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The Hiller Instinct

Second debate: Markey vs. Gomez

This second debate was almost a repeat of the first.

Sure, some words were different, and so were some topics, but the takeaway was the same.

Ed Markey is a dictionary of Democratic ideas, while Gabriel Gomez is short on specifics and short on patience.

They went back and forth, but rarely forward. They know what they believe, and they say it over and over.

For Gomez, it's Markey's record and campaign tactics. For Markey, it's entitlements and raising taxes on the rich.

What really separates them is Gomez' anger.

Gomez said, "You're the only political candidate to invoke the Newtown massacre for political gain, it is beyond disgusting I can't think of, well I can think of one thing actually, you did it with the Osama Bin Laden ad."

The way Markey sees it, Gomez doesn't understand campaigns:

Markey said, "Mr. Gomez thinks that when we're talking about the differences between the two of us on very important issues, that we're engaging in negative politics, we're not."

Gomez says it's all about trust.

Gomez said, "Who do you trust to put people above party and politics, and who do you trust to actually go down there and fix the problems we're facing down in D.C.?"

Bottom line: Markey droned and Gomez moaned. And I'll always take long answers over whining.

Markey wasn't exciting, but he rarely is. He won because he was competent...familiar with the issues...and clear about where he stands.

So this debate didn't make this race any closer. And Gomez gets only one more big chance to catch up...in the final debate, a week from tonight, that you'll be able to watch right here.