Judge: Ian Lising
Winner: Gordon Brown
Scores: Brown 82 | Clegg 79 | Cameron 75
Interestingly enough, Brown started his initial presentation by indicating that the proceedings had the “feel of a popularity contest” and that if style and PR were the goal of the debates that we could just “count him out.” This was strange since I observed far more personality from him throughout this debate than I have ever seen before. Taking the big boys make big decisions route, he was able to tackle each of the issues quite handily. Hammering need for the U.K. to avoid isolationist policies, he successfully stuck the “anti-Europe” label on Cameron and the “anti-American” label on Clegg.
Perhaps buoyed by his perceived success in the first debate, Clegg seemed to be eager to be on the attack once again, but this time was stymied at times by his ability to link the main points of his argumentation beyond the party line. For example, though it was interesting to note that it took Europe 15 years to define chocolate, it was difficult to attach that lack of efficacy to the ability to “punch above our weight”. He seemed to come across with many interesting and funny sound bites, but not enough to carry this round.
Offhand, Cameron should be doing far better than he is. But for some reason, he seems frustrated by the direction that he tries to dictate. Too polished to be candid and too prepared to sound witty, his presentation closely resembled his attempted humor moment with the request for him to “stop breathing” to reduce carbon emissions. Rimshot. Smirk from a few audience members aside from the nervous laugh from the guy who seemed to be happy to be on the tele.