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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Picture of the Day - 4

From Charlie Gibson's mixer at the debate last night. (AP Photo)


  • I enjoyed the format. I thought Gibson did a good job of challenging the candidates with intelligent, pertinent subjects (for the most part) without playing gotcha! He was a breath of fresh air compared to the CNN guys, as far as I'm concerned.

    In the picture, I imagine Rudy and Hillary are trying to out grip each other 'til one of them crys "uncle".

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:34 PM  

  • I agree on Gibson, although he lost control at points. It gave a better back and forth flavor to the debates, but, at least on the Republican side, led to some points where everyone was talking at the same time.

    (Did it help you in your decision, NH voter?)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:01 PM  

  • I didn't watch the Republicans. I was practicing "family values" by watching an old '70s Disney movie (Snowball Express) with my 11-year-old. I wanted to watch the Republicans, but I don't think I missed too much given the ubiquitous debate replays in the spin room and late night news.

    As an independent-progressive NH voter my first reaction to the Dem debate was an appreciation of the high quality of all the candidates. There is no one I'm voting against.

    The one who made the most impact on me was Bill Richardson. If he looked more like Tom Selleck and had a pinch more oratory skill, I think he'd be getting much more media attention. Did it make me reconsider my vote? Not quite.

    Clinton: Her performance confirmed my feelings. I think she'd be a good president. If she's the nominee, I'll proudly vote for her. But... I find her view of governance and politicking to be parochial. I don't think she "gets" the difference between change with regard to national policies and Change™ with regard to a sea-change in the process of democratic governance.

    Richardson: I want him is Secretary of State.

    Obama: He get's it. People, voters, individuals... they want their voices heard. They want to feel they affect government through their actions. That's what he means by Change™ versus Hillary's change.

    He's weak on details. I wish he had more specifics as to policy goals. I feel he's been able to articulate a general trajectory of where he wants to go and has invited all of us to help work out the details in a democratic process.

    As you said, debates are not Obama's best friends. But at open mic night on the campaign trial I think he's the Democrats' Great Communicator. In this generational shift, I see him possibly affecting the electorate as Reagan did in 1980.

    Edwards: The man has details. The man has passion. So much passion that he actually turned off my liberal 23-year-old daughter. She likes Obama's asking her for her ideas, versus Edwards' telling her what her ideas should be... even if she likes his ideas. Does this make sense?

    While he shares the Obama vision of Change™, in some ways his m.o. is the opposite of Obama. Edward has very specific policies he wants implement. He's not asking the public writ large to help formulate a working coalition (in Obama's words). Rather he seems to be recruiting revolutionaries to root out the barbarian in the castle.

    I like what he has to say, but I'm left with a feeling I'm looking at a Don Quixote. Unfair? Dunno.

    The debate didn't change how I'm voting, but it did reassure me of the candidates. And compared to the excerpts of I've seen of the Republicans (who resembled a group of male gorillas throwing poo at each other and fighting for primacy) I really think the Dems will have the independents and swing voters on their side.

    By Blogger -epm, at 12:55 PM  

  • Yeah, the Republican side was kind of interesting, especially with some of the pointed questioning from Charlie Gibson, but, since you obviously aren't voting over there, I think family time was probably the better choice.

    I was struck, too, by the quality of the discussion. It was so much deepr than "let's deport the immigrants." It was both plans and differences in philosophy.

    Regarding Clinton, that's how I've felt since January. She's smart, capable, knows the power circles. She'd be a fine president.

    It's always been my contention that Richardson was running for Clinton VP. I would argue that his heavy on world affairs/diplomacy debate last night was something of an audition for a potential Obama administration who will desperately need to claim some big name foreign affairs people.

    Part of Richardson's problem is that he's a little bit of a goofball. It wasn't really there last night, and it probably helps in negotiations, but he has this weird humor that sometimes infuses him.

    I've begun to think about the Obama image more and more as a product. His team is working with whatever intrinsics he has to create the image that sells.

    The more he gets into details, the more the "change" feeling will dissipate. He needs to be seen as a miracle cure, and a listing of side effects will dampen sales.

    As for Edwards, I would guess the Don Quixote is an artefact of his entire "fight" mantra while at the same time, he appears to be losing. He's stridently pressing his message, but it makes him look weaker in a way.

    The big attack on him from 2004 is that he appears in big forums to be something of a lightweight which is funny, because in the small settings (not coincidentally jury sized) he's dynomite.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:23 PM  

  • I think you're spot on with Obama... and all the candidates, actually.

    Interesting adjective, goofball, for Richardson. I can see that. While serious when he's talking about serious issues, he generally lacks a certain gravitas and is, at times... a goofball.

    By Blogger -epm, at 3:25 PM  

  • He's the one who did the "riding the horse" joke ad.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:46 PM  

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