“I know Chris. He isn’t this reasonable in real life. TV makes him more reasonable.” #campaignchronicles

The live televised debate on Wyoming PBS for the U.S. House of Representatives was the high point of the 2012 campaign.

I knew that it would not change anything. It was on November 1 and election day was on November 6. It was too late for anything that happened at the debate to change anything. Additionally, Representative Cynthia Lummis is a well polished politician. I was not expecting any mishaps.

Most of the people who would watch, the few that would, were people who had already made up their minds. For some, this would be their first look at the race, but they would be few.

Either way, the race was not a high profile one and everyone involved knew what the result would be on November 6. Even me! Yes, I was well aware that I would lose. I had a long-term strategy…it just was not part of my stump speech.

By the end of November, I would be out of a job and that long-term strategy no longer mattered.

My goal for those 90 minutes was to put in a a solid performance. For me, that night was not about 2012, but 2014 and beyond. I wanted it to be something that I could point to as I tried to generate support for my next race.

I felt that I achieved my goal and was very happy with my performance. Lummis played it pretty safe, which is all she needed to do.

The real story of the debate ended up being the three minor party candidates. I will write more about them at a future point. They really added a certain level of entertainment to the debate. While they allowed me to seem like the only non-extremist in the group, they also became a distraction. The debate ended up being about them.

Nate Oman, a law professor at the College of William and Mary made the following observation about the debate:

“I know Chris. He isn’t this reasonable in real life. TV makes him more reasonable. He may be one of the three people in America for whom this true,” wrote Oman.

Check out the debate for yourself:

Check out the earlier #campaignchronicles posts here. There will be more to come.

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About Chris Henrichsen

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  • Lyndee

    What does he mean by that? ;)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/approachingjustice/ Chris Henrichsen

      I think it might be rather open to interpretation…

  • JohnH2

    You had already lost the debate by the four minute mark, and you hadn’t said anything yet.

    The Constitution candidate is sort of nuts. I am not sure why the Country Party candidate even exists based on the debate, especially with agreeing with either or both the Constitution and Libertarian candidates. The Libertarian candidate appears pretty good, but appears to seriously need some training and coaching to better present; I wouldn’t be surprised if by preference ranking he would have placed second over all and if the money had been sunk into him then he could have potentially caused you to win the election.

    You sound like a college professor and not a politician and don’t appear well trained in explaining things to a non-college audience. You also totally answer things in the hedging college way which very likely kills your appeal to voters, like on the constitution you give a positive answer while at the same time (and firstly) negatively hedging which gives a negative impression for anyone not willing to invest the time to parse your answer. As a college professor this is okay as if the students don’t parse what you say then they are the ones that have problems, as a politician though you are the one with problems when they don’t parse it.


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