Reilly blows up, Patrick, Gabrieli gain in debate

Boston GlobeDemocrats turn up heat
Gubernatorial foes tangle over policy, personal wealth, records

The three Democratic candidates for governor tangled in a spirited and tense debate last night, arguing over a host of policy issues, the economy, tax cuts, healthcare, and, in heated exchanges, over personal wealth and career track records.

Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, former corporate lawyer and federal civil rights chief Deval L. Patrick, and businessman Christopher Gabrieli dramatically sharpened their differences in the televised debate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. It set a new, aggresssive tone for the final stretch to the Sept. 19 primary.

Reilly accused Gabrieli of leaking a damaging background report on Reilly's choice of running mate in January; Patrick and Reilly charged that Gabrieli is using his wealth to attempt to buy the governor's office; and Patrick criticized Reilly's handling of the Big Dig. Reilly also tried to paint Patrick and Gabrieli as out-of-touch millionaires while arguing that he represents "regular people"...

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Reilly's pit bull tactics
By Derrick Z. Jackson
ATTORNEY GENERAL Tom Reilly did Chris Gabrieli and Deval Patrick an enormous favor in last night's debate. In a three-way race where just a drop of a few percentage points matter, he may have taken himself right out of the contest.

Stuck between the towering millionaire, Gabrieli, and the shorter, smoother millionaire with the grass roots, Patrick, Reilly blew a chance to play up his mere Watertown credentials. He instead took an opening question about taxes and tried to turn Gabrieli into Richard Nixon...

Read the rest of Derrick Jackson's Globe column here. and comment below.

The tall and short of it
By Jeff Jacoby
WAS IT MY imagination, or did Attorney General Tom Reilly shrink a few inches in the course of last night's debate? From his very first words -- an attempted "gotcha" aimed at Chris Gabrieli, , whose campaign chairman he accused of an unfriendly leak to the press -- to his closing remarks, in which he promised, all too believably, that "if you vote for me, you know what you're getting," Reilly came across as the colorless party hack from central casting. Tired, uninspired, quick to prattle about "leadership" but unable to demonstrate any -- if ever a politician embodied the Peter Principle, dwindling in stature as he rises to his level of incompetence, Reilly is that politician...

Read the rest of  Jeff Jacoby's Globe column here, and comment below.

It's a two-man race
CALL LAST NIGHT a clear loss for Attorney General Tom Reilly and a narrow win for Deval Patrick. Chris Gabrieli seemed smart and substantive -- if not yet quite convincing as a potential CEO for the state.

Let's start with Reilly. He came into last night's debate knowing he had to shake something up -- but it was the dynamic, not the audience, that needed to be shaken. Already perceived as fading in this race, Reilly is facing renewed doubts about his competence and candor after a Globe story about his campaign having a report outlining state Representative Marie St. Fleur's financial problems before Reilly chose her as his (short-lived) running mate.

Read the rest of Scott Lehigh's column in The Globe here, and comment below.

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