So I slept on it a little bit, and I think that Christy Mihos actually won that debate last night. While Patrick did land one or two clean punches on Healy, Mihos was certainly the motor that drove many of the answers. The other candidates and Healy especially, had to react to Christy's positions and bombastic statements.
Did he come on too strong? My initial reaction was yes, a little, but afterwards the most vivid memory is of him hammering Healy on the Big Dig, so maybe going that big with an attack was useful. Also, he still came away as likable, sort of like your irascible but fun uncle.
I think the guy moved the needle a little bit and may clip some of Healy's support among independents and may nibble at some really conservative voters, which is bad news for Healy.
Patrick did alright in that he didn't implode. He landed a few good shots, but mostly could hang back and look reasonable because Grace Ross was staking out way-liberal stances and Mihos brought the shovel to smack Kerry Healy. He shined in comparison to Healy thanks to the work of the other two candidates. All in all, a good night's work.
Kerry Healy was playing defense all night, and then was flat when she touched her bread and butter issues (taxes, illegal immigration, the balance of power in the state). At times, she was literally fending off three players at once, especially during the Big Dig segment. You have to wonder if Republican Presidential hopefuls were watching how the Big Dig plays against Healy. The same failure to recognize and react to the problem could tar Romney in the primaries 14 months from now.
Grace Ross was certainly the most liberal person on the panel, but she wore it with a smart common people theme, and used softer language to describe her positions. Sort of a Class Warrior without the sword. She came off well, even if she was a bit unfocused earlier in the debate.