Schaffer vs. Udall: Mud in your eye, beer in your face

There was maybe one good thing to come from an otherwise embarrassing display on national television by the two candidates running for one of the most hotly contested U.S. Senate races in the country: Bob Schaffer has found something new besides gas prices to blame Mark Udall for: the crash of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

After Sunday’s 17-minute long “debate” between Udall and Schaffer on Sunday’s Meet the Press, it’s hard to determine who should be the most ashamed.

Should it be Schaffer, who apparently learned the definition of “debate” on a playground somewhere and hogged up the airwaves by incessantly berating and interrupting Udall?

Or should it be Tom Brokaw, who did nothing to step in and do what he was supposed to do, which was moderate the debate?

As Udall might say, “Let me finish, let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish.” Oh wait, he DID say that. A lot. Strong and forceful, he was not.

Plenty of pundits have weighed in with their assessment of the, um, exchange. “Bullying and inconsiderate.” “Schaffer is all huff and puff and no air.” “Udall was a dope.” “What a joke that was.”

Today, Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin had, not surprisingly, the most precise analysis of any we’ve seen, best summed up in just these two graphs:

If political races come down to the candidate you’d rather have a beer with, Schaffer would win only if it were the race for the guy who’s more likely to throw that beer in your face.

Maybe that’s why he’s trailing in the polls. I doubt this debate helped him, although Udall might have helped himself if he’d once said something like, I don’t know, maybe “Bob, shut the hell up.”

Watch the Meet the Press catfight here:

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Cara Degette

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