May 23, 2019


Which vice presidential candidate emerged victorious in the debate? What do you make of John Frary, the Republican challenging incumbent Mike Michaud in the 2nd congressional District? Should skinny-dipping be illegal? Can John McCain win in Maine’s 2nd congressional District?

ClickBack, the BDN’s editorial page interactive feature, this week seeks reader input on these political – and personal – questions. Go to, pull down on the Opinion menu and select “ClickBack” to participate. Readers can post their own questions as well, or continue the debate with other readers. Some reader comments may be featured on Friday’s OpEd page.

Who “won” the debate – Sarah Palin or Joe Biden?

Gov. Palin exceeded expectations, many observers said, yet polls showed more people felt that Sen. Biden performed better. What constitutes a victory in a debate? Is appearing presidential the most important goal? Can a vice president learn in the “understudy” role so he or she is ready to take over? Did Gov. Palin or Sen. Biden change your mind in your earlier assessments of them?

Is John Frary a worthy alternative to Mike Michaud?

Professor Frary, a Republican, is challenging Democratic incumbent Mike Michaud for the 2nd congressional District seat. Some voters find Frary’s somewhat eccentric antics in the campaign refreshing. Others say he fails to offer a serious alternative to the incumbent. What do you make of him? Can you imagine professor Frary serving in Congress? Would he be able to work within the system, or is his curmudgeonly take on government better suited to being a critic?

Skinny-dipping – an old-fashioned rural tradition or a crime against humanity?

Three people have been charged with public indecency for taking naked plunges into Moosehead Lake to win free sandwiches from a restaurant. Is the law being applied correctly? Would a jury of their peers find their nude bodies less than decent? Is nudity more acceptable in the wilds of the Moosehead region than in, say, downtown Portland? Should cops start staking-out rural swimming holes?

John McCain is working to win Maine’s 2nd congressional District – does he have a shot?

Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign announced it was abandoning Michigan and concentrating on other states, including Maine, which – along with Nebraska – splits its electoral votes. If Sen. Obama wins more votes in Maine, he’ll get all of its four electoral votes. But if Sen. McCain wins more votes in the 2nd District, he will get one electoral vote and Sen. Obama will get three votes. Although Maine has gone Democratic in the last four presidential elections, Al Gore won the 2nd District by just 5,000 votes in 2000, giving McCain supporters hope. What are the odds that Maine will split its votes?

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