The Kean-Menendez Debate And What It Means for the GOP


I just caught the New Jersey Senate debate between Tom Kean, Jr. and Bob Menendez and I think that it was a pretty telling statement about the difficulty the GOP (including Conrad Burns) will face in the November elections: they don't have anything to say. 

Kean, no doubt aware of the public's disgust with the current political climate in Washington, kept trying to position himself as an outsider, but Menendez was able to keep reminding the viewers that all of the policies that Kean was critical of were bills passed by the Republican Congress and signed by the Republican president. From the failure of immigration reform to the allocation of homeland security money, it was clear that neither the Democrat nor the Republican running for New Jersey's Senate seat agreed with the direction of our country–and as long as Democrats can remind the voters that a vote for a Republican candidate is a vote for the status quo, we'll have a chance in this thing.  

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • Glad that you are watching the debates from beautiful Montana, where we hope Jon Tester is your next U.S. senator. Menendez cleaned Kean Jr.’s clock in both debates, he has a nearly 4-1 campaign funds advantage, and he is an aggressive, articulate politician in a heavily-Democratic state. Kean Jr. has his father’s name to run on, and the state is currently disenchanted with the Dem. party because of the budget fiasco and other reasons. We’ll be on the ground for Menendez, however, making sure he is elected to a full term.

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