Last night’s state attorney general debate displayed the kind of spectacle that a one-on-one clash can provide — unlike the recent four-way format in the sole governor’s debate.
The televised exchange at Hilbert College in suburban Buffalo featured Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the Democrat, and challenger John Cahill, the Republican, repeatedly shouting over each other.
Cahill accused Schneiderman of politicizing the office, with Schneiderman at one point calling Cahill’s statements “deceptive, misleading and oftentimes repugnant.”
By comparison, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and GOP challenger Rob Astorino had their direct crossfire slowed and paced somewhat by the presence and equal time given to Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott.
Meanwhile, the debate in New York City between Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and challenger Bob Antonacci, while one-on-one, kept a polite and positive tone even as the candidates defined sharp differences of opinion.