Dems on Parade

I missed the first part of the Dem candidate debate tonight. From what part I did see Joe Biden did quite well, and you know I’m not much of a Biden fan. There’s a Senator Gravel of Alaska on the stage who is, IMO, an unsufferable jerk. Since I missed much of this debate I’m not going to offer further opinion, but y’all are welcome to add yours.

You’ll want to see this Tom Tomorrow cartoon (scroll down).

9 thoughts on “Dems on Parade

  1. I refuse to watch a debate for an election in late 2008 any time in 2007. I’m already election weary.

  2. A few random thoughts of mine:

    1. Any one of them (even Gravel) would be much better than what we have now;

    2. Biden did better than I expected and probably gained some ground, Richardson did worse than I expected and probably lost some ground, while the rest probably held steady;

    3. Gravel did come across as a jerk, which is a shame because he had some valid points to make;

    4. None of the candidates nailed the debate in the sense of creating the impression that they were the perfect nominee for ’08, which means it’s now more likely that Gore will consider entering the race; and

    5. That silly question about whether the Democratic Party is facing certain extinction if a Democrat doesn’t win the presidency in ’08 must have been given to Brian Williams by Jack Welch.

    The cartoon is wonderful. I hadn’t seen the April 15, 2003 Cal Thomas article, but it should be circulated far and wide.

  3. I dunno about ‘insufferable’. He certainly violated the unwritten rule of not speaking ill of other Dems. I only saw brief clips and I found it refreshing that he did not seem as staged and evasive as many others.

    But the bottom line: I’m also campaign weary. And I wish these were run by college debate professors instead of network mousse-heads, as I’d prefer more meat to the discussions.

    I mean, what kind of choice can we really make from answers that say, almost universally: “This war sucks. Bush sucks. My favorite color is blue. And I’m evading your question.” ?

  4. Both Dodd and Biden did much better than I expected.

    I thought Edwards did well. Both Clinton and Obama worse than expected. Clinton was assured, confident, poised but weaseled out of answering too many times. Her best answer (a bit of passion) was on healthcare. Obama never said anything with anything approaching passion. Hardly any content at all. Very poised, though.

    Kucinich was a one-trick pony. Gravel had the best joke, but otherwise just snarled.

    Richardson was disappointing – he’s a long way from finding his voice.

    I gave it to Edwards and Biden.

  5. Gravel crunching brought everybody awake. His spontaneity and baldness [‘who are we going to nuke?’] made the others, including Kucinich, seem scripted, and he won my applause with his statement about ‘standing like a potted plant’.

    The first tier often did not answer the questions, only used them to segue into prepared sound bites. The second tier won the night, especially Richardson and Biden who were able to shine from being so obviously experienced. Hillary was giving more voice [than the other seven] to Bush bashing……maybe a counter-weight to her Iraq vote?

  6. I didn’t see the debate, only read excerpts and some video clips.

    I must say I was impressed with Gravel. As one commenter put it, “He’s my favorite crazy old man”. Thank God for his unvarnished anger, he’ll help keep the others honest and on their toes.

  7. I’m with Bonnie. I refuse to pay attention to any debate held more than 18 months before the election. Shouldn’t all those politicians be back at the office actually doing something, instead of talking about what they will do two years from now?

  8. I thought Gravel was great for a kind of comic relief (he did make a very poignant comment about all of our soldiers in Iraq and Vietnam having died in vain)

    Obama was eloquent if not quite on his game. Biden was certainly in command of himself. Edwards and Richardson floundered somewhat throughout. Kucinich was great as a spokesman for the ‘more left’ of the party. And I think Hilliary handled herself very well. Her critics always complain that she’s stilted and not terribly genuine. I think she did alot to dispell that last night.

    While I’m a big Hilliary supporter, I’d have to say the Chris Dodd probably did the best out of all of them. His responses and demeanor showed him as the fine statesman that he is. Too bad he doesn’t really have a chance. I think, in all honesty, he’d make the best president out of the group.

    That having said, I think, like many others, that we have one of the finest fields in decades. I’m excited about it.

  9. Gravel may be pushy and unseemly, but a looming second “war of choice” with Iran is the elephant in the room that democrats deserve to be forced to confront. Every time a “major” democratic hopeful says “all options are on the table” they serve to embolden and legitimize Bush, who might be waiting till September or October of 2008 to start bombing Iran, maybe as a backdrop to the republican convention. And who decided who the “major” candidates are anyway? Million dollar anchormen and pundits and big money donors– but not us.

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