Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Democratic Debates

Hi Everyone,

The Democratic candidates had a "debate" last night. I put the "sarcasm" quotes in because to call this a debate is even sillier than it usually is. Often these things are not debates between the candidates but rather alternating questions by a moderator. This time the large number of candidates made it even more indirect. This time the candidates were not even asked the same questions. What's more the "top tier" candidates were given a disproportionate amount of the time. Now for my impressions.

I went into this undecided between Edwards, Obama and Richardson. I have to say that none of those three impressed me particularly. I have a better impression of Clinton and Biden than I did before.

Edwards: Not enough substance and the polish isn't as great as he would have us believe. His hair care gaffe sums him up too well. Limosine Liberal with a great hair cut and little experience.
Obama: Similar problem to Edwards. I'm not convinced he knows what he wants to do. I think he's much smarter than Edwards though. He keeps trying to talk about his accomplishments in the Illinois State Legislature. I think Obama is peaking too early. He's super smart and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns things around but for now, he doesn't have the substance to back up the image.
Richardson: Looked like a deer in the headlights a couple of times and he's friendly with the NRA. I'd expect more poise from someone with his resume. Combine that with the fact that he's fairly conservative and I'm not as enthused about him as I was. That said, I still think is bio/resume is compelling.
Clinton: I'm still worried about her high negatives but she came across as very confident and capable. While the other candidates were talking about their grand plans for health care, she argued convincingly about the need for less ambition and more practicality. That's experience speaking.
Biden: I like his (con)federal solution to Iraq. It has the notable advantage of reflecting the reality on the ground without complete shirking our responsibility for having screwed the place up in the first place. I also liked his one word answer to a question about whether he can reassure the American people about his ability to be President. His answer was simply, "Yes." I liked it but I fear such succinctness is somewhat out of character and I wouldn't like it if the Democrats ran another candidate that had to run against his true personality.
Kucinich: I can sum this guy up with one word - irrelevant. He's clearly running to represent the Naderite fringe that has come back into the party since 2000. He kept saying that he was against the war from the start. Great. But the House wasn't asked to authorize it. So his opposition is similar to Obama's (he was in the Illinois legislature at the time). If there is a Kucinich position you don't know just think of the most cliche stereotype about liberals you can and you'd be making a good guess.
Gravel: What is it with Alaskans and crazy old men!? This former Senator from Alaska was like a left wing Ted Stevens! He kept yelling about Vietnam and accusing the front runners of having secret plans to preemptively use nuclear weapons. At any moment I expected him to start foaming at the mouth.

Did anyone else see it?


The Law Talking Guy said...

I am traveling in London this week. The debate was broadcast in full over here! I did not get to listen to it, as it was on in the background and later turned off, but I was surprised and delighted.

The "media message" coming out of the debate (few voters really saw it) is that the field of Democratic candidates is the best in many years. That's all good.

It's a long, long way until the election. These debates are not about picking a winner: they are about winnowing the field through Youtube-worthg gaffes.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I still believe Hillary will win the nomination, and her performance in the debate increases my confidence. It is good to see, however, that Edwards did well enough in the debates... in case Hillary stumbles. For no reason I can put my finger on, I still count out Obama as a flash in the pan. Perhaps it was being burnt by Howard Dean in 2004 that makes me say so...

USWest said...

When Edwards was questioned abotu his $400 hair cut, his response was that yes, he is wealthy, but he wasn't always and he hasn't forgotten where he came from.

Now, we all know that they sat around, Edwards and his team, in some hotel room trying to figure out how to spin that and this is the reponse they came up with.

Biden: I like the guy in that he amuses me. He is blunt. So am I. He gets criticized for being too blunt. So do I. That is probably why I like him. I identify. As far as his politics . . . don't know enough yet.

I wonder: Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

USWest said...

OH, interesting thought on Richardson: I was talking with someone yesterday who told me that it bothers her that Richardson is fat. She wants to like him, but the fat thing bothersher. She isn't a shallow person; she has a bit of a weight problem herself. But she is working out and trying to improve and get some control over it. She pointed out that for her, it is a sign of someone who can't seem to fully control himself, who may even lack a certain amount of self respect or self awareness. And for someone with his resume and reputation, she saw it as a contradicition that made her wonder if he was all he is cracked up to be.

I see her point. And I think it is interesting how we judge candidates. We can't trust what they say so we start looking for lother clues as to what they are made of.

Raised By Republicans said...

Taft was enormous and aside from that little fuss about oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico, he worked out great. ;-)

Dr. Strangelove said...

"it bothers her that Richardson is fat"

The old canard used to be that women candidates would never be elected because other women would be catty about their appearance. It's cice to know that such people are no longer sexist: they apply their misjudgment equally to all.