown says Hogan doesn’t want background checks on gun purchases, but he doeswant background checks.
     Brown is more rhetorically refined and his speech skills are superior.  Hogan is a little rough, but substantively rough.
Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2013)

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