The first debate for Ohio’s open Senate seat has taken place, and the result is, quite simply, brutal.
Rob Portman savaged Lee Fisher, to the point that even some of the lefty blogs in the state expressed admiration for Portman’s poise and preparation. It’s obvious that his experience preparing presidents for debates has paid off, whereas Fisher came off as a person with virtually nothing to talk about as far as an agenda (other than a few platitudes).
Indeed, every single one of Fisher’s answers followed a negative pattern, and while he did score some points talking about his record and discussing policy details, he simply failed to offer a constructive vision that tied together the attacks and the details into a coherent plan. Fisher’s style in the debate was something like empty empathy. Fisher sounded very much like a bleeding heart, and seemed to want to feel the audience’s pain, but even this came off as stilted.
All in all, there’s a reason this race has moved to “Likely Republican” and it’s that Fisher simply can’t find anything to use in his campaign other than sounding like the nice guy. Nice guys finish last. This debate is no exception.