Against my better judgment, I’ve decided to live-blog the New York Gubernatorial Debate happening right now. You can follow along on News 12 or NY1. Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino are being joined by five relatively unknown candidates, which is sure to make for a colorful conversation. For a quick primer on those Unknowns, click here.
And They’re Off | 7:06 p.m. The first question, posed to all candidates, asks what three or four programs you would cut. Paladino was first and gave an incoherent, gruff reply. Cuomo spoke and it was evident he has had some debate prep. The Unknowns may be unpolished, but they each spoke much more clearly than Paladino.
Zing! | 7:15 p.m. Kristin Davis caps her 30-second follow-up on program cuts by saying that additional taxes will make “businesses leave the state quicker than Carl Paladino at a gay bar.” I’ll guarantee it was written ahead of time, but that won’t stop it from making the highlight reel.
What’s That Accent? | 7:23 p.m. Howie Hawkins is the Green Party man, but he sounds like Boss Hog. Where in New York do you get that accent? I’ve been around most of the state and it’s new to me.
What Is Hydro-Fracking? | 7:37 p.m. Everyone just weighed in on hydraulic fracturing. I just learned what that is. You can learn here.
A Slow Gesture | 7:44 p.m. Paladino is the most awkward one up there. Every time he speaks his hand gestures follow him in an 8-second delayed reaction.
Davis And Redlich | 7:52 p.m. As you can tell, I’m not covering this debate particularly seriously. However, I’ve noticed that Kristin Davis and Warren Redlich are actually speaking well, all things considered. Davis is making succinct points where she concludes her point before her allotted time is up. Redlich has been leveling with the electorate in a non-partisan, populist way.
On-Message | 7:55 p.m. I’ve never seen a politician with the message consistency (or kickass facial hair) of Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. He could find a way to say “rent is too damn high!” in a gay marriage debate. With gusto. (I’m not sure why he is wearing little black gloves, though.)
The Barron | 8:06 p.m. I haven’t mentioned Charles Barron, the Freedom Party candidate yet. He’s taken repeated smacks at Paladino and Cuomo while lambasting the establishment for screwing minorities.
‘Cause Everything Is Rent | 8:14 p.m. When Cuomo wins, I hope he appoints Jimmy McMillan to some post where he can actually lower the rent. He is too energetic (and entertaining) to not put to use.
Gay Marriage | 8:18 p.m. Everyone but Paladino supports gay marriage. Barron abstained.
A Deliberate Omission | 8:20 p.m. Kristin Davis very purposefully stayed away from her proposal to legalize prostitution all night.
Your Vote | 8:23 p.m. Barron states outright, “Paladino is not going to win!” and says you can vote for one of the Unknowns and not risk Paladino overtaking Cuomo.
Quick Summation | 8:30 p.m. Paladino did nothing to give his campaign a second wind. Kristin Davis was pithy and punchy and may siphon off some pro-pot voters. Warren Redlich came off as folksy and articulate. Jimmy McMillan was hilarious and may have earned some protest votes. Cuomo made no slip-ups and was diplomatic, so he remains on track for a big win in two weeks.