Analysis of the Tran versus Sanchez debate video

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The video of the first Van Tran versus Loretta Sanchez debate is now available online at this link.  I took the time tonight to watch the entire video.

Sanchez was allowed to introduce herself first.  She did so in a very easygoing, conversational manner, but her voice is just darn squeaky and she just doesn’t sound serious.  That said, she began by saying that a guy she knows who is a truck driver and who rides a Harley said he voted for her because she fights for people like him.  I think she was trying to say she stands up for working people, but it came off a bit contrived and awkward.

Then Sanchez talked about health care reform and a constituent who had trouble getting insurance for her child.  It seems a bit nuts for Sanchez to talk about the Obama Care reform, which remains unpopular with a lot of people.  But she did eventually talk about jobs, which is the real issue many Americans are worried about.

Sanchez framed her intro around the idea that this election is about the differences between the two candidates, which are considerable in her estimate.  Some of us might argue that this isn’t really the case, but it is hard to argue that Tran isn’t at least worse than Sanchez.

Tran immediately ripped Sanchez as he began his opening comments, noting that he doesn’t need a teleprompter.  Well, neither did independent candidate Cecilia Iglesias when she appeared on our Orange Juice Blog Radio show yesterday!

To his credit, Tran opened with the biggest issues on most voters’ minds – jobs and the economy.  He also mentioned the runaway spending, presumably in D.C., but that is also a problem in Sacramento.

The d0wnside to not using a teleprompter is that Tran quickly began repeating himself, which was pretty lame.  But he recovered and mentioned the 12.4% unemployment rate in California.  He also dragged President Obama into the debate, which was smart given Obama’s high negatives with many voters.

Tran sounded stilted, as compared to Sanchez’ high-pitched squeaking.  He was mealy-mouthed and awkward to listen to.  He was simply not smooth.

Sanchez then took the first question, about jobs.  She said we didn’t create the mess, a dig at President Bush; she talked about cutting taxes for the middle class; she talked about keeping our schools open with federal money; and she said we are investing in infrastructure, noting that the local freeway improvements were funded by federal money.  She also cited the High Speed Rail boondoggle that will allegedly create 57,000 jobs.

Tran then asked, “where are the jobs,” as he ripped the Obama bailouts.  He said that right now in Central O.C. people are hurting and we are spending more money on the stimulus than on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He said that Sanchez thinks we can spend our way out of the recession but he said we need to help the small business community, instead of creating more problems and issues for them.

Sanchez replied that the package worked because of the freeway construction jobs she previously mentioned.  She also cited the Bristol street widening project in Santa Ana.

The moderator than asked Tran how to stop the overspending in our government.  Tran said that people are hurting and are concerned.  But he said that the 91 Freeway is jammed.  He said that we have an annual 1.6 trillion dollar deficit.  Then he said he has two kids, who presumably will be paying for the deficit.  But he didn’t give any concrete ideas as to how he is going to fix this.

Sanchez then said we need fiscal restraint and deficit reduction.  She correctly blamed Bush, and she mentioned the good years under President Clinton.  Then she said we are paying as we go, but she said the Republicans got rid of the balanced budget amendment.  And she said the wars are costing us six billion dollars a month.  She said she was the only one who opposed the wars.  She also mentioned the many Orange County residents who have died in the wars.

Tran then said talk is cheap.  He then said Sanchez voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time.  Ouch!

The moderator then asked about regulations and jobs.  Sanchez said that she was once a small business owner.  She said that she remembers filling out a lot of paperwork.  She said she has helped pass sixteen bills to help small businesses.  Then she said that Tran voted against regulations to protect consumers.  She mentioned other bills regarding lenders and offshore drilling bills too.

Tran then said that Sanchez’ voted for a bill that will result in hiring a lot of new IRS agents, which is of course Obama Care.  He correctly pointed  out what a fiscal disaster Obama Care will be for businesses.

Tran bragged about several business associations that have rated him highly for helping small businesses.  He said he wants to promote and empower small businesses.

Sanchez then bleated some more about deregulation and said Tran supports leaving lead in candy, selling expired baby formula, and allowing dangerous chemicals in schools and in the workplace.

The moderator then brought up the Obama Care reform.  He asked how can we fix health care reform.  Tran said Sanchez voted for what is a socialist reform.  Then he said the bill is full of bribes and kickbacks, which is funny since Tran’s own wife was indicted over insurance fraud involving some chiropractor and his billing practices.

Sanchez responded by saying health care is broken and we need to reform it.  She said our health care bills go up every year, by 17%.  And she said Tran voted against coverage for children with preexisting conditions.  She also said Tran would act to repeal Obama Care, which I think a lot of Americans would agree with actually.

Next was education.  The moderator said many teachers complain about teaching to standardized federal tests, which is true.  He asked how can we cut down on bureaucracy and mandates.

Sanchez answered by saying that her mom was an immigrant who put seven kids through college, and then apparently she went to college too, and she became a public school teacher for nineteen years.  She then blamed Bush for the No Child Left Behind program.  Then Sanchez talked about some bill she supported to allow for different kinds of teaching.

Tran answered by talking about his dad, who is an educator.  He repeated talking points about education being the key to success.  He claimed funding for education has gone up or held steady during the past few years.  He said he supported the Federal Race to the Top program, which actually is bad news for English Learners.

Sanchez said she helped reform student loans; she said she increased Pell grants and GI funding.  And she said Tran voted to slash a bunch of education funding.

Sanchez closed her comments in shrill fashion, undermining her points.  She was quite smug.

Tran closed with “There you go again Loretta,” which hearkened back to President Reagan.  He said that Sanchez has been ineffective for fourteen years.  He said he will rein in spending and stop the taxation that Sanchez has voted for.

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