Thursday, April 26, 2007

Democratic Presidential Debate post-mortem

I watched the Democratic Presidential Debate tonight and here are my knee-jerk thoughts. (full disclosure: I'm a strong, strong Richardson backer)

Senator Joe Biden of Delaware - Not very exciting, but knows his stuff. Was "Bunch of winners up here" a play for the future VP? His stock probably rose some, but not enough to jump into the first tier.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York - She didn't appear as personal as people say she is, but not the cold, calculating woman the vast right-wing conspiracy has painted her as. Did anyone else find it strange that she called everyone by their first name. Smart woman, though. Good answer to "terrorist attack" question. She probably stayed the same and is still the front runner, but didn't deliver any knockout punches.

Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut - Looks the statesman, but isn't. Great answers about biggest dangers to America. Strange runaround of "civil union" in Connecticut. Solidified himself as the 6th candidate for president.

Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina - Great hair. He clearly knows his stuff, but he didn't answer which taxes he'd raise to pay for his health care plan. He handled moral question well and that probably put him back in with Obama and Clinton in the first tier.

Former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska - Tried to make a joke about being a potted plant. Instead ended up looking like a joke himself.

Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio - Says the Global War on Terror doesn't exist. Silly boy. Like Gavel, a joke.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois - He was witty on several occasions. He sounds so good and very sophisticated tonight. Outlined his health care plan w/o talking about how to pay for it. His initial response to the question about terrorist attack("potentially take some action") showed he isn't necessarily ready to handle some of the foreign policy questions. He came across extremely likeable with lightbulb/tree discussion. His taking it on Kucinich over Iranian nukes was excellent sign that he might be able to withstand Republicans' Bitch-Slap theory of electoral politics. Probably moved his stock a little higher tonight.

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico - He did a great handling "the mistake question." He was funny, but flubbed some of the first questions he handled. Like he has a reputation for doing, Richardson talked a lot, but moved questions to his strength. Took a hard stance of military response to terrorist strikes and the War on Iraq and that showed backbone. As the Latino he took the Cuba question and clearly opens up Cuba to engagement. I think Richardson had the right answers, but he didn't 'look' presidential and that didn't put him into the top tier, yet.

Overall, the Democrats stayed away from the circular firing squad tonight. If they do that, 2009 will have a Democrat in the White House. Any disagreement?

Next week is the Republicans debate. Who will do that post-mortem?