Post-Debate Thread

What did you think? Who do you think did what they needed to do? Who do you think didn't? Who performed best? Who perfomed most poorly?

Below the fold, a question I don't particularly love but one that perhaps is worth asking: Who won tonight? (I'll at least allow for multiple choices.)


Tags: debates, Open Thread (all tags)



Re: Post-Debate Thread

Does anyone who watched the debate happen to know what Bill Richardson does for a living?

by benjamink 2007-06-03 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Did Biden forget to take his Xanax? He yelled every answer.

by david mizner 2007-06-03 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

But he made an impact. Contrast that with Dodd, who was simply too forgettable. If any of the lower tier candidates get a bump from this debate, my money is on Biden.

by LandStander 2007-06-03 05:17PM | 0 recs

Hunh. My order is:

1. Edwards

  1. Obama
  2. Dodd
  3. Richardson (who did better than last time)
  4. Clinton
  5. Kucinich
  6. Biden
  7. Gravel

by david mizner 2007-06-03 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

I'm a Dodd supporter, and I thought he did pretty badly. I have this vague recollection that he's friendly and grandfatherly and wants to see some Olympics next year, but I remember very little else about him.

And with Richardson, I mostly remember that he's a governor. Also that he's horrendously uninspiring and loves to use right-wing frames, but mostly the governor thing.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-03 05:24PM | 0 recs
And if he is President, his first 100 days ...

... will seem like 200 days.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-03 05:29PM | 0 recs
My ranking

I thought Richardson was bad, Clinton's performance was far superior. Dodd was forgettable, Kucinich and Gravel were obviously irrelevant, and Biden at least showed some passion. The three frontrunners all did well. I thought Obama seemed most presidential, but of course that's just my bias showing. Edwards did well, but Obama sort of nailed him on the Iraq NIE question and the health care mandate question. Actually I really liked Obama's defense of his health care plan, even thought I might have agree with Edwards' points prior to Obama's response.

One thing I really didn't like was Clinton's response on homeland security and the war on terror. First, that we are safer now than we were in 2001--no! Second, she said that American troops had accomplished their mission in Iraq but that it was the Iraqis who had failed--no! But Clinton did well on the other answers.  

1  Obama
2  Clinton
3  Edwards
4  Biden
5  Richardson
6  Dodd
7  Kucinich
8  Gravel

by Korha 2007-06-03 05:50PM | 0 recs
Only Obama supporters are raising that...

one liner.  What a surprise.  Not much to boast about.

As for Obama's "universal" coverage:

The best studies out there--by Urban Institute researchers, the RAND Corporation, and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber--suggest that, without a mandate, improving affordability will cover roughly one-third of the people who don't have coverage. Mandating that kids (but not adults) have coverage bumps that up to about a half. Obama's advisers think that, by really loading up on the subsidies--and making enrollment a lot easier by, for example, having an automatic enrollment with voluntary opt-out at your place of work--they can goose that up to two-thirds. But that's getting optimistic--and, even then, you still have around 15 million people who are uninsured.

In other words, the "mop-up" job at the end would quite likely be more than a mop-up. It'd be a substantial task, maybe even a huge one. That's why most health care experts believe you can't get that close to universal coverage without some sort of a mandate. mp;s=cohn053107

by citizen53 2007-06-03 07:32PM | 0 recs
I was disappointed

that Edwards didn't have time to hammer Obama on paying for his plan by letting the tax cuts EXPIRE.    That doesn't happen until 2012.  What do we do until then, wait?

Edwards is the only one saying he will ELIMINATE the tax cuts.

by Robert P 2007-06-04 06:54AM | 0 recs
I have a small disagreement
  1. Edwards
  2. Clinton
  3. Biden
  4. Obama
  5. the rest

I thought Biden showed his knowledge, which Dodd did as well, but was forgettable in doing it. My wife liked Richardson, BECAUSE he listed his resume at every turn.  So, I don't think it is a bad idea for him to do it.
by Robert P 2007-06-04 06:18AM | 0 recs
I heard he's a

governor a few thousand times.

but givin that he's going to create all kinds of programs and benefits without any tax roll backs I'd say car salesman would be natural

by TarHeel 2007-06-03 05:18PM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton is WORKING for the American.....

... public and for Democratic unity!  No need for a coronation- Hillary Clinton is a natural leader who is the best prepared to help bring the United States back to times of prosperity, peace and progress on international and domestic issues!

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I didn't watch the debate, but read the open thread...I think I heard he's Governor of New Mexico?? ;)

by forecaster15 2007-06-03 05:26PM | 0 recs
Obama won

Here's why I think Obama won:

On Iraq, Obama refused to let Edwards steal the anti-Iraq war mantle from him. Obama reminded Edwards and the whole world that he has been vocally against this war from the beginning.

On Health Care, Obama made an excellent point. If we force a mandate on people with too small of a subsidy then we also potentially screw some people over. I'm not saying that Edwards plan is bad (it's also damn good), but Obama's plan basically assumes that affordability is the problem. If you think that the problem is that people are "choosing" not to have health care, you are buying into the Republican frame.

Also, Obama took the lead in recognizing the absurdity of the English as the official language question.

by Missouri Democrat 2007-06-03 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won

yes... obama won, clearly

by the green and bold 2007-06-03 06:43PM | 0 recs
Pshaw...... Clinton Won by Unifying Everyone...

We Democrats- we Americans should be celebrating this strong field of contenders.  All candidates have a strong vision and lots of good ideas.

Obama did better in this debate than the last one but, he obviously doesn't have the depth of knowledge and experience Hillary Clinton clearly has on domestic and international issues alike.

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Pshaw...... Clinton Won by Unifying Everyone..

MomWorks -

You've done a good job of employing the Clinton strategy: a. gloss over the differences between the candidates and then b. claim that she is the superior candidate because of her "depth of knowledge," vision", and "experience".

However, during the debate that occured tonight, Obama demonstrated that he has a better understanding of international relations and security. Bush has made the country less safe by failing to finish the job in Afghanistan and instead   attacking Iraq. Yet, Hillary fails to see that Bush has made the USA less safe.

Obama sees it.

In 2002, Obama demonstrated that he had foresight and vision. Obama spoke out strongly against the war, but Hillary voted for it.

Obama saw it.

So don't throw around your cliches of knowledge, experience, and vision. Let's talk about specific example of knowledge, experience, and vision.

Obama has it.

by Missouri Democrat 2007-06-03 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won

yes... obama won, clearly

by the green and bold 2007-06-03 06:43PM | 0 recs

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

This format isn't Bill Richardson's style. He wants to have a face to face conversation and his rhetoric isn't very easily chopped down into concise bits. He's enormously knowledgeable but he's not CNN compatible.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 08:50PM | 0 recs
Face to Face

Face to face, Richardson is just as bad. I spoke to him at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention on Saturday and he used the same rhetoric he was using in the debate.

by gradysdad 2007-06-04 01:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Face to Face

Hrm. That's not good. I'd let him know! He's a real down-to-earth guy. I wonder if he's being tasered by his consultants in the back room to do what they want.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-04 01:52PM | 0 recs
Edwards did well

especially in the first half-he came pretty close to dominating.

The second half put me to sleep.

Edwards scored points on health care, poiting out that Obama's plan isn't universal although he kinda-sorta claims he is.

And he scored points on Iraq, making Clinton look bad for not owning up to her mistake.

I liked how agressive he was.

by david mizner 2007-06-03 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards did well

I thought Obama shut Edawrds down pretty effectively on health care actually. Obama made the point that even with a mandate a lot of people still aren't going to buy insurance because they can't afford it, pointing to California as an example. Edwards responds by saying children can't make decisions for themselves as a way to justify the universal mandate, but Obama then points out his health care plan DOES have a mandate for children. Which leaves Edwards between a rock and a hard place, but fortunately Blitzer moved on to another question.

I also liked how aggressive Edwards was, spiced up the debate a bit--Gravel and Kucinich can be safely ignored, but not Edwards.

by Korha 2007-06-03 05:53PM | 0 recs
Of course...

we can have the "universal" "not universal" spat again.  =)

Boy, isn't it great to be fighting about POLICY!  I thought there were some pretty wonky parts of the debate...

by rashomon 2007-06-03 05:55PM | 0 recs
Agree about the debate format...

Why they had to let voters ask questions is beyond me.

They took a good debate and turned it into a an exercise of boredom where there was a lack of spontaneity.

by citizen53 2007-06-03 07:39PM | 0 recs
O'Bama for O'President! nt

by jforshaw 2007-06-03 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Clinton was solid, as was Obama and Edwards. Richardson I thought really blew it. Dodd was good, but will anyone notice? Biden bellows WAY too much, and is a bit annoying. Kuncinich and Gravel, in typical fashion, are making themselves more irrelevant.

by gatordemocrat 2007-06-03 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I disagree about Clinton. She was much weaker than in the last debate--she doesn't handle criticism well. The cracks are starting to show in her fake inevitablity.

by david mizner 2007-06-03 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I don't think you watched the same debate as everyone else.   Seems more like wishful thinking than realism, IMO.  

by georgep 2007-06-03 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Agreed.  HIllary knows her stuff and it shows.  I particularly liked how she led the charge in calling out Blitzer for asking stupid hypothetical yes/no questions.

by alydar 2007-06-03 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I'm not a Clinton supporter but I like the way she protected the other Democrats from Blitzer's loaded questions, she showed some real leadership putting the good of the Democratic party above making herself look good.

by wiretapp 2007-06-04 12:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Do other people think Clinton did well?

Not compared to the last one, in my opinion.

She seemed evasive.

by david mizner 2007-06-03 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I didn't see the last one. I was at work. I did see this one. I think Clinton  did okay, but she didn't do what I would call well. Mostly I saw the shadow that is the background hanging over her. I also think people scored points against her that she choose to ignore rather than answer. Not sure how long she can continue to play that game. I thought Edwards flubbed the last question, but overall he did well. not sure if there was a clear winner so maybe HRC win by default.  Obama gave a lot of non specific answers. He scored a few points. I thought gravel was actually more interesting in terms of calling people on their bullshit. I loved how Clinton didn't respond to how her husband robbed the entitlement programs. It's like people want to play let's pretend, and this guy is saying "no."  I think they all came across as more aggressive than I would expect this early on.

by bruh21 2007-06-03 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I thought this debate was Clinton's strongest one yet.   She was funny, very surefooted and even - gasp - charming.  

IMO she won this one.   We'll see how this plays out over the next few days.

BTW, I saw Arianna Huffington, who hates Clinton, claim that this was clearly "Hillary's Night."   So there was at least one other person who thinks she did very, very well tonight.  

by georgep 2007-06-03 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

But did you notice how easily the words 'collateral damage' replaced 'civilian casualties' when it was her turn to spin the executive action question about  Osama?  And is the US safer from terrorism today than before 9/11?  I disagreed with her about that and felt she was buying into Republican frames on international affairs and the so-called global war on terror in several of her responses.

Polished and assured but still a bit hawkish for me, especially given the positions of others on the dias.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-03 10:46PM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton Did Better.......

....At one point she lead all the candidates when she called for questions that were concrete not hypothetical.  She also clearly has a vision for using diplomacy in world affairs and a clear vision for health care and other domestic programs.  She cares! That much is also clear.  She comes from a background which provides her the basis to reach people with many different backgrounds.  She has both vision and a grasp of policy details -evidence to me that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who can change those things which we, the American public, need to have changed.

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:35PM | 0 recs
Clintons laughing

One thing that jumped out for me about Clinton was that she laughed quite a bit. I don't think any of the other candidates really laughed at all, but she did. Oddly I quite like her laugh, it's deep and seems full of... life.

by Korha 2007-06-03 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Clintons laughing

I agree on this.

by citizen53 2007-06-03 07:34PM | 0 recs
She seemed to be enjoying the debate!

It was GREAT!!

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Clintons laughing

Clinton did extremely well on her responses in the debate but I think where she gained the most was how she presented herself and showed more of the human side.

by robliberal 2007-06-03 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Hmm I also have doubts about your claim that Clinton was weaker. She was absolutely on message throughout the entire debate. I'm really proud of her. She did even better than last time because of the more time all of the candidates were given to really show their stuff.

I also loved how she laid the smackdown on Wolf Blitzer. He was just begging for it tonight. Needless to say, I lol'd.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

CNN started with a question about the Kennedy Airport THREATDOWN. Now we know why Rove pulled this terror threat out of his butt--it's fodder for the debates. Let's watch the Repubs foam at the mouth over Bushes great record fighting terrorism.

by anothergreenbus 2007-06-03 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I wonder if one of the R's will pull another Double Gitmo out...... If they werent so dangerous, they would be funny...

by benjamink 2007-06-03 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

hahaha gotta love the threatdown

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-03 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Thanks for multiple choices!

Dodd and Biden both made good impressions, though Biden's loudness made him more memorable, while Dodd's calmness did the opposite.

Richardson was a spectacle. He wouldn't answer questions and just kept bringing up talking points and outlining his policy proposals (which had no relation to the questions). He did better in the second half.

Edwards dropped the ball with the first 100 days question. Great answer, but not the answer people were waiting to hear. HRC got that one, and won the applause. Other than that, Edwards may have "won".

Obama did damn good overall. And honestly, so did Hillary. In fact, all three frontrunners impressed. Well done, candidates, well done.

by LandStander 2007-06-03 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I agree, I was very impressed with Obamas performance. He did Way better in this one than the last one.

by benjamink 2007-06-03 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I agree about the 100 days. Overall he did really well by but that was a softball question he should have nailed.

by bruh21 2007-06-03 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I've been supporting Edwards but I gave this one to Obama by a nose. Gee, I like them together though. A great intramural basketball team?

by anothergreenbus 2007-06-03 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Yeah they both did okay. Honestly I have moved from strong supporter to not being impressed by anyone at this point. Maybe its a sign of my age- but they all felt been there said that.

by bruh21 2007-06-03 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Obama has improved considerably over last time. Clearly he's been doing his homework.

Biden really hit it out of the park on funding the troops. I completely respect his answer on why he voted on the timetable-free supplemental.

Edwards struck me as too attacky to do him good. Maybe it's just my reading between the lines but when he said Clinton and Obama didn't show leadership because they wouldn't loudly proclaim how they would vote beforehand, I thought that was really off the mark. Whose idea of leadership is it to strut around talking about how you deplore x and adore y before you actually come to a reasoned conclusion about what you're going to do?

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

It's leadership when, as a candidate for national office you take a strong postion in support of a pending vote and rally others to support it with you, thereby increasing the chances of it actually PASSING!

Non-leadership is staying silent, waiting to see what the other candidate will do and then slinking in and voting, THEN crowing about how great your vote was.

by greenvtster 2007-06-04 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I think you have a misunderstanding of the Senate. The people who vote, vote because that's what they believe in not because that's what Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama said that they were going to do. Loudly proclaiming where you stand on a vote for a bill you may not have even read completely (even if you know what it's generally about) is kind of callous, imho. It's really easy for John Edwards to say these things now that he's out of the Senate.

P.S. Leadership is being responsible, first and foremost. A responsible person would at least read the bill before going on CNN to denounce it.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-04 01:49PM | 0 recs
My ranking:

1. Edwards/Obama/Clinton/Dodd/Biden

2. Kucinich

3. Gravel/Richardson

by Populism2008 2007-06-03 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Leaving aside the merit of some of his comments, Mike Gravel sounds like someone's old crazy uncle.

Hillary sounds like she's trying to appeal to the Lieberman wing of the party. Maybe she forgot Joe isn't actually a Democrat.

Obama did a respectable job, but failed to dazzle. Dodd really sounded decent (surprisingly), but Biden and Kucinich were in Gravel territory.

IMHO Edwards was the clear "winner."

The biggest loser was CNN and their tired use of right wing frames. How many times did Candy Crowley and John King use the phrase "left wing, anti-war" part of the Democratic Party? Do they now even read their own polls? The anti-war position is not only the middle ground of the Democratic Party, but the entire country.

by muscleheadblog 2007-06-03 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Maybe but he is totally right on some of the things he said. And I dont like that HRC ignored him on one point regarding how Clinton balanced the budget. On that point, he as I remember is totally right.

by bruh21 2007-06-03 05:14PM | 0 recs
Worst Part

The worst part was how Edwards did not get to respond to Obama's misunderstanding about Edwards's health care.

Yes, Edwards has mandates, but those mandates come with huge subsidies so everyone can afford insurance.

Bill Schneider just spouted off how Obama did a great job explaining how he explained better that mandates don't work for people that can't afford health insurance. True Barack, but if poor people were subsidized, then there'd be no reason to not get insurance.

Arghhhhh. Edwards needs to hit back on those things.

by adamterando 2007-06-03 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Part

He hit back on the kids issue instead. I think he must have got confused and forgotten that Obama's plan includes a mandate for children.

It was a slip-up, but not a massive one and he'll likely get the opportunity in other debates.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-03 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Part

I'd say it was Edwards that misunderstood Obama's health care plan, rather than the other way around. He should have known that Obama's plan has a mandate for children, and Obama hit him back on it. That cost Edwards some points in the debate, I think.

by Korha 2007-06-03 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Part

I know you'd say that because you're an Obama supporter!

Anyway they both got each other's plan wrong. Edwards messed up on the kids part and Obama was wrong about Edwards's plan forcing unaffordable mandates on people. The only difference is Obama got to refute Edwards on his inaccuracy.

by adamterando 2007-06-04 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Part

...if poor people were subsidized, then there'd be no reason to not get insurance.

True, but only if the subsidies were high enough...and the plans were low cost enough and the coverage was good enough.  Lots of ifs.  There's a reasonable argument that "mandates" is a red herring...we've got to get the system in place correctly before we force people into it.  Massachusetts will be an excellent test case on this.

It's an interesting policy different...and how great is it to be discussing policy.

by rashomon 2007-06-03 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Worst Part

All those ifs are covered in the John Edwards health care plan. Have you read it yet?

by adamterando 2007-06-04 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Gave votes to Biden, Dodd, Edwards, and Clinton. I don't feel Obama did enough tonight. Kucinich had some good lines, but he's not serious. Gravel was nuts this time.

Richardson is just a huge disappointment.

by PsiFighter37 2007-06-03 05:11PM | 0 recs

even on kos and mydd, Obama's rivaling Edwards, and that's really saying something. Bob Schneider is basically getting ready to volunteer for Obama

I thought Obama, Edwards, and Clinton were all pretty good, and I thought Dodd was, but he didn't get a lot of time (maybe the clock thing will pay off next time around). I'd have to say Biden sounded like an angry drunk, but there's probably a market for that...

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-03 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

    I didn't think it was possible, but Richardson's performance actually got worse in this debate.  His answer to Blitzer's proddings about the possibility of genocide after US withdrawal from Iraq was particularly awful.  He avoided the question, and that's a pretty fricking important question.  It has to be answered confidently.  No bullshit.  Does he think he can say "governor" a thouand times on his way to the nomination?  Is anyone buying it?

by cilerder86 2007-06-03 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Yeah, when Gravel has a much better answer than you, you know you bombed.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-04 12:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Schneider LOVES Obama.

by adamterando 2007-06-03 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Schneider loves ratings more, and Obama is the challenger that allows for good TV.  The longer Obama stays in perceived "number 2" spot, the longer Schneider will play him up to add drama to the race.

by Conquest 2007-06-03 05:30PM | 0 recs
Oh, they all love ratings ...

... ratings, and cheap coverage. Two horse races are cheaper to cover.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-03 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I'm biased towards Edwards and thought he did well but so did Obama and really so did Hillary. Richardson was just awful and I always like what Kucinich has to say

by Torauk 2007-06-03 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Agreed, Kucinich is a welcome addition to the discourse. Gravel could be, but instead he just gets mad.

by LandStander 2007-06-03 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

On the other hand, somebody needs to tell Kucinich to stop talking about peace. Years of semiotic poisoning mean that whenever he says that word, people assume he's spouting hippie bullshit and ignore what he says.

OK, sometimes he is spouting hippie bullshit, but most of the time he's adding an important angle to the debate.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-03 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

YES! I agree with this comment 100%. Kucinich has some good ideas, but shut the hell about peace already.

by Korha 2007-06-03 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Ditto. There were no details on his plan to bring peace to the all the world. But seriously, we all wish it in our little prayers.

by anothergreenbus 2007-06-03 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I tune out when he talks.  He is way too "camp" for me.

by georgep 2007-06-03 06:47PM | 0 recs
Second Tier

Dodd: Performed as well as he always has, but hasn't done enough to break out.

Biden: "Dean Scream" has circulated in discussion, but his perfomance wasn't that bad. Making a very good point about how to better structure debate on CNN right now.

Richardson: (current supporter) Corrected mistakes of being too long winded in the previous debate, and made an effort to get his high impact points in early. Still needs to improve his rhetoric substantial, and be more aggressive in grabbing questions, but he can still be competitive in the second tier.

by anku 2007-06-03 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Second Tier

I actually really liked Dodd's answer about instituting the draft - suggesting that we should incentivize volunteering for organizations like the Peace Corps by offering aid for college.  That's a great idea that came from left field, and I think it really diffused the question as well.

by Conquest 2007-06-03 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Second Tier

Yes, I loved that answer. That and his final statement that in first 100 days he'd restore our constitutional rights like habeas corpus.

I really like Dodd, but in the area of 'looking presidential' and charm, etc., he doesn't come close to Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.

There's a reason why they are front-runners. You could really see it tonight, in  all the little details, from grooming, to posture, to comfort with the camera and audience. I'm glad I watched, because it made me acutely aware of who has a chance in 2008 vs. the Republicans, and who doesn't. I think each of the three front-runners, judging from tonight's performance only, could pull off a strong campaign.

by Coral 2007-06-03 07:30PM | 0 recs
"Beauty Pagent Question"
This quote best expresses the dissatisfaction with Wolf Blitzer's approach to the debate, and a number of the questions presented by the two other journalists.
Biden earns some respect for articulating a desire for more time for issue specific debates.
by anku 2007-06-03 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I notice in the post-debate spin, Bill Shaheen name-dropped his wife. Does make me suspect she might still be running for NH-SEN.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-03 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

i was just thinking that she can't publicly support anyone yet, so he was reassuring NH voters that she was in the same corner

by Max Fletcher 2007-06-03 05:37PM | 0 recs

Did much better this time around. I think his thoughtful and focused answers did a lot to reduce concerns that were raised after the first debate. Edwards did well, but I really expected him to come out swinging this time. He just didn't do that. In this, the first post-Iraq Supplemental debate, Edwards had an opportunity to throw some red meat to the progressive audience and distinguish himself from the other two front-runners, but I didn't feel that he really did that. I am very surprised to say, however, how impressed I was with Hillary. Time and again Hillary was the only candidate to reject Blitzer's horrible Republican-framed questions about security and "cutting funding" to point out that the problem is not the minor differences between the Democratic candidates but rather the major differences between the progressive vision of priorities and leadership and those of Republicans. Granted, as the front runner it makes sense she would want to focus attention away from her differences with the other candidates, but it felt very good to hear her skillful rejection of right-wing framing on a number of issues. I thought she did a much better job of this than any of the other candidates, including Edwards. Frankly, Hillary's performance tonight made me feel a lot better about the possibility of a Clinton candidacy.

by Mr Grohl 2007-06-03 05:43PM | 0 recs
Clinton's performance reassuring?--NOT

very different view from my seat.  Clinton's desire to minimize differences is totally self serving as:
 she is someone who has told AIPAC that reagrds to Iran "no option should be taken off the table".  
 her position is to maintain forces in Iraq to protect "strategic US interests"

As a result, she wants to portray herself as having no substative differences with the likes of Kucinich, Dodd, Richardsen, Gravel who are most in favor of rapid pullout.  She may have a point that her differences are less w Obama.

Her answer confirmed that she is not to be trusted if the political winds shift.

by jono 2007-06-03 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I think


by DCdc 2007-06-03 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

1. Obama / Edwards / Clinton

2. Richardson

3. Dodd

4. Biden

5. Gravel / Kucinich

I don't really care for Clinton's style, but I concede she stayed competitive.

by billybob 2007-06-03 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Watching the replay, Richardson's constant references to his resume seem gratuitous and canned. I'd drop him down a rank below Dodd. Edwards performance is a little less persuasive.

1. Obama / Clinton

2. Edwards

3. Dodd

4. Richardson

5. Biden

6. Gravel / Kucinich

by billybob 2007-06-03 07:11PM | 0 recs

Clinton wins.  Biden gets second place.

by BigBoyBlue 2007-06-03 05:57PM | 0 recs

Biden was truly inspiring tonight: a real straight talker.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Anyone who watched these debates and think there is no difference between the Repubs and the Dems have not been paying attention.

Props to Obama for mentioning Gitmo and Habeas Corpus.

Props to Edwars for detailing the abuses of the Bush administration in the name of the war on terror.

Props to Obama for rejecting the raise your hand bs on the officicial language.  Hillary also did well by explaining the difference between national and official language.

Bill Richardson was not impressive.  His,"As a governor" line was tedious and Wolf always seem to be cutting him off.  It also seemed ridiculous when he was all for intervening to end the genocide in darfur, but wouldn't address what he would do with a similar situation in Iraq.

Hillary was funny when she talked about Bush sending Condi around the world to make a speech, and sometimes even Dick Cheney.

Favorite line:  Gravel,"I get my meds from the VA."

Biden was really good on Darfur.

I think the Dems did us proud tonight.

by Kingstongirl 2007-06-03 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I loved her line about international Bush diplomacy "...even sending Dick Cheney - though that is not very diplomatic."  LOL

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-03 10:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

There was a brief 'focus-group' a moment ago with three New Hampsherites and Blitzer.
One was undecided between Republicans and Democrats.
One was a HRC fan.
One said he thought Richardson did well.

Couldn't find one god damn liberal, Wolf?
Raise your hand if you're the premier MSM hack.

by LandStander 2007-06-03 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I think Edwards clearly won. I might be biased but I thought that Hillary and Obama both flubbed their first questions badly. Hillary upholding the "War on Terror" and Obama letting it slip out that we should wait and let the next President pull us out of Iraq. I also believe he dropped the ball on the Veterans healthcare too. FHis awkward answer wasn't good at all. Obama and Hillary were both short on and seemed uncomfortable talking about policy. Edwards was agressive and scored points at will, although Obama did score a point on him in rebuttal. I saw it like this:

1. Edwards

  1. Hillary
  2. Biden
  3. Obama
  4. Dodd
  5. Kucinich
  6. Richardson
  7. Gravel

by RDemocrat 2007-06-03 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Agree. Hillary holding up the RW slogan, "war on terror" was sickening and she is mistaken when she says we are safer. Recent reports show terrorism is up globally.

Hillary tried hard to draw similarities between herself and the other candidates but clearly, there are some serious differences.

by NCDemAmy 2007-06-03 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I guess I disagree. There really are a number of things America has done since 9/11 to improve security. To ignore all of that doesn't seem fair.

There's scoring political points for a democratic crowd and there's also recognizing that members of the opposing party, as misguided on the terror strategy and Iraq as they are, have worked with Democrats to do some good on behalf of America.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I actually thought Obama was realistic on the whole VA health care thing.  He seemed to be saying that because the VA has the ability to negotiate costs for meds, then it would be best if soldiers utilized the VA system when it was reasonable. He did not preclude a private hospital care when travel and availability was onerous.  Richardson on the other hand with the whole "heroes health card" for care anywhere with any doctor was sheer pandering.

by Kingstongirl 2007-06-03 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I agree that Obama really flubbed the VA question.  It took him a long time to not answer the question.

by alydar 2007-06-03 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

   Absolutely.  That was actually a very interesting question.  For the first time ever, a presidential candidate has accused Bush of acting in bad faith.  Edwards said that Bush used the War on Terror as a slogan to do whatever he wants.  Wow - that's groundbreaking!  I was very pleased.  Hillary's answer made her look like an opportunist.  Obama avoided taking Hillary's tack.

by cilerder86 2007-06-03 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Wait, what...? I didn't even know this was happening. It's great they're doing so many debates but I'm starting to feel like the Democrats are not doing a terribly good job of publicizing these debates and putting them in places people can watch them.

Is there online video of the debate available anywhere?

by mcc 2007-06-03 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

It will be replaying on CNN 24 minutes from now at 11 central.

by RDemocrat 2007-06-03 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I don't have a working television. Would that get streamed on the website somewhere as well?

by mcc 2007-06-03 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

You can try but I am not sure.

by RDemocrat 2007-06-03 08:20PM | 0 recs
Big 3

I haven't made up my mind about which of the big three I genuinely prefer, as I'd be quite happy with any of them, so for now I just kinda like to enjoy the show.  While one shouldn't confuse objectivity and ambivalence, I hope I'm the former.  

Taking just the debates into account, I'd have to say that Hillary has doen the most to help herself, or perhaps better said, the debate format plays to her strengths (while speeches are clearly Obama's forte).  Clinton, to me, continues to prove that she really does know her stuff, and I don't think HIllary-haters (on either the left or the right) can deny that she is an intelligent person.  Sure, you may disagree with some of her conclusions and policy suggestions, but she's no dope.  Especially after Bush, I know I have a very strong desire to get someone genuinely competent in the White House, and Clinton certainly is.

I am a bit surprised by Obama's, in my opinion, relatively poor showings in the debate, with an emphasis on the word relatively, as he is an incredible campaigner and candidate.  I just think he needs to answer questions more succintly.  I find his answers to sometimes be too "flourishy" which, if you aren't inclined to believe what he's saying (i.e. an undecided voter) can come across as evasive or like he doesn't really have a good answer.  It might behoove Obama to not use every second of his time (and often more) on every single question.

As for Edwards, well, I thought he was the most talented of the crowd in '04, although the competition wasn't as stiff as this time.  Like Obama, his strength is the speech, not the debate.  I think it does NOT serve him well to "go at" Clinton or Obama directly, but rather should assume the confidence of a front-runner.  I think he's placing too much emphasis on distinguishing himself from the top two, only further emphasizing that he is not in the top two.

by alydar 2007-06-03 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Big 3

I think those are astute observations

by pioneer111 2007-06-03 06:57PM | 0 recs
Alydar nails it

Why weren't you this good in the '78 classics? I wasted plenty of energy rooting for you to put your head in front of Affirmed? :)

Hillary dominates these debates. Anyone asserting otherwise is doing so based on preconceived hopes and bias. She is relaxed and clearly enjoying herself, adapting the response to the situation instead of canned comments. Plus, she's sharp as hell. That never hurts.

Alydar is absolutely correct that the debates favor Hillary. She'll star in every one. Many commenters have said Obama is the most talented Democrat since JFK. Wrong. Neither Clinton may be JFK, but they are the most skilled politicians among all high profile Democrats since JFK and RFK. If Obama or Edwards are going to overtake Hillary, they'll have to do it outside the debates.

Edwards was much more aggressive tonight. He needed a better response on what he would do in the first 100 days. While repairing image world wide is obviously vital, to go early in that question and not emphasize Iraq was a blunder. As alydar said, Obama is strangely less effective in debates, vs. speeches. He tends to wander into a laundry list as opposed to succinct and memorable. He does much better when he's jumping in on a topic, as opposed to when the question is posed to him. Plus, he's got to get rid of all the "uhs." They are less than previously but still a strange tendency. You can tell he's consciously fighting it.

I've been listing Hillary third in my preference behind Edwards and Obama. That's strictly based on electability and I stand by it. This race reminds me more and more of the Titus/Gibson primary last year in Nevada. Titus had know weaknesses and high unfavorables, but she continued to swamp Gibson in the primary season, particularly in the debates. At that point the rationale turned from her problems in electability to her obvious talent. Many Nevada bloggers started asking how could you nominate anyone else, when Titus is so impressive vs. Gibson? I certainly understood the argument. But then the general election began and the electability problems were front and center, and very real. Plus she did not perform nearly as well in the general election as during the primaries.

Hillary is markedly superior to Titus. And the nation figures to tilt our way in '08, while Nevada leans red. But we're still setting up a risky but fascinating gamble, whether Hillary can win a squeaker based on enough of a nationwide generic pull and Democratic advantage in Ohio.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-06-03 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Alydar nails it

Whoops, typo. Titus had known weaknesses (in northern Nevada). I left off the second "n" in known.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-06-03 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Alydar nails it

Dina Titus would have made a great Governor and Hillary Clinton will be a great President.  Nevada has almost equal Republican and Democratic registered voters.  Hillary is about 30 points ahead of Obama in Nevada.  I see Nevada becoming a blue state because we have the second highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

by changehorses08 2007-06-03 11:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Why was Hillary blaming the Iraqis for her war vote?

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-06-03 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Agreed.  That line is a Repub talking point.  I mean, I literally heard Repub strategists use that line on the Meet the Press this morning.  

by alydar 2007-06-03 06:29PM | 0 recs
It's George BUSH's war....

...not the Democrats

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: It's George BUSH's war....

and what does that have to do with the price of tea in china?

yes, it is george bush's war, which was enabled by one Sen. Hillary Clinton's War Vote.  Two separate issues and Hillary can't get out of her responsibility for her votes in the Senate simply by blaming GWB... or the Iraqis.

by AmericanJedi 2007-06-04 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Is it just me or are Obama and Edwards the two with the most animosity for each other?   A lot of nasty jabs against the other.  Probably jockeying for position behind Clinton, but it looked like they don't even like each other.

by georgep 2007-06-03 06:37PM | 0 recs
Actually between the questions

they were talking and looked quite friendly with each other.

by okamichan13 2007-06-03 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I do not think their back and forth over health care helped either of them, especially with Clinton between them.

by domma 2007-06-03 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I couldn't help but smirk at Hillary's smirk between their bickering. It was kind of that look of "gee, I've been through this before..."

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I laughed at that as well.  Obama and Edwards were so busy beating each other up, that they forgot to turn on Hillary for not having a plan.  It was too late for them to do anything about it, because she totally took over the discussion when she started talking about what a good plan should have.  Loved it.

by Kingstongirl 2007-06-04 08:31AM | 0 recs
Winner? I dont' know. Loser? Wolf Blitzer

I don't know who "won" tonight.  The one who came closest was Obama, because he was the first to call bullshit on Blitzer's facile questions.  

Republicans are the opposition.  The media are the enemy.  It pisses me off that none of the candidates tonight shot back, with intent to kill, at Blitzer's first, moronic, GOP-framed question.  Roughly, it was: "In the six years since 9/11 al-Qaida has not struck in the US again.  Doesn't that show that Dubya is protecting us effectively?"

I would have sold my house, moved to NH, and volunteered the next 18 months of my life to his/her campaign if just one of the candidates had said:

"Wolf, you're a grown-up person as we can tell by your beard.  As a grown-up person, you ought to remember this:  for eight years after the first WTC attack in 1993, President Clinton prevented any more al-Qaida attacks in the US.  That's two years longer than Dubya has managed so far. And Clinton did it without occupying an Arab country, getting over 3000 American soldiers killed, torturing prisoners, or tapping your phone.  Are you going to ask the Republicans, on Tuesday, how come Bush has done all these costly things and still has not matched Clinton's record of no al-Qaida attacks in the US?

"Incidentally, Wolf, about this JFK airport plot.  The alleged plotters are from Trinidad.  Trinidad!  How many terrorists from Trinidad did we have to worry about before Dick Cheney decided to reshape the Middle East?   How the hell does keeping our soldiers in the crossfire between Shias and Sunnis in Iraq protect us from terrorists from Trinidad?!?  

"If Dick and Dubya keep protecting us like this, Wolf, will you be asking us to give them credit for foiling a plot out of Liechtenstein next?"

-- TP  

by Rethymniotis 2007-06-03 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Winner? I dont' know. Loser? Wolf Blitzer

Amen to that.  I notice the same thing.  I bet he will not ask the Republicans any loaded questions like this.  Notice the timing for the so-called terrorist arrest one day prior to the Dems Debate. This is another Rove production.  This plot was only in the planning stage so they could have chosen any time to bring this out. Kind of makes you feel that the Media is pro-republican--ha ha.

This MSM loves Obama thats why I support Hillary.

by changehorses08 2007-06-03 11:30PM | 0 recs
A Better Question than "Who Won"

might be:

Who brought up interesting issues and what were they?

I thought that Richardson's point about GDP growth and Soc Sec solvency was very important.

And Gravel's point about balalncing the budget using teh Soc Sec trust fund was also interesting.

Finally Kucinich gets my gratitude for mentioning the Iraq Oil law and the rape of Iraqi oil resources by Big Oil.  

by jono 2007-06-03 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I didn't see it that way. I saw some head butting but with legitimate points and counter points. Obama got the best of Edwards with the "4 years ago" quip. But Edwards managed to recover effectively. Hillary looked left out during that exchange but I have to admit she did herself good tonight.

by anothergreenbus 2007-06-03 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I thought all the front runners were all on their games tonight. I did think Gravel came off as the crazy uncle. Edwards, Clinton, Obama all know their issues and are very intelligent. Clinton seems very well versed.

I also thought Biden was very passionate about his points.

 I felt just the opposite than you did about  Obama and Edwards. I felt they had alot of respect for each other and were just debating different opinions! I felt they would be a great team together.

by Hotshortie 2007-06-03 06:58PM | 0 recs
Iraq War is NOT a BUMPER STICKER.....

... we need to be safer than we are now. BUSH LIED.  We did not take the time to look for the weapons of mass destruction - Bush did not allow time for this to happen, for the world to form a true coalition or time for real diplomacy to take effect.

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

DVR'd this, i will watch it tommorow and come back with thoughts, but it sounds like it will be very interesting.

by Socks The Cat 2007-06-03 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I like to go offline during debates and attempt to watch them through "virgin eyes" as hard as it is for someone who's followed the details for years.  Then I watch in astonishment at CNN talking-heads apparently watched a different event altogether.  Then I go online and see what intelligent people have to say.  So, here are a few brief thoughts of my own....

Gravel - if he gets his meds from the VA, that means the VA is in an even worse shape than I thought: he appeared to be off his altogether.  In the first debate, Gravel said some things that others were afraid to say yet needed to be said (and helped move the Overton Window, i.e., make some unspeakable things speakable).  This time, he was just spouting nonsense.

Kucinich - not as bad as in the first debate, actually.  He said some reasonable things, but also some of his wacky New-Agey crap as well.  He's just too utopian.  Great stuff for SF/fantasy, but not for leading the country.

Biden - firmly established himself as the member of the comical trio at the bottom of the field.  He demonstrated his utter ignorance of all things foreign/international/military/diplomati c.  If I were him I would take special care never to mention the Balkans and remind the audience of all the stupidities he used to say almost nightly during the 1990.  Not a second-tier any more, he is now in the third tier.  Something he said, actually the way he said it in the after-show interview, suggests to me he is bowing out of the race soon.

Richardson - better than last time, but that is far from enough.  Irritated me at times.  He just LOOKS like a second tier candidate and remains at the same #5 spot by virtue of not digging himself even deeper.  Oh, and he is a governor, if you did not happen to catch that.  Last two times we elected governors (1992. and 2000.) the results were horrendous mistakes in foreign policy.  Give me a Senator any time.  His high-point: his response to the VA question, while in itself not so great, provided such a sharp contrast to what Obama said immediately before, it made Obama look really bad and Richardson a much more thoughtful and experienced candidate.

Dodd - Second good performance in a row.  I wish he was a little younger, more telegenic and more exciting.  He was calm, smart and right on every issue.  A very strong #4 in my book, seriously approaching the top tier.  He won't make it to the top, but he'll be a great VP candidate asset to the eventual nominee.

Obama - Had a few great moments, reminding us why so many people like him: his great oratory.  His response to Edwards on health-care was pretty effective.  His tentativeness with the beginning of every answer is a minus.  His refusal to be more detailed about policy is maddening.  His view on the military will not go well with many liberals.  The main problem with Obama is that he does not understand the concept of the Overton Window and plays into the hands of the Right with his unifying/conciliatory gestures and language.  He still believes that as President he would be able to actually work with Republicans.  He still has not learned that Repubs are not to be trusted on anything. Still, I think he had a good night (better than in the first debate).

Clinton - I actually liked her tonight.  Much better than last time around.  She led the group in a rebellion against Blitzer's stupid hand-raising questions, not once, but twice. That was great theater.  She was more relaxed than last time, smiled and laughed and made a couple of great funnies (e.g., the Cheney as a diplomat).  Her answer on War on Terror was a disaster, though, and it will cost her more than a few votes in the primaries as it came in response to the 'bumper-sticker' question, immediately after Edwards' response to it.  He explained why it is a political right-wing 'frame' and she disappointed the Dems by playing right into it.

Edwards - some people say his aggressiveness was good, others say it was bad.  I think it was necessary, no matter what the outcome. That was a way for him to accomplish a few things: 1) to draw attention to himself and remind everyone (and it worked for the CNN crowd afterwards) that this is a 3-way race, not a 2-way race; 2) to teach the audience (most of which did not know what you and I know) what Clinton and Obama did in regard to war-funding bills over the past few years, including the one last week; 3) differentiate himself from the other two in important ways.  The 1) worked great, 2) worked fine and 3) had mixed results because some of the responses by Obama and Clinton worked against him, while others worked for him. People now have a better idea about the difference between Edwards' and Obama's healthcare plans, though not necessarily placing one highly above the other.  Obama retort on war was bad for Edwards, but Hillary's response on War On Terror was fantastic for Edwards.

So, I liked the last four, and did not like the performance of the first four on this list.  I am biased towards Edwards, so I will not state who I think won.  It was a good debate and I liked the fact that the format appears to be losening somewhat.  Let's see what the Google/YouTube debate on July 21st looks like (if anyone watches it - as everyone will be busy reading Harry Potter VII on that day).

by coturnix 2007-06-03 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Excellent job there coturnix.

by anothergreenbus 2007-06-03 08:27PM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton!

Presidential..... all the way.  She unites the Democratic party!

by MomWorks 2007-06-03 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton!

I would not be surprised to see another bounce in the polls for her.

by robliberal 2007-06-03 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I felt the top three kind of all held their ground.  Obama and Clinton did fine, they didn't really stand out but they didn't really fall.  However, I was utterly disgusted by Hillary's claim that we are safer than we were in 2001.  Edwards was agressive, which made him stand out, but he faced some (well deserved) blowback because of it and it didn't really get him anywhere at all.  

Richardson didn't look so confused, or pro-gun in this debate, which was an improvement.  However, he was hard to listen to, dodged at least one easy question, and I almost forgot he was a governor.  (Sarcasim)

Dodd and Biden - Dodd didn't bother me as much as he usually does, (I just don't like his voice) but he didn't really stand out.  Biden seemed well informed but didn't stand out, he played the team cheerleader again and I think that role is getting old fast.  

Kucinech - His ideas seemed more out there this debate than he did last time.  This was worse for him than the last debate in my mind.  

Gravel - Was it just me or did he barely get five minutes of two hours?  He also didn't shine when he got time, so I think his bump from last debate is mostly gone.  

The format was a little better, questions were "eh" to me, and we would have been better off had Blitzer had a heart attack, then the CNN crew carry him off and just replace him with someone else and a new batch of questions.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-03 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I believe Clinton's statement that we are safer today from Terroisim than before 9/11 will hurt her in the GE if she is the candidate. What it means is that Bush's  policies on terroisim have made us safer  today than before 9/11. She is ceeding ground to the republicans on who will keep America safer from terrorisim. If Rudy is the nominee he will beat her up on this regarding the war on terror.

We as democrats must point out our vulnerabilities to a terroist attack and what we will do to make this nation safer.

by BDM 2007-06-03 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I believe Clinton's statement that we are safer today from Terroisim than before 9/11 will hurt her in the GE if she is the candidate. What it means is that Bush's  policies on terroisim have made us safer  today than before 9/11. She is ceeding ground to the republicans on who will keep America safer from terrorisim. If Rudy is the nominee he will beat her up on this regarding the war on terror.

I don't think opposing Bush's disastrous foreign policy and ceding the reality that many of the 9/11 commission's recommendations have been passed partially by the Republican congress and definitely by the Democratic congress is mutually exclusive. Part of being president is being able to be honest about the accomplishments of others and being able to put them to good use. Al Qaeda is flourishing as a result of Bush's foreign policy, but we do indeed have a lot better security procedures, equipment, and personnel guarding our airports, etc.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-03 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Security at airports is like the aluminium drives in WWII, a way of placating the public and making them feel part of the process.  The difference, of course, being that in WW2 the threat was real and today it is, well, more virtual.  Can you think of a single terrorist incident which has been thwarted by heightened, expensive and GDP consuming security?  No.  Fortunes made in the security industry, well, quite a few recently.  

Counter-terrorism and intelligence, however, work pretty well.  At least when you are doing field-craft and not just tapping satellite phones and reading newspapers over someone's shoulder in Minsk... oops, sorry Kandahar.

But the problem with 'boots on the ground' intelligence field-craft is exacerbated by the bad branding of the US worldwide at just the time we need a few good friends and plenty of well-wishers.

Are we safer?  Not by a long shot.  If you think Iran is a problem, what about Pakistan?  Imagine the rending of hair and grinding of teeth if they become a non-aligned Islamic state with jihadist agendas.  They already have a nuclear capability and delivery systems to go with it.  The instability created as a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq extends today from Algeria to Indonesia, and is getting worse.  Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The Global War on Terror has been a disastrous failure and we must deal with the consequences for years to come.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-03 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

I am still trying to understand how Dick and Dubya's Excellent Adventure is "protecting us" from those vicious "terrorists" from Trinidad.
Freakin' Trinidad!  Better send Petraeus more men, and give him more time, or we'll be thwarting Andorran terrorists, next.

-- TP

by Rethymniotis 2007-06-03 11:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Indeed, in many ways reminiscent of bad 80's Orwellian sci-fi.  I don't think the American people grok the magnitude and irony of our predicament.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-04 12:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Are we safer?  Not by a long shot.  If you think Iran is a problem, what about Pakistan?  Imagine the rending of hair and grinding of teeth if they become a non-aligned Islamic state with jihadist agendas.  They already have a nuclear capability and delivery systems to go with it.  The instability created as a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq extends today from Algeria to Indonesia, and is getting worse.

But once again, there is no conflict between denouncing a failed foreign policy (including GWOT) and realizing that there have been some gains at home. We do have more standards. We do have more equipment. We do have more security personnel. That doesn't mean we have fewer terrorists or malevolent entities outside the US who want to do us harm but that does not negate the existence of what progress we have made here.

I don't disagree that airport security is partially a facade. But the fact is, there truly are more screenings of baggage and awareness of unattended packages etc. That's an improvement. (You don't measure success in the number of reported failed attempts to hijack or blow up a plane. You measure success in reduction of the probability of our own security's failure.)

And so, while it's difficult to give direct examples of how extra security screenings have made a on airports and other areas of major traffic [criminals likely know as much as we do about what security is on the lookout for: that doesn't mean we just call it all off], I can't see how you could contest the common sense that more security resources dedicated domestically to high traffic areas is a security improvement since 9/11.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-04 12:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Look, I agree with you that we are now committed to airport security and such.  I have yet to see the proposed screening, incidentally, of all shipping containers which just bears on my point.

A study of responses to terrorism, historically, indicate that there is basically nothing that a society can do to insure it's own security against terrorist acts that have not been detected in advance.  And a review of Bin Laden's modus operandi shows that his 'big shows' are always somehow unexpected and innovative.  He nearly sank a US destroyer with a Zodiac filled with explosives in open water.  If another strike, God forbid, reaches the US homeland it will be something we haven't seen coming in time.

Personally I am deeply concerned that the whole frame of the problem has been misconstrued by our society; I believe that citizens must have the insight and courage to not expect their government to provide 100% protection from such a threat, but should encourage them to expend every resource to track the threat back to its source and neutralise or eliminate it.  We should have the fortitude to see the thing through without expecting the impossible of Daddy, or Mummy.

That it is arguable that our current parlous situation is almost entirely self-inflicted and a direct consequence of the Bush administration's actions is a whole different topic.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-06-04 01:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

And once again, I agree with you. But while we haven't done all the right things, we have done some. That deserves recognition.

As for historically whether terrorism has proven resistant to security measures: of course. But once again, that doesn't mean you just capitulate to the inevitable. For the same reason you can't measure security's success in failed hijacking attempts, you can never know how long you stayed the next attack in comparison with if you hadn't tried to improve security at home. Probabilities are probably (lol, pseudo-redundant) the best thing we can use to tell if we've been effective at home.

And yes, security presents a huge threat of crossing an invisible line into totalitarian situation. I think England, for instance, has already crossed that line years ago.

by bowiegeek 2007-06-04 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Let's be clear:  Edwards is right that the GWOT is a bumper sticker slogan, and Hillary is right that we are taking more precautions (some of them probably effective) than we used to.  To cast that as any sort of disagreement is to willfully pretend that Edwards and Hillary are talking about the same thing.  

Now, I'm not accusing Hillary of willful misunderstanding.  But, even in the heat of live debate, she could have started her answer with a less emphatic "No".  

The fact that there are "terrorists" all over the globe (even in Trinidad!)is not what Dubya's slogan factory means by the phrase "Global War on Terror".  Even the fact that terrorists all over the globe are at war with us is not what the slogan implies.  The GWOT brand name seeks to implant the idea that we are waging a global war, where "we" means "us, your protectors, the Bush administration".  Edwards is absolutely right to call bullshit on that implication.

If I described myself as waging a "global war on burglary" because I have taken to locking my front door at night, sane people would call me an idiot.  I would reply that my house has not been burgled since I started locking the door -- how much more proof do you need that I am waging a successful GWOB?  Now shut up and sing my praises for taking the fight to the burglars in their own house.  Never mind if they're not the same burglars who stole my HDTV.  It's a global war on burglary.  We can fight "them" wherever is more convenient for us.  Trinidad, for choice:-)

-- TP  


by Rethymniotis 2007-06-04 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Well let me be the first to say that if it were up to Hillary, the name GWOT wouldn't exist. Last year Bush tried to change GWOT to GSAVE thinking that that'd sound less stupid. I have long been against the notion that you can go to war with a tactic. However, the GWOT connotation holds true. Bill Clinton had already made terrorism a priority in the 90s and had people looking out for them and plans drawn up for how to deal with them.

That's essentially what Bush is doing now except that he's trampled on our constitution, committed all kinds of grievous crimes against humanity, and alienated the world community to pursue the same goal.

As for your silly Global War on Burglary example, I would point out that that would only work if you really looked at (first, before others) your house and thought of all the ways a burglar could get into your house: window, attic, basement, back door, front door, chimney!!! And then make security measures. Locking your door is pretty much a given, but, if you started to do all of the other things then that would be an improvement in the Global War on Burglary (which is to say imprecisely: way to deal with burglars).

by bowiegeek 2007-06-04 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Rudy is going to be too busy getting beaten up by the first responders who now have lung cancer from the asbestos.  Rudy told them it was safe to go back into the buildings and now they're dying.  He has alot to answer for.

by changehorses08 2007-06-03 11:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Hillary won the debate and Edwards came in second.  Obama got the most airtime because the msm is pushing him.  But he is still an empty suit. I would like to have heard more from Dodd and Biden.  What kind of format is this?  They couldn't wait till the end of the debate to trot out Candy Crowley and Anderson Cooper.  I'm surprised they didn't just show the pictures of the candidates while the pundits told us what they were saying.  CNN is the big loser.

by changehorses08 2007-06-03 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Debate Thread

Obama talked a lot when he got asked questions, that's why.  The MSM passed the top tier almost similar amount of questions.  I hope somebody has a question count being done so we can lay it out.  

Edwards was too aggressive and recieved blowback.  Seriously, he looked like an idiot half the time he was "challenging" the other candidates and getting slapped down for it.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-04 02:18AM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads