Nevada Democratic Debate

Who caught the Democratic debate last night (full transcript)? And for those of you who did, what did you think?

I have to honestly say that I was bored and a little disappointed. I ended up only watching the first hour and fifteen minutes. First of all, half of the questions were about various squabbles between the campaigns in the past few weeks. I don’t think that all of those attacks are inconsequential, but I also feel like it’s pointless asking a bunch of questions about them when the candidates are only going to bullshit. If the answer to every question is that the person respects the other candidates and that his or her statements have been misconstrued . . . well, first of all it’s kind of insulting to the intelligence of voters, and secondly, it’s utterly purposeless.

That being said, all of the candidates were very cordial. It’s nice to see them not at each other’s throats. The problem is that they really didn’t discuss any of the issues, and I definitely blame this on Tim Russert and Brian Williams rather than the candidates themselves. They can’t answer the questions that aren’t asked. It would have been nice to see actual policy discussion in a rational, relaxed and nuanced forum. Too bad it was a televised U.S. presidential debate.

And while we’re at it, who the fuck keeps saying that it’s okay for Tim Russert to moderate Democratic debates? Who? And how do we get him or her out of a job?

I think that the sit-down format benefited both Obama and Edwards. Clinton seems slightly more comfortable at a podium, though I think that she did very well. She seems to be getting angrier and otherwise more comfortable. I have no idea how that will play out with the public, but I liked it. From what I watched, it seemed to me like Obama came out on top and was, in relative terms, the most genuine. He was the only one who actually answered the “what’s your greatest weakness” question when he said that he has personal issues with organization, and joked about how he instructs his staff to hand him a piece of paper “until two seconds before” he needs it. On the other hand, Edwards said that he “cares too much” (coughbullshitcough) and Clinton said that she sometimes gets “impatient” . . . because she cares too much. And did anyone else catch Obama’s joke when he was responding to Clinton’s criticism of his disorganization? He said that he understood that management and organization skills are a part of the job, which is why staff/cabinet members/etc are important, but also that organization isn’t everything. He noted that no one has ever criticized Bush for being disorganized and yet he’s still a shitty president, saying “I’m sure he never lost a paper. I’m sure he knows where it is.” The audience seemed to miss it, as did everyone else except for Edwards, who cracked up laughing. I had a pretty good chuckle at that one, too.

And for the record, Obama also got totally fucked out of his question for the other candidates. Absolutely robbed. They played it off like a joke, but fuck you Tim and Brian — you screwed him and you know it. Accidentally phrasing a rebuttal as a question does not count.

Anyway, what were your impressions? And is everyone else as happy as I am that Mitt Romney won Michigan? Not because I like Mitt Romney — I have a compulsive, slightly-irrational desire to punch him in the face every time I see him — but because I think that if we want an easy win, Mitt is our best hope. Keep up the good work, Romney!

0 thoughts on “Nevada Democratic Debate

  1. Amy

    I’m definitely going to have to find this debate online, but I don’t know if I’ll have the patience to watch an hour of it. Ha.

    Speaking as a Michigan resident, I don’t know if Romney winning Michigan says that much about his chances of getting a nomination. We might be an anomaly; his dad was a well-liked governor of our fair state. Personally, I think Huckabee would be easier to beat on a national scale, but who knows…

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  2. Fellow-ette

    I loved how Edwards kept cracking up. He seems much more relaxed. I definitely thought Obama came out on top last night, the first time I could ever say that about him in a debate. So wouldn’t an Obama-Edwards ticket rock? It’s probably a pipe-dream but it would be like Clinton-Gore ’92 again except even cooler.

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  3. Cara Post author

    I think that Huckabee would do surprisingly well on a national scale. He’s incredibly good-natured and likable and is excellent at manipulating the press. It would be up to the Dems in that case to expose how completely zealous and bigoted Huckabee is, and the Dems aren’t exactly the best when it comes to effective criticism. I certainly think that Huckabee is beatable, but he worries me.

    Fellow-ette, my original hope was an Edwards-Obama ticket. So yes, Obama-Edwards would be my second pick, and since I think that Edwards winning the nomination at this point is a very long shot at best, it’s what I’m currently hoping for.

    Also, I agree about Edwards. I actually think that he’s really a nice and fun guy, but that rarely comes through in the debates, more so in interviews and on campaign stops. It’s definitely a good thing to see him like that on national television. And honestly, I think that all of the candidates seemed a bit more relaxed than normal last night. Which is really weird, considering the circumstances, but . . . who knows. Like I said, it was good to see them all with such positive demeanors, and it’s a damn shame that MSNBC squandered the opportunity like they did.

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  4. Violet

    It’s funny, Cara – I had the debate on for the entire 2 hours, but I didn’t start listening really until probably about the time that you turned it off. (Having not paid attention during the first part, I still had the patience to sit through the last part – I sympathize with you completely.) During the part that I watched, there was more of a policy discussion, but still not enough. Unfortunately I missed the part where Hillary got Obama to cosponsor a bill, or whatever she did – guess I’ll have to catch that on youtube or somewhere. What I’d love to see is a chart that compares the candidates on various issues, but I haven’t found one yet.

    One thing that’s going to be funny (to me at least . . .) is when they do the Republican version of this debate, because there are so many more candidates still there, and it’s just going to have a totally different feel to it. Much less pleasant, and probably even less policy discussion because there are so many more campaigns to question.

    I disagree with you on one thing, though – do NOT underestimate Mitt Romney. They don’t mention it much, but during his time as Governor, he managed to do a LOT with Health Care, in a manner similar to what Hillary is proposing. If he gets the nomination, that’s going to become a big thing. Don’t get me wrong – as a lifelong MassHole I can tell you he’s awful, but that’s a far cry from being easily beaten by a Democrat, especially since he can claim to have won over Massachusetts. (BS!)

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  5. Cara Post author

    I think that Mitt Romney has many things going against him. And health care is one of them, actually. Republicans fucking hate that shit. So for every independent that pulls it, it will whittle away a similar part of the base. Secondly, he is the world’s most notorious flip-flopper. As we all know, if there’s one thing that can kill a presidential campaign, it’s flip-flopping (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not, I think it Mitt’s case justifiably). The fact that he has flipped on SO MANY issues, and that those issues are the ones held nearest and dearest to the conservative base — gay rights, abortion, illegal immigration. Then there’s the Mormon thing. Evangelicals consider Mormons to be heathens. Not going to play well in the south. Same with the fact that he’s from a “Northeast Liberal State.”

    But let me clarify that I don’t think Mitt Romney will necessarily be EASY to beat. What I was implying is that I think he will be the easiest.

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  6. Violet

    All those things about Romney are true, and I actually agree with you on all of them. I’m just speaking from the POV of someone who didn’t think he could win the Gubernatorial race and was sadly shown otherwise. I think a lot of the points you make will work against him more in the primaries – which is partly why he hasn’t mentioned his Health Care stuff too much yet. I’m just afraid that if the choice is Mitt vs. Democrat X (quite likely a woman or an African American), he’ll be more attractive to certain factions on the right than he is now. And one thing to consider is what those concerns will cause far right wing voters to do – it’s not going to make them vote Democrat, that’s for sure. I guess our hope then is a wacky third party candidate or that they decide to stay home. (Please oh please . . .)
    Time will tell . . .

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  7. Ran

    Re: “As we all know, if there’s one thing that can kill a presidential campaign, it’s flip-flopping (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not, I think it Mitt’s case justifiably).”: I don’t think that’s true, exactly. All politicians flip-flop; it’s second nature to them (first nature being lying). If there’s one thing that can kill a presidential campaign, it’s effective attack ads; and as we all know, flip-flopping is one good basis for such.

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  8. Paul

    Even after the election, the Republicans will still have the filibuster and other tools (not to mention the Roberts Court).

    The Dems are reluctant to admit how weak their position actually is in the absence of a Senate majority (the sixty votes needed to beat the filibuster). If the presidency is won then exceptional skills will be required to push through a legislative program.

    Reply
  9. Muse142

    I think the Dems are going to wipe the floor with the Repubs regardless of who wins the primaries.. Though I think that Huckabee would take a sharper nosedive than Romney. Go crazies!!

    Reply

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