I attended the WI-8 candidate forum last night with about forty other people. McCormick, Savard, Ribble, and Roth were in attendance. For now, I just want to offer two observations.
First, candidates just about everywhere should be warned that comprehensive immigration reform is a campaign killer. The ONLY thing you should say when asked about immigration is that we need to secure the border. The ONLY thing you should say when asked about Arizona's new immigration law is that we need to secure the border. Period. This is not based on anything the candidates said last night, it is based on my observations of the audience.
Second, it's tough to get up in front of an audience and give coherent and thoughtful answers to questions in two minute segments, even when you can anticipate some of what the questions will be. Audiences have a hair trigger for nonsense answers, so being substantive and understandable is important, but not all that easy. All of the candidates last night did this to one degree or another.
I don't think candidates that do this well get enough credit. While this ability is no guarantee of success in office, it is something that voters trying to make a decision with limited information can use as a signal.