Sunday, January 06, 2008

Thoughts on the NH debate

First debate I have watched. Didn't watch the Repubs all that much- like Obama, I was watching the football game, so I was in and out of that one. I take it I didn't miss much.

Watched the entire Democratic debate. First of all, I really like these guys. They are all incredibly smart people with wonderful ideas. I wanted to give a standing ovation at the end, and I felt very optimistic about the future, even given the dire problems that we face.

Edwards came across as the fighter for the "middle class" (no one really mentioned the poor), fighter for the working people, fighter for the people, period. He also seemed a bit strident to me. Could be the sign of a man who desperately needed to score some points. Out of all the candidates though- I still like his message the best, and I believe him when he says that he will fight the big money interests, because that is what he has done, that is the root of his desire to do this job. He is the most sincere out of all of them. If he doesn't make it to president, we must have this man somewhere in the cabinet. We must.

Obama strikes me as intelligent, thoughtful, definitely someone you want on the team, but also inexperienced and arrogant. Sorry bandwagon jumpers, but it seems the times that he faces criticism or tough questions, he tunes out and dismisses it with a wave of the hand. You get the impression he won't listen to your concerns if he doesn't agree with you. There is also the problem of this idea that Republicans are just going to join with him and sing "Kumbaya". Has he not been paying attention these past seven years? Still, I see incredible potential there; I just want a bit more seasoning. He hasn't been put through the fire yet, and I'm not sure how he will react when it happens.

My estimation of Richardson went through the roof- he is a wise man with a grasp on the reality of both foreign and domestic problems. Could be that this is just the first time I have really paid attention to him. Some serious earlier gaffes really take him out of my consideration, but again he is someone you want around based on his ideas and experience in this business. He's a good guy, and he brings a lot to the table.

But the person that could walk in and be president right now is Hillary Clinton. She has the most decisive plans, has the most decisive answers. She knows where she wants to go and is realistic about the prospects of getting there, both foreign and domestic. Too bad she is chasing the word "change". It doesn't work with her- and it might be a fatal tactical error on the part of her campaign. She needs to focus on the words "fix" or "repair" - she even said "repair" at one point- because that is exactly what needs to happen first to start to make the "change". She is trying to sell that point, and it's a correct one, but it isn't sticking in the fluffy, soundbite world. Hillary should fire her strategists right now and start focusing on her strengths instead- she has quite a few.

Washington is not going to "change" overnight, and anyone that looks at the situation honestly knows that. This was even brought up last night- Bill Clinton promised "change". George Bush promised "change". It's so easy to say, but yet so much harder to do, and the word becomes rather cliche' as a campaign premise. I wish they ALL (even the Pubs) would stop using it so much and get back to reality here. Anyone that promises this sweeping mythical "change" is setting up the country for a huge let-down.

Telling moment- at the end, Gibson asked what mistakes during these debates they would "take back" if they could.

Hillary left it up to the "pundits" to answer that question, and instead took that moment to prop up the Democrats, pointing out that they are the ones talking about the issues that matter, effectively take a very healthy shot at the Republicans and emphasizing the difference between the direction of the parties- something that needs to be done, something that the others never really breeched specifically.

I liked that answer. A lot.

I will probably take all kinds of shit for this- but out of those four people, she is the one with the chops to walk into that mess right now and realistically start to repair the damage. And she won't take crap from the Republicans while she is doing it. And that's what we need. Or has everyone forgotten what that party is all about?

I would love to roll them all into one person, and I sincerely hope that they all play a part in the new administration- whoever that administration belongs to. I will happily support any one of the four that I saw on that stage last night.

Damn, do we have a good team there. Let's put them all to work on cleaning up the Bush Republican disaster.

cross-posted at