Both treasurers were respectful to each other, although that doesn’t mean they didn’t press each other hard.
Swan hammered Hockey for a date to run the Liberal promises through Treasury and Hockey was blunt and “it’s the facts” on several questions. At least twice, he answered questions with a monosyllabic answer = “yes.” Or “no.” Then he would start a longer explanation (he talked more than Wayne Swan did I think). In a debate about interest rates, he defended his position that interest rates are always higher under Labor with “Well, it’s on the [Reserve Bank] website.” With a hand gesture that couldn’t say it any clearer: “what else can you say?”
Looking at personalities, I was impressed by both leaders. I thought they were both sounded like clear, reasonable, grown men. They fought mostly, with facts and counter-facts, instead of lobbying slogans and inflammatory insults at each other. I noticed that Joe Hockey would slip in a dig at his opposition by inneudo and suggestion, instead of sounding like an attack dog.
All in all, it was a very interesting debate. On the 11th there will be a health debate between the two alternative health ministers on the National Press Club, and the day after that, a Foreign Affairs debate. I am sure to watch both and report back my impressions.