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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

First Illinois Senate Debate

As much as I would like to have live-blogged the debate, it just wasn't possible. I was e-mailing with my boss (actually, his son) while talking to the airline on the phone. However, I did have the radio on in the background.

The first round of questioning, most of which I missed, sounded like it was about national security, war on terror and Iraq. There was discussion regarding Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Then, Keyes said something about meeting a "bayonet with a spaghetti noodle" with regard to all that.

On infrastructure projects in Illinois

Keyes: It all boils down to fixing the plumbing. It ought to be a no-brainer.

[That came off sounding really dumb. Like, he didn't really have a prepared response, so why not spew some of your basic everyday political rhetoric. Apparently, the questioner thought so, too, because he pressed Keyes for some specifics. Keyes cut him off and chose to get testy with the questioner. "Excuse me, let me finish. Excuuuse me." Oddly, his little tantrum extended way beyond what was necessary because the questioner had long ceased his interruption.]

Keyes: Our 70 year old locks and dams are in need of attention. Transportation system. O'Hare. Lip service on O'Hare. Rockford would relieve the pressure at O'Hare. Ten thousand foot runways. Stop talking about a south suburban airport and do something. We need a modular plan.

Second, you have to be willing to deal with freight, rail, and federal participation. Look at the way we connect the airports.

Finally. Central and Southern Illinois can be integrated into the plan with Amtrak.

Obama: This south suburban airport, make that happen. O'Hare expansion, make that happen. Supports locks and dams.

Illinois coal in southern Illinois.

Mississippi Bridge project has been languishing.

Those are the kind of projects that are good for Illinois.

On prescription drug bill "passed" by President Bush

Obama: The bill is bad for taxpayers and for senior citizens.

Keyes: Empower people with knowledge to make better use of the dollars being spent. Skyrocketing health care costs are due to our unhealthy lifestyles.

Obama: Agrees we should improve our lifestyles.

Keyes: [Still on the topic of prescription drugs.] We've had some badly negotiated trade agreements. Free trade is a myth. When cheap goods come over here we allow slave goods. It's time we stood against this kind of false doctrine while it destroys the manufacturing base in Illinois.

On trade laws

Obama: Current trading structures are flawed. We need to do better. Specific ways to do better. China devalues its currency by 40% ... shipping back goods that used to be produced right here in the states ... bad thing. Tax code encourages flight of jobs and outsourcing. Wants to change the tax breaks to invest in companies that are in the United States.

They went on to discuss other topics including the farm economy. Keyes slammed the governor really hard for not living in Springfield. I got really distracted and missed pretty much the rest of the debate. Hopefully, someone will have a transcript.

Basically, both candidates worked hard to convey their positions in such a way that no one could disagree. Keyes, surprisingly, didn't go entirely all whack-o. He probably won some votes tonight. However, it is highly doubtful that Obama lost any votes.

Posted by Marie at October 12, 2004 10:54 PM