Post-Debate Panel Discussion: "Beyond the Soundbite"

Last night after the Christie/Buono gubernatorial debate, NJ Spotlight sponsored a virtual panel discussion to gauge reactions and analyze issues. Participants were Carl Golden, senior analyst for William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy; Dick Zimmer, NJ Assemblyman and Senator; Jim McQueeney, political analyst and Chief of Staff for Senator Frank Lautenberg; Bill Potter, specialist in environmental issues, and me. The discussion was moderated by Spotlight’s Mark Magyar.

Here's one fun excerpt from the transcript but read the whole thing:
Mark Magyar: How do you think Christie's ardent defense of Obama on Sandy played in NJ and to the national audience that watched on C-Span?
Laura Waters: Christie's killing it in Jersey. I have a harder time seeing him compete on the national stage.
Mark Magyar: Why, Laura, if he's such a skilled debater -- as McQueeny, a Democrat, has been arguing?
Carl Golden: Playing at the national level is a damn sight more difficult and pressure-filled than shaking hands at a diner in Woodbridge.
Laura Waters: Christie is SO Jersey: bombastic, boisterous, almost cartoonish. He's Asbury Park Live. I'm not sure Americans want Snooki for president. I'm being glib. But he's too blue for the national GOP. Jersey isn't Texas.
Bill Potter: That is a cartoonish caricature of NJ.
Dick Zimmer: You are a self-hating New Jerseyan.
Laura Waters: Nah. I love Jersey.
Carl Golden: Don't look now, but the caricature is at 60-plus points in the polls and headed toward a 20-plus point victory in three weeks.
Dick Zimmer: Just look at all the issues where Christie disagreed with Lonegan's positions tonight: Sandy, climate change, the shutdown, minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, bragging about high levels of education aid, the Dream Act.

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