Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Democratic Debate: A Wrap Up

Experience versus change.

Tonight's CNN/YouTube debate in Charleston, S.C. revolved around that axis as the eight candidates fought for the mantle of change while ensuring that viewers and voters knew that they had the experience to back up their rhetoric.

At the heart of that debate within the debate stood Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Clinton -- the two frontrunners for the Democratic nomination.

Time and time again Obama sought to take specific questions and broaden them into a conversation over who represented real change in the field. He castigated lobbyists and special interests in Washington, offering a sweeping condemnation of business as usual (by both parties) in the nation's capital. "We don't need just a change in political parties," said Obama. "We need a change in attitudes of the people representing Americans."

Clinton, on the other hand, emphasized her experiences both in the White House and the Senate to show that she is best equipped to handle the duties and obligations that come with being President. After Obama said he would meet with dictators like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro if he was president, Clinton responded that she would not make the same pledge; "I will promise a very vigorous, diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are." Clinton's campaign cast that exchange as the moment of the night and quickly put a YouTube clip of it on their website.

While the dominant dynamic of the night was between Clinton and Obama, it was former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) who seemed the boldest of the three in his call for bold action. "If you want real change you need someone who has taken on these people and beat them over and over and over," said Edwards. At another point in the debate, Edwards warned: "We can't trade our insiders for their insiders." Edwards also powerfully seized a question on health care to talk about a man in West Virginia who had been unable to have a cleft lip surgically repaired until he was 50 years old. While anecdotes can be too cute by half, it was clear Edwards was affected by the man's story; it was a moment of real emotion for the former Senator, and a good one.

Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M) improved on his showings in earlier debates and accomplished his primary goal: ensure that viewers know he -- alone among the Democratic field -- favors withdrawing all American forces within six months. Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) once again showed he is among the most skilled debaters on the stage with a call for the candidates to tell the truth about Iraq and several effective one-liners.

That's it for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow with our winners and losers from tonight's festivities.

-- Chris Cillizza

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 23, 2007; 9:45 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Debate Finale
Next: Democratic Debate: Winners and Losers

Comments

Chris might lable this blog 'Fixed Elecion' ... would be more truthful!!!


I provide
((Concrete Proof))
that the Washington Post and CNN (as well as the rest of the mainstream media) lie about the front runners of the Democrat Party.

You Tube stats:
NYSENATOR (Hillary's site)
---Subscribers: 397
---Channel Views: 18,684

Johnedwards (obviously, John Edwards' site)
---Subscribers: 3,482
---Channel Views: 590,661

Oh, and did I mention that Hillary's site doesn't provide an open comments section?


Most people at YouTube's Edwards site are most likely educated, a voter, and up on politics. These numbers are of the most legitimate demographic.


Updated on 7/26/07

Posted by: im_timmaaay | July 27, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely that John was the boldest of the three. He is truly our nation's best chance for turning our country's tough problems around. The only way Clinton and Obama dominated was their being allowed more opportunities to speak. Hillary did better than usual but still talked generalities, avoiding direct, specific answers whenever possible. Barack came off sounding hollow.

Posted by: Marla | July 26, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Here Here to Max. I totally agree with your comment.

Obama is the only one who really understandis what leadership is about. You don't carelessly plan to engage in a conflict without also planning what you will do when you accomplish your "primary mission" (over throwing Saddam) and also planning how you will bring the troops home. If he had been in Congress when they authorized the war, he would have brought these points to their attention.

If Hillary had any idea of true leadership, she would have seen the plan was flawed and would have noted these glaring deficiencies. But then she didn't read the NIE before voting to authorize the war, so she doesn't really do her homework and relies on her staff members to do it for her (another bad demonstration of making poor choices in staff and advisors). Do we want someone who carelessly authorizes a war without envisioning the consequences and seeing there is no exit plan to be our next Commander in Chief? I don't, and I think the majority of Americans don't too.

Posted by: andrea | July 25, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama didnot come across as a guy who could be president,it was all about what we should do.Ok,Obama, so you can bring the country together,well you are only 14 republicans from ending this war and since you see them everyday,why not convince them to join you first. Sir you are all preachy, and it works on Oprah. Get that done,and you can talk about having Colin Powell as your adviser,You know the guy who gave UN cartoon drawings of Sadam'sWMD.

Posted by: ashwin patel | July 25, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

am not an american but as long as americans allow the bush-clinton rule u will always pay the price. I understand that its hard 4 people to change but know that change is very important when it is highly necessary like now. Obama has it all, he can bring america to its feet. I tell u, china is coming hot while u play politics in the absence of human diginity.

Posted by: Pacfree | July 25, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Richardson improved over past showings? That's not saying much. I like how he replaced stuttering with stammering. It's a real breakthrough for him.

I mean, c'mon. The guy comes off as the Democratic Bush. Affable, but with barely two brain cells to rub together.

Posted by: James Leer | July 24, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Senator Joe Biden was the most honest and straight forth guy he should be the next president. No one even gets close to the experience and accomplishments he has done. Just to show his character he didnt even mention the fact he has a son that is in the Army right now.. This is a man that is not playing politics and is not lying to the American People. Has been in the senate for 35 years, 30 years of foreign relations, wrote Biden Crime law, Violence Against Womens Act, is nearly the bottom of
net wealth. Is the only that pushed for the
making of the MRAP for the troops in Iraq... America open up your eyes fight the
medias advertising of the top tiers. Hillary has been in the senate since 2000, Obama is a junior senator and has been in the U.S senate since 2005. No to mention he is a member of the V.A who has spat on our veterans through the latest Walter Reed scandal.. We owe it to our country to select the best candidate...Its just common sense..look at the issues..

Posted by: MarineVet | July 24, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

In that Congressional Democrats can't prevent Cheney/bush from continuing their vicious war in Iraq, why not propose at least putting their war on a "pay as you go" basis, instead of charging the debt to future generations. Propose an Iraq War Tax with the greatest burden falling on America's richest to meet the ongoing cost of this war, retroactive back to March 2003. The rich have benefited greatly by Cheney/bush policies, and now it's time for them to participate in this gigantic humanitarian crisis. A plan for taxing the rich would certainly get Cheney's attention. In that the idea would demonstrate fiscal responsibility, even some Republicans might back the measure.

Posted by: Albert Colone | July 24, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Have our GI's and Marines died in vain? Democrats who said "no" were being disingenuous. They all speak about the lying of Cheney/bush and the need to restore honesty and integrity to our government and then shy away from being truthful. I think Gravel's comparison to Viet Nam was spot-on. If soldiers die because of the failed policies of their Commander in Chief, then they died in vain. Additionally, 10's of thousands of Iraqis have died or have been displaced for no good reason at all; they suffered in vain,
too. The Cheney/bush Iraq War has been an absolute waste to include a gigantic waste of humanity. I guess being truthful is still not politically correct.

Posted by: Albert Colone | July 24, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Again , I would like to say, aren't you Americans tired of the Bush-Clinton family affair in the White House?

The worst leadership the world has seen of America is happening because of these manufactured leaders who are nothing but puppets for big businesses and interest groups.

I don't know what people see in Hillary Clinton. She's part of the lies, deceits, murders etc. She's an accessory to all these sins. She is utterly corrupt to the core.

I urge you Americans to get out of your comfort zones and see what's happening around the world. You need to get out and see for yourselves what these family of manufactured leaders are doing destroying countries and families in other parts of the world.

America needs a REAL leader in order to regain the respect and trust of the people of the world again. There's only one who fits the bill of a real leader right now and the person is BARACK OBAMA.

Posted by: Max | July 24, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Hillary has framed herself as the "experienced" candidate, and media folks like CC eat it up. Tell us, Chris, about her experience and how exactly it's so far beyond the experiences of her chief Democratic rivals. Thank you.

Posted by: scribble | July 24, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I have no more use for conservative apologists for right-wing dictators than I have for liberal apologists for left-wing dictators.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 24, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Common Sense, you do not seem to have much. A clumsy attempt to hire Justice Department lawyers based on ideology is nothing like a systematic purge across all levels of the bureaucracy.

The Libby commutation bears no resemblance to packing the judiciary with loyalists who approve extensions of presidential power at odds with the constitution. Bush is trying to appoint conservatives to the bench, but even Republican appointees are issuing rulings against some of his attempts to extend presidential power.

Chavez is systematically turning the media into cheerleaders for his rule. He also uses gangs of thugs to intimidate opponents.

One of the ways the right has been able to undermine the Democrats on national security is the presence of too many on the left who are willing to compare people like Chavez with a Republican administration. It lacks proportion and, at least on the surface, lends credence to the charge that liberals "Blame America First" and that seriously alienates swing voters.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 24, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Chris it's obvious you are part of the problem and not part of the solution when you said:

Time and time again Obama sought to take specific questions and broaden them into a conversation over who represented real change in the field. He castigated lobbyists and special interests in Washington, offering a sweeping condemnation of business as usual (by both parties) in the nation's capital. "We don't need just a change in political parties," said Obama. "We need a change in attitudes of the people representing Americans."

Obama is acurately describing the problem on why our government has not been able to meet the needs of WE THE PEOPLE. That is your problem and the problem with most Americans, they want specifics. Specifics are fine, if you have a well functioning Congress, but when you have a dysfunctional Congress, then that's the first place you need to make a change because they propose and enact legislation not the President. The next President must be someone who can LEAD and INFLUENCE Congress to do the right things, to remind the people in Congress that they represent WE THE PEOPLE and not special interest groups, who are at the heart of the problem with their generous donations and lavish gifts. The majority of them do not reprsent WE THE PEOPLE, but instead represent the companies reprsented by lobbyists. Look at how much a group of Congressmen and Senators received from the are the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare companies to legislate bills that would enhance their profits at the cost of WE THE PEOPLE. Now these same politicians have left Congress to work as lobbyists for these same companies!!!! This is what Obama is saying needs to change. Unless someone is bold enough to change this, don't expect our government to get better. It will continue to get corrupt and will eventually lead to a bankrupting of America.

Obama is right when he said we have to change the attitudes of the people representing Americans. But the American voters needs to change their attitude about wanting specific information. We look for promises based on specifics that in reality no recent President has ever been able to deliver because they can't get Congress to propose or enact these specifications. What we get is usually something far different from what was described to us during the campaign.

Obama has the ability to get Congress to do the right thing. When he said "the time for asking how to get out of Iraq was before we got in" shows how he will give thoughtful consideration to his decisions. This is something we need in our next leader, someone who will make government pay attention to the details.

Posted by: andy | July 24, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL writes
"I do not understand the notion that diplomatic relations with another country are a "reward". I would argue that it is even more important to have diplomats in unfriendly nations."

JimD is right. The concept of 'punishing' regimes with which we disagree by not talking to them does not produce positive results. Decades of frozen relations have not produced positive results from Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc. Once relations are reopened, we tend to see positive results, for instance China, Vietnam, USSR.

Posted by: bsimon | July 24, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

ok, The question was wether Hillary would promise to meet those leaders within her first year as Pres. She didnt say no, she said not without knowing where the meeting would go. I mean do we really want our Pres. to have meetings with any country without any agenda just for propaganda meetings. Even Pres. Reagan had negotiations with Russian diplomats before one-on-one discussions took place. So come on, lets not help the media mislead the senator's statements.

Posted by: sokrateze | July 24, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I don't think there's anything partisan about thinking Chavez in a nut who doesn't give a lick about democracy. So I agree with JimD both about Chavez being dangerous AND that the US should nonetheless be willing to meet with folks like Chavez where it serves our interests.

As far as the Debate goes, I don't think anything significant really changed. Clinton was strong (I don't like her, but she's a capable candidate), Obama continued improving and gave a good performance, and Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, Biden, etc. all esentially competed for the remaining time and attention.

Posted by: Colin | July 24, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Chavez is eliminating independent media in Venezuela, he is purging the bureaucracy of non-loyalists and he is undermining the independence of the judiciary. That just scratches the surface of his attempts to consolidate power and suppress opposing viewpoints. He is behaving in a dictatorial manner and is well on his way to making himself an elected dictator. Don't romanticize him just because his foreign policy opposes Bush.

Dissecting your points one by one:
1. "eliminating independent media"-his administration pulled the plug on one national outlet and now he's a facist? Especially when that particular outlet advocated armed struggle and violence against the government? Wouldn't we do the same? Did you accuse the Brits of censorship when they pulled the plug from Thames after 24 years?
1. "purging the bureacracy of non-loyalists"-Sounds like the Bush/Gonzales firings
2. "undermining the independence of the judiciary"-Sounds like the Libby commutation
3. "that just scratches the surface of his attempts to consolidate power and suppress opposing viewpoints"-Sounds like every calculation of the Rove/Cheney/Bush machine since day one in the office.

I know it's hard, but try to actually consider what you're saying before you type.

Posted by: CommonSense | July 24, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Having given my opinion of Chavez, I don't disagree with Obama about meeting with him or other unfriendly governments. I do believe that a head of state meeting should generally not happen until there has been heavy diplomatic advance work.

I do not understand the notion that diplomatic relations with another country are a "reward". I would argue that it is even more important to have diplomats in unfriendly nations.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 24, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Still whining about the war and who voted for it and who couldn't because he wasn't there. Hillary voted to invade because her husband was considering the same solution (read your history and not the silly fluff stuff of how GREAT everything was under the Clintons.) Obama showed his inexperience in claiming he would meet with any and all rouge regimes - really smart - elevate them to your status. And to the guy that thinks Chavez isn't a dictator because he was elected - pull your head out. He is ruling by decree for 18 months, given to him by his lackey Parliment - you need to read a bit more too. By the way, Saddam was "elected" several times by really high margins.

Posted by: Wakeup Call | July 24, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

drindl,

Chavez is systematically trying to eliminate any checks and balances on presidential power. He is, in fact, spying on domestic opponents (my source is a report on NPR). Bush is trying to push the envelope of presidential power, IMHO beyond Constitutional limits, but he is nowhere near as dictatorial as Chavez. We have an independent judiciary that has issued rulings on detainees that Bush does not like but which the administration obeys. Comparing Bush to Chavez is, to say the least, a strained analogy.

Chazez is also something of a bufoon on the international stage - e.g., his Bush is the devil reference at the U.N. He is trying to stitch together an "alliance" of anti-American states.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 24, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow P, Gravel over Richardson? Well, Richardson certainly didn't do himself any favors. He really has turned totally left on the scale of Kucinich and Gravel. Did anyone else notice how quickly Kucinich sold out the Democratic party? He admits that dems. are playing politics with the war. Joe Biden is being honest saying that we can't just withdraw from Iraq. Clinton also knows it. I'm not sure Obama does, being that he has no real experience in foreign policy. The rest, who knows. I liked the youtube debate, it was interesting.

Posted by: reason | July 24, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Can we talk about Dodd a bit? I don't get why he isn't a tier one candidate. He is substantive, smart and charming. He has more experience than most on the stage and has been ahead on many issues. He resonates with a lot of moderates and independents, does well in all of the debates, but is never mentioned in any of the post-debate coverage. Seriously, what's the story here?

Posted by: KA | July 24, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Did Obama not win? And did Biden not disappoint? And did Clinton not hold her own?

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://OsiSpeaks.org

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | July 24, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Kenneth Trager writes
"The best contest for America would be Giulliani vs Clinton. Both are comfortable in their power positions and both would command respect on the world stage. Each has experience in dealing with foreign leaders and an awareness of national issues."

That's an interesting conclusion. I think the opposite: Giuliani v Clinton would be the worst set of options for US voters. Neither would command any more or less respect on the world stage than any of the other front-runners. And both are certainly short on foreign policy experience. Both are wedded to the Bush war plan and apparently incapable of promoting a bold alternative plan for Iraq & the war on terror that will produce positive results. Frankly, Senator Clinton and former Mayor Giuliani are more similar than dissimilar, in my opinion. Both are relying on reputation built not on experience but on image; when it gets down to practical accomplishments relevant to being the President of the United States, neither has much to offer.

Posted by: bsimon | July 24, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think ALL of the candidates of both parties should be locked in a rom with Stephen Colbert and a camera...

now THAT would be entertainment.

Posted by: drindl | July 24, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The next debate should be on Comedy Central.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 24, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Of course Hillary would avoid meeting one-on-one with an enemy.

She never seems to speak on her own or make an independent decision without consulting the polls and her staff.

During a one-on-one meeting, any of the enemy leaders mentioned could get the better of a poll-dependent, staff-dependent politician.

This is a major reason to NOT elect Hillary.

Obama could handle a one-on-one meeting because he has the stuff to speak and decide on his own. Maybe that is why he is ready to make the correct assessment of the situation.

Posted by: Golgi | July 24, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I felt Clinton & Obama really set the standard high with their eloquent performances. I especially enjoyed the question regarding whether they would work for minimun wage. Kudos to Barack for calling out the fellow candidates. This is the first candidate I've seen who really speaks for the people. I hope this country sees the desperate need for change and the reality that this is the guy for the job.

Posted by: Lauren | July 24, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama is clearly the winner. His answers very thoughtful and bold.

Obama is right on meeting the leaders of Iran and Ven. Bush has spoiled the US respect in other coutries. Iran and Ven are the strong critics of US and resolving the dispute with them is sending a clear message to other countries is US is no more a bully and trustable super power.

For the past 5 terms this country is ruled either by Bush/Clinton's and don't think we are foolish enough give these jokers for another chance. America is not owned by Bush & Clinton family.

Posted by: craig | July 24, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

While Clinton showed her HAND to the enemy nations by telling them HOW she she would TREAT the upfront before TALKING to them, Senator Obama on the other hand just said he was WILLING to talk to ANYBODY - not giving away any secrets as to how or when he would go about doing that.

That was a very presidential statement.

Posted by: Connie | July 24, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Mark and Jim -- I am not romanticizing Chavez -- he's no angel. But is it really the US' business to micromanage the business of every other country in the world to our liking?

In any case, last time I looked Chavez was not spying on his own citizens without warrants, locking up possibly innocent people indefinitely without recourse to trial or even knowing the charges against them, denying them habeas corpus, torturing them, sometimes to death [over 100 people have denied from injuries incurred at US detention sites] or politicizing every single government agency.

I'm just saying -- people who live in glass house should be careful whom they label a dictator.

Posted by: drindl | July 24, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Giuliani took a fateful step that would for years prompt questions about his racial sensitivities. In September 1992, he spoke to a rally of police officers protesting Mr. Dinkins's proposal for a civilian board to review police misconduct.

It was a rowdy, often threatening, crowd. Hundreds of white off-duty officers drank heavily, and a few waved signs like "Dump the Washroom Attendant," a reference to Mr. Dinkins. A block away from City Hall, Mr. Giuliani gave a fiery address, twice screaming that Mr. Dinkins's proposal was "bullsh*t." The crowd cheered. Mr. Giuliani was jubilant...

The Giuliani campaign later conducted a "vulnerability study" to identify their candidate's weaknesses in 1993. This study, obtained by Wayne Barrett, author of "Rudy!" -- an investigative biography -- offers an unsparing critique: "Giuliani's shrieking performance at the cop rally may be his greatest political liability this year. Giuliani has yet to admonish those who attacked the mayor with racist code words on signs and banners. Why not?"

Posted by: rudy the nutcase | July 24, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I would say that I'm shocked by Chris handing Clinton another "win." I just listened to him being interviewed by Russert and YES Chris you should pay close attention to how the public views this race as opposed to how you Beltway insiders do. It's unreasonable for you or anyone else for that matter to assume that Obama would meet w/Chavez w/out a plan and no sense of direction. It's totally unreasonable that ANY president would just call Hugo on the phone and say "we need to talk." Therefore, the least that you and others can do is point that out. The guy asked a direct question that I thought deserved a direct answer: Would you be willing to meet w/"chavez, Castro?" Obama answered instinctively and based it on how he views the role of diplomacy. Clinton said that she wouldn't agree to meet w/them in the 1st year because she wanted to make sure she wasn't being used as a propaganda tool. Where exactly is the brilliance in that statement? I doubt that ANY president under ANY administration would be advised to just call them on the phone and attempt to make peace. Let's be real about this one.

Posted by: DcGuy | July 24, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

How does Rudy have experience dealing with foreign leaders or experience with national issues again? Last time I checked, the guy was a US attorney and then Mayor. Even if the city was NY, that's not exactly a background chalk full of foreign policy experience.

Not saying that's necessary, for what it's worth, but come on -- lets not just make stuff up.

Posted by: Colin | July 24, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Alex,
"What kind of society do we live in that so many people are OK with nuts like that guy, easily owning a semi automatic machine gun."

The kind where it's Constitutionally protected to do so. Given the video, one has to to wonder if he is nuts or not. That said, if i were looking for houses to rob, his would not be one of them.

Posted by: Dave! | July 24, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

As a Giulliani supporter here is my analysis:
Clinton is clearly the front runner. She is poised, very intelligent and has a command of all the issues.
Biden was the most engaging and knowledgable about foreign policy issues. He is upfront with a terrific sense of humor.
If Obama was not black he would not even be a candidate. He is not JFK, RKF or any other K as much as his ads and persona would like us to believe. His pledge to meet with all the foreign leaders he mentioned during his first year in office was so naive it was comical. Also needs to learn what the powers of the chief executive are and aren't.
Dodd should remain in the US Senate.
Richardson will be Clinton's VP choice
Edwards is erratic in answering questions-terrific on health care and evasive on others. Clinton jacket comment was idiotic.
The other two are just that-the other two.
The best contest for America would be Giulliani vs Clinton. Both are comfortable in their power positions and both would command respect on the world stage. Each has experience in dealing with foreign leaders and an awareness of national issues.

Posted by: Kenneth Trager | July 24, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

This is the first set of questions at any of these debates that i have seen that i actually, for the most part, liked. I don't know if CNN cut the best questions, as some posters have suggested, but if so that is unfortunate. What i did not like about the debate is that most questions were only answered by one or two candidates. Either extend the length of the debate or cut the number of questions down so that everybody has a chance to answer each one. Additionally, there is not time to get an in depth answer from anyone. My suggestion would be to take this format, limit the topics to a handfull, limit the number of questions, and let the candidates debate the finer points of each question.

As far as performances, I think that Clinton and Obama did well but, unlike the past debates i have watched, Clinton came down a few notches in her performance. Her answer to the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton run of the presidency was horrible. That said, her answer on the talking to enemy heads of state was clearly more sensical than Obama's. It showed me that she was paying attention when her husband tried to bring the Palestinians and the Israeli's together without the proper preparation - precipitating a disasterous aftermath. Obama just looks more comfortable than he did in earlier debates. That allows him to concentrate on his big theme strategy which works pretty well for him. Edwards just grates on me - i was waiting to hear "I feel your pain" when he was talking about the guy with the cleft lip. He continues to earn his "Snake oil salesman" label. As much as i don't like his positions, I identify with Biden's sense of humor - his quip that the thing he likes best about Kucinich is his wife was classic Joe. Biden has minimized his tendency to ramble pretty well during the last couple of months. It's too bad that we did not hear more from Gravel or Kucinich - i find both absolutely histerical. As a conservative, i would love to have one of those guys as the democratic nominee. But alas, it seems as though it's a Clinton/Obama (or vice versa) ticket.

Posted by: Dave! | July 24, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The winners last night were Obama and Biden. Just look at the realtime response lines when they were speaking - off the charts.

That puts Richardson at 0/3. Time to whittle it down.

Posted by: JD | July 24, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hillary: Cold and calculating

Posted by: Lame Debate | July 24, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Reason said " Does anyone know the story of the stunt he pulled in court with the little girl whose intestines were pulled through a pool drain?"

Just to clarify, you'r criticizing Edwards for his closing argument in a case where his client's intestines were pulled through a pool drain? He won the case for that girl's family and you seem to think that's something he should be ashamed of. Honestly, that's a perspective I just don't understand.

Posted by: Colin | July 24, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

No idea why clinton would think it so great how she answered the talking to enemies answer.
Obama's was great. alot of people thought he answered correctly.
Clinton is parsing over straw.

Posted by: vwcat | July 24, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

drindl, not only is Hugo Chavez suppressing dissent in Venezuela, and failing to "spread the wealth", he is a fool.

Venezuela bought CitGo in the late 80s because it owned 3 Texas refineries capable of refining Venezuelan crude, which is so heavy that it is called "sludge" by a lot of o&g types. Because Chavez is afraid his petro managers will steal from "him"
he has ordered the divestiture of the 3 Texas refineries.

THERE IS NOT REFINERY CAPACITY IN VENEZUELA TO HANDLE THEIR SLUDGE. Thus, he will put his nation at the mercy of [probably] Russia rather than own refineries in Texas.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 24, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Finally Richardson scores some points. I hope to see more.

Posted by: Filbertus | July 24, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Obama won hands down and in second place Edwards.

Clinton may be good at getting applause lines..but where's the beef? Too many "sound-bites."

Obama on the other hand tackled issues in a thoughtful manner. Why not meet with Chavez, N. Korea, Castro and the rest? Kennedy met with Kruschev and Reagan had an open line of communication with Gorbachev. Is anyone so stupid as to believe that ignoring a problem makes it go away?

Clinton's response to that was calculating and she stated the obvious that any US President would not allow their meeting to be used for propaganda.

Posted by: Giancarlo | July 24, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Can we please stop with all the comments about the damn Borgen Project, its in every single section of commentary on this site.

Posted by: Wade | July 24, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Why did the audience and the other candidates NOT give Joe Biden more support when he thrashed that psychopath who submitted a video calling his semi automatic weapon his 'baby'.

God, politicians can be so timid to say something that might offend some people.

You have to be nuts not to be offended by that crazy guy with his sem automatic machine gun, and amen to Joe Biden for having the guts to call the guy crazy and speak honestly. Geez.

What kind of society do we live in that so many people are OK with nuts like that guy, easily owning a semi automatic machine gun.

Posted by: Alex | July 24, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Chavez is eliminating independent media in Venezuela, he is purging the bureaucracy of non-loyalists and he is undermining the independence of the judiciary. That just scratches the surface of his attempts to consolidate power and suppress opposing viewpoints. He is behaving in a dictatorial manner and is well on his way to making himself an elected dictator. Don't romanticize him just because his foreign policy opposes Bush. As another poster pointed out, Hitler was democratically elected also.

Posted by: JimD in FL | July 24, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I think that the debate was inconsequential for voters because no one made a monumental faux pas.
--------------------------
Having said that, my own prejudices were reinforced [seemingly, like most posters, in that respect].

Kucinich is, to me, a socialist, whose vision of America frightens me, and whose applause lines alienate me.

Biden, to me, is the strongest on foreign policy, the most important issue, and his answers are pointed on every issue. His remark to the guy cradling his "baby" was priceless, even for me, a gun owner. I've never confused my shotgun with one of my kids.

Dodd, to me, is a credible candidate. Accountability is good.

Obama still strikes me as thoughtful and bright, and now, cautious, with some sense of humor.

I credit Richardson's experiences as worth more than his tv presence, and HRC's and Edwards' tv presence as worth more than their experiences.

I tried to look at this forum from the viewpoint of one who will not get his choice of candidate [Biden] and must now attend to the others.

I am going to watch the Rs as someone who will not get his candidate [McCain] and must attend to the others.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | July 24, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

'You have a moron-headed black who will meet any foes e.g Iran, Syria, North Korea etc, and may end up being gobbled by them.'

too bad so many americans are not only dumb, but bigoted as well. oh yeah, we really have a lot to fear from Syria, for chrissake.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I too must comment on this habit you have, CC [along with all the other typing parrots in the DC press rooms] of just framing everything in corporate DC spin.

Since when is a duly elected official like Chavez of Venezuela a 'dictator'? Because he refuses to allow multinational corporations to control Venezuelan oil? Shame on him, doesn't he know it's OUR oil, even though it's unfortunately located beneath his country?

Posted by: drindl | July 24, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Janet gives yet another example. Instead of calling names, why not just promote the positive things that your candidate said last night. Just playing into Republican hands... Or maybe you are a Republican. Oh wait, now I'm calling names...

Posted by: Jake | July 24, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I turned CNN off as soon as one of its post-debate commentators stated that Hillary cleary showed she was more "presidential" than Obama in her answer to the Iran, Syria question. I then turned to Fox's Sean Hannity (although I never listen or watch his show) to see what his group had to say. Overall, they cast Obama as the winner of the debate. CNN is still the "Clinton News Network" and Donna Brazille is just a blow hard who did a poor job as Gore's campaign manager in the 2000 race. Of course, Chris will have Clinton as the star of the debate.

Posted by: janet | July 24, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I turned CNN off as soon as one of its post-debate commentators stated that Hillary cleary showed she was more "presidential" than Obama in her answer to the Iran, Syria question. I then turned to Fox's Sean Hannity (although I never listen or watch his show) to see what his group had to say. Overall, they cast Obama as the winner of the debate. CNN is still the "Clinton News Network" and Donna Brazille is just a blow hard who did a poor job as Gore's campaign manager in the 2000 race. Of course, Chris will have Clinton as the star of the debate.

Posted by: janet | July 24, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Some of us on this blog need to realize that, if you are a Democrat and feel that our country has slipped into the gutter over the past 6.5 years, the way to turn that around is not to throw stones at fellow Democrats. As far as I'm concerned, any of the people that stood on the debate stage last night would make a tremendous improvement over what we have now. Don't get me wrong, it's important to highlight differences and showcase your candidate's resume and strengths. However, some of you need to remember that the enemy did not debate last night. I think that the person that emerges from the primary will be the best equipped to take on the Republicans.

Posted by: Jake | July 24, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership, numberous generals, and editorial pages, like the NY Times, have been calling for direct talks with Syria, Iran and N. Korea, so why is the media trying to characterize Senator Obama's statements at last night's debate that he would talk to these nation's as a sign of "inexperience"? And why are many in the media heralding Senator Clinton's response that she wouldn't without a series of conditions as a sign of experience? Her position is effectively the same as George Bush's! If she supports troop withdrawal, which I support but undoubtedly will further deteriorate the conditions in that region, how can we avoid talking to these nations?

Posted by: Dee | July 24, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership, numberous generals, and editorial pages, like the NY Times, have been calling for direct talks with Syria, Iran and N. Korea, so why is the media trying to characterize Senator Obama's statements at last night's debate that he would talk to these nation's as a sign of "inexperience"? And why are many in the media heralding Senator Clinton's response that she wouldn't without a series of conditions as a sign of experience? Her position is effectively the same as George Bush's! If she supports troop withdrawal, which I support but undoubtedly will further deteriorate the conditions in that region, how can we avoid talking to these nations?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I must commend you for the fair comments regarding Edwards' debate performance. His vision for the country is remarkable, it's time for we the people to stand tall and firm with this great man. He can't do it alone it's up to us now.

Posted by: Shar | July 24, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

i dont know who is going to win this election,but there really has not been a politician that lived up to their billing since truman and roosevelt. and any american that gives two cents about hugo chavez is an idiot.the man publicly denouned america and its leaders and said he would use the money from his citgo gas stations to bring america down.so if you like him so much you should move too his country and take his gas stations with you.

Posted by: serio | July 24, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

When will Gravel be booted off the stage? The guy is just plain scary sometimes.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matthew | July 24, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

The more the top anointed wanneebees talk about change, it becomes quite clear that the "process" is rigged. If you want a new paradigm for government, you won't get it from the usual suspects. One candidate has the record of making a difference by taking on the system: Gravel. Of course, he won't get a chance to speak to it -- not unless the people demand it. Follow the money -- and stop and think how it's being used. Politics as usual.

Posted by: Bosoxdad | July 24, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

In response to: Posted by: Max | July 24, 2007 05:52 AM

Of course most THINKING Americans are "AWARE OF" the Bush-Clinton rotation. The ones who just take life by the day are too simpleminded to even realize that they are being set up.

Hillary Clinton was asked about it last night and the PRO-CLINTON AUDIENCE gave her applause, without even realizing that the questioner was hitting on a point that they need to be well aware of. They they are being duped by the power elite in this country to continue the rotation that maintains the STATUS QUO in DC.

Hillary Clinton gave a good answer since she had almost 90 seconds to respond to it. She had more than enough time to give a good answer.

I was glad that Mike Gravel was the one who responded to her "soliloquy."

Posted by: OEST | July 24, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

In response to: Posted by: Max | July 24, 2007 05:52 AM

Of course most THINKING Americans are the Bush-Clinton rotation. The ones who just take life by the day are too simpleminded to even realize that they are being set up.

Hillary Clinton was asked about it last night and the PRO-CLINTON AUDIENCE gave her applause, without even realizing that the questioner was hitting on a point that they need to be well aware of. They they are being duped by the power elite in this country to continue the rotation that maintains the STATUS QUO in DC.

Hillary Clinton gave a good answer since she had almost 90 seconds to respond to it. She had more than enough time to give a good answer.

I was glad that Mike Gravel was the one who responded to her "soliloquy."

Posted by: OEST | July 24, 2007 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Everything that Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson say is rehearsed.

Bill Richardson clearly plans what he is going to say and says it regardless of what the question is. It's almost like Richardson is just pulling anything out of his mind that he can remember, because most of the time it has nothing to do with the question.

Ask him a question about health care, and he just might give you an answer about Darfur.

Posted by: OEST | July 24, 2007 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Depsite good performances by the two "frontrunners", they also showed their weaknesses. The real winner IMHO was John Edwards, and a post on Kos shows it all:
http://www.youtube.c...

We need a leader who's a fighter (remember "Born Fightin", the slogan of Jim Webb's campaign?).
John Edwards has the passion of his convictions, while I think the others are far too cautious and calculating to bring about transformational change. If you believe the major corporations and power brokers in WDC are a big part of the problem, then you've got to consider "Fightin' John".

BTW, I thought Hillary's failure to praise liberalism, sounding like it's negative, was my biggest disappointment. Every major social cause since 1932--from the New Deal to the Great Society, from SS to Medicare, from environmentalism to sound energy policy, was/is championed as a "liberal" cause. Hillary made the word seem toxic. Not acceptable.


Posted by: cjburke | July 24, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Biden ahead of the pack on substance. Obama also showing strong and looking very statesmanlike. Kucinich third, very quick. Clinton, Edwards, Richardson also ran. Dodd very senatorial. Gravel should just go.

Posted by: justicat | July 24, 2007 5:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm not an Americam but I gotta ask something. Aen't you Americans tired of the family affair of Bush-Clinton in the White House?

The rest of the world are tired and sick of these families that they no longer hold any meaningful respect for them. This has translated down to how the world see America because of the leagacy of deceit, lies, manipulation and so forth that they have put in the White House for all to see.

For America to get back the respect it deserves, it needs to have a fresh leadership and a new chapter. America needs a real leader and the only one who has that character to make America strong and respected again in the world is Barack Obama.

The problem with America now is that you guys watch too much TV. You can't tell the difference between a real leader from a manufactured leader.

Posted by: Max | July 24, 2007 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama is too smooth. He is a calculating and manufactured talent that is dangerous in a corporate dogfight like the USA. I say Hillary is pulling away from the challenged pack, despite the money and support Obama spins with his underdog trickery. President Clinton, again.

Posted by: You don't know JACK | July 24, 2007 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Exactally what I have said all along, the media is for Obama.

Posted by: lylepink | July 24, 2007 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is publicizing Obama's strongest moment of the debate when he talked about meeting with foreign leaders. The focus groups gave that segment its highest poositive ratings for Obama.

Posted by: Chris | July 24, 2007 4:07 AM | Report abuse

I watched and laughed at all these American leaders debating on the issues. You have a moron-headed black who will meet any foes e.g Iran, Syria, North Korea etc, and may end up being gobbled by them. You have a male gay-hater who claimed to be better than Hillary in championing women's right when he showed so much hatred to gays. Then you have undecided morons who gave very very narrow-minded answers. You made me laugh America. Probably the most eligible and tactful of all the debaters is Hillary. She responded well and gave intelligent answers. She has my vote!!! ooops. I am in Afghanistan..and forgot I can't vote.

Posted by: hillarysupporter | July 24, 2007 4:01 AM | Report abuse

What I am saying in my 02:49 AM comment about the "Fact Check" guy is the old "Listen for what they don't say." one used so many times.

Posted by: lylepink | July 24, 2007 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Um, as I recall, Hitler was democratically elected. Does that mean he wasn't a dictator either?

Posted by: dean-sf | July 24, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

clawrence: I had not heard of this guy, Gravel, for many years. The only thing I can think of as his reason for running is an ego trip. Now some of the things he says is right on target, yet anyone with the slightest chance of winning the nomination, much less the General, has to avoid these at all costs, for they would be torn apart by the spin machines. If you watched the followup analysis, you will see what I mean by the comments of Amy Holmes. David Gergan, who has been an advisor to The White House of both parties, gave the best analysis. The "Fact Check" guy showed how the spin machines can use whatever is said and turn it into what was not said.

Posted by: lylepink | July 24, 2007 2:49 AM | Report abuse

obama revealed his lack of experience with his radical chic declarations to meet with anyone from any country. the syrians and the iranians will leave him stumbling on his shoelaces.

moreover it is easy to attack the political system and obviously such tirades appease simpletons but reality is much different than ridiculous rhetoric. lobbyists will not disappear in washington and neither obama or any other candidate will remain immune to influence. moreover, if obama really wanted to be the knight in shining armour, he would run as an independent.

apparently, he conveniently forgets that organized labor pours millions into the democratic party. and if obama is going to cut them out of the party then he is not going to be nominated regardless of all the born-again mau maus.

Posted by: ejrjr | July 24, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

My favorite moment: After Clinton talked about her manufactured letter writing tussel with the Pentagon.

Obama added this:... "one thing I have to say about Senator Clinton's comments a couple of moments ago. I think it's terrific that she's asking for plans from the Pentagon, and I think the Pentagon response was ridiculous. But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in. And that is something that too many of us failed to do."

Reminding all of us of Clinton's vote and long time support for the war. She has time in Washington but no proven past leadership experience.

Posted by: Carson | July 24, 2007 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Biden is clearly the best candidate to head the democratic ticket. If people would just stop letting the talking heads in Washington anoints our leaders, he would be as far ahead in the polls as he is head and shoulders above the other candidates. But when they decide to ignore substance for the new yahoo in a bathing suit...?

I could certainly live with a Clinton/Biden ticket. If Obama were to win this nomination (and I still believe that Americans will wake up and realize just how unqualified this guy is) I can only hope that we do have an independent step forward. I just could not put the reigns of power in this guys hand at such a crucial time in the international community.

As far as this debate (and the other two I have seen) both Clinton and Biden have stood out in each. They need to dis-invite Gravel. The others are all swell guys, but not presidential timber.

Posted by: clawrence | July 24, 2007 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, Obama, and the rest are trying to be the leader of the free world, yet the only questions sent their way are puffballs that elicit their stock talking points. If they can't answer real questions, how the heck are they going to deal with Iran and North Korea?

If you'd like to send a message to Youtube and CNN, watch this 1 second video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJC84XFmdYI

It just says "CNN's choice of questions for the debate really sucked", and if it gets enough views, Youtube might be shamed into making sure that CNN chooses better questions the next time around.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 24, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, Obama, and the rest are trying to be the leader of the free world, yet the only questions sent their way are puffballs that elicit their stock talking points. If they can't answer real questions, how the heck are they going to deal with Iran and North Korea?

If you'd like to send a message to Youtube and CNN, watch this 1 second video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJC84XFmdYI

It just says "CNN's choice of questions for the debate really sucked", and if it gets enough views, Youtube might be shamed into making sure that CNN chooses better questions the next time around.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 24, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, Obama, and the rest are trying to be the leader of the free world, yet the only questions sent their way are puffballs that elicit their stock talking points. If they can't answer real questions, how the heck are they going to deal with Iran and North Korea?

If you'd like to send a message to Youtube and CNN, watch this 1 second video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJC84XFmdYI

It just says "CNN's choice of questions for the debate really sucked", and if it gets enough views, Youtube might be shamed into making sure that CNN chooses better questions the next time around.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 24, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Obama said he would be willing to meet individually with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea during the first year of his presidency. "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous," Obama said to applause. He's the leader the country needs now!

Clinton's Bushlike response was that she would not talk directly with these leaders... probably because she lacks the diplomatic skills to do it effectively. Her response sums up the reasons why I would never vote for her.

Posted by: Carson | July 24, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Biden was sharp - clearly beat expectations more than any other candidate. As we move toward the primaries, he realls seems to be catching his stride.

Obama also did well.

Clinton, on the other hand, seemed to offer watered down non-answers to every question. Most disapointing was her refusal to take pride in being a liberal ... after all, it was liberals who won WWII, beat jim crow, enacted environmental and labor laws, social security, etc. It's a rich legacy ... and she ran from it because her polls told her to do so. I think Dem primary voters will start to ask "with several credible candidates, why settle for someone who won't aggressively push a democratic agenda?"

Posted by: S. Howeson | July 24, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Biden castigates Richardson for wanting a rapid withdrawal of forces, but then Biden wants the anti-war vote. So what does he say?

On Biden's website he says we need to:

* Direct U.S. military commanders to develop a plan to withdraw and re-deploy almost all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of 2007
* Maintain in or near Iraq a small residual force -- perhaps 20,000 troops -- to strike any concentration of terrorists, help keep Iraq's neighbors honest and train its security forces

Going from 160,000 troops to 20,000 in less than six months is a rapid withdrawal. The difference between Biden's and Richardson's plans is Richardson doesn't compromise and try to have it both ways.

Richardson will get all of our troops out. Richardson understands that our troops are just targets of all sides in a civil war.

Baghdad is Iraq's largest city with 7 million residents. Iraq has 15 other major cities, hundreds of smaller cities and towns and thousands of villages with another 20 million people in a nation the size of California.

We don't have nearly enough troops now in Iraq to bring peace and stability to the country - and never will absent re-instating the draft and sending over 600,000+ soldiers, which of course should not and will not occur.

Keeping 20,000 troops in Iraq as Biden advocates just means that the tens of thousands of insurgents and militia forces in Iraq will have a much easier time killing our troops. They can concentrate all of their forces on a much smaller number of U.S. troops.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | July 24, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Dear Chris Cillizza,

Hugo Chavez is not a "dictator", you moron. You're either an idiot or a liar.

Posted by: Ed | July 24, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Reading her answer again really frosts me. "I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are."

This is a very weak answer and shows reactive thinking rather than executive thinking. The United States still has a hell of a lot of power -- we can incinerate any country or make it wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of its people. We set the agenda. It is our intentions that get addressed. If you don't have the cojones to talk to the bad guys without knowing in advance "what their intentions are" then I submit that you just don't have what it takes to be President.

Posted by: George | July 24, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I thought that Hillary and Edwards took a timid line on the question about meeting with world leaders. I think that they are more afraid of the Sunday talk shows than they are about any propaganda victory for the "bad guys." Why in the heck do we in America care if the President of Venezeula or Iran gets a slight bump in their polls from meeting with our President?

The issues are too important to be timid. I thought that Obama (and Richardson?) were on the right track. If Iran were in fact making nuclear weapons and a face to face meeting would get them to stop, who cares what the talking heads think?

Posted by: George | July 24, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

This debate was a sham. If you look at the videos submitted, the best questions were left on the cutting room floor. Go look through the rejected ones. The video with far and away the highest vote count, a question about impeaching the current administration, was not answered. Some of the questions that were answered were actually into negative vote numbers.

I think it's high time the American people started paying more attention to the candidates records than the scripted garbage that comes out their mouths whenever you put them in front of a camera.
No matter what you ask them, they never really answer the question; they just launch into their stump speeches.

I'm sick of being told the race is between the MSM's two or three anointed front runners. I'm voting for the candidate that matches my view. It won't be throwing away my vote anymore than the Supreme Court did in 2000.

Posted by: Julie | July 24, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Biden is the prime vp candidate right now. i say

Posted by: rufus | July 24, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Poor Joe Biden. He's the one I would trust most with the reins of this country--just listen, he can answer anything at length. He's screwed, though, because he's not a rock star.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

OcH: The graph you refer to is yet another example of how the media promotes Obama, and to an extent downplays Hillary. This is what I have been saying for months. I'm watching the replay as I type this, and have yet to find anything that will change the mind of folks that have been following the campaign. I expect polling data in a couple days will show Edwards continueing to lose support from people that watched, although I don't think any one of them made a serious mistake.

Posted by: lylepink | July 24, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

IK don't know if Edwards is a gifted politician or a great liar, or if there the same thing or not. I can't figure out if he will do one thing he says. I think he will. What he SAYS is on point. The more I hear him the mor eI am coming around.

Still Obama Gore. Edwards is creeping up, fast. Not sure if the coulter stuff is real or propoganda. Time will tell I guess.

Posted by: rufus | July 24, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Do peope really think race and gender do not matter in this race as Obama and Clinton sought to portray? I guess the two candidates gave socially acceptable answers.

Let's face facts, there are strongly prejudiced voters whose decisions will be influenced by race and gender of candidates.

Posted by: Bernard Obaa | July 24, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Check out the foxnews focus group. Obama changed people planning on voting for clinton before debate to vote for Obama. He learned how to get away with attacking hillary but respectfully.

Posted by: Fred | July 24, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I was dumbfounded by Obama's comment "... he would meet with dictators like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro if he was president..."! Since when is a duly elected leader as Chavez is, get labled a dictator? Perhaps Chavez is looking after his constituents rather than Corporate America hence the disgraceful name calling.

Posted by: Gary Butler | July 24, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I was dumbfounded by Obama's comment "... he would meet with dictators like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro if he was president..."! Since when is a duly elected leader as Chavez is, get labled a dictator? Perhaps Chavez is looking after his constituents rather than Corporate America hence the disgraceful name calling.

Posted by: Gary Butler | July 24, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

In form, I think Clinton was a clear winner, followed by Edwards and then Obama. In form, I'd give it to the unwinnables: Gravel and Kucinich. I thought the format was terrible and contributed to the dumbing down of discourse in America.

How do YOU feel about the debate tonight? Who do YOU think won the debate? Vote for your candidate on http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=217

Make your voice heard. You can vote on polls on the topic of importance to you, and if it's not there, you can sign up and create a poll in less than a minute (literally).

It's new, it's easy and it's cool...and above all, it's good for the public debate.

http://www.youpolls.com. Check it out.

Posted by: Frankie | July 24, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I watched the "opinion feed" on CNN.com, which had a graph plotting audience reactions.

While Hillary wants to play her answer on "meeting foreign leaders" to her benefit, Obama got an 80-85 during his answer, while Hillary scored 70 and below during hers. Edwards climbed back up to the mid 70s with his answer. In other words, her "great" answer actually nose-dived and flatlined with the audience. In the eyes of the audience, Obama's answer was the right one.

Posted by: Obama crushed Hillary | July 23, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ Obama "winning." You people made this decision before the debate even started. Obama rises to the level of hackneyed buzzword or empty soundbite, but no further. The guy's answers were mostly naive, overwhelmingly pandering, and indicative of inexperience.

All this nonsense about Hillary authorizing the war is pure folly. Really it's political desperation. It's easy -- not to mention absurd -- for Obama to say he was "against the war from the beginning." Uh, you weren't in the Senate then, genius. Obama really hasn't displayed the requisite political backbone it would have taken to vote against the authorization in 2002.

Obama just isn't ready for primetime yet.

Posted by: david Frank | July 23, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice how after Hillary was answering the question about John Edwards being a better advocate for womens rights, she gave this long, rehearsed answer and then kind of gave this cheerleader oomph like she was trying to show some personality? It was so obvious that she's trying to deflect the aspect people notice of her being a cold fish. The part that was even better than that? The look of clear self-satisfaction on her face immediately after that answer, and she appeared to be really cold right after. Sorry, but she just lost any genuity or warmth she had just seconds before.

Posted by: Jestin | July 23, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

So, once again, everyone saw the debate they wanted to see. Their candidate completely dominated the field, the others were no good and smelled bad too. Those who did not yet have a candidate were watching Some Reality Show Season 4 instead, waiting to be told who to like later on.

The human capacity for rationalisation is incredible. Cognitive dissonance, indeed.

Posted by: roo | July 23, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please! This "debate" was about as interesting as watching your lawn grow....and a whole lot less enlightening. CNN **censored** questions about outsourcing and immigration and dumbed down everything else to the extent that it looks like a "cut" from one of those California dumb blond movies. We learned absolutely nothing new about any candidate.

Posted by: MikeB | July 23, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I had to laugh when Edwards brought up that guy from West Va. He always does stuff like that. Does anyone know the story of the stunt he pulled in court with the little girl whose intestines were pulled through a pool drain? Oh, he actually spoke for the dead child in court. Telling the jury what she would say, if she were here. He won the lawsuit for that family, and the health dept. slapped on all kinds of additional regulations for swimming pools here in NC after that. He also has spoken for Jesus before. Yes, the son of God, John Edwards suggests that Jesus would be appalled by America's treatment of the poor and oppressed. He speaks for dead people whom he represents in court and Jesus.

Folks, John Edwards has milked juries during his career as a trial lawyer and now is trying to milk sympathy from voters by speaking up for "the little guy" to find a way into the White House.

Posted by: reason | July 23, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies, campaign advertisement and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. I would like to see all presidential candidates and political leaders in general, support more international problems that affect our place in this world, such as global poverty. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

Posted by: aileench | July 23, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

And the winners were....
1. Barack Obama--overall his best debate, he finally took on Hillary and challenged her Iraq positions, (she was for it before she was against it).
2. Hillary Clinton--just because the media says so.
3. Biden--he just knows foreign policy like the back of his hand
4.Richarson--for trying to start an actual debate at a debate.

Sadly, Edwards almost seemed invisible, not good for his already invisible campaign.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, we accept as fact the idea that this is a two horse race between Obama and Clinton. Why? Because the media says so. They reinforce it with a "debate" where 80% of the air time is devoted to these two. One, a carpet bagging Senator who's only accomplishment is that she is the wife of a former President and the other a neophyte Senator with no record, but "fresh perspective". Guess what? I have fresh prospective too and I didn't vote for the war either! I guess that makes me qualified. What a joke. CNN should be ashamed

Posted by: Jason Nolan | July 23, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Why can't you say that the debate was held at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, instead of Charleston, SC?

Posted by: Tyler Hitter | July 23, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Clinton deserves more time than Gravel, because Clinton will likely be the nominee.

Posted by: to Ross | July 23, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

The big wild card in the candidates' forum at YearlyKos will be whether the media reports on the facts reported at the "Truth About Kos" Blog. If they do, then the candidate who most successfully distinguishes herself or himself from DailyKos and YearlyKos will be candidate who wins the debate.

http://truth-about-kos.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Francis L. Holland | July 23, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama clearly shined head and shoulders above the other candidates. He eloquently stated his positions and seemed very natural in his responses. This is in stark contrast to Hillary's forced, ultra-rehearsed answers. Edwards did a good job as well, but Obama will take the nomination in 08.

Posted by: COOL_BOB | July 23, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Stop and think. Does anyone actually think that tonight's "debate" was fair? When Sen. Clinton, for instance, gets 10 times more air time then Sen. Gravel, how in the world are people supposed to make an informed decision. Anyone watch the NAACP debate? Guess what? They allowed for EQUAL time for all candidates. Novel approach huh.

Posted by: Ross | July 23, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Watching the followup confirms my thoughts of how the media continues to promote Obama. This seems silly to me and others for the media to keep this charade going when the vast majority, according to polling data available that I've seen, of folks agree with my statement early on.."Obama has ZERO chance of being elected POTUS in 08." My predictions so far have been on target in almost every phase of this 08 campaign. The only one I can think of that has not happened yet is about McCain and there is still a long time left before I will know if I was accurate about him.

Posted by: lylepink | July 23, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Edwards stood out, he stood tall and stood firm. He's the only one addressing real issues and fighting for the average person. Obama is an empty suit, Hillary is a brick wall...neither has anything new to say or add. John Edwards was the only president out there on that stage tonight.

Posted by: Jesse L. Byers | July 23, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

The reference to Chavez as a dictator, was that from the reporter or Obama?

How could someone who has been repeatedly elected by the people be branded as a dictator; simply because he wants to pursue a policy independent of the US.

This is not early 19th century. Can we stop labeling people as baby eaters? It doesn't reflect well with our standing in the world, if you care.

So Mrs. Clinton won't meet with Fidel! Does he have any more blood on his hand than our Arab allies? Being so selective with our values does not reflect well on our leadership in the world.

Our leaders should remember that they are watched and studied by everyone and when we make such fools of ourselves, it helps our friends and foes to better gauge our true colors.

Posted by: Joshua | July 23, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Ironic is it not we are fighting a war, we all agree on that, we've got a load of problems to solve, and our presidential hopefuls (including some hopeless cases) are using gimmicks like YouTube to get their message across.

Cannot wait for the next President to declare war or announce that he's not having an affair on YouTube.

Posted by: Imran | July 23, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

While it is understandable that the media tries to search for winners and losers, the real story can't be told, because it is in the minds of millions of voters. Most are only gradually making up their minds as they go along and many will wait until some sort of consensus emerges about a candidate before taking a stand. There is no doubt that Senator Clinton has the strongest negatives of the major candidates, but can she demonstrate that she can overcome, even bury, those negatives on the way to the nomination? Why not pick a candidate, like Obama or Edwards, who would truly be a new force as president and who might stand a chance of shaking up Washington and its tired old ways of doing things?

Posted by: Doug Terry terryreport.com | July 23, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Why did CNN select so few questions on immigration? John McCain's candidacy is dying because of his support for the Senate immigration bill, and it is just as appropriate a topic for Democrats as for Republicans. By the way, the candidates who said their healthcare plans will cover all the illegal aliens will not get my vote.

Posted by: Mike in Texas | July 23, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama won hands down. Whats up with all of the others attacking him. Where is Hillary's healthcare plan? At least Edwards and Obama have one. Is Hillary living off of her husbands legacy? Is she all fluff, sound bites and no substance. Leave it to the media to annoint her the winner by giving us Bush like sound bites.

Posted by: Tenn Gurl | July 23, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The debate format was a success because it presented a new and interesting format for political discussion which relies on public participation. However, I still think it overlooks some issues which although they are important, may not be hot button issues or ones that the candidates have prepared for; which is what I was hoping for in this debate. For example, an issue that seems to be at the heart of many of the most hotly debated topics is global poverty. Immigration, terrorism, and national security are very important issues facing our country and get much attention, but global poverty is the thread that connects them all. It would be nice to hear the candidates' opinions on this issue.

Posted by: Andrea | July 23, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Stab America in the back fest. What a bunch of losers.

Posted by: nuzreporter | July 23, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

On the fluff side of the debates...I loved Edwards' "Hair!" vid - striking the right tone for our age when people who vote actually get their news from either The Daily Show or the O'Reilly Factor (the former admitting that it's satire).

I am thoroughly ashamed to admit that after downloading it from You Tube I've been selecting the "watch again" button far too many times...

Posted by: Jen Q | July 23, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

One of the main topics for the evening's debate tonight was diplomacy. In my opinion, Hillary personified diplomacy in her responses. Her candor to me represented plausible solutions. Solutions that given our complicated and restrictive government processes appear to be doable. Although the other candidates brought to light other alternatives, quite honestly it just sounded to be nothing different than what other candidates have stated in the past and unable to deliver.

Posted by: CynthiaH | July 23, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I appreciated Hillary trying to become more feminine, but why was she wearing my mother's bathrobe?

Posted by: undecided08 | July 23, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Here is my placing (from best performance descending to worst performance)for the Democrat candidates in all of the debates thus far.
1) Joe Biden
2) Hillary Clinton
3) Barack Obama
4) Chris Dodd
5) John Edwards
6) Mike Gravel
7) Dennis Kucinich
8) Bill Richardson

Posted by: P | July 23, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I prefer Gore, wouldn't get excited about any but really don't see what people like about Edwards. He seems to be snooty and whiny and I find his wife too much to take. I don't think I could stand listening to Mr. & Mrs. Edwards for 4 years. They are just too annoying. Hillary, Obama & Richardson seemed good.

Posted by: Bo | July 23, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

If you think CC is in the bag for Hillary, you should check out some of the pundits on CNN's post-debate show. I'm looking at you Donna Brazille.

Posted by: truthmeister | July 23, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

does anyone SERIOUSLY think that Chris will fail to anoint Hillary one of the winners? He has already stated that she "won" the first debates thus far... I was watching too, and I didn't agree, but then I don't have a column in the Post, and I'm not working for Hillary's campaign. Yes, I said it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

folks have already began to address edwards response to Reverend Longcrier's question on gay marriage, and the conveniance of his appearance in the audience.

to be fair and balanced to the edwards campaign
Edward's
Edwards opposes Bush's attempt to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.
· He thinks the issue of civil unions, however, should be decided by individual states.
· He supports partnership benefits and believes that civil rights need to be extended and insured for gays and lesbians.
· He says the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should be looked at and revised.


Edwards is on record with the following quotes:
"As I have long said, I believe gay and lesbian Americans are entitled to equal respect and dignity under our laws.

While I personally do not support gay marriage, I recognize that different states will address this in different ways, and I will oppose any effort to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution ...." 11/18/2003

· "They (gay and lesbian couples) deserve, in my judgment, partnership benefits. They deserve to be treated fairly when it comes to adoption and immigration." 01/22/2004


why do campaigns take a gray area and intend to make it a black and white issue that is not inclusive of all people. Its not a one issue vote.

The question is not whether Edwards is against gay marriage, but whether he would support gay couples enjoying the same secular rights, privileges, and obligations as hetero couples.

I believe he would, just as any other of democratic candidates would.

to frame the question to characterize Edwards as against Gay marriage suggests Rovian political techniques are being used by dems on dems... or a little media manipulation by CNN

why do I say this???

CNN's lack of disclosure on the Reverend's association with the white house.

a little history on reggie..

n 1997, the Rev. Reggie Longcrier, a former inmate who became prison chaplain at Catawba Correctional Center, founded Exodus Missionary Outreach Center Church, a multi-ethnic, inner-city ministry. In 1998, the church established the nonprofit Exodus Homes and began providing supportive housing for recovering addicts and alcoholics.

One of his associates spoke well of him stating "Ten years ago, we were a small group sitting in a new church, listening to Rev. Reggie Longcrier describe his vision for Exodus Homes," she said. "I am blessed to be part of such wonderful work with so many dedicated people."

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has invited Exodus Homes, the housing ministry of Exodus Church in Hickory, to participate in a White House Compassion in Action Roundtable, "Faith and Community-Based Partnerships to End Homelessness."
here is the link...please everybody do your homework and not be swayed or manipulated by emotions generated by the right.

http://www.charlotte.com/catawba/story/197766.html

The reverend may have been taken some silver to go after Edwards...


(I'm just saying...)

Posted by: duncanidho | July 23, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is desperate to portray Hillary and Obama as nothing more than Bush lite. He needs that image for his campaign to have any traction, because he's basically Hillary/Obama lite. His performance tonight and in previous debates shows that desperation.

Obama's the winner, Hillary's the loser, Edwards did nothing for himself. The rest of the crowd was just window dressing.

www.political-buzz.com

Posted by: mpp | July 23, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

More than anyone else on the stage, Obama was attacked several times by various other candidates. He handled the attacks effectively, and I think he did very well in this debate.

I like the fact that he mentioned that "the time for asking how to get out of Iraq was before we got in." This was directly related to Hillary's position of being extremely pro-invasion, but not having asked the right questions. I only wish he would have also said that anyone who voted for the war, WITHOUT having read the 90 page NIE, was, in effect, shirking their most solemn duty...that being sending our citizens into battle.

Hillary did not do her job, on the single most important decision she has had to make in her senatorial career. She did not read that intelligence report, but blew the trumpet loudly to invade Iraq. Let's remember those facts.

In contrast, Obama spoke out against the war from the start, even though it was considered extremely unpatriotic for anyone to question the administration. The mainstream media did not question the Bush administration; neither did Congress, but Obama never stopped speaking out against this war of choice.

I hope that when people see and hear Barack Obama, especially in these debates, that when they notice any pause in his delivery of his remarks, it is because he is a very reflective person who does not just blurt out answers to gratify those who would equate a serious debate with sport.

That is exactly the kind of temperament and intellect we need in our president. He reminds me of a combination of JFK, RFK and MLK, and brings out the very best in what America could offer up to the presidency of the United States. I support him all the way.

Posted by: Sharman | July 23, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Senator Gravel is right. How can you be against the war or say the war is lost and NOT agree that our soldiers have died in vain?

"in vain" simply means in furtherance of a futile or unsuccessful effort.

If we lost the Iraq war, then it would sure seem to have been unsuccessful.

Maybe it is insensitive to say, but it is true.

Sen. Gravel seems to be the only one on stage who is personally offended that the US has troops in harms way in Iraq. Maybe he's not the best candidate, but he's right on the war issue.

Posted by: Died in Vain? | July 23, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company