Dalton's opening video, where he honestly and realistically talked about the shortcomings of his government took a lot out of the wind of Hampton's (but particularly Tory's) sails. Dalton presented himself as the best leader to keep moving Ontario forward, while admitting areas in which the Liberal Party well short. Tory, who continues to rely overwhelmingly on negativity and attacking Dalton, was left repeating the same talking points over and over again, with zero mention of his own platform, save having to defend his half baked plans for faith based education and two tier health care. Hampton looked rattled early on, but managed to gain strength as the debate went on, but failed to deliver more than glancing blows on issues he should have owned, such as manufacturing job loss and tuition fees.
Southwestern Ontario Liberal collected some of the best media reaction quotes, and they deserve a re-post here:
“Either way, the Liberals are stronger on education than the Tories, who get stuck with dealing with the faith-based school issue. Call it an early Dalton lead.”- Toronto Sun
“McGuinty's opening video: Admits right off the bat why he broke his tax pledge. Smart.”- Dan Cook, Globe and Mail
“[McGuinty] pointed out quite efficiently that the NDP energy position is insane.”- Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail
“[I] credit Dalton for bridging back to his message.”- Guy Giorno, former Mike Harris Chief of Staff, National Post
“McGuinty's making a decent case for his government having invested well in [post-secondary education].”- Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail
Big thanks to her for collecting these!