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What a great night for AM 1280 The Patriot, its fans, the Northern Alliance, and Hugh Hewitt and Peter Beinart! The long-awaited debate between Hewitt and Beinart finally took place tonight at the Downtown Minneapolis Hilton, where the guests enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner and the substitute radio stylings of the Northern Alliance gang of knuckleheads, filling in for Hugh for the third straight night. In fact, we wound up scarfing our dinners down after we finished the show so we could give our full attention to the debate, excellently and humorously moderated by our own Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson from Power Line.
Who won? I give Peter full marks for bravery; as I complimented him after the show, I think he did as well as he could in a personally friendly but politically hostile environment. I have to give Peter full marks for passion and eloquence, and he scored a direct hit on the crowd when he tricked them into a response by claiming that Michael Moore said we deserved 9/11 -- and then explaining that Jerry Falwell had actually said it instead. However, Hugh -- even with a viral infection that severely limited his voice -- owned the podium and the issues. Peter gets a bit too flustered and overreacted to the crowd response at times, but Hugh remained as cool as the other side of the pillow. The topic under discussion was the future of the Democratic Party, but Peter drifted into GOP-bashing, while Hugh kept the heat and focus on the Democrats. Hugh won, but Peter proved himself a worthy adversary. He also showed that he comes across much better in that formal debate format rather than the rapid-fire format of Hugh's show.
I had a chance to chat for a while afterwards with Peter, and although I won't address the specifics, I will tell you that he impressed me with his thoughtfulness and willingness to engage. Not too many people would be
foolish brave enough to follow Hugh into enemy territory for a debate; hell, I know damned few on the right who'd dare debate Hugh at all. Peter spent quite a bit of time talking with me as well as a few others in the audience, and was really quite charming and friendly. I hope he enjoyed himself here in Minnesota, and I hope he'll come back to do it again.
For a blow-by-blow account of the evening, you have to read Bogus Gold's live-blog of the event. Aside from griping about not getting free drinks (you wish, Doug!), it's a great look at the debate.Sphere It View blog reactions
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