Thursday, January 31, 2008

Debate Live(ish)-Blogging

Live on tape from the Kodak Theater, it's the historic "no white guys" Presidential Debate. Not counting the ten thousand white guys in the audience...

Guess I can't vote on those questions, since this is really over.

Ooo! No holds barred!

I'm taking this into the comments, because I have no idea how many column inches this will be...


Mr Furious said...

Obama gets to open. Good statement. Tribute to Edwards, gracious gesture to Clinton. Most of his points are selling the Party over himself.

Hillary returns the "one of us will be the next President."...There's the "Day One."...smooch to Edwards...What? no thirty-five years?

First question is to Hillary: "What is the biggest policy difference between you?" Guess we won't be dipping toes in, straight to the deep end. Rattles off a bunch of policies, but doesn't really detail ANYTHING different. Points out that the Republicans are worlds apart.

Obama draws distinctions a little more clearly, keeps it clean, but does more to demonstrate differences.

Obama goes first and does a good job explaining the left-out people. His best job on this thusfar. Hillary does a good job of explaining right up front that if you like the insurance you have, you're all set, and don't need what I'm offering. This is a very important point. It's true of Obama's plan too, but is a good selling point. Obama wants to know how Hillary will enforce mandate. She never explains this.

Hey! It's Jason Alexander!

How do you guys pay for this stuff? Good job by both of them to nail the GOP and Bush tax cuts. Increased efficiency will save tens of billions—Hillary particularly strong on the details, Obama better on the GOP-bash.

Obama Sister Souljah's the question blaming African American unemployment on immigrants. It's the economy, education, infrastructure and a host of problems over immigration. Hillary calls out the employers who use undocumented workers.

Hillary is really, really good on the details.

Mr Furious said...

Mostly agreement here. They even both nail each other on having a tough time on the drivers license issue.

CNN fucks up and misses the question put to Obama. How the hell does that happen? It's their fucking debate?

The question: "Is Clinton better prepared to be President from day one than Obama?"

Obama sells his judgement and skill at getting shit done through consensus, compliments HRC's record, but his skills are unique.

Question to Clinton: "You've only been a Senator a few years longer than Sen. Obama. What makes you so fucking special?"

Annnd, drink. "Well, Wolf, I would go back thirty-five years..." I hate this crap. As if Obama didn't do years of service out of law school as well...She takes credit for SCHIP—not sure that's legit.

Chelsea has grown up to be much more attractive than expected. Just sayin...

Stupid question about no business experience for either of them vs Mitt Romney...Both of them hit it out of the park. Hillary: "Look at the jackass "CEO/MBA President" we've already got." Obama: "Mitt's gotten a pretty poor return on his campaign investment."

To Hillary: "Ted and Caroline Kennedy think Obama is the second coming of JFK, what say ye?"

"I got endorsed by some Kennedy's too! Just none that you heard of..."

Mr Furious said...

To Obama: "Were the Clinton years, good years?"

BHO: "Sure, but I'm actually gonna build the party."

To Clinton: "Why should there be thirty years of Bush/Clinton? How is that change?" Some good zingers on Bush, but an empty answer. Claims the great thing about this country is we all start out the same, with no advantages, etc. Please.

Mr Furious said...

No real fireworks so far.

IRAQ:Both agree about withdrawals...

Obama finishes strong. Nails Bush, McCain, and also Hillary for the war ever happening. "I will end this war, but I will end the mindset that allowed this war to start."

Hey! It's noted homophobe Isiah Washington!

Hillary calls for Obama to help fight Bush on Iraq negotiations.

Question specific to Hillary's opposing Levin Amendment—"What the fuck were you thinking?"

Her answer is crap. She fucked up and she still blames Bush.

Obama just kills with this. I can call this what it was—a massive clusterfuck—and we all know it, and I knew it then!

Wolf: "Why can't you admit you made a mistake?"

HRC: "No one could have imagined..." FUCKING BULLSHIT! Nothing else you have to say here matters."

Wolf: "So you were naive for trusting President Bush?"

Just blames Bush some more. STFU.

Obama gets to bust out the "Not just ready on day one, but be right on day one."

Game. Set. Match. I don't think she can compete on the topic. Not with Obama, and not with McCain.


It's late, and I'm coming down with something, so that's it for now.

Mr Furious said...

WTF? CNN comes back from commercial too late again.


Mr Furious said...

Fuck it, it's almost over, let's close it out.

Obama really handles a Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama possibility well...Hillary has to "agree with everything Barack just said."

Then wraps with an incredibly awkward plug for her own online town hall.


A good, clean fight. I think Obama wins on blows (such as they were), and Hillary really excelled early on detailed policy points.

I'm not sure there will be much for the highlight reels in terms of feisty exchanges.

Okay, now I'm going to bed.

Toast said...

I only caught about half an hour of the debate. My overwhelming impressions was, wow, I would be absolutely fucking tickled to have either of these articulate and extremely intelligent individuals as my president. Compared with our current White House occupant and the GOP field, it's like night and day.

Mr Furious said...


Toast said...

John Judis has a very interesting take on the two candidates.

Mr Furious said...


Mr Furious said...

I found it.

Overall, I find it dismissive of Obama even though he claims to be undecided. But, I'm hardly a neutral reader...

This was a very good point (and not just because it is anti-HRC):

"She is running on experience, which is to say on her own past, and on a promise to use that experience to solve problems. That tells voters something about herself, but nothing about how she sees the country or them. The two prior Democratic presidential candidates, Al Gore and John Kerry, had a similar problem."

Worth considering. Or perhaps the voters have learned their lesson and will vote more with (and for) thought over appeal.

I'm not counting on it.

No recent election (Bill Clinton included) was decided in favor of the technocrat/expert/wonk. The candidate with the emotional appeal wins every time—whether that's positive "like to have a beer with" or negative "fear the terrists".