Home > Uncategorized > Seattle Mayoral Candidate Debate

Seattle Mayoral Candidate Debate

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

So this was the first among many debates between Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan. This particular event was cast for the ‘business community’. It was held at the Seattle Cinerama. Yay! I’d never been there before and it was a pretty cool venue. The debate was interesting, in fact, I never started yawning or wondered when it would be over.

I went into this debate not really having a favorite. Like most Seattle-ites, I’m guessing, we don’t know much about either of the candidates. They don’t have a background in politics and unless you play in their circles, you just don’t know a thing about them. My opinion after watching the primary debates had been that McGinn was an environmentalist and Mallahan was a corporate guy. Now, my opinion has rounded out – I have more information, enough to know right now who I would vote for.

Let’s just be honest here, McGinn is eloquent, thoughtful, and professional, Mallahan, on the other hand comes off as being cocky, arrogant, and unsure of himself…well, I think the cockiness is a cover for his lack of knowledge and real political or even civic experience. It didn’t help that Mallahan began several of his answers with “well, the law says…” um, probably many people in the audience are lawyers and already know what the law says and for a non-lawyer, who just seems like he was brought up to speed, sitting opposite a lawyer (er McGinn), it sounds trite and affected to begin with that phrase, especially if you don’t restate the law exactly as it is…paraphrasing the law by a non-lawyer in a serious forum such as a mayoral debate really has the potential to damage credibility. And, it did just that for me.

Watching Mallahan in action kind of reminded me of Rep. Joe Wilson’s behavior last night: Mallahan frequently interrupted McGinn and frequently made inappropriate remarks…”let the record show that Mike McGinn…,” and when James Donaldson asked the candidates about their plans to curb gang violence, Mallahan said “first of all, Donaldson really is head and shoulders above the rest of us (ha, ha)” and referred to a basketball match he’d had with Donaldson where he’d tried to block a shot but instead smacked Donaldson in his face…etc. Um, ok and how is that relevant…Overall, I found Mallahan’s performance unimpressive and unprofessional. He acted like he was a big gun at a corporate meeting.  I don’t think that’s the Mayor’s role. He kind of reminded me of those awful corporate all-staff meetings you go to where all the top executives slap each other on the back like “oh, we’re so cool and we’re doing such a great job” and the employees are thinking “what the hell?”

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