I watched the debate last night, after a long day of doing nothing (God bless vacation time!). Here are my impressions:
- I’m sorry Bob Graham dropped out, but not too much. He seems like an honest and reasonable guy, but he didn’t really strike me as presidential in the debates I watched.
- In 2000, I didn’t like either choice – Gore or Bush. I liked McCain, but he dropped out in South Carolina, and left us with W. But, of the nine Democrats left in the race, there are real differences between the candidates, and they are polar opposites of our current President. It’s exciting to watch.
- To me, Howard Dean is losing ground. Maybe it was just this debate, but he’s starting to look a little wooden, and I’ve heard all of his answers before. I don’t know if it’s just Dean Burnout, but he’s slipping in my mind.
- Wesley Clark is moderate enough to win against Bush, but not liberal enough to win the nomination. That’s a little depressing, but unfortunately a fact of life. Apparently, to win the nomination, you have to go way out on the left, and then spend the rest of the campaign swimming against the current to get back to the middle. I think that the Democrats need to start that transition now. Bush is not a moderate, and his actions are eroding his support in the middle. If the Democrats speak to the middle and not the party faithful now, they get a head start on next year, and we can pick a candidate that will energize the moderates in this country, who make up an overwhelming majority of the voters in this country.
- This debate format sucked. I could try to say something intelligent about it, but I’m not awake yet.
- Sharpton was flatter than in other debates.
- Speaking of moving to the middle, Kucinich needs to drop out soon. No matter what the question, he comes back to the “I voted against the war. I’m the ONLY ONE!!” line, and the even worse “Bring our troops home now!” Kucinich is interesting, but too far out on the fringe to do anything in the race. He needs to drop out.
- I don’t think we’ll see too many more folks leave the race until New Hampshire, although I could see Moseley-Braun and Kucinich leave before then.
- For winners? I think Kerry and Gephardt gave their best performances, and Gephardt for the first time actually looked like he had some fire. Kerry gave his most fiery performance and, in my mind, pulled even with Dean and Clark.
I’ve been thinking about each candidate, their strengths and weaknnesses, and may write up what I see in the near future if I can find the time. Oh, Lazyweb, does such a thing already exist?
I think it’s going to come down to Dean and Clark, and Clark does indeed have a good shot, especially when the southern primaries start.
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