Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On debates and drivers licenses

By Creature

I watched last night's Democratic debate in its entirety. While it was more lively than previous debates, I hate to say, at times, it became more background noise as the ideological spin combined with the hoots, hollers, and honks of an East Village evening. X has a good round-up at SotD, but my quick impressions are as follows:

Biden, once again, had the best line of the night with his Giuliani attack. Biden snarked, "There are only three things he mentions in a sentence... A noun and a verb and 9/11. He is genuinely not qualified to be president" [Video here]

Edwards won me over with his criticism of Hillary's support for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution. Edwards slammed it saying it was "written in the language of the neocons... [and it] gave Bush and Cheney exactly what they wanted."

Obama did nothing to impress me. If anything he lost more ground with his wishy-washy opening line about how the media has "over-hyped" his statement regarding going after Hillary more aggressively and then proceeded to frame Hillary as a flip-flopper. I thought his tone there smacked of Kerry '04 and it just didn't sit right. Lastly with Obama, and I realize this isn't Last Comic Standing, I thought his Rocky joke fell flat, almost embarrassingly so.

Hillary, under fire all night, held her own. She continued to give non-answers, but her non-answers contained just enough substance to where she comes off sounding knowledgeable and competent. And, while Chris Matthews hammered her for wavering on the NY Governor's proposal to give drivers licenses to illegals--a proposal, BTW, he has now watered down and backed off of, for which the NYT yesterday correctly took him to task --i t was Dodd's unequivocal negative response to the Governor's proposal that soured me on him, not Hillary (though she will have to answer to the Right for her pro-immigrant response).

Dodd called Spitzer's plan "troublesome" and went on to say that a drivers license is a "privilege, not a right." I'm sorry, but that's enough to knock Dodd out of contention in my progressive book. To some a drivers license is a necessity, it's a means to feed a family, and granting them without prejudice is smart policy. Dodd showed a bit of Dobbs there and I did not like it one bit.

Overall, I may be back on the Edwards bandwagon.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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