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Debate Debate: I wanted to let a little time pass before posting these questions about the first Iowa gubernatorial debate. But I have some for you after what we saw with Chet Culver and Terry Branstad Tuesday night. Here we go:

Do you care that Culver rarely answered the questions from both the panelists and Branstad? Instead, he would use his time to criticize his opponent. (I’ll let you answer that one for yourself. I will just say as a reporter I would have wanted to see panelists ask followup questions. Actually, I would like to see the candidates ask followups, too. Those almost always make news.)
Branstad seemed to lose his cool a few times or at least showed that he was annoyed. He scolded Culver once and said, “quit interrupting”. He also seemed to nearly shake his head off the hinges one time when he obviously didn’t like what Culver was saying. Did that bother you?
Democrat Roxanne Conlin challenged U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley to a debate this Sunday at the Des Moines Public Library. She plans to debate an empty chair if the senator is a no-show. Pretty good bet that chair will get some attention. What do you think of the tactic? Will she score some points with it or is it too “un-senator-like” and she gets hurt more than she gets helped?
Former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin comes to Des Moines to headline the Republican Party of Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner Friday night. Will the former television sport anchor show any love/respect to the media during her stop and take questions or will she avoid us again like she did during her recent stop in Sioux City? Anyone else doubting that she will run for president?


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