Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Democratic Debate

It's hard for me to fairly judge the Democratic candidates. The things that might appeal to me are unlikely to appeal to Democratic Primary voters. Conversely the things that turn me off are the things that make folks salivate over a Daily Kos. Still, as far things like presence, poise, and clarity argument go, it's possible to draw some conclusions.

Obama is the clear winner so far. He seems unflappable and extremely confident.

Bill Richardson may have had the best lines in either debate: "I've seen hostage negotiations that are more civil than this". Still he's polling less than five percent and he seems a little pathetic.

Clinton looks good tonight. In Iowa she looked haggard. Now she seems rested and about ten years younger.

Edwards is hard for me to judge. From my perspective he's an empty suit. I have no idea what he really believes. In 2004 he was the most conservative candidate for the Democratic nomination. This year he's the darling of the left. At least Clinton and Obama seem sincere in their convictions. I have absolutely no idea what we would be getting with a President Edwards. To me he looks smarmy tonight-just like always. Still, he has his supporters, so I guess there must be something there.

Update: Clinton was just funny! When told that polls said Obama was more "likable" than her she responded: "Well that hurts my feelings".

Final Grades;

Hillary looked like she's recovered from the shock of her finish in Iowa. She was tough when she needed to be and seemed at ease with not having to carry the burden of being the front runner.

A solid performance. He did seem a little too relaxed and maybe a little cocky. I think that's a mistake on his part.

He's in a difficult position. For almost a year now Edwards and Obama have been battling to be the anti-Clinton, but with Barack leading the polls should he switch his fire to the Senator from Illinois? Tonight he kept after Clinton-and kinda looked like a jerk doing it.

He had a few good lines but for the most part all of air time seemed to be devoted to the argument that being Secretary of Energy is just about the best experience a President can have-which is so absurd that nobody even tried to argue with him about it. He really should have talked about his experiences as Governor.

By the way ABC's George Stephanopoulos seemed to think that Edwards and Thompson had the best night-pretty much the opposite of what I've said here.

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