A few of my thoughts. Julie eventually got too agitated to watch it so we quit over half way through.
1) I thought Medina came off pretty well, but then eventually went completely over the top. She threw in an “eliminate all property taxes” without in any way explaining it which sounded looney. That said, she also consistently countered Perry’s blatant lies with actual facts and figures. Which was great. I have no clue why Hutchinson wasn’t ready to do the same thing. (She did try, she just didn’t have the facts at her fingertips like Medina).
2) Perry was creepy. I thought Bush was creepy. Perry is like a really creepy animatronic Bush. He also appeared to be a bobble head doll with one arm on TV. It did not help matters. His answers were on message, but he really tried to get away with some statements that ranged from stretching to outright lies. He tried to use job numbers from 2007 and got called on it. He tried to claim he cut business taxes after raising them last year. It as classic Republican “they’ll believe me if I say it enough”.
3) While I give Hutchinson points for having a nuanced view on Abortion and actually trying to express it, she did so in such an inelegant way that it was laughable. She basically was trying to make the point that if Roe v. Wade was overturned there would be places in the United States where abortion was very, very legal and it would be quick car ride to get to them. Whereas under Roe v. Wade the federal government has control and can restrict abortions everywhere even if they can’t completely eliminate them. In other words Roe v. Wade gives the anti-abortion movement control at the federal level and thus is a good thing (in so far as it can be in her view). That said, she was obviously trying to avoid the headling “Hutchinson for Roe v. Wade”, and her answer danced and danced. It was patently ridiculous.
4) On the emminent domain question, Perry talked like Bush. He said he was extremely for emminent domain which I couldn’t tell if it was a freudian slip. He said he’d presented a bill for the voters, that they had overwhelmingly approved. It was a constitutional ammendement. But the worst part was they asked about farmers who felt they weren’t getting a fair shake with regards to access and new roads. He said he grew up on a farm (random). And then proceeded to give a completely tone deaf answer. He said the voters were overwhelmingly for tort reform and these farmers concerns were actually just trial lawyers trying to start a new cottage industry in frivolous lawsuits. Which possibly it is. But he really pretty much told rural Texas to take a flying fuck. And with a big ass smirk on his face.
5) Hutchinson quoted a figure from the Dallas Morning News and Perry said that he didn’t take them as a paper of record. WTF? The Dallas Morning News? That’s a Republican newspaper. I understand attacking “the media”, but attacking a right-wing news source, makes you seem ridiculous.
6) Perry brought up the fact that he’s not afraid to veto bills. But I think that misfired, since he just reminded people that he tends to veto bills that they’re counting on. Like the recent retired teacher bonuses bill.
I thought Medina was the only one who came off as being able to articulate a point. Unfortunately her points were a bit to wacko to be elected. She did a great job, though, of breaking through the current Republican trend of being able to flat out lie and have no one call you on it. I have no clue why Hutchinson didn’t do a better job of that.
Hutchinson looked somewhat human and gave the best answers. She talked about Texas being great right now, but needing to plan for the next 20 years. Which is a really good counter to Perry’s platform of nothing. I mean, he really had nothing. That said, he didn’t completely fall on his face, and Hutchinson wasn’t as compelling as she needed to be, so the advantage went to Perry.