8:01 – Panelists being introduced. 3 minute opening statements. 90 second answers, 90 second responses, 30 second rebuttals. 2 minute closing statements. Strickland looking vaguely nervous.
8:02 – Kasich speaking. Calls Ohio “young and vigorous and full of opportunity” in the past, but says the state’s now suffering from rising unemployment, rising homelessness, rising poverty. Almost sounds like a Democratic speech, certainly Obama-esque in the emphasis on hope and the future. Good statement on limited government. Kasich is going anti-special interest. Otherwise, relentlessly positive. Doesn’t mention Strickland once in the entire speech.
8:05 – Strickland speaking. Sucks up to everyone in the room, and even the viewers. Recession “not a recession of our own making, but a recession that came from the behavior of Wall Street.” Obviously going to be a negative tone tonight. Says he “passed two balanced budgets in Ohio without raising taxes, in fact we cut taxes.” Goes through a litany of taxes he’s cut, and then emphasizes the strengths of his education program, calling it “the strongest in the midwestern part of America.” Real role reversal here, given that Strickland’s talking about tax cuts and cutting red tape for small businesses. Says Kasich “worked on Wall Street while I was fighting for Ohio to create jobs.” Clearly going to emphasize the negative over his record.