Democratic Candidate Debate Open Thread
by Jeff Dinelli
Call me a geek or a helpless political junkie, but I thought last night's MSNBC debate hosted by Tim Russert was really good TV. Like a college football team who goes into a game ranked number one in the polls and doesn't lose, Hillary has to be considered a winner, it's apparent she's running to the center and seems to be acting like she's already in a general election, though her campaign at the same time acknowledges there's a long way to go. John Edwards turned in a strong performance, set to run on Hillary's left. He may pick up some supporters after last night. The word was Obama was sick yesterday, and he sure looked like it. His answers were confused and repetitive, and any hopes that he would go after Hillary were quickly squashed. It warmed my heart, as it surely did Steve's, that Gravel and others questioned Hillary's utterly strange affirmative vote on yesterday's Iran resolution, and I don't care that she sounded good defending it, reminding everyone it is non-binding, and it merely calls Iranian armed troops terrorists, it was a bad vote, bottom line.
It was good to see Russert try and nail down the candidates with tough accusations and charges, such as reminding Edwards he was against universal health care in 2004, and posing a hypothetical in which we would have Al Queda's number 3 guy in custody who has info on a bomb set to go off in the US and asking the candidates if torture would be justified to gain the location. It was a trap for Hillary, since her husband came up with the scenario. Richardson was challenged about the poor rate of poverty-stricken New Mexicans, along with other problems in that state. But asking what everyone's favorite Bible verse is at the end of the night? Give me a break, Tim.
Hillary, Obama, and Edwards all apparently believe we will be in Iraq until at least 2013, while Richardson expressed desire to get our troops out early on in his administration, although his specifics were shaky. Kucinich said he'd have them out by April, 2007, indicating he's REALLY serious about a withdrawl.
Anyway, what did you all think? Who gains, who loses, who impressed, who was underwhelming? What does it all mean, if anything? Is Tim Russert a nutcase? Will Hillary ever give a straight answer on anything during this primary season?