October 7, 2006

Initial Hare/Zinga meeting defies expectations

WQPT re-broadcast tonight the first meeting between 17th District candidates Andrea Zinga and Phil Hare which occured a couple weeks ago in Champaign, IL and was produced by WIIL PTV.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

Both candidates performances ran contrary to expectations. Hare, not known as a scintilating presence, appeared self-assured, at-ease, in command of facts and his talking points, and was natural and quick on his feet.

By contrast, Zinga, who it can be assumed was the Republican pick in large part for her long work in front of the camera and ability to come off well on TV, seemed wooden, a bit off balance, and tied to her notes. She didn't seem comfortable, spent much of her time looking down and fumbling to find her place and then reciting off of note cards. On questions which forced her off her set pieces, she did OK, but was clearly a bit awkward, whereas Hare tackled these situations with ease.

This was the first time I'd seen Hare in front of a camera and without a net, and he surprised me with how well he handled it. Though I was rooting for Hare, I expected Zinga to at least be a bit polished, and she wasn't.

Anyone else see this round of "debates"? (I'm not sure it's a debate, more like a joint interview.)

Luckily, I've found that you can watch the entire debate in Real Player streaming video from WILL by clicking here.

What were your impressions of this debate?

Only a while after the broadcast, I flipped to C-Span and was amazed to see that they were showing the most recent meeting between these two candidates.

A commenter here had given a brief review of this "debate" (including the tidbit that apparently Zinga's cellphone went off in the middle of a statement) and I was anxious to see it. It looked like I really lucked out.

But, as often happens when I come across a program I especially would like to see, it turns out that I'd come in at the last minute of the program.

All I caught was a small bit of Zinga's closing statement. Damn it.

But I did catch that Congressional Quarterly rates the 17th District race as leaning Dem.

And worse, if this was earlier in the evening, there would be a good chance that it would be rebroadcast later, but as this was around midnight, I doubt it will be shown again. With any luck, a streaming version might be available on C-Span in the near future.

The debate between Blagojevich and Topinka is to be shown on C-Span shortly. Hopefully that might make up for missing Hare & Zinga.
**Update** The Blagojevich/Topinka debate can be seen on C-Span here.

An Iowa Governor's race debate between Jim Nussle and Chet Culver can be viewed here.

WQPT (ch. 10) plans to show a recently held debate between Iowa 1st District contenders Bruce Braley and Mike Whalen Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

And that gives me a seque to recommending the article by Jeff Ignatius in the River City Reader on the dire situation at WQPT and the challenges it faces to stay on the air.


At 10/07/2006 2:14 AM, Anonymous Political geek said...

You think Zinga had a rough day, my son got a text message from Foley!


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