My thoughts on last night's debate in New Hampshire:
First, debate moderators, PLEASE, no more "raise your hands if you" questions. This isn't grammar school. If you wish to know the candidates stances on basic issues, have them fill out a questionnaire beforehand and publish it on your web site. Jeesh!
- Hillary Clinton - My favorite moment was her smack-down of Wolf Blitzer (video) on his asinine hypothetical questions. She's looking better and better to me. Also, she answered each question she was given (those Town Halls are paying off). I never once found myself saying about her, "She's not answering the question." I never got the feeling that she was using a question to revert to a point she Had To Make.
- Joe Biden - even though he is off my list, he stayed on point. Also, I "hear-heared" his comments about the political realities of Washington, which Hillary echoed later. Again, he answered the questions.
- Chris Dodd - Cheers for his answer to the 100 days in office question (restoring our Constitutional rights)
Held their own
- John Edwards - I think he tripped up a bit on the gay marriage question, but overall he gave a solid performance.
- Dennis Kucinich - As always, the man comes from a different perspective than many Americans, but he is able to articulate his vision. Did not always address the question at hand, but used them as a spring board to the points he wanted to make. This is not always bad, but the candidate should at least quickly address the question before moving on.
- Barack Obama - did better than the last debate, but I am still cautious about him. Often didn't answer the question he was given or took too long to get to the answer. The same thing happened in the last debate.
- Bill Richardson - The man has an extraordinary resume, but last night he seemed to rely to heavily on his role as governor (nearly every answer he gave reminded us that he was the governor of New Mexico), and his answer to the 100 days question stunned both my husband and me. My husband who really likes Gov Richardson said, "Wow, he didn't do himself any favors tonight."
- Mike Gravel - What was refreshing in the first few debates and forums has gotten tiresome.
Overall though, I thought this debate was much better than the first one, and really enjoyed the give and take of the debate which was sorely lacking in the first debate. I didn't walk away from this one feeling frustrated. And man oh man, what a great group of candidates we have.