Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Live-blogging the debate (Dennis)

8:44- I'm settling in to watch the Democratic debate and I hope to do a better job live-blogging this than Jonathan did of the Oscars. I really think this is Hillary's honest last chance for her campaign. With the strength of Obama's ground game and his surging poll numbers she is headed for a double digit loss in Texas and a close contest in Ohio. What we've heard from Camp Hillary is that she needs to win both of these states to stay alive, so if things stay on course we could see her exiting the race a little more than a week from right now. Hillary needs to seriously score some big points here.

8:57- Ah Brian Williams and Tim Russert moderating. I think they locked Tweety up back in Washington, D.C. fearing he would do a real life version of that SNL sketch.

8:59- Round table format, why do we need these increasingly bizarre formats? What is wrong with podiums?

9:05- They are basically having the exact same healthcare debate they've had the past few times. There is nothing new so far. I have mixed feelings on these plans. I think they are both pretty flawed but improvements on the status quo.

9:16- Hillary just complained about getting the first question all the time (which is twice in this case). As a debater who knows going second is easier, I can see her point, but I'm not sure how much complaining in a debate helps her out.

9:22- They are talking about NAFTA now. This argument is so silly, they both think NAFTA is kind of good, but think more labor and environmental conditions should be put in. Here I think Bill Clinton had basically the correct position and they are both inheritors of that.

9:28- I caught a picture of Hillary looking at Barack during his answer, her face is very different than what I saw earlier. Before she would smile at the person answering almost daring them to say something negative. Here, she is frowning. I wonder if this is calculated or a genuine change in mood.

9:59- I think Obama is winning this debate for once. He is making his points better than usual and Hillary looks tired and annoyed and is generally making her points worse. Also a certain Hillary supporter we both know and love seemed furious at Obama for this debate when I talked to him on the phone.

10:12- Well that was certainly a bizarre exchange. Obama "denounced" Louis Farrakahn but said he couldn't reject his support because he couldn't "stop him from saying I am a good guy." Then Hillary said that she rejected the support of the Independence Party when they were anti-Semitic, and then Obama said "fine, if reject is stronger then I also reject." I'm not sure who looks worse, Obama for flipping around or Hillary for being small.

10:23- Alright, asking Hillary the name of the Russian guy who is succeeding Putin was silly and a true gotcha question. It's not like asking Bush about the leaders of three major countries, this is a guy who isn't president and who won't even really be calling the shots.

10:36- I thought the debate was pretty much like all many others. Hillary didn't score a major victory or change things in a big way. Minus an unexpected development in the next week, I think Barack Obama will win Texas and/or Ohio and will be the Democratic nominee.

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