My first thought on tonight’s debate is that all of our candidates were great. The format being more of a round-table worked very well after the rough and tumble bitter infighting that has plagued our front-runners in recent days.
Barack Obama admitted that he, ““not only in hindsight, but going forward,” regretted that members of his staff had prodded reporters to pursue” the ‘racism’ issue that stemmed from some people interpreting “comments by Mrs. Clinton as minimizing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in the passage of the 1964 civil rights amendment.” (See The Trail for more on the S.C. memo that was the focus of this discussion.)
“Our supporters, our staff, get overzealous,” Mr. Obama said. “They start saying things that I would not say.”
Hillary Clinton agreed with Obama on the “overzealous” supporters and said that the “comments by the founder of Black Entertainment Television, Robert Johnson, were inappropriate.” Clinton also said, “We need to get this campaign where it should be.” I agree… Back on the issues…
I felt that each of the candidates were strong on the issues and in truth we’d do well with any one of them as our next president.
John Edwards was stronger than I had ever seen him and his passion shined through when talking about the domestic issues that have been the hallmark of his campaign, and in fact his life. He was strong in all of his responses and I felt had a very good command of the issues.
Barack Obama came off to me as the softer candidate. His answers to questions, I felt were a lot more vague than Edwards or Clinton on many of the issues. Clearly, the two more seasoned candidates, Clinton and Edwards came off in my opinion with a better speaking style tonight and a greater command of the camera. My concern tonight watching Obama is how he would come off debating anyone of the Republicans in the general election.
Which brings me to Hillary Clinton. She owned the camera and the debate tonight. Time after time, she spoke clearly and directly in response to questions and she simply had a better command of the issues and policies. From the economy to health-care, early education to Yucca Mountain, Clinton showed herself as a champion for the people. Here’s a clip from the debate that speaks for itself:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvdpT3ZUPdU&
Finally, I think the economic picture is going to get worse before it gets better. The latest economic news out today clearly indicates we’re in for a rough ride. In discussing solutions for the economy tonight Clinton made it clear that this is not an issue we can’t “wait” on:
Clinton said she felt a sense of “urgency” which I think is exactly what voters caught up in the mortgage mess are feeling. Once again in addressing this issue, Clinton showed voters that she is “listening” to their concerns. I think that plays big to the women voters particularly. Hillary Clinton knows how to capture the “gut values” and I think that now that she has found her “voice” as she said after her New Hampshire win, we’ll see resonating with more and more voters.
The full transcript is here.