by John Hawkins | January 22, 2008 6:46 am
The Democratic debate last night was certainly more interesting than the Vegas lovefest. Still, the Democratic debates are always ultimately a little scary, because all the candidates believe in “promise everything to everybody” socialism. The solution to every problem is attacking successful people and businesses, spending more tax dollars, and giving more power to the government. So essentially, when you try to decide who the winners and losers are, you’re just picking the big government socialist with the most pleasing personality.
That would be Barack Obama, who is funnier and quicker on his feet than his rivals. Additionally, Barack doesn’t play the race card while Hillary regularly engages in gender warfare and Edwards is exceptionally crude about playing the class warfare card.
So, the winner? Barack Obama. 2nd? John Edwards. Loser? Hillary Clinton. But, despite all the sound and fury, there wasn’t a lot of substance in this debate and what there was, has been covered a dozen times before. So, there isn’t a lot of distance between first and last in this debate and I don’t know that it particularly helps or hurts any of them.
Here are some of the comments of note about the debate I ran across around the blogosphere,
“I realize the country I love has its problems. But I listen to the Democratic candidates, and they describe an America coming apart at the seams. John Edwards goes on and on about the little girl who couldn’t afford a coat (and who he’s going to tax us in order to get her one), and the woman who is going to lose her children because she can’t afford her energy bills, and the streets filled with the homeless, and the predators offering people home loans they can’t afford, and apparently forcing them to accept them, and the women and African-Americans experiencing a daily gauntlet of oppression and discrimination and hatred, and cackling employers lashing their employees, and the dark skies filling with locusts, and plague and pestilence and famine and war stalking the land…” — Jim Geraghty, The Campaign Spot
I only watched part of the debate. But it is simply impossible to listen to John Edwards. Everything he says is entirely predictable, his face is annoyingly wrinkle-free and hairless in some odd way, and the slight hint of tremulousness as he finds an opportunity to insert some sad story makes me want to barf. And I don’t believe a word he says….
Hillary is just so familiar. She is smart enough. Her rhetoric is meant to persuade, not inspire, but it is all so calculated and we have heard this so long that it is hard to be persuaded….Her biggest weakness is Bill. Every time he came up — which was a lot — I hoped everyone else in TV land had that vague sense of ennui that could lead to a decision not to bring back the Clinton show. But you know, she sure is dogged. And that audience sees the world exactly as she does.
…Obama’s great strength is that he seems intellectually alive, and kind of interesting. He, alone of the three, knows that we have just come through thirty years of unparalleled economic growth. Even — especially — in the South. He is the only possible answer to “which one would you choose to have dinner with?” He might actually say something that wasn’t entirely a matter of positioning, just because it was interesting — or true.” — Lisa Schiffren at The Corner
“All in all, Obama probably wins in that he seems the least weird of the three and is the least obviously disingenuous. Hillary talks about opposing lobbyists and bringing honest people to her administration but she’s married to one of the world’s most notorious liars and she’ll bring the likes of Sandy Berger back to power if she’s elected. Not to mention who’ll be her co-president. Edwards sees a Dickensian America from his ginormous mansion, but while there are certainly Americans who struggle to pay the bills, by and large Edwards’ solution to everything is government, government, and more government. Obama is a likable bag of nothing. He’s easy to watch and he’s easy to listen to, but what does he actually say? None of the three seem to grasp national security or the source of wealth and prosperity in America. None of them seem to have set any limits to the power of government to serve their own aims and whims.” — Bryan, Hot Air
“That was quite a change from the Democrat debate snooze-fest in Nevada last week. Total 180. Obama showed he can stand up to Shrillary face-to-face while remaining fairly unflappable and maintaining good humor. Shrillary, on the other hand, can’t keep a straight face and even voice despite “finding her voice” in New Hampshire. They both have The Glare. Edwards relishes his White Male Candidate label way too much.
Bill Clinton probably stayed awake for the whole thing.
And finally: I really, really don’t want any of these Big Government surrendercrats sitting in the White House.” — Michelle Malkin
“First question – three answers, all the same – Bush, Bush, Bush.
What are these people going to have to talk about (or blame stuff on) after he leaves office?
Then they began squabbling on stage where charges and counter-charges flew. Hillary managed to get herself booed twice. Best line (if you’re a dem) was Obama’s when he said he was working in community service trying to do something about poverty when Hillary was a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart.
Then, suddenly, the love fest – where they waxed poetic about how all three of them may have their differences but they weren’t Republicans by God.
It was during the love fest that I hit the “off” button on the remote and started reading a book.” — QandO
“For once, I found myself agreeing with Senators Clinton and Obama: Senator Clinton is right that Obama doesn’t have enough experience to lead, and Senator Obama is correct that Clinton cannot be trusted. Tonight’s debate was further evidence that Senators Clinton and Obama would lead America toward higher taxes and less security. With America’s economy facing challenges, the Democrats’ tax-and-spend policies would be catastrophic. The Democrats’ liberal plans are a stark contrast to the Republican candidates’ commitment to winning the War on Terror and keeping taxes low for hard-working families.” — RNC Chairman, Mike Duncan
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