About a week or so ago WDAY television hosted a debate in North Dakota’s House race between incumbent Republican Kevin Cramer, Democrat challenger George Sinner, and Libertarian Party challenger Jack Seaman.
I hadn’t written about it because I hadn’t actually seen the debate yet – it wasn’t streamed online anywhere and we only have streaming services for television in the Port household – but someone has uploaded it to YouTube. I’ve posted a playlist of the entire debate above.
My first reaction is that Sinner absolutely bombed the debate. He seems nervous and uncertain, and didn’t seem able to figure out where he should be looking in the studio which isn’t necessarily the most important issue. I care much more about how a politician will govern than I do about how they come across on television. But more importantly than that, he just doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on the policy.
I spent most of my time while Sinner was speaking cringing at his dull and uninspired performance, and the rest of that time shouting on the screen to get on already with whatever it is he was trying to say.
I don’t think even the most ardent Democrat partisan can say that Sinner convinced many voters of his competence and mastery of the issues with this performance.
Rep. Cramer did fine, on the other hand, but the real break-out star of the debate was Libertarian Party candidate Jack Seaman. Agree with his positions or not, he was engaged and articulate and seemed to have a reasonable understanding of what he was talking about. Before I even saw this debate my inbox and social media accounts were full of people telling me how surprised they were at Seaman’s performance.
I’m not sure what good it will do him – the stark reality is that he’s likely destined to get about 5 percent of the vote – but I think Seaman proved that he’s someone who might have a real future in public policy.