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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reactions to the The Democratic Debate

I didn't live blog it, it wasn't interesting enough to bother, but others did and those were, Malkin, and I love how she refers to Carolyn Washburn as "schoolmarm". It fits. Talk Left also live blogged it and the conclusion from there was:

Last question: What do you carry away from Iowa? All give moving, personal statements. Richardson is funny. This was a nice ending touch, they all seemed so human and humble. (The only one who lacked emotion in his response was Obama, but maybe that's not his thing, I don't mean it as a criticism, just an observation.) This was the best, most real part of the debate. If you get to watch a recap, just watch the last two minutes.

There were no bombshells, no fights, no digs at each other. In fact, they supported each other. Hillary changed her message a bit, moving from her experience to how hard she will work as President. While she focused on change, I don't think this began today. She just usually blends her experience in with change and didn't do that much today. Obama doesn't own the change theme in my opinion. Edwards has used it from the beginning too. Obama's original themes were hope and optimism -- themes Chris Dodd emphasized today. Biden's theme today was action. Signing off now, typos will be fixed later.

Hot Air provides a the line of the day, via video, when Obama told Hillary he was looking forward to her "advising" him also.

Watch the question and answer for yourself, good laugh.



Reason Magazine live blogged the debate and has the Winners, Losers and Dodd:

I felt a twinge of sympathy for Dennis Kucinich at one point, when Washburn asked a black-and-white question about repealing NAFTA. I just pictured him at home, tossing his bowl of Kix at the TV and yanking off his tiny necktie.

Done good
1) Edwards - He spent the year slowly, slowly falling in the Iowa polls as he slashed up the national frontrunners. With some difficulty, he's tamped down that instinct and started just slashing at corporations, job-killers, stuff Iowans hate. He's morphing from Gephardt 2004 (who attacked Dean and imploded) to Gephardt 1988 (who claimed "America is in decline" and won).

2) Obama - Obviously well-prepared for this but elastic enough to get laughs, which he's never been very good at. As good as Edwards at squeezing his arguments into the narrow spaces of the questions. I don't think his policy prescriptions are any less radical than Edwards, but he sounded a little more realistic arguing for them.

Done alright
3) Biden - Calmer and less obviously whiny than he's been before, fairly convincing on his key issues.

4) Clinton - No huge mistakes, but now that everyone's looking for her weakness, she looks pretty weak. The attack on Edwards and Obama wasn't just telegraphed, it was sent by pony express. The laughter when Obama was asked about his backers from the Clinton administration came off as arrogant. There's a balance to be struck between "I've got experience from the 90s" and "I'm going to turn the Wayback Machine to 1993" and she didn't quite strike it.

Ain't done nothing
5) Richardson - Just didn't break through.

6) Dodd - This is the last debate you'll see him in. Wave goodbye!


Political Radar live blogged also notes the Obama moment.

3:25 pm ET: Closing thoughts -- Obama had the best line, bringing Clinton onto his team as an adviser. A "wow" moment that halted the laughter. Clinton seemed to get back into her groove for much of the afternoon -- good, strong close for her. Edwards though wins on my scorecards -- he was relentlessly on message, sounding strong, and making a very good case to keep this a three-person race.

That's it from me today -- Rick Klein. Those of you who've joined the blog -- you've been the best group of the debate season, and I hope and trust you'll be back online with me Jan. 5, for ABC's two debates in New Hampshire!


The American Prospect says there didn't seem to be any clear winners or losers.

Stopping for a second with other peoples reactions, I have to disagree with The American Prospect, I do think that with the recent heavy drop in the polls for Hillary, she needed to shine in this debate and she didn't, which I count as a loss for Hillary and a gain for Obama.

Then again, I am no longer a Democratic voter, so maybe those that would vote for any of the candidates will see it differently.

Another play by play from The Swamp.

Yesterday the news came out that Dennis Kucinich was to be excluded from the debate because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront."

The statement issued from Dennis4president.com:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, September 15, 2007

DES MOINES – Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Iowa Democratic Party leaders and other groups aligned with the entrenched political power structure are "rigging the game in Iowa" by excluding him from two Presidential events this week.

"The whole purpose of the primary and caucus season is to provide voters with opportunities, not to enable a carnival of interest groups to subvert the process," Kucinich said. "When Party leaders and their allies pre-select which candidates they will allow the voters to hear, it's a disservice to the voters. Iowans deserve better than a rigged game."

Congressman Kucinich, (D-OH), was not invited to Sunday's Democratic Steak Fry in Indianola, nor to a Democratic Presidential Forum Thursday in Davenport. Representatives of both events have falsely claimed that Kucinich does not have a sufficiently "active organization" in Iowa.

However, statewide and national polls consistently show Kucinich running ahead of Senators Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd, who were invited to participate. A recent American Research Group poll in Iowa showed Kucinich getting 3% of the vote, ahead of Biden and Dodd, who were at the bottom with 1% each. In the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll in Iowa two weeks ago, Kucinich and Biden were both at 2% and Dodd was at 1%.

In the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, Kucinich was at 3% nationally, Biden was at 2%, and Dodd was below 1%. Another national poll, Rasmussen Reports, showed Kucinich tied with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in fourth place, behind Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and former Senator John Edwards. Richardson was also invited to participate in the Iowa events. Kucinich also won a post-debate poll on ABC's website after the last Iowa debate.

“We're doing better than some of the establishment candidates, and we're moving up," Kucinich said. "Instead of spending millions of dollars on high-priced consultants, and slick advertising, we have a highly motivated grassroots organization."

He also questioned the decision by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Iowa Public Television to exclude him from Thursday's Democratic Presidential Forum, which will focus on the issues of health care and financial security.

"The Presidential debate on health care has been largely fake, with phony claims from candidates that they are providing ‘universal health care’ when, in fact, they are preserving the for-profit system of private insurance companies who make money not providing health care," Kucinich said.

"I am the only Presidential candidate to offer a true universal healthcare plan for America, HR676, Medicare for All. It is a comprehensive, not-for-profit, national health insurance plan, and everyone is covered," Kucinich said. "No premiums, no deductibles, no co-payments."

"How can AARP and Iowa Public Television claim they are committed to educating and informing the voters of Iowa on the Number One domestic issue in this campaign when they deny a voice to the only candidate who is leading the effort to bring real reform to the health care system by ending the control of for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies? Since the AARP's own insurance sales interests would be affected by HR 676, serious questions must be raised about their decision to deny me a place on the platform," Kucinich said.

In one highly publicized incident in July, unaware that their microphones were still on and the cameras were still rolling, Clinton and Edwards whispered to each other on stage about eliminating some candidates from future debates. “It is most interesting,” Kucinich noted, “that a number of post-debate analyses determined that I performed better than all the other candidates (AFL-CIO, ABC, Howard University, Logo Forum). I can well understand why the other candidates do not want competition, but the credibility of the Democratic process is at risk if sponsoring organizations join in the subversion of that process.”

"You would think that the Iowa Democratic Party leaders, fighting to preserve the state’s status as the first caucus state, would be a little more careful about giving other states the impression that they and they alone have the right to determine who the next President will be." Kucinich said.


I an not a Dennis fan, but I do find his exclusive to be strange to say the least in one of the last debates before the primaries.

More live blogging from Heading Right and Marc Ambinder thinks everyone did good, then goes on to discuss how good and why.

Theres your roundup. Enjoy reading.

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