I Missed The Debate

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

This one would have been interesting.

Here’s a roundup:

* Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic: The Debate Belongs To Obama, But The Best (And) Last Moment Belongs To Hillary.  The "last moment" refers to Hillary’s last answer:

Talk about a final answer.

"She was blessed" to "give others the same opportunities that I take for granted. That’s why I get up in the morning. That’s what motivates me for this campaign. No matter what happens in this contest, and I am honored to be here with Barack Obama… whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people."

I guess you had to see it.  I think it’s nice, but not standing-o worthy.

* Josh Marshall looks at "that line" from Hillary as well, and notes that it echoes what Bill Clinton said in 1992, i.e.

"The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits the people of this state and this country have been taking for a long time."

* John Amato of Crooks & Liars: "I thought they both did quite well tonight outside the line above. Debating is a very good platform for Hillary and she shined—especially her closing statement, but so did Barack. This used to be a weakness for him in my mind, but he’s improved dramatically and is quite comfortable going one on one."

* CNN analysis: Clinton likely didn’t slow Obama’s momentum

* MyDD‘s Glenn Smith: "Nothing happened that will change whatever is going to happen anyway in the March 4 primary. Everyone assumed Clinton would try to knock Obama down a peg, throw him off his game, do something that would generate at least a fews days worth of news. There wasn’t even one day worth of news generated [by the debate]. In that sense, Obama succeeded at his task. Clinton didn’t."

* The Atlantic‘s Matthew Yglesias: "If [HRC] was still the front-runner, this would have counted as a clear Clinton win — Obama had some good moments, but her ability to rattle off policy details on the fly really comes through whereas Obama needs to pause to think. But she’s not the front-runner anymore, and it’s hard to see anything she did to make up lost ground."

* AMERICAblog‘s Joe Sudbay: "Clinton needed more. Her campaign made a very big deal about the debates — as if she would dominate. She didn’t get the boost we were led to believe she needed."

*Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice: "It proved to be largely a studious debate that was surprisingly (and refreshingly) issue-oriented. Clinton’s home run didn’t quite materialize but she gave an answer about adversity that brought the crowd to its feet — but it is unlikely to prove to have been a major vote-changing, election-turning response."

* TNR’s The Plank: "I think …all the television analysis is basically correct: Obama had a very good debate and kept his momentum despite Clinton’s marvelous final answer. I would just add that there were a couple of moments where Obama’s cockiness was extremely off-putting. His comment about "very good" speeches was tonally wrong, and he needs to stop saying "I was right" about matters of foreign policy (especially when the subject is murky questions like what to do about Pakistan). Still, it’s probably fortunate for him that the main soundbite from the night will be Hillary’s attack on the plagiarism charge, which fell very flat."

* The Nation: "In tonight’s CNN-Univision debate, Hillary Clinton personified the empathy of Franklin Roosevelt, while Barack Obama invoked the new spirit of John F. Kennedy. I thought Clinton excelled with her wrap-up statement, which led to a standing ovation. She succeeded in expressing a deep empathy for working families.

"Obama won on the issues of Cuba and Iraq, and held his own on healthcare against her severe attacks. They seemed equal on their opening statements, on what they would do on Day One, Mexican-American issues and Bush earmarks. Once again, Clinton’s attacks seemed to bounce right off Obama.

"Clinton’s performance might re-ignite her campaign, but it also could be a memorable farewell, a dignity in defeat, for which she will be well remembered and honored."



That’s a deadlock.  In Ohio, Clinton is up by about seven.