Post debate thoughts.
by theblaz, Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:30:09 PM EST
Just some thoughts about the debate tonight, nothing major.
I thought that this debate should be uplifting for supporters from all of the camps. Clinton was steady and eloquent, Obama was initially fumbling but then exploded. What few shots and swipes they gave seemed to be more intent on focusing on substantive policy differences as opposed to the "scandals" that plague the news sites and the liberal blogs.
Overall, I thought both did a wonderful job and their respective supporters should all be proud.
As for who I personally thought was the winner:
I think it was a tie.
Initially, I felt Clinton was winning. She was poised and polished, her answers were substantive for the most part (some glossing, but that's to be expected and didn't detract from her overall point), and she gave GOOD answers, answers I could agree with.
Then, the Kyl-Lieberman and Iraq War vote questions threw a wrench into her debate performance. She stumbled, seemed to meander a little too far off the path. I can understand why, as only the most ardent of Clinton supporters can completely forgive her votes on both those issues, extenuating circumstances granted.
In this instance, her refusal to admit she was wrong or to apologize is a weakness, not a strength. It leaves a vulnerable spot in her campaign, a spot that, as I said, only the most devoted of Clinton supporters will allow to exist without poking it. Unfortunately, admitting a mistake now or apologizing now are not options. They'll be seen as pandering. Like it or not, Clinton is stuck with the perception that she supported the war and that amendment, whatever equivocations (valid or invalid) she chooses to give.
As for Obama, he started off weak. He fumbled, messed up a couple of his figures and lines, and generally seemed very rookie-ish to me. At first.
Then, he seized upon Clinton's fumbling with the Iraq war and Kyl-Lieberman amendment and just erupted. He kicked some major ass, over and over. Clinton steadied herself and got back into the swing, but Obama continued to give amazing answers to all his questions.
Obama's eruption granted, he was still not DOMINATING the debate. After the Iraq War answer she gave, Clinton steadied and was giving excellent answers. I liked more of Obama's answers towards the end, but I don't feel it was enough to give him an edge over Clinton.
I call it a tie, and the only real clear winner is the Democratic party, because we've got two kick ass candidates.