Earlier tonight, at M. Clifford Miller School, I watched the most lopsided debate I have ever seen. It was truly no contest. What is unclear to me is how much of the difference was the positive performance of Chris Gibson or the dreadful performance of Julian Schreibman.
Now, I know some of you are thinking that I am exaggerating for the purpose of partisanship. If you think that, then go the Freeman web site and watch the replay. I kid you not. Chris Gibson destroyed Schreibman.
In fact, during Schreibman's closing statement, his over the top attacks against Gibson caused most of the crowd to groan, boo, and hiss. No exaggeration.
To give some detail, Schreibman kept making false charge after false charge. He rarely answered questions and instead used his time to verbally assault his opponent. It came off very poorly. Even his own supporters were confused as to his strategy.
Finally, Gibson had enough. After a nasty attack wherein Schreibman claimed that Gibson lacked the ability to appeal across the aisle, Gibson pointed out that Julian was once the County Chairman of the Ulster Democrats. If you are so good at motivating people and bringing them together, then why are so many Democrats in Ulster County publicly supporting me? I am paraphrasing the quote, but he got a loud laugh and long round of applause after that retort.
The biggest hand of the night went to neither candidate. When retiring Congressman Hinchey entered the room, he got a loud ovation. (Not from me) However, not even the warm reception for Mr. Hinchey could help Julian Schreibman. He was outclassed.
One of two headlines describes this debate. The first is "Gibson Kicks Schreibman's Ass" or the second is "Schreibman Makes an Ass of Himself". Either fits this debate.