Thursday, February 21, 2008

We need to be an "innovation nation" and other thoughts from tonight's debate, part 2

Taking an hour or so to watch "Lost" was definitely the right choice. But watching the rest of the debate is a good second choice, and through the magic of DVR technology, I'm ready to go. Part 1 is here.
  • John King tees it up for Hillary...Is Obama "all hat and no cattle?" Other than a mention of the state senator that whiffed in his attempt to defend Obama a couple of nights ago, she lets it go. Obama does a much better job defending his hat and cattle.

  • Campbell Brown brings up the plagiarism charge. Barack defending his position, calls this discussion part of the "silly season." He seems to be getting the crowd on his side. He's put Clinton in the position of defending her charges.

  • Clinton getting booed for the line "it's not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox." A little too harsh, I say. I think she may have dropped the line to get Obama mad. She has to know that the line was going to make the audience cringe. It might not be a bad line in a 30-second ad, but it comes across as a bit unseemly iin a face-to-face confrontation.

  • The people in the basketball bleachers stomping their feet in lieu of cheering is annoying.

  • Obama has been much better in the first 15 minutes of the second half. His answer on health care was good. While he does not mandate that everyone purchase coverage, he makes sure that everyone can buy it. As long as the health care system is going to be based on private insurance plans, it's fundamentally wrong to force people to pay the insurance companies. The only way I'd support that sort of universal health care is as part of a single-payer system, and that is not realistic anytime soon.

  • This extended applause out of the commercial break can only help Obama. Keep on running out the clock.

  • President Johnson, check.

  • These guys are talking past each other. We've got the idea.

  • I've never bought into the idea that Hillary's time as first lady should count as "experience."

  • It's interesting how the experience vs. hope themes permeate nearly every issue. Clinton spoke in terms of how what she has done and seen over the last 15 years qualify her to be commander-in-chief, while Obama talks about the things he will change as president.

  • Obama makes the point that he is a better opponent for McCain since he can argue the strategy (not in Iraq at all) vs. the tactics (surge, etc.). Now he's taking on McCain pretty hard. "It's clear by his embrace of Bush's policies that he doesn't [understand ecomomics]."

  • Another commercial? What is this, and NFL playoff game?

  • Hey, it's been an hour and a half, why aren't they finished?

  • The AC keeps blowing Obama's scratch pad around. It's been distracting me all night.

  • Clinton: "We borrow money from the Chinese to pay for oil to the Saudis." Talk about plagiarism. That is taken almost verbatim from an argument that Ron Paul, of all people, has been making in nearly every Republican debate.

  • I appreciate the fact that Obama's cuffs have buttons instead of links. I've always thought cufflinks are pretentious and give the appearance that the candidate is on a differnt plane from most of the rest of us.

  • Clinton finished with an excellent answer about the challenges she has faced and how they compare to the challenges of many Americans. She was also very gracious to Obama about the race. It almost sounded like she was conceding.
I thought the debate was a draw. Clinton won the first half, Obama won the second. But Clinton couldn't afford a draw, she had to take advantage of the opportunity. Obama will continue running out the clock if she doesn't change the dynamic.

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