Political junkies like me have been waiting for the debates to see Jacinda and Judith clash one on one.
We expected Avengers Infinity War but got Star Wars The Phantom Menace instead.
I know. Harsh call.
The debates matter more than ever before because this truncated campaign process under pandemic rules has made it impossible to have the same level of access to politicians we would normally have.
So who were the winners, who were the losers?
Judith Collins: Out of 6 rounds, I rated it 3 rounds to Judith and 3 rounds to Jacinda, but seeing as the expectation was for Jacinda to smack her down, for Judith to draw close is a win to her. Sure Judith’s content was gibberish and abrasive and interrupting, but she looked more aggressive and confident. This matters to a TV audience. The fact she’s egregiously pushing for tax cuts we can’t afford and wants to privatise the border on top of a turbulent 6 months for an erratic National Party means she shouldn’t be over 30%, yet she is. Judith had a very good night.
Jacinda: Speaking with people inside Labour, her prep wasn’t to fight Judith but speak over her. This worked for the 200 000+ 45 year old women who have voted National since Key was leader but it will have made many of her own base feeling flat. She was off tempo and didn’t match Judith’s energy.
I mean – where the hell was THIS Ardern?
Ardern: “Mike, if in your view there’s a perfect model here, you are welcome to that view.”
Hosking: “No you are being too linear. It’s not a matter of a perfect model or a non-perfect model, it’s about nuance and subtlety.”
Ardern: “Mike, if you’re saying you’re now a person of nuance and subtlety, bless. I am not going to claim perfection but I will stand by our response.”
John Campbell: Where the bloody hell was the JC we know and love? He had all that effervescence we adore kicked out of him and instead of providing questions with insight, was a mere mouthpiece for TVNZ. It was like a bunch of TV Exces had spent a week electro shocking him into saying nothing and being as little as possible. I watch John because he is the best Broadcaster in NZ who can ask questions that demand answering – tonight he had all the joy of him as an intelligent communicator amputated into a gelded eunuch. Bring back the real John Campbell you evil TV Execs!
I know what you will tribally say, ‘But Bomber Jacinda do good good in answer question question, Judith bad grrrr”.
Sure, but this is TV – it’s about more than competent answers that genuinely attempt to answer the question, it’s TV, you don’t bring cuddles, you bring smack.
The debate itself was a draw, but Judith won because it shouldn’t have been a draw. She’s won the battle, but it won’t change the outcome of the War. Labour will still win a majority Government because the political loyalty Jacinda has obtained won’t return to National just because Judith had a good night on the Telly.
Judith was a B+, Jacinda was a C+.
Unfortunately for Judith, Jacinda is an A+ student.
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