The presidential candidates spoke, and the Hudson Valley listened.
As President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney sparred Wednesday evening in the first of three head-to-head contests, residents tuned in for discussions on states' rights, health care and tax rates.
The hour-and-a-half debate began with friendly wedding anniversary palaver—Wednesday marked Obama's and the First Lady's 20th—but quickly transformed into a fierce back-and-forth on the sluggish American economy and paucity of jobs.
Both candidates chose to eschew controversy, opting not to capitalize on gaffes that have plagued their opponents in recent weeks. The debate focused instead on tax policy, small business and the Middle Class.
Patch users were able to marry the debate screening with a live blog, which highlighted a panel local politicians from both sides of the aisle.
Putnam folks weighed in on the Southeast-Brewster Patch (SBP) Facebook page moments after the event came to a close:
"Mitt Romney was confident and determined. Wasn't even close," a user named Dan Powers wrote.
One user asserted that a particular response by the Republican candidate showed underlying racism. Another seemed on the fence about who won:
"I would say Romney if anyone did, however, Mittens said absolutley [sic] nothing about his plans that had any details ... its easy to say I would do it differently, but HOW?!" a user named Lala Luvera wrote on the SBP page.
Patch reached out to left and right-leaning folks, but several community leaders did not respond to requests for comments. The debate coincided with two local events: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell's budget presentation and a Village of Brewster Board of Trustees meeting.
Because of the latter, Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig was not able to catch the debate, but he did see bits and pieces.
"From what I saw, Romney looked like he was ready, and Obama did not," he told Patch, adding that he plans to watch the piece in its entirety soon.
Learn the nuts and bolts on November's local elections; read Patch's electon guide here.