Monday, June 04, 2007

Wait, there was a Democratic debate tonight?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Sure was. I only caught glimpses of it -- sorry, but I had other and far more pressing priorities, including the Yanks-Sox game, which is at this very moment in the bottom of the ninth, with the Yanks leading 6-5 -- but check out CNN (which co-sponsored the debate) for a recap, should you desire one.

If you really desire more, the NYT's Katherine Seelye live-blogged the debate at The Caucus.

Howie Klein enjoyed the debate -- and I agree with him that the Dems are far more appealing than those on the other side. See his post at Down With Tyranny!.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard yet, Eric Alterman was arrested for trespassing in "the debate spin room" -- CNN, of course, has that story. (What does it say about the state of American democracy that these debates have spin rooms?)

It's still so early that I don't pay close attention to these debates -- at least, I generally don't watch them live; I usually read up on them afterwards -- but they do make for good political theater and, especially with the Dems, they do tend to be quite good in terms of substance and the delineation of differences between and among the candidates. Whereas the GOPers prefer to fall all over themselves in worship of Ronald Reagan, and in kissing the base's ass, the Dems address issues like Iraq, immigration, and health care seriously. And, from what I can tell, they did so again tonight.

(The Yankees win! The Yankees win! Damn. I suppose I was rooting for the Yanks over the Sox, but as a Blue Jays fan it's not an easy call one way or the other. At least the Jays won today, 4-3 over the other Sox.)

Plus, the debate was held in New Hampshire -- Manchester, to be precise -- so it was of particular relevance.

And with that, this post about the Democratic debate is over. I wonder what's on the Food Network.

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Update 1: Over at SotD, Creature and Xsociate agree that it was all quite refreshing.

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Update 2: Check out Dickerson at Slate -- he's one of our favourites -- for an evaluation of the debate: "No one lost any teeth, but at least the major candidates weren't so awfully nice to one another the way they had been in their first debate five weeks ago."

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Update 3: And, of course, see the Carpetbagger, who evaluates the candidates' performances and offers this assessment: "Reading over the transcript, you can see that these candidates engaged in a discussion that really told viewers something about the issue -- no bumper-sticker slogans, plenty of specifics. It was a stark contrast to anything Republicans have offered in their debates." It was indeed all quite substantive.

See also Digby: "Who won? Who knows. The gasbags are calling it for Hillary Clinton, and she did do very well. But I thought they all did."

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Update 4: For some decent MSM coverage, see the Post and the Globe. This is the analysis of David Yepsen of The Des Moines Register (in USA Today): "The three frontrunners in the Democratic race for president -- John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- emerged as the winners of Sunday night's debate in New Hampshire. Edwards probably did himself the most good."

Well done, Senator Edwards. Although it was a solid debate all around.

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