We did get some laughs, especially when Tommy said "I built Wisconsin," which he later modifed to "We built Wisconsin." I lost count of the number of times he said he was governor "for 14 years," which was nearly always followed by the statement that he lowered "taxes 91 times," which tied to Tammy having no "record to run on" and being "a taxer and a spender." Those were his talking points.
Tommy was all about how we here in Wisconsin already know him. He's Tommy — call me Tommy — and she's Tammy — you don't know her, but let me tell you she's the biggest liberal in the House, ranked #1 biggest taxer/spender, and that's not an easy achievement, to actually be #1.
Christian Schneider writes:
Tommy was, well, Tommy. He, too, jumbled a few sentences, but Wisconsin has been bearing witness to his sporadic malapropisms for decades.Hilarious video of Tommy at the 1997 Super Bowl embedded.
But Tommy seemed comfortable and confident. When he got rolling, he seemed fiery and knowledgeable. While Baldwin tried to wade through the weeds of issues, Thompson spoke over the moderators and to the eight people watching at home, using broader themes and more hopeful language.Toad?! I used that word out loud while watching the debate last night. I said Tommy looked like a toad. He's not a pretty man. (Wisconsin rejected the pretty man — Eric Hovde — in the primary.) But everyone looked awful in the lighting at that public-TV studio. Tammy has a shot at looking so much better than Tommy, but Wisconsin was getting its first long look at her in an extremely unflattering light, and that cut Tommy a break.
The best part of the debate, however, was when the topics moved to foreign affairs. When I realized Thompson was going to attempt to say the name "Ahmadinejad," I squealed with joy like a little girl. It was a remarkable feat of courage - like the sprinter with no legs who made it to the Olympics. What came out of his mouth sounded more like an ancient spell than the Iranian leader's name - I had to check to see that I hadn't turned into a toad.
Also entertaining was watching Tommy answer a question about gay marriage. At one point during his answer, he paused for a good five seconds to navigate all the land mines that were likely lodged in his mind. It was evident he had a vision of Tammy Baldwin dancing with Wonder Woman floating around in his head and needed a quiet moment to suppress it.Yeah, she made a reference to some bill she had co-sponsored with Scott Walker back when she was a state legislator. She smiled primly, but said nothing of the subject matter of the bill, and Meade made up some title for the most uncontroversial and inconsequential piece of legislation ever, something like proclaiming Wauwatosa High School Marching Band the High School Marching Band of the Week.
But Baldwin really disappointed. At one point, she preposterously tried to paint herself as "bipartisan," which is like a cheetah trying to pass itself off as a vegetarian.