Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thoughts on Last Nights Debate

I watched last nights debate, with the interest only a political junkie could generate, and here are a few of my thoughts:
* The moderators were terrible. Tim Russert tried so hard to generate conflict with "identity politics gotcha" questions, but he failed. And he looked small and petty in the end. The thinly veiled "are you a racist", "are you a sexist" questions were an attempt to provoke a fight, but Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all chose to remain above that fray, and instead seemed to be laughing at him. Brian Williams threw in the email spam "Obama is a secret muslim" as a question, but it merely made him look foolish.
*Clearly, Obama and Clinton settled on a truce. Along with Edwards, they repeated a message that "we're all family as Democrats", and there were no cheap shots during the debate. The differences expressed were policy based, not personal.
*While not as substantive as I would have liked, the debate was more substantive than previous debates. On economic issues, Edwards shined, but Clinton and Obama were also solid. The differences were more of nuance than policy or belief.
*I'm not calling a winner, but it was a bit of a step forward overall. Less trivial, more policy. The media really wants the petty trivia to dominate, but all three candidates articulated their positions well. The current media climate doesn't want a serious policy debate, or we'd still be hearing Biden, Dodd, and Richardson.
*It ain't over yet.

1 comment:

Mauigirl said...

I am disgusted with the moderators in these debates. I'm so glad the candidates didn't bite when they tried to stir up the controversy.