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What we learned from Debate 2

We learned a couple of things at Thursday’s rollicking FOX25/Herald debate, the last televised face-off before the Sept. 22 preliminary: Michael Flaherty doesn’t know how much a ride on the MBTA costs. Mayor Thomas Menino thinks that Boston streets are based on ancient cow paths. Kevin McCrea has an expansive view of what corruption is and is all about visiting schools one day a week if he becomes mayor. And Sam Yoon is nothing if not consistently on message in arguing the mayor has too tight a grip on City Hall.

“You’ve been sitting in that chair for 16 years,” Yoon said to Menino, referring to the mayor’s campaign ad that shows Menino's desk and chair in various neighborhoods across the city. “It’s almost like you’ve become the chair, and when you become the chair, it’s like the system is you.”

(Okay, but we’re still waiting for a parody of that ad. Come on, guys. It’s almost too easy.)

Still, everybody (well, okay, everybody who’s been following this race since it unofficially started) was looking for that hit that you can’t recover from. A gasket blown. A chair (and desk?) thrown.

But, suffice it to say, the Big Hit from anybody to anybody didn’t happen. So we head into preliminary without any televised takedown of Menino (or any of the other candidates) and wondering whether he gets above or below 50 percent, as David Bernstein notes in this week’s Boston Phoenix. Lloyd Bentsens are in short supply.

There’s still hope for some game-changers: All four candidates will be attending the Ward 4 and Ward 5 Democratic Committees’ mayoral forum, set to be held at the Boston Architectural College at 320 Newbury Street. Candidates: Bring your best trackers and handheld devices.

Worth noting: After the debate, Flaherty tried a little (funny) damage control over the gotcha question afterwards on Twitter. “Not an avid T rider, put $20, wanted $5 card,” he wrote. “Big advocate of T, not a big fan of the 15 Sacagawea coins.”

To be fair, it is a little tough to say what the price of an MBTA ride is off the top of your head. (We’ve got a monthly pass.)

The two top people who would immediately know are probably Jim Aloisi and Dan Grabauskas. And look at where they both are now.