Dec 5, 2007

The Democratic Debate, hosted by NPR

I LOVED this debate. Here is the short summary of how I think things came off:

1) Hilary Clinton. She's the most polished-sounding of the candidates, and she has a sort of "above it all" thing going for her. In the polls, and in the way she discusses the issues. I like her views on Iraq to a point; her views on Iran scare me a little. She sounds like she'd be OK with going to war with Iran at some point. Possibly the most experienced of the candidates, possibly the most qualified. She and Joe Biden are about equally both, I think.

2) Barack Obama. Stumbled over his words a little. Still sounds inexperienced and a touch idealistic, but his views on Iran, Iraq, China, and especially illegal immigration really resonate with me. He's getting more and more specific with his ideas of alternatives to the way things are now, and I like what I'm hearing. Perhaps the most likeable of the candidates, or at least, seems to be the most earnest and heartfelt (to me.)

3) Joe Biden. I love Joe Biden! Wow, what a guy. He is someone I would trust not to judge hastily, but who I would also trust not to be pressured or to go with the status quo simply because it is. Very experienced in foreign relations, which will be VITAL in this next presidency. I like what he had to say on Iran and on China... I felt that his views on China were actually the most wise, the most balanced, and the most feasible. He and Hillary actually agree on China, but I feel that Biden has the ring of authority here because of his experience in foreign relations.

4) John Edwards. I like him, he's perhaps the second most "likeable," "Earnest", of the candidates. But I don't feel that his ideas on Iran and China are fleshed out enough. He's got a lot to say about immigration and the american economy and not continuing our current trade habits with China, and I think superficially, I agree with what he has to say on the subject. I like his compassionate stance on Illegal immigration.

5) Mike Gavel: He was a tad fiesty. Not too likeable, I don't think... he seemed to most determined to say why the other candidates were wrong, especially in the discussion about the resolution just voted on in the senate about Iran and designating certain groups to be proponents of terror. I agreed with what he said, but I didn't like the way he said it. I felt like he might have a tendency to one-mindedness, perhaps a tendency not to listen to others. Sorry, this is just my own sort of typing-as-I'm-thinking rumination. Anyway, I agreed with him, but I dont' want another president who is unwilling to listen to the other side and other, perhaps better ideas and options from those around him who have experience.

6) Dennis Kucinich: I agree with most of what he says. I'm starting to get annoyed as his querilous, "I am the only candidate here who..." blah blah blah. SO you didn't vote to go to war. Good for you. OK, now move on to something else. I think the man has integrity, but he has something to learn about likeability. Plus, I worry about his experience. He has consistently voted against funding the war, even when it was popular to be funding the war, but has he ever done anything himself with foreign relations? What are his ideas? I want to hear those, not just why he's different and better than all the other candidates because he voted a certain way all this time.

7) Chris Dodd: I actually don't remember too much of what he said... this is probably a bad sign (either of my own deteriorating mental capacity as I approach the culmination of pregnancy or of his memorability as a candidate.

One thing: I absolutely LOVE the way that NPR handled this debate. They kept the questions to three important categories so that they could allow each candidate to respond at lenght, and so that the interviewers (Robert Segal, Michelle Norris) coudl follow up and ask further questions. Also, they kept things pretty much on issue, were good at not allowing any candidate to ward off a question by making generalized sorts of statements (a source of big frustration to me during all these other debates). Also, they did a good job at keeping mudslinging out of it, and keeping things civil and agreeable between the candidates. Good job NPR!

Here's the link if you wanted to listen but missed it. This will take you to a page that has the transcript, but there's a "listen" button at the top so that you don't have to strain your eyes reading two-hours worth of material, lol.


Anna said...

I have always been a huge fan of Kucinich, but am concerned about his "lack of voterability" meaning a wasted vote? As time goes on I am liking Edwards more and more. I loved his shpeal about taking away the governements health care program until the people that are paying for them to be there- us- get the same health care plan.

NoSurfGirl said...

Yeah... I think in some senses that Dennis Kucinich is sort of the Ron Paul of the Democratic party, with a very loyal fan base, but he's not moderate enough to attract the majority of the vote. And I have similar objections to ROn Paul... yes, integrity. A good record of sticking to his guns, a lot of which i agree with. But experience? Not so much.