Monday, November 3, 2008

LIVE BLOG: TV3 John Key vs Helen Clark debate

John Key has started the TV3 leaders debate in the same way as he began the TV One debate two weeks ago.

He has stamped his authority on it right from the get-go and is close to getting under Clark's skin.

She was the first to interrupt the other speaker when experience over the economy was broached and when Labours poor history on management of the economy was discussed by Key.

Key has so far scored points on the economy, education and now John Campbell  has broached the subject of trust with Helen Clark, she looks uncomfortable. 

She gets nasty and she says she doesn't trust Key.

Clark is tittering in the background when not on question and rolling her eyeballs, Key looks like he owns the room.

The question of the racist entrenchment of the Maori seats, which are incidentally impossible to entrench, has been put to Clark and she has fudged and refused to directly answer the question as she has over the last 2 days.

Clark has been asked about the length of her leadership and whether people have gotten sick of her and she has answered the question well but is tending to drift off question now. She says she has more to do.

Key has been asked about his "inexperience" and says that doesn't stand in his way but says it is an advantage rather than a dis-advantage.

He brought out the "Inga the Winger" card and managed to gazump Clark's previous rambling answer.

Key's knowledge of his subjects is shining through clearly now and Clark's political history is letting her down, as in the TV One debate a few weeks back.

The issue of the nanny State interfering has been put to John Key and the question of the Anti Smacking Bill and Key's management of the bill to make it less punitive has been handled well.

Clark's nanny State as a whole has been critiqued and Clark looks bad.

"I am a free spirit", a quote from Clark has given me the biggest bitter laugh that I have had for a long time.

Clark is laughing at Key bringing up the issue of light bulbs, food police, restricted showers, etc, etc.

Clark lies and says there is was no proposal to bring in shower restrictions, when Shane Jones was going to bring it in February 2009 but it was shelved because of public outrage.

Key looks like he has gotten under her skin and she now has that sucking lemons look on her face, the one she gets when she is backed into a corner.

On a "grand coalition" both pollies say they couldn't get together and I and most would have to agree.

On Winston Peters going with Clark, Clark sidesteps the question on whether she will go with him. Waffles without answering.

With Key and his coalition partners he has been emphatic that he will not go with Winnie and has won this question hands down.

Clark finished the debate with interruptions and hysterical hand waving. Key was calm, got his point across firmly with constant interruption from Clark and John Campbell-he constantly interrupted both speakers,especially Key.

Key won the second leaders debate with skill and a firm presence. Clark lost the debate because she waffled, had little positive data to back her up and kept interrupting and giggling while the other speaker was answering questions.

Key 8.5 , Clark 4.5 out of 10.

c Political Animal 2008

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