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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Watching The Democratic Debate Tonight?

George Wenschhof

I'll enter some thoughts here tonight as I watch the debate tonight between 9:00 -11:00 PM EST - I invite you to add your thoughts as you watch the debate by clicking on "comments" at the end of this post.

You have to feel for Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich as it was not good form for MSNBC to invite him to the debate and then dis-invite him. This led Kucinich to file a lawsuit which he won when a senior district court judge in clark county, Nevada ruled he be allowed to participate in the debate. If MSNBC did not allow him to participate, the judge threatened to issue an injunction stopping the debate. The last I heard, MSNBC had filed an appeal which is currently being heard. So Kucinich is on a plane to Nevada - will he be on stage?

8:15 PM Nevada supreme court ruled against Kucinich - it will be Obama, Clinton, and Edwards tonight.
9:00 PM it's about to start. Will Edwards come out looking better to voters if Clinton and Obama continue to battle? Supposedly the candidates will have an opportunity to ask each other some questions. Whatever the case, with only 3 candidates, the voters will have an opportunity to hear more in depth answers

NBC calls the Republican Michigan primary - Romney-37% McCain - 31%, Huckabee-16%
First question by Brian Williams to Clinton - on Martin Luther King's birthday how race enter into this race and how did we get here? Clinton talked about issues differences with Obama and Republicans, Obama the need to bring people together, Edwards talked about the civil rights movement and the need to bring about real equality

Now the questions are on gender - let's get on to the issues and the differences between the candidates on the approaches to solve these issues - Clinton is continuing on her theme she is the most ready to lead on day one.
a good point made by Obama v. Clinton in management technigues needed by President.

Geez , a question to Obama about the rumors flying around the internet that he would be sworn in with the Koran and not take the pledge of allegience - he stated he is a Christian, has been sworn in on the Bible and has led the pledge of allegience in the senate. I guess it is necessary to ask and have answered all the gossip questions but we are now 1/3 of the way through the deabate - a time out- thank goodness

Finally a good question about the stupid economy-10 billion loss by Citi-Group being offset by foreign investment. Clinton called for more transparency, a freeze of interest rates for 5 years and a moritorium on foreclosures as well as calling for reform in bankruptcy laws, Edwards pointed out that only the wealthiest are benefiting under the Bush economy-called for $9.50 minimum wage - Clinton on a roll here - is coming across very clear and forceful Obama making a good point about how many wealthy are paying a lower taxe rate - used Buffet as an example. Clinton also called for 30 Billion fund for foreclosures and another 5 to employ the unemplyed in "green" jobs

Candidates are able to ask each other a question - Edwards to the others asked about campaign financing and the fact that they both have accepted $ from drug companies. Obama spoke of the need for public financing and the fact that he and edwards were not accepting PAC money but clinton was.

Obama pledge of withdrawal of troops from Iraq by end of 2009 - the other two agreed. break

Russert to Clinton question about statute that provides for ROTC and recruitment on campus to be eligible for federal aid. She said she would, Obama also answered affirmative-spoke of his tuition assistance and national service assistance programs. Edwards also said he would support this statute-need for more veteran assisatnace. A set up question by Russert for some college students are opposed to this and Republican Presidential candidates were probably listening closely to this answer. He did not get any surprises.

Good question about yucca mountain (Nev) and nuclear waste storage -would they continue - all candidates opposed, Clinton tried to call Edwards on his earlier support of the project. Edwards said he was opposed to nuclear power plants. Here's another 50 billion energy program proposed by clinton-where is she getting all the money for all of these programs?

Now on to energy - edwards pointing out that clinton has taken more money from oil related companies than any republican or democrat candidate for President - he also called for a moritorium on any new coal plants. Obama spoke about the need for everyone to consume less energy.

Now english as a required language is the question - immigration is the underlying question here. and another question to Clinton about Latinos not supporting african-americans. Obama gave a great answer here - he said he did not see it as an issue - in Illinois, they all voted for him! - he received a huge applause-remember nevada is made up of 40% minority.

Now the discussion is on gun control - nevada leads the nation in gun related deaths - spoke of Clinton support of licensing and registration - she has backed off a national registry. Obama called for common sense enforcement - tracking back where guns came from that were used in criminal activity.Edwards supported the 2nd amendment rights. Break

Now Clinton is asked about her "fear' question directed toward Obama and how he would handle Al Qaeda. Clinton stuck to her position - sounded almost like Bush and Carl Rove -her answer did not play well with me. Obama handled this well and said we should not lead by the process of fear.

Last question was when they decided to run. A lot less rancor in this debate. Clinton who sat in the middle between Edwards and Obama around a round table came across in a forceful manner which appeared as though she was trying to do. Obama had some very good moments as did Edwards but Clinton won this one. Nevada polls show the vote is very close between Clinton and Obama - it will be interesting to read the spin on this debate the next few days and if it has any effect on the vote on saturday.

2 comments: said...

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Obama won. He handled the issues at the beginning of the debate well. Once again, Clinton took two positions within 90 seconds of each other ("Anyone that crosses the line is gone from my campaign," followed by, "Bob Johnson crossed the line, but he apologized and I take him at his word).

Also, the fear card didn't work. Obama took that head on and won. This is playing to an audience of Democrats, and the fear card isn't going to work. Obama did an outstanding job with that.

For those two reasons, Obama won.