Open Thread -- Democratic Debate Edition
by Jeff Dinelli
First of all let me just say this will be your overnight Open Thread, Mary is off tonight.
My thoughts on tonight's debate, which you can skip if you'd like:
Wolf Blitzer doesn't know what "triangulation" means. Barack Obama very early brought up the Social Security non-issue, right before a seemingly endless health care debate between Obama and Hillary Clinton, where a heckler tried to remind Wolf there were five other people on the stage. John Edwards chimed in with Social Security as well, and unspooled a string of attacks directed at Hillary right out of the Republican playbook, which Clinton literally called him on. Chris Dodd lamented the shrillness of the debate, and Bill Richardson channeled his inner Lennon, hoping to "Give Peace A Chance."
Everyone announced they would support the nominee in the general election, except Dennis Kucinich, who said he only would do so if that person doesn't use war as an instrument of policy. He also diffused the racist, sure to be a tipping point issue of immigration by wringing Wolf's throat for using the term "illegal immigrants." The real problem revolves around undocumented workers, and Kucinich urged focusing on showing people the way towards a legal way to citizenship. The education discussion went nowhere.
Hillary and Sen. Dodd made me feel the most comfortable with their potential approach towards Pakistan, while Kucinich pointed out the chaos in that country is directly linked to our meddling in Iraq. Speaking of Iraq, Obama now says he will get combat troops out in 16 months, which is encouraging. Maybe by the next debate he'll be down to 8. Joe Biden ended the inane China import discussion by pointing out that under the WTO, George Bush has the option to shut down incoming products at any time.
Hillary was so prepared for the "Boys Club" non-issue that when Edwards followed by again claiming she's the only one taking lobbyist money he was loudly booed. He fared far better speaking to the Iraq vet in the crowd, but equally impressive was the way Hillary spoke directly to the young man and dared to explain her vote on Kyl/Lieberman, which Obama not only mis-characterized but then he lied again when he said he spoke out immediately when that vote was cast.
Did anyone else think that Obama was gonna take a swing at Hillary when he got out of his chair and stood up to her, comparing her to Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani? And did you notice the other guys standing up, too? Wow, that looked like a fight waiting to break out. What were they even talking about? I think it may have been, unbelievably, how to fund Social Security. Again! Senator Clinton's delivery just keeps getting better.
I'll let others decide who won, who lost, where the horse race stands now.
Or talk about whatever you want, this is your Open Thread for the night.