Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nothing new to discuss: tonight's Democratic debate

You are looking live at Philadelphia, where the 21st debate of the Democratic campaign is about to begin. Frankly, I expected this would be over long ago. I mean, it is over--Clinton's chances of willing are nearly zero--but on we go. Will Hillary be on the attack? Will Obama try to run out the clock? And away we go...
  • Beginning with opening statements? We haven't had a debate with openers yet, have we? Barack tells a story right out of the gate about a "bitter" voter, but he uses the term "discouraged." Is he baiting Hillary? Or by mentioning that theme in the opening, is he trying to get out in front of it.
  • Hillary is looking above the camera. It looks like the spectators in the hall are all above the eye level of the candidate. It feels like she's talking past me.
  • What? A commercial right out of the gate? What is this? There blunts the impact of either of those statements.
  • Oh come on, Charlie. You know that question not going to be answered. Neither of them want the other as a running mate.
  • This had better be good. I'm passing up Red Sox-Yankees for this.
  • Charlie pulling out a clause of the constitution that was amended 200 years ago. That clause would mean that either McCain or Obama/Clinton would be the other's vice president. It was such a bad idea in practice that the country got rid of it almost as soon as they ratified the constitution.
  • Barack, are you patronizing working class people? I didn't like his answer. I know exactly what he is trying to say. He's saying that people vote values issues because they don't think the government can help them. If they believed that a candidate could help change their economic situation, they would vote that way.
  • Hillary won't come right out and say that Barack can beat McCain. She talked around it. Now she gets to it. She's off to a pretty good start, actually.
  • Obama slips in Hillary's baking cookies flub from 1992! Kapow! She wasn't elitist then, and I'm not elitist now. Such a nice, soft little dig. I'll bet this gets play tomorrow.
  • Back to Reverend Wright...I'm having a hard time staying engaged. It's all a rehash. This issue is what, five weeks old now? Hillary would have walked out if she'd been in church the Sunday after 9/11, Barack wasn't there. So on and so on. Why are we spending 10 minutes on this. Clinton ought to just stand out of the way. If the Wright comments are bad enough, let them stand on their own. She's going to get in the way by pushing the issue.
  • Hillary, why did you lie about Bosnia? Pretty good answer. She admitted that she embellished the story, and that she knew she was overreaching. She's overtalking a little--trying to explain it away--she just can't be "one and done."
  • We have yet to get to any of the "issues" in this campaign. As good as the last Charlie Gibson debate was--it seemed to be so centered on the issues--this one has been all about "gotcha" questions and inside baseball.
  • Obama doesn't seem comfortable at all. He needs to be a bit more off the cuff.
  • Oh God! The flag-pin question! Is there truly nothing new to talk about?
  • It's about time Obama asked the question of whether he is going to be held accountable for the statements of anybody who knows him? Good for him for calling George Stephonopolous out.
  • Hillary refuses to let Obama stew in his own trouble. If he's being hammered, she ought to let him be hammered. She tries to keep the issue of the weathermen alive, and Obama hits back with the reminder that Bill Clinton pardoned two of them. She can't leave well enough alone.
Alright, I just switched over to the Red Sox game for a moment and it's 9-7 Sox in the 5th. I'm not going to spend another hour and a half of this kind of old news. I've got the thing on DVR. If it turns out that there is something important that I missed, I can always watch it later.

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