League of Women Voters event shows Underwood can be bested in debates
Saturday afternoon, Chicagoland chapters of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Illinois hosted a candidates forum between Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis.
The head to head virtual forum is little over an hour, and the video was released late Monday afternoon. The video is here:
First Impressions: Saturday’s candidates forum between the two candidates for the 14th district produced a surprise. Watching the ZOOM forum live, this forum win goes to Oberweis.
Using baseball metaphors (as a shout out to both the Cubs and White Sox making the postseason), while Oberweis did not knock anything out of the park during the forum, he definitely hit a few ground rule doubles and extra base hits, manufacturing runs.
And this was the worst ZOOM performance for Underwood. Throughout the forum, she appeared nervous, touching her hair and face, something she has not shown in other ZOOM debates or editorial endorsement board interviews. Whether she was rattled by the resonating and effective campaign commercial of Oberweis or recent polling showing Oberweis’ campaign’s effectiveness making the race close, she was not herself and did not bring her “A” game Saturday.
Grading the two candidates, while not a decisive win, it was a win for the Republican:
- Oberweis: B+
- Underwood: B- –
While Underwood scored some points, particularly on Veterans legislation, she told multiple untruths, and attempted some new attacks which did not stick, for example:
- Inference to the discredited “1619 project”, and “400 years of racism”
- Embellishing “bipartisan” more than usual, including attempting to connect the House passage of her H.R. 3525 “U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act” legislation, and saying it passed, and it was signed into law (instead, only the Electronic Health Records funding being included in Defense/Homeland Security Appropriations Bill) by President Trump
- On Elections, Underwood hit a foul ball loosely accusing Oberweis of FEC complaints
- Said the Equality Act (H.R. 5) which includes having boys participating in girls sports represents the values of northern Illinois
And Underwood still fails to condemn the violence, which corresponds to the commercials Oberweis ran for a week and complemented by the Louisville riots news stories. Additionally, and oddly, Underwood omitted in her opening or closing statements, about the three editorial board endorsements from Shaw Media, the Daily Herald or Chicago Sun-Times.
She didn’t mention the appointment to chair a subcommittee on the House Homeland Security Committee which went public the day before and was still news. Not a word about recent campaign or congressional achievements.
Oberweis hit a couple of foul balls, too:
- Accused Underwood of supporting Medicare-for-All
- Missed hitting a potential homerun when Underwood talked about the merits of the H.R. 1 “For the People” Act, failing to call out the truth of “public financing of political campaigns”
- Again, said Underwood’s leftist voting record prompted him to run for Congress
Combination of Underwood having her worst candidates forum and Oberweis his best combined to make it a win, though not decisive victory for the Republican.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.