Thursday, November 01, 2007

Notes on the Philadelphia Democratic Debate

I swear that with each debate my resolve to cover debates weakens just as my consciousness falters relative to that single pint of blood on donation day. We keep turning to issues that are not issues and leaving the real issues to hold up their hands crying "hey, pick me, pick me! Awww...."

Note on this week's non-issue related issues: Mike Gravel didn't have enough money, so MSNBC wouldn't put him on TV, and GOP disses black voters, yes, again.

So without further adieu, those notes:

  • Barack Obama says he's like Rocky and Hillary's Apollo Creed. There is five more times the significant symbolism in what he said than in reality. Really, Barack, this is not that epic.

  • Obama, on Iran, discusses the "carrots we can provide," delivering a new dimension to the America as Master of the World language that the President loves and that some of us thought the Democrats were not going to embrace.

  • Hillary Clinton, not to be outdone by Obama, declares sanctions as a form of diplomacy and touts "both carrots and sticks," simultaneously ramping the rhetoric up to Team America status and raping the analogy of "a carrot on a stick." Ms. Clinton, if you're beating Iran with the stick, there is nothing to support the motivating carrot they're never going to get.

  • John Edwards: why was his mic fuzzy? Why did Glenn Beck have John Edward of real-life mysticism and medium fame on his show the day after the debate? I call shenanigans.

  • First audience applause: Kucinich as the only voter against Iraq and Iran is not an option.

  • And Joe Biden says Pakistan is way the hell out of control. Wait, what? Aren't we talking about how we shouldn't...attack...huh?

  • Obama is still having a lot of trouble banishing the UMs and is easily the worst public speaker on stage. Clinton, while not nearly as pause-y, has minimized it even further by going with AHs.

  • Bill Richardson: You're no Jimmy Smits. Even if you saved a guy in Iraq who's sitting in the audience. If you were Jimmy Smits, you'd be in the middle of the stage and you'd be asked many more questions.

  • Could we have one single debate without something stupid to distract us from the already-distracting format of "hump the front-runners?" While MSNBC's font graphics were informative and stylish, did we really need the "whoosh/shwoosh" extension noise for each one? As I was trying to focus on audio, this was even more distracting than the flashy lights in the FOX Repub debate.

  • Edwards: Attack, attack, attack, um, just don't vote for Hillary.

  • Clinton says we don't just need to turn the page but "throw the whole book away" on the Bush/Cheney administration. This was easily the best line in the "why I should be president" category as opposed to "this is why everyone else shouldn't."

  • Obama speaks, but everyone is staring at Hillary drinking a glass of water. What did he say about special interests? Hilarious.

  • I'm guessing many of these male candidates are uncomfortable around a strong woman as Bill Richardson stuttered through some of his delivery like his mom was watching over his shoulder. It was only Hillary.

  • Joe Biden says that everything Rudy Giuliani says is a noun, verb, and 9/11. Overall most delicious line. Tru dat.

  • Hillary, yet again, during her answer about the Alternative Minimum Tax, owned Tim Russert.

  • Bill Richardson says teachers should have a $40K minimum salary. Awesome. At least someone is talking about education.

  • Dennis Kucinich follows up with the huge strides we could make in education if we ended our waste in Iraq and moved even a small amount of that money into teaching our kids.

  • Clinton makes a good point in that our first teachers are our parents.

  • Dodd: Did you just say "accident of birth?" Yes you did. Ask Gravel to save you a seat in the pub for the next debate.

  • Clinton says a driver's license for illegal immigrants sounds like a good idea. This is a slippery slope, but bhfrik has some reasonable understanding of the issue.

  • And yes, Dennis Kucinich said he saw a UFO. But so did Carter. Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think this is crazy. Remember: our current president says he talks to God.

In Post
- The language and the ticker focused on attacking Hillary Clinton. Did I sit on the remote? Is this FOX?

- For as much filth as I've heard in the last two days, I didn't think Hillary Clinton did poorly at all: she was easily the best speaker on the stage and maintained a command of the debate despite constant attacks.
- Chris Matthews should keep a keen eye on the spit on his lower lip. Gross.
- As I said, I'm becoming disillusioned by the whole debate schedule, especially when it comes to the Democratic Party; I want to hear about the issues I care about (besides the war, because they're relatively clear on that): education and health care. The candidates need to stop attacking Hillary and start attacking the issues.

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