The candidate and the crowd had the feel of a challenger who finally got into the ring with the champion after months of pre-fight blather in the press, took it to him, and now knows “I can take this guy – start the next round!”
Huge and wildly enthusiastic crowd – the GOP stopped counting at 8000 tickets and local law enforcement estimated 10,000. In an outdoor amphitheater that seats only 1500.
The governor has several lines/lines of attack which, while not new, were not explored in the first debate. So the next two should be interesting. “Great kid! Don’t get cocky.” I don’t recall too many debates in which anyone laid a glove on him. I remember some self-inflicted wounds.
He’s also a much improved candidate. Well honed stump speech, showing more personality and heart. Still a little square, although he accidentally (?) made a suggestive joke about his first date with Ann, which they both laughed off. Speaking of the latter: she was also fabulous in her introduction of the candidate.
Surprise of the night: Jeff Atwater, the state’s CFO (?!) gave a fantastic barn burner of a speech.