AFL-CIO Democratic Debate analysis
For those of you who caught the AFL-CIO debate among Democratic presidential candidates from Soldier Field in Chicago, what did you think?
And highlights? Lowlights? Who most closely espoused the views that you personally believe in?
I was alternately nauseated and inspired. The format was of course, not condusive to anything resembling an actual debate, with the number of candidates and dictates of the TV network ensuring that the entire thing was rushed, and that candidates were under enormous pressure to try to frantically try to get their points out, which always results in sometimes ridiculously disjointed and nearly incoherant answers.
Hilary did OK. She had some strong moments, but a few faltering ones as well. Obama was likewise alternately strong and a bit faltering. Edwards had some strong moments, but didn't really catch fire. Biden was strong and came across as the most honest and authentic of the bunch, and the senator long criticized for his overly-windy responses cracked up the crowd when asked if he would eliminate no-bid contracts with a one word answer, no.
Keith Olberman did a simply outstanding job as moderator, and was clear and consise, as well as doing a good job of keeping things moving along. There were no cutesy trick questions dreampt up soley to ensure a politician faltered or was embarassed, though he did ask some legitimately tough questions.
Another thing that I came away with is that of all seven candidates on stage, the only one's who really seemed to have a grasp on reality and who sincerely stated that they'd address the problems that most needed addressing were the minor candidates. Kucinich routinely evoked roars of approval from the crowd with his pledges of a pro-labor White House, withdrawal from Iraq, and universal health care. I'd wager that a majority of people in the country, and at least a majority of Dems believe that addressing those questions are top priority, and Kucinich essentially said he'd deal with them all. But the candidate who is committed to giving people what they truly want and need is regarded as a joke candidate. I've never really understood why that is.
Clinton gave me a lot of doubts due to the fact that she truly seems the most "old-fashioned" of the field, in as much as she's incredibly scripted, disciplined in evry sylable she utters, and shys away from making any firm committments on issues for the most part. She truly is not altogether "up front" in my estimation, and seems polished in the ways of talking a good game while in reality pretty much endorsing the status quo and not being willing to make any major changes in the way things are done in this country. Of course her husband was a lot like that too, and he was able to do some good things for this country, despite his enacting NAFTA, and other dubious and decidedly un-Democratic measures he enacted. I imagine Hilary will be Bill Pt.2, which after all shouldn't be surprising.
But other candidates, such as Obama, Edwards, and Biden, all displayed a bit of what appeared to be genuine passion behind their stances. With Hilary, you get the impression that she could pretend to be passionate about an issue and then do exactly the opposite once in office. Not so much the others. They seemed to not only talk the talk, but be more than willing to walk the walk.
That's just my first impressions to get you started.
What are your thoughts and impressions?
Scott McFarland attended the debate and has a write-up on his blog here.