The video: Last night's New York gubernatorial debate, expected to be a showdown between Democrat Andrew Cuomo and controversial Republican candidate Carl Paladino, was instead dominated by Jimmy McMillan, the elaborately mustachioed leader of the "Rent Is 2 Damn High" party. Clad in a pair of black gloves, McMillan repeatedly fired off non-sequiturs ("If you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you," he said in a reference to gay marriage) and spoke of himself in the third person. Of New York's record deficit, he said: "It's like a cancer. It will heal itself." McMillan wasn't the only candidate to behave oddly. Kristin Davis, a former prostitute, made several jokes about brothels, and Paladino left the stage during the closing statements, apparently in search of the men's room.
The reaction: If you thought McMillan's debate performance was "nonsensical bluster," says Cole Stryker at Urlesque, just take a look at his party's website, which "features an embedded mp3 of McMillan rapping over a funk beat." He'll be a full-blown internet meme before the week is up. This "cross between Professor Irwin Corey and Jesse Jackson" added some color to what was otherwise a "boring" debate, says Adam Hanft at Salon. "New York has an $8.2 billion budget deficit, and massive unpaid pension liabilities." Surely we should focus on tackling that, and not on the "sideshow" of these "niche candidates." Watch the highlights of the debate here: