Friday, February 22, 2008

Texas debate review

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Make sure to check out Creature's excellent live-blogging post below. He hits all the right points. See also Joe Gandelman, who has a thorough round-up over at TMV.

CNN has the full transcript here.

Ambinder: "It was Obama's debate for most of the night. HRC needed him to stumble; he did not."

Crowley: "Both Hillary and Obama had good moments and bad tonight. None were indelible. Several times in this campaign I've felt like we saw status quo debates which didn't change a pro-Hillary dynamic. This time the status quo clearly helps Obama."

And that's pretty much it. It was a substantive (and civil) debate on the issues, and it was pretty much a tie.

I thought Clinton did very well on health care and that both of them did well on immigration and on most other issues. Her plagiarism charge was weak, and it was received poorly, and rightly so. She was also clearly pandering to Edwards, speaking his language and addressing his key issues in order to try to secure his endorsement.

Obama looked quite presidential and yet tired and unenthused for much of it. On the whole, I wasn't terribly impressed by his performance, but hers wasn't much better, if at all. Which is to say, they were both fine -- long (and solid) on policy, short on theatrics (which speaks well for the state of the Democratic Party -- its two main contenders for the nomination are both strong. (Although, as Turkana points out over at The Left Coaster, they both argued, wrongly, that the surge in Iraq is working. It isn't, and they should have said so forcefully.)

Overall, it probably didn't -- and won't -- make much of a difference.

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