Friday, February 22, 2008

Austin Debate

So I watched most of the Democratic debate in Austin on CNN.com last night, but I faded in the second half... I had it going on in the background but stopped paying as much attention.

For the first half, I thought that Obama made a nice distinction on Cuba policy, though I'd like to see him go farther towards normalization of relations. There was also meat in the immigration talk (as one would expect in Texas) but they both agreed with each other pretty much verbatim. And that pretty much encapsulates the "new information", as the rest seemed to pretty much be talking points with occasional snark... and I now, more than ever, agree with Obama that we've seen enough of these.

That said... at first, it seemed that this was going to be a completely civil debate(what's up with them when they are sitting down?) but Hillary Clinton did go on the offensive in the second half. She went pretty hard after the accomplishment, plagiarism, and mandates memes... and I thought Obama deftly parried everything but mandates where Hillary's knowledge and passion for the subject really outshine his. However, healthcare mandates have been a sticking point for about eleventy million debates, and if that was going to bring Obama down it would have been before now. Interestingly, she refused to say that he was not ready to be Commander in Chief, which as Marc Ambinder notes, may be because she finally realizes she might not win and doesn't want to give McCain any ammunition in the Fall. Certainly it seems to be a counter my fears of win-at-any-cost-even-if-it-destroys-the-Democratic-Party attitude from Clinton.

So anyway... it seems like it was pretty much a draw. Obama had his soundbites, and Hillary had hers. However it seems to me she need to draw more blood than that to make up the ground she is losing.

Well she still has another shot next week in Ohio... but honestly I think I'm pretty debated out unless they're going to add an obstacle course with hungry hungry hippos.