Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Texas Showdown Live

By Creature

7:54 - It seems like a lifetime ago since these two presidential hopefuls last faced off. A lot has changed. Obama is now the clear frontrunner and it's Hillary who has to make some kind of move. My only prediction for the evening: Hillary will use the word "solutions" a lot.

8:00 - Obama wins in the cheering department, for sure, and I just don't get the golf-like whispering during the photo shoot. CNN could have switched up the seating and set, no?

8:06 - Hillary's opening statement: 36 years ago it all started for her and she too can reach across party lines. Who knew?

Obama's turn: He's making nice with Hillary right off the bat. He's steeling for the fights to come. Obama seems a bit flat.

8:18 - Cuba first. Would you talk to Raul? Obama backs off a bit on his willingness to "talk" to our enemies. It's all about preparing first. Hillary agrees. And again, Hillary reaches out to the Right. Am I sensing an early theme?

8:28 - Very wonky so far and no elbows in sight. Hillary's doing much better on the economy question. She's appropriately animated and strong. Hillary: "end the war on science." Nice touch.

8:33 - Immigration. Right-wing heads across the country explode as both agree on a path to legalization. Obama: work with Mexico. Yes, the real solution to immigration is lifting up, not building fences. So far Bush seems to be getting the brunt of the negative.

8:45 - Break number one and I'm kinda bored. Sometimes too much political watching can be a bad thing. Lost is on soon. Maybe I'll live blog that instead.

8:50 - John King tries to pull a Blitzer and pick a fight by bringing up the candidates campaign rhetoric. Hillary hits Obama with the all hat and no cattle line. Obama gets to get lofty and, yes, we are not delusional. Campbell Brown pushes the fight angle more. Silly season indeed. Jeez, can we get back to the wonk? Obama: I have to admit, some of my speeches are pretty good. His best moment so far, by far. I can't believe she's still pushing the plagiarism theme. Sorry, Hillary, if you hadn't lost me (and the audience) before, you just did now. Politics as usual.

9:10 - Back from break number two. Commander-in-Chief question. Nope, Hillary wants to get back to health insurance. This is good, actually, because she's fighting on a legitimate difference, not on bringing down hope. Back to commander-in-chief, and Obama gets in his Iraq and better judgement line. Nice.

9:25 - The questioning moves on to the surge. Obama brings up his initial opposition to the war again. He's baiting Hillary into an authorization fight. Will she take it? Beats me, another commercial. Doesn't this thing end at 9:30? Do I smell overtime?

9:38 - Superdelegates. Let's hear this. Hillary: these are the rules, it will sort itself out. Bull. Obama: these primaries and caucuses count for something. It's the will of the voters, stupid.

Final question: the moment that tested you the most? Obama uses it to go biographical. Hillary brings up Monica (not in so many words) as her test. Huh? Hillary is honored to be a part of this. They shake hands and Hillary managed to get the last word and end on a high note.

Well, that's it. No gaffes, no real blows, no nothing. I can't see how this changes the equation at all. If this is the case it must be called a loss for Hillary, because she is the one who needed to make a splash.

I'm sure I'll have more later, but for now thank goodness for my DVR... on to Lost.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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