Friday, February 22, 2008

(JessFinds) The Debates

The Democratic debate last night in Texas was pretty good. Here is my take:

Overall the debate was pretty civil. Obama had a rough start. He seemed ill at ease until I realized that he was trying to set a different tone. Clinton speaks in a bit of a clipped Martha Stewart manner and Obama was trying to come across like he was sitting down with viewers personally. So, initially she came across direct and professional (albeit clipped) and he came across a little too laid back.

Clinton: I think that the tone was set and she was WAY out of her league to bring up the alleged plagiarism issue. The boos and hisses that came from the audience definitely put her up against a wall. It really makes me think that Obama is the Teflon candidate. If the ONLY thing they can dredge up on him is that he knowingly borrowed a few lines for a speech from a friend (who happens to have suggested that he use the lines) then the Clinton campaign is definitely between a rock and a hard place. He just comes across as untouchable and attacks on his character seem to blemish the attacker more. Anyway, the crowd was not having it. Her other jab about an Obama supporter who could not name one thing that Obama has done fell on crickets. Clinton also held the high of the night with her closing - she was warm and genuine and eloquent. A class act. For once she came across as a person and not a machine. She deserved the standing ovation that she got.

Obama: He set the tone for the evening and came out of this debate unscathed. Hilary had the lowest and the highest moments of the evening but he sailed through, stayed on topic and really attempted to highlight the differences between their campaigns. When attacked, he stayed calm and seemed to rise above it. Did not counter-attack. Used humor to deflect what he perceived as "silly" jabs. Just stuck to the issues. I started the debate respecting him and ended the debate respecting him. It was just a solid night for him.

Here is what I gathered: They both hold the Democratic platform dearly. They agree on a lot of issues. What the nomination will come down to is (a) who can deliver on the promise (b) who has the vision to get us out of our current quagmire and (c) who can hold up against McCain.

They differ slightly on healthcare (both want total coveragebut have different ways of going about it) and world diplomacy (Clinton believes the presidency is not to be used as a diplomacy tool, preferring presidental visits be a reward for groundwork accomplished and Obama believes that a president should meet with our friends and enemies regularly to repair damaged relationships and lay groundwork for further relationships).

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