Dem debate liveblogging

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The Democrat Debate in Ohio

The first 15 minutes dealt with socialized medicine, mandates, and Hillary was on the attack early and often.
Mrs. Clinton displayed her inner-wonk, and dominated the conversation. On a cut to Obama, the camera caught an expression on his face that showed a near eye-roll as he gave an “okie-doke” glance to the moderator.

The next question to Hillary was about NAFTA, and Hillary protested about having to go first, comparing the debate to the SNL skit. There was an awkwardness that was uncomfortable to watch. Neither candidate committed to pulling out of NAFTA, but the more Obama talked, the less sense he made.

More to come…

Foreign policy questions regarding Iraq and Pakistan were next, and both responses were painfully naive. Clinton said, “I would have been tougher on Musharref.”

[I wonder how much tougher we could have been on the Paks. They were not an ally of ours in 2001. Cheney basically told them to get on board or get bombed to the stone age.]

On getting out of Iraq, Obama said, “We will be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.”

Clinton repeated that there is no military solution in Iraq.

Finally a tough question from Russert, and Hillary balked with a response about not answering “hypothetical questions,” then parried to criticize Obama for not holding oversight meetings re Afghanistan on the SFRC.

Obama responded by saying he has been campaigning, and has taken his argument to “the people.” Neither candidate answered the question, but Obama came closer than Clinton.

Commercial Break….

[First take….remember the Gore-Bush debate when Al thought he scored a hit by chiming in with “what about the XX bill?” It was an arcane piece of legislation that no one knew anything about, except Gore. Hillary is filling the Gore role tonight.]

Next segment, the mods tried to play gotcha.

Hillary pressed to release tax returns and documents at the national archive.

She said she would urge that this be done as soon as possible. [that‘s gonna happen]

Obama questioned about Farakhan and NOI.

His response was OK, but Hillary parried to talk about rejecting the support of the Independence Party during her Senate run. Hillary scored a rare point.

Next Commercial Break…

On Obama’s “Liberal” voting record, how can you run a General Election campaign?

Obama says he and Clinton differed on only 2 votes. The ratings are “silly,” and the “categories don;t make sense…”

On Russia, Hillary was asked about Putin’s successor…she claimed that Medevev would be Putin’s puppet.

Obama was critical of Bush, and made no new points. So if Russia sends troops to Serbia, Obama said he would

“Work with the international community” and say “that’s unacceptable.” [Kerry Global Test?]

[final take: On what government is supposed to be about. Obama summed it up well. He made the points I needed to hear as to why a Democrat should not be elected in 2008.

Hillary said she would like to have her Iraq vote back. Obama said he would like to have his Terry Schiavo vote back.

Hillary won the debate on substance. The High-def TV is not kind to her. Obama won the debate on style. The camera loves him.]

more at Fox ,

see also, Ben Smith

Tuesday Open

Another Zerobama photo, (h/t sweetness&light)

obama2.jpg

Obama is weak on national security

Just how weak is Barry Obama on National Defense?  He sounds like a George McGovern democrat to me.  See for yourself, in his own words….

Similarities of Obama 08 and Carter 76

Steve Kornacki in NY Observer draws an interesting comparison between the two campaigns…

…the similarities between Carter and Obama are considerable. Like Obama, Carter’s resume included service in a state Legislature (rare for a president), and only a very brief stint in high-profile office, his single term as Georgia’s governor from 1970 to 1974. Obama, of course, has only been in the U.S. Senate since 2005, after an eight-year run in the Illinois state Senate.
obamacarter.jpgBoth also outsmarted their intra-party foes when it came to primary strategy. In ‘76, Carter was the lone Democrat to comprehend the opportunities that attended the proliferation of state primaries and caucuses, entering the race early and targeting every state, a tactic that produced weekly victories, hordes of delegates, and a gathering sense of momentum that left his late-starting rivals in the dust. Similarly, the wisdom of Obama’s decision to contest small caucus states and all of the mid-size contests between Super Tuesday and March 4—and the lack of wisdom in Hillary Clinton’s decision not to do so—is only now becoming clear.

Most significantly, both men came along at exactly the right time. Carter’s peanut-farmer-from-Plains simplicity and his oft-repeated promise that he “will never lie to you” were powerful political weapons after Nixon and his wiretapping, his plumbers and his pardon from Ford. And Obama’s message of hope—and his own life story—resonates with an electorate that, after these past eight years, feels utterly disconnected from its government and simply wants to believe in someone again.

Another similarity is the naivete displayed by both candidates: Obama’s willingness to negotiate with sworn enemies of the US; Carter’s “shock” at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

I actually voted for Carter in 76, and again in 80. As I think back, it was probably a case of identity politics on my part. Carter was a Southerner, a Christian, and I was young and stupid. In recalling the 76 election, Kornacki says if the race had continued another week or so, Ford might have overtaken Carter. Perhaps the early start to this election season is just what the Republicans need to overtake the Democrats.

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