I watched a debate tonight for the Public Service Commission between challenger Brad Crabtree and incumbent Kevin Cramer.
It was an interesting discussion of issues, and there is a clear difference between the candidates over the need for more energy efficiency in North Dakota, and the need to spend more money to get that efficiency.
But what really stuck out to me during the debate was the difference in attitudes between the candidates. Crabree spent the majority of the debate looking frustrated and unhappy, especially whenever he wasn’t talking. He looked like he was even bordering on angry. It wasn’t until the debate was mostly over before he started seeming more friendly and less grouchy, only to return to his frowning until the debate ended.
Cramer, meanwhile, was smiling the entire debate. He was cheery and happy and nice without failure, to the point at times he seemed to be smirking, or just condescending. It was clear he’d had a lot more experience at this. He maintained
If Crabtree wants that PSC seat, he’s going to have to work on his body language and attitude when he doesn’t think anyone is looking at him (because they often are). His demeanor is not the kind that the average North Dakotan is going to find appealing, and while he knows his stuff, it’s going to take more than that to get elected.