Monday, July 23, 2007

Flash Read on the CNN/YouTube Debate

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 546

Here's my flash read on the CNN/YouTube debate.

Home Runs:

Joe Biden - for his answer on Darfur: "By the time we're done with diplomacy, those kids will be dead." A home run not only for Biden forcefully getting his point across, but even more for taking Bill Richardson's answer about diplomacy and turning it from the home run Richardson thought it was and making it look like a called third strike instead.

Barak Obama - for his answer on the minimum wage: "We would be willing to work for the minimum wage because most of the people up here already have a lot of money." Particularly damaging to Chris Dodd, who had the bad luck of being the previous speaker.

Chris Dodd - for not having a bad word to say about anybody on the "candidate to your left" question.

Hillary Clinton - for the look of pure steel on her face when answering the question about whether Islamic countries would take a woman president seriously.

CNN - for giving the moderator's job to someone other than Wolf Blitzer.

Strike Outs:

Barak Obama - for venerating Ronald Reagan every time he gave an example of effective presidential leadership. This was a Democratic debate, after all, not a Reagan tribute.

Joe Biden - for his response to the "do any of you have family serving in the military" question. Instead of talking about the MRV provision in the defense appropriations bill, why didn't he mention that his son is in the Delaware National Guard, subject to deployment to Iraq? The MRV thing may have been a valid point, but Biden missed a golden opportunity to make himself human to the electorate.

John Edwards - for the Hillary jacket thing. Edwards was going for lighthearted, but instead looked patronizing for talking about the outfit of the only woman candidate on the stage. Even worse, it reinforced the perception that Edwards is lightweight, superficial, and all about appearances.

Gravel and Kucinich - for meeting expectations. I'm starting to think that Clinton and Edwards had the right idea about them.


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