June 4, 2007

Better Know a Candidate - Last Night's Debate

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.


Featheriver said...

I, too, thought it was a better debate than the last one. I'm still on the fence with respect to which one I will support.

Hillary Clinton: I'm liking her better too. Having now seen her in person it is apparent she knows the details on the various issues. She made points with me by voting against the war funding bill.

Barack Obama: He's improving as well. I wasn't particularly impressed with him last week in Las Vegas. But he did well in the New Hampshire debate.

John Edwards: Was glad to see him get more blunt. It did help differentiate himself from Hillary with his admission of making a mistake on voting for the war on Iraq. But, I also think Hillary handled her response well. His leadership vs legislate dichotomy was effective too.

Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden: I like Dodd, Richardson and Biden. I just doubt Dodd and Biden have enough money backing to last. Though I scratched Biden off my list when he voted for the war funding bill. Richardson does use his references to being Governor frequently. But that is one of his best selling points, though I don't think he'll survive the money crunch.

Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich: They won't survive either, but I do think they raise pertinent and serious issues about the Democratic Party's and the Presidential candidates' performance during the Bush administration. Their points are worthy of putting out on the public table and constructive consideration by all Democrats.

Overall I thought the CNN format and method of handling the debate was far better than the first Democratic debate.

And, I agree, the current crop of Democratic candidates surpasses the Republican's crop.

Not Your Mama said...

Your take is the closest one I've seen to mine. I did enjoy the smackdown she gave Blitzer. Is it me or is he losing it?

Richardson- eh, still love him for various reasons but you're right about his public speaking. I'm holding out for now and see how the polls go the next few months but it isn't looking too awesome just now.

Obama was my 2nd choice once-upon-a-time but he's been losing me and Clinton is gaining. Kind of a shame about Biden, in a different time he might have been a very solid pres.

cls said...

Yeah, Blitzer, what a putz. He kept injecting himself into it. I was quite frustrated that he took over the debate. Hell, what were the reporters there for? Same with audience participation section. We could have gotten a lot more questions from them if Wolfie had not continued to hijack the debate.

Desert Beacon said...

Agree! Leslie W. Blitzer has become entirely too enamored of the sound of his own breathless repetitious vocalizing. I'd much rather sit through a session with a non-professional asking the questions, like the president of some non-partisan organization. It will be interesting to see how it goes with the Drones the GOP has fielded thus far.

TomCat said...

Good analysis. The one difference I saw is that I knew Hillary was lying when she said she had been well briefed by aides on the NIE they were discussing. The most secret version of the NIE they was kept in a secure location and available to Senators only for review. No aide could have briefed her on that version, because no aide had access to it. Of course the MSM opted not to report this.