Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Debate - Blood In The Water?

This isn't a live blog of the "debate" since by the time this is in front of my eyes it is over. I'll be at the 'time' for awhile, then I'll look at it. This thing is a mess. Obama keeps trying to keep the focus on something other than personal attacks, Hillary isn't exactly going along with the program. It is only a minor exaggeration to say that if Barack has met you, he's responsible for you. Hillary is working this one and by virtue of Obama not going on that line she gets a pass on her junk. If Obama goes there he's violating the tenor of his campaign.

He did a bit of a hit back on Hillary's prodding on his connection to Ayres of the Weather Underground, he pointed out that Bill pardoned two members and that was a bit more significant. The questioning on that line stopped. Something fairly evident is that so far (50 minutes in) this is not tilted in Obama's favor, seems a bit the other way, actually.

The thing has finally moved on to something other than person, now Iraq. Both have committed to a 16 month withdrawal. Barack's answer was a bit more developed than Hillary's in regard to relations between the President and the military but little difference. Obama will talk to the Iranian President she won't.

Taxes, Obama not only won't raise taxes he'll give breaks starting at $75K, Hillary won't raise them. Obama has said we need to look at capital gains taxes, he pointed out that the top 50 hedge fund managers made about $30 billion and paid 15% capital gains, a lower tax rate than their secretaries. Charlie Gibson is playing to the right, consistently. Social Security is turning into a hot button and Charlie doesn't like it. Hillary points to the Reagan/O'Neil SS commission as having come up with the smartest position, it did advocate raising the retirement age and the cap, so called on that by Obama immediately back pedalled.

Gibson wants to talk about guns, both of you have supported strong gun control. Why not now? Hillary: mayor Nutter (Philly) cops, assault weapon ban - cops out gunned because of ban lapse. Fed tracking of illegal guns. She will bridge the divide, give people the feeling and reality that they're protected. Obama just reiterated 2nd as an individual right, but compared constraints to zoning ordinances. He says common sense can be used to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally imbalanced. Does Hillary support DC ban? Hillary supports NYC. Now you know.

Obama, affirmative action, needs to take into account the entire picture, ex. his children shouldn't benefit. Wants to see all children have access to their dreams. Hillary early ed, get rid of No Child, letting people live up to potential.

Gas? Hillary, investigate prices - traders, no more into strategic reserve maybe let some out, windfall taxes, long term energy. Obama, similar to Clinton, fuel efficiency raises, $150 billion over 10yrs on energy.

Use previous Pres Hillary, how GWB? I'd have to think about it, they count. Obama, former important to have advice, he likes the current's father better. GWB has fed divisions.

Pledged delegates and supers? How do you make the case?
Hillary, we need a fighter, take away 50Bil giveaways and take aways and send it to middle. I have a track record. I'm ready to be CiC, take econ back. PA voters.
Obama, point of history, people all parties lost faith in gov, for no spin and PR, change from bottom up not top down, PAC and special interests don't get. His campaign has brought people in, is vital to create new coalition of voters.

The first hour was spent on personal attacks and the second on policy, Hillary looks better and sounds better on policy than attack mode. Obama trumped her on policy, despite her reputation as a policy wonk. Gibson came into this from the right point of view and attempted pretty hard to make Republican points and stir trouble. Stephanopolis barely exposed a Clinton bias in his performance towards the end. ABC in the persons of Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis went to great lengths to put blood in the water. Hillary worked hard to meet that end.

In the end this won't change any supporter's points of view, the messianic thinkers will sanctify their candidate and demonize the opponent, and the rational ones will simply be validated in their choice. The undecided voters will have been treated to two different approaches, Hillary is in the attack mode - bring Obama down - not bring Hillary up and Obama was in the 'unity' mode, deflect and defend attacks while gently calling out Hillary's contradictions and leaving obvious attacks he could make unmade. For uninformed little to be made of it, for those with much of any awareness the unmade attacks hung in the air, known from the news coverage and untouched by Obama. There is a huge difference, Hillary appeared harsh and reaching and Obama unruffled in the face of her and the moderators, a sharp tone only in reference to Politics As Usual.

I'm not from PA and I'm not undecided, but I'm also a moderate Obama supporter so I feel I may be seeing something here. This will not help Hillary's negatives, it will in fact worsen them. The Bosnia bullshit hangs there stinking and Obama doesn't touch it, Hillary attacks on the thinnest crap. The contrast is remarkable and obvious. Worse for Hillary is the appearance the super delegates will take from this, it looks desperate and it looks divisive and destructive. To make an appeal to the supers the thing is to look confident and strong, the Party's best hope and that is not accomplished with nonsensical attacks or desperation. The policy lines between them are slim, most definable in foreign policy techniques, there is little to be gained beyond authenticity although it was amateurish for Clinton to get caught out on a basic detail regarding Social Security. This might draw some to Obama, it was a good performance for him, at any rate it won't hurt him with anyone who might vote for him, I don't believe it did Hillary any good and may have done harm. I don't think it was a draw, a meager Obama win, what is doubtful is the effect.


Anonymous said...

So what ever happened to the idea of candidates asking each other questions and [gasp] actually debating?

Chuck Butcher said...

Evidently from such a question you must hate America so you must answer, are you now or have you ever been a thinking human being?

Think of the consequences...