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Opening Arguments

Wandering Jill

Moderator: What was the most significant setback in your life?

Mitch Daniels: I was arrested when I was young and spent a night in jail. That taught me the value of owning up to your mistakes.

Jill Long: We almost lost the family farm in the 1980s, but we persevered, and that's why Daniels has been a terrible governor.

That's pretty much the way it went all night. How important are the arts? Terrible, terrible governor. What about you as a person made you want to run? Terrible, just awful.

You wandered a bit from the question," debate moderator Tom Cochrun said after one of Long Thompson's answers.

She didn't seem to care. She came to the Indiana University campus trailing in the polls and intent on continuing a campaign that has focused on little else but relentless negativity.

I think Long Thompson's campaign has suffered from the same thing as John McCain's: the lack of an overarching narrative to put against Obama's "change, change, change" and Daniels' "look at all we've done." We're just seeing tactics without a strategy, volition without purpose, movement without direction. Voters tend to notice. I have a relative who is voting for Obama and Daniels -- not the only ticket splitter in the state, I suspect.