Thursday, May 18, 2006

Advice Aplenty for Tonight's Gov Debate

Both local papers today feature columns offering advice for the candidates participating in tonight's gubernatorial debate at the Kennedy School. The debate will be the first live televised debate between the three Democratic candidates for Governor (Attorney General Tom Reilly, Deval Patrick and Chris Gabreili) and Independent candidate Christy Mihos.

The Boston Herald's Wayne Woodlief writes (subscription required):

[A] few brief suggestions for tonight.s quartet of candidates:
Reilly: Smile more.

Patrick: Generalize less.

Mihos: Invite the Dems to debate you, Kerry Healey and Grace Ross in the fall. And just sit back and smile if none of them knows who Ross is.

Gabrieli: If moderator R.D. Sahl gets too tough, just show him your tattoo.
Woodlief also suggests that Gabrieli remind voters that he still needs convention votes to get on the ballot; that Patrick should be sure to have a crisp 60-second answer to exactly what he accomplished at Ameriquest; that Reilly should not be too prosecutorial lest he look like a bully; and that Mihos should stay away from jokes about his wife.

At the Boston Globe, media consultant Dan Payne (who split with the Patrick campaign late last year) gave this advice (registration required):
Professor Christopher Gabrieli. ... On way to debate, fill up gas tank on your campaign bus. See how rest of us live.

Rev. Deval Patrick. ... Your personal journey from bunk beds and welfare to boardrooms and power is magnificently told. But no time for it in debate. Don't tell us about your grass-roots campaign. Get Ameriquest off your back by raising death and despair in Boston, urban neglect, and poverty.

Sergeant Thomas Reilly. ... Combat your tendency to come off as joyless drill sergeant. Use self-mocking humor: "I'm the only one in this race whose house is worth less than the gross national product of Bolivia." ... Don't say, "I'm no good at politics." If that's true, quit now.

Private First Class Christy Mihos. Have comic Steve Sweeney, who does your radio commercials, do debate for you. Nobody knows what you look like anyway.
The debate is starts at 7PM. You can watch the debate live on NECN, listen live on WBUR 90.9 FM, or watch it streamed on the web.