Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Last Post

Andrew Olmsted was a well known blogger who volunteered for active duty Iraq. He was killed in action yesterday. Before he died, he left a farewell message with a fellow blogger for publication in the event of his death. It's a worthwhile reminder of the human cost of war.

via Little Green Footballs.

Global Warming Test

Definitely worth your time.

Shamelessly stolen from The Last of the Few.

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;

Clinton-A
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.

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

Edwards-B
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.

Richardson-C
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.

Huckabee Schmuckabee

Kristee Weldon over at For Serenity's Sake has a great post on the pitfalls of voting for someone based on their supposed religious credentials.

Be sure to check out the comments too. That first one is really thoughtful and well written.

The Republican Debate

I'm watching it now. So far Romney seems the strongest. Giuliani and McCain are having strong nights as well. Fred is his usual funny self and Huckabee is holding his own. Ron Paul is demonstrating once again that he's the Republican party's crazy uncle.

Update: Thompson and McCain are tag-teaming Romney on immigration. Too bad really since Romney is saying some good things on the issue. Thompson just whacked Giuliani on the real meaning of amnesty.

Final Grades:

Romney-A-
McCain flustered him a few times, something he needs to work on. The real battle though was for Romney to present himself as the "real republican" in the race. If Romney gets enough voters to say to themselves "yeah, I guess he's ok" he'll be the nominee. He moved a step closer to that tonight.

Giuliani-A-
A good night. No mistakes but he didn't really provide a reason for someone who was committed to another candidate to switch.

McCain-A+
He was relaxed and confident and he never lost sight of the fact that his main rival in the room (in the New Hampshire primary anyway) was Romney. He never missed an opportunity to stick it to Mitt, something that Romney seemed unprepared for.

Thompson-B
He neither helped nor hurt himself. He came across as credible and I liked his answers on immigration best but he didn't dominate the room.

Huckabee-B
A good night really. He presented himself well and didn't back down when other candidates took shots at him.

Paul-F
Aside from him being...well a little crazy, he seemed flustered and cranky. The format tonight was against him. It allowed everyone to gang up on him on foreign policy issues and his endless rants on the war probably hurt his position more than it helped.

Romney Wins Wyoming Caucuses

Thompson second!

The former Massachusetts governor won eight delegates, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson got three and California Rep. Duncan Hunter won one.