Post-debate Thread

It was a pretty staid affair, although somewhat more lively than yesterday's GOP debate. I was surprised that Barack Obama didn't step up his debate performance today I have to say; while he looked more relaxed than he usually does at these things, his answers did not project the confidence of someone with all the mo' and unlike on the stump, he still hasn't found his debate voice (although he did score with the invitation to Hillary to advise him.)

John Edwards actually did step it up today I thought, combining his Washington crusader rhetoric with his new more mellow Iowa-friendly persona; my only complaint would be that he repeated the same themes and language in every question to a distracting degree. While I agree with Marc Ambinder that it allowed him to weave his answers into "a larger argument," there was a bit of a broken record aspect to his answers for me.

Hillary Clinton, after a lifeless first half hour, returned to her impressive debate style for the final two-thirds and I thought probably did herself some good, if indeed this debate is potentially "seismic." I thought she appeared presidential and pretty well embodied her "strength and experience" rhetoric with her answers today; I don't know that the same can be said of Obama.

While Biden usually shines in these forums, he was a bit of a snooze whereas Dodd and Richardson were excellent. I thought Richardson was particularly good when he used his 2 minute statement to bring up Iraq, which as he reminded us, has been neglected at the last couple of debates.

Overall, there was an odd sense of calm to the whole thing, wasn't there? As though not much depended on the outcome...

What did you think?

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Debate, Democratic Primary, Iowa (all tags)

Comments

39 Comments

Re: Post-debate Thread

For a campaign in collapse, Clinton did not seem rattled. Obama was pretty subdued for a front-runner. Keeping an eye on Edwards.

by souvarine 2007-12-13 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I can live with Edwards.  I like Biden, too, but his Senatorial record bothers me a lot.

As of right now, my choices are: Hillary, Edwards, Biden.  

by FilbertSF 2007-12-13 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Hillary was HUMLIATED by Obama in that debate.  That was her Dan Quayle moment.  That debate will be remembered as the beginning of the end of her campaign.

by allmiview 2007-12-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
Smug and overreaching

You said it.

by Coral 2007-12-13 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I don't think Obama has anywhere near the gravitas to pull off a "Dan Quayle" moment.  I think he did a good job projecting confidence in this debate, but it was hardly "humiliating" for Hillary.

by Steve M 2007-12-13 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Alternatively, Obama will be

Obama is smug and preachy.  

by dkmich 2007-12-13 11:44PM | 0 recs
Edwards won CNNs focus group

of undecideds.

whatever that's worth .

heard he did well on Faux's dial ometer too

by TarHeel 2007-12-13 11:42AM | 0 recs
Media cycle!

Snoozer debate!

PS: All post debate stories will include mentions of Hillary's campaign calling Obama a drug dealer. He wins the newscycle. Ha ha ha!

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:14AM | 0 recs
This is the Way the World Ends...

...not with a bang but with a whimper.

I'm sure everyone figures that the debates have saturated the media. All that is left to is organize turnout for the 3rd. Edwards, Clinton, and Obama all still think they can win this thing.

by risenmessiah 2007-12-13 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Is Wolf Blitzer on the Clinton's payroll.  My God, he is taking every opportunity to bring the Drug smear up over and over again.  Now asking Biden about it in detail - as if it has anything to do with Biden.  Now it's that Shaheen has stepped down so he can say it again.

by Piuma 2007-12-13 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Helps Obama if framed as a Clinton smear!

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I'm voting for Richardson.  He says he'll bring home all the troops within a year - and will leave no residual troops.

Clinton, on the other hand, said, today, that she'll "bring home all the troops" - but that's not what she says in her article in Foreign Affairs Magazine.
Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century

In that article, she said that she will leave combat troops behind to fight Al Qaeda and protect US interests and contractors over there.  She also said that she may leave troops over there to protect the Kurds.  That's not ending the war.  US troops left behind will be targets and will be in even more danger than they are now.

by Astraea 2007-12-13 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I'm going to have to disagree with all of the people who said this was a snoozer. This was one of the only debates to actually delve into some good details and positions while also giving Dodd and Richardson more equal footing, that they certainly deserve. Debates aren't supposed to be glorified boxing matches prefaced by Chris Matthews and moderated by Wolf Blitzer-- they're supposed to be dignified, cordial, and informative. I think this one passed the test, though I have no idea what effect it's going to have if any.

by bowiegeek 2007-12-13 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Something that registers 1.5 on the Richter scale could also be called seismic.

I think to those of us who are obsessed with politics (almost all of us on this site), we expect lots to happen every! single! day! But my guess is that in reality not a whole lot changes from day-to-day or week-to-week. It's probably not unlike financial folks watching the stock market--some days it's up, some days it's down, in a year it's not far from where it started, especially under this administration.

I doubt a debate scheduled for Thursday afternoon can really have that much of an effect. And it shouldn't. I mean, how much more can one debate add after all this time?

by OrangeFur 2007-12-13 11:25AM | 0 recs
Obama in a word...

...callow.

by Dooley 2007-12-13 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama in a word...

I heard he deals drugs!

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:28AM | 0 recs
The press is already working its angle

The corporate media is already working to shape the coverage.

They will tell us:

1) Nothing changed it was a boring debate

2) That Obama got one over on Clinton when he said he looked forwards to having her as an advisor (the question was how he could promise a departure on foreign policy if he was advised by so many former Clinton advisors).

3) Clinton hit poor Obama below the belt when she said you can't "hope for change."

Thats my prediction.

The press has it out for Clinton.  Read Ben Smith over at the Politico.  He says the press frets over the possibly of covering the Clinton White House because they don't feel it will be open.   That is a HOOT!  The media let Bush and Co. pee all over them for 6 years and loved it, and not they have it out for Clinton?

Puh-lease.

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-13 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: The press is already working its angle

Ha - the press has it in for Clinton? Or is the Clinton campaign incompetent and ineffectual at handling the press?

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:34AM | 0 recs
I'm waiting for the media to ask a tough question

I have not heard a tough question or a tough article pointed at anyone by Clinton in 3 months.

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-13 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The press is already working its angle

Ha! You think? You think that campaigns aren't about messenging and press manipulation? Ha!

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Ha!

Put her in the comfy chair! Ha! HA! Ha!

by bowiegeek 2007-12-13 01:09PM | 0 recs
sorry pal...

you lost the media primary and now you have to pay the price.

by mboehm 2007-12-13 11:54AM | 0 recs
true, true

by dpANDREWS 2007-12-16 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: nothimg chamges

The status quo remains.

The MSM will keep playing the Obama exchange with Clinton on his answer to her as an advisor his U tube moment.

by BDM 2007-12-13 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Does talk about the smear

The smear? Does it hurt him? ha ha ha. Of course not. Why do you think the Clinton campaign panicked today and apologized to Obama? The smear DESTROYS HER. It ENDS HER CAMPAIGN. This is the lowest that a Democratic campaign has EVER GONE...AND HILLARY TOOK US THERE!!!

by wahoopaul 2007-12-13 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Does talk about the smear

You act like a 'crazy' with all the caps- sheesh.  What hospital are you typing from? How many times have we heard her campaign is destroyed? - plenty- and she's still kicking.

by reasonwarrior 2007-12-13 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I didn't see any winners or losers (but, I never do). I thought my guy Obama did well. He had several nice moments, but no home runs (whatever those are) or anything--and he had some of his characteristic pauses that people don't like so much. In short, I'm happy with his performance.

Clinton was pretty good substantively. I would maybe take away a point or two for style, but that's pretty subjective stuff. Obviously, others will have their own legitimate opinion about that sort of thing.

I generally don't like Edwards in debates. He's very good on the stump, but there's always been something about his debate performances that leaves me unsatisfied. Maybe it's because he seems to be on the stump during the debates, which feels a little inappropriate. Anyway, I thought that he was better than normal today.

The "lower tier" were all fine, I suppose. I continue to like Biden, although his self-flattery gets annoying. Kucinich should have been there.

More than anything, I just felt like I'd heard it all before. Folks like us pay such close attention that these debates rarely provide new info or inspiration. So, although I liked the format, it was too late in the game to matter much to me.  And, honestly, I don't know why anyone would based their decision heavily on debate performance anyway.  

by DPW 2007-12-13 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I'm just glad it's over and of course with no real attacks on each other, it will get little press but that's that.  The one who really needed a break-out performance was Edwards, though, and I'm not sure that happened.  He could still win Iowa, but the bigger the margin, the more it would help him.  If it's an essential 'tie' even with him in first, it probably won't do him much good.

Any of the top 3 could take the top spot- now we just have to 'wait and see.'

by reasonwarrior 2007-12-13 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Wonder if the most important audience was not the moderator herself - the editor of the Des Moines Register - sizing them up for the upcoming endorsement.

by NYMARJ 2007-12-13 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Yepsin will have considerable say in the endorsement.  Frankly, I think that is why Clinton apologized today.  Iowans, including Yepsin, dislike negativity.  And Clinton went beyond that to personal smear.  It will be tough to endorse someone who has been widely criticized for negativity.

by Javier Doval 2007-12-13 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Personal opinion posing as truth.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-14 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Conventional wisdom says Edwards gets the most support in the rural areas, which generally means he's competing with Hillary for votes moreso than Obama.

by Steve M 2007-12-13 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I think Todd you miss an important point about these debates. This one is more likely to get viewed by actual voters but by and large they are competing for sound bites.

By being on message and including his key points in every answer, Edwards may sound dull to someone like you and me who watch the whole thing and have heard it before -- but to those who are only getting info from the news and have heard less from Edwards, it allows him to get his major points in the news.

This is important for the general election. A key element of winning an election is being able to repeat your message every day in the exact same way because when you step off message, thats what the press will report. Whatever point Clinton wanted to make today will be lost because the news coverage will all show the "I'm looking forward o you advising me" moment as her bite.

Finally I agree that the DMR endorsement will be critical but I suspect that their board will have a lot more to draw on, including extensive study of the campaigns' positions and face to face interviews, than this debate. From what I know of that paper, their edito board takes very seriously the idea of addressing substance not celebrity.

Which I hope means they will come down, again, for Edwards.

by desmoulins 2007-12-13 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Yepsin weighs in on the Des Moines Register. He thought everyone was good, thought Biden was the best:


The top tier contenders - Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards - all had excellent afternoons.  But nothing happened or was said to knock Obama off his stride.  Since he leads in the polls in Iowa, the event still leaves him ahead in the contest.

As for Biden, how can you lose when everybody else on the stage is praising your record on civil rights, literally applauds you and the frontrunner offers testimony on your behalf?  

You can't.  And unlike some of his past debate performances in which he seemed strident or comical, Biden was cool, commanding and presidential in this one.

Back to the top tier.  Obama leads in the polls and he seemed content to play a more passive role on the stage Thursday.  That was probably a good strategy on his part.  Edwards and Clinton have both seen their poll ratings dip for getting a little negative in their campaigns.  Had they ventured out to attack Obama, he might have looked even better.

So, Edwards and Clinton kept their barbs to themselves and stayed on their more appealing positive messages.

Obama got in one of the best tweaks of the day when he was asked about the advisors he has who once worked for Bill Clinton and how his presidency would be any different if he was relying to heavily on them.  Obama said he'd take advice from Hillary Clinton too.


by Piuma 2007-12-13 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

As strong as our three leading candidates are, I still will be amazed if Biden doesn't finish in the top three in Iowa.

by Steve M 2007-12-13 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I like Biden as well, but top three? He doesn't have anything close to the massive operations of Clinton and Obama, or Edwards who has essentially been campaigning in Iowa since the last election.

But, it does look like he might edge Richardson for a strong 4th which could keep him in the race post-Iowa - he could be the one second-tier candidate that survives and maintains some viability.

by animated 2007-12-13 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I have expected him to start to trend up for quite some time. But it doesn't look like its happening. I do think if he gets the DMR endorsement, its still possible. But the trend appears to be consolidation of support among the 3 front-runners.

by desmoulins 2007-12-13 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

Obama, as always, practically put me to sleep.  I agree with others here that John Edwards gave a good performance in the debate, although you can predict ahead of time what ALL of his answers will be.  Having heard him damn corporations and their power so many times now, I would like to hear what he actually plans to do about this problem.  Details John, would be appreciated.

My Aunt describes John Edwards as "that fiesty little populist in the Gucci shoes."  My aunt turns 80 on Christmas Day and she'll be getting up early on election day and heading out to vote for Hillary.  

by samueldem 2007-12-13 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-debate Thread

I agree with your Aunt...however they ALL wear Gucci's and only one is a "feisty populist"

After a year R&P lay downs, I am more than ready for a feisty Democratic President.

by nogo war 2007-12-14 06:10AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads