Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Fifteen times (according to Congressman John Boccieri), his opponent referred to the first term congressman as either being Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) or President Barack Obama in a debate sponsored by the Wooster Chamber of Commerce last night at Wooster High School's Performing Arts Center.

But, like it or not (from Boccieri's perspective), that is Jim Renacci's campaign against the Democrat from Alliance.  Ancillary to the Pelosi/Obama theme, Renacci, from Wadsworth, focused on less government, less taxes and a strong military as reasons why voters should choose him on November 2nd.

Renacci got a tad nasty when in his final summary (Boccieri had already had his turn) he called Boccieri a lying congressman who will lie again if re-elected.

To the SCPR, the Renacci maneuver ("you're a liar congressman") belonged in the "cheap shot" category and clearly an ad hominem attack.  His supporters cheered wildly (a violation of debate rules that all three candidates had agreed to).  However, Boccieri forces got their revenge by shouting "no" to the Renacci "liar" outburst.

While Renacci had "in essence" said as much earlier in the debate accusing Boccieri of:
  • promising to vote against Cap 'N Trade, but then voting for it.
  • voting against Healthcare when it did not matter, but voting for the bill when the need for his vote was critical to its passage.
  • promising constituent services, but then not delivering them.
Boccieri, on the other hand, went on the offensive by touting his ability "to bring home the bacon" to 16th District constituents.  He cited and cited and cited again his successful effort to bring home millions to the District with a special emphasis on Wayne County, the site of last night's debate.  Moreover, he dwelt on government and private sector partnerships as the realistic way to achieve an economic rebound in America.

Libertarian Jeff Blevins of Wadsworth keyed in on what one would expect of a Libertarian:  "keep the government out of nearly everything."

The SCPR's assessment of the debate.

Boccieri had the better of it on a rational plane.  Renacci had the better of it for those who like emotional, attack-style politics.

Both candidates used Washington Democrat and Republican politico-generated "talking points" galore.

Boccieri was much more positive and generative/supportive of programs and policies to get America out of its economic and financial mess.

Renacci obviously is, in campaign approach,  trying to tap into the fears of people.

Which is the winning recipe?

It is hard to say.

The SCPR has a sense that Boccieri (who is likely behind in polls) is making headway with his affirmative campaign.

If the election were held today, The Report thinks Renacci wins by a percentage point or two.

Here is a video of the final statement made by each candidate last night.  Yes, the "liar" episode and the cheers and boos are in it.

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