"California show your teeth
"She's my priestess; I'm your priest"
I love that song by the Chili Peppers!
Barack Obama is gifted, he's talented. He belongs in the majors. This woman is just on another level.
He starts right in with the self-serving abstractions: "This isn't about black or white, or male or female, this is about going forward or looking back." Nice frame, but a meaningless abstraction. How is universal or the first woman President not moving forward?
Bloggers say Obama won the exchange on Iraq. E.g.:
"And twenty minutes of Iraq happened. And so I’ll give Obama the edge. Clinton was forced, for about 20 minutes, to recapitulate her vote on Iraq, over and over again. It was tough for her. She seemed to mire herself in the details of history." -- Marc Ambinder
I'm not sure. Ambinder's thinking about Iowa/MoveOn. But I wonder about the majority of voters who supported the war in 2003, who would have kicked out the Dems if they didn't give the President his war resolution. They want out now, but how do they react when Blitzer throws a hardball at Clinton: "so you're saying you were naive when you trusted George Bush?"
"Nice try, Wolf" came back Hillary. And then she scored--maybe. It's hard for me to say. I opposed the war so I can only imagine what soccer moms/Reagan Dems who backed Bush in 2003 think now. Clinton answered with specifics about coercive diplomacy, making the case that, yes, we were wrong in hindsight, but we weren't total idiots. Voters who supported what Obama calls a 'dumb war' may have needed to hear that--maybe. As I say, I can only imagine their 'mindset.'
But she did score a hit on Obama's head. Leaning forward defiantly, she said 'they're accusing ME of surrender'. Subtext: they're not even thinking about you, Barack. I thought I saw her beat her chest like Kong, maybe it was just her attitude. But Obama flinched -- her body language said this debate was just a courtesy, bring on McCain! Body language doesn't lie.
She's more concrete on withdrawal: her fight with Eric Edelman, Bush signing treaties to bind the next President. All Obama has is his 2002 speech. The Clintons hit him again and again, 'All you did was make a speech, you're all talk no action.' He had the chance to tell us anything else he's done. He didn't.
Obama had a clever line: "I don't just want to end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into the war." Bloggers liked that. Means nothing to me. I'm not so worried about kooky Neocon mindsets, I'm more worried about the blind, raging nationalism the Necons exploited.
Obama says "I welcome the debate" with McCain. It's not going to be a debate. It's going to be a scorched earth campaign to brand him as an appeaser, a wimp, a surrender monkey, Osama's ambassador, Kennedy's gay buttboy. Obama says he's in a better position to bring the troops home because they can't say 'You voted against the war.' McCain will definitely say that -- I've seen him silence Kerry with it. He won't silence Hillary in full warrior goddess mode. On withdrawing from Iraq, Hillary plays the 'Nixon in China' card and wins.
I voted for the question about Romney's business experience on Politico--it was supposed to go to Obama. But Hillary jumped on it and knocked it so far out of the park that ball is still flying: "the U.S. Government is not a for profit corporation." Pow! Obama just had an unconvincing remark about how he's gotten more bang for the buck than Romney in the primaries -- which actually isn't true. Romney's still in the race.