Belated Presidential Debate Open Thread

I know this is a little late as the Republican and Democratic debates in Manchester, New Hampshire were last night.

But I missed the Republican debate and half the Democratic one because our satellite was down due to the rainstorms in California and the programs did not record correctly. We caught the second half of the Democratic debate and I relied on New Hampshire’s WMUR’s website for the best parts of the two debates. Trust me, perusing these clips is worth the time!

For the Republican side, check out the repeated attacks against Mitt Romney — hilarious! — and this lively exchange on illegal immigration. Rudy Giuliani actually sounds the most reasonable on this issue in stating the obvious that you can’t physically kick out 12 million people in the country and it is inhumane to not give people in this country health care and children access to education. But I can’t help but think the Repubs have scared off Latinos for life in arguing amongst themselves on who has the cruelest policy. (Kick them out! No health care for them! Other hysteria!)

The Republican candidates were also asked what they thought of Sen. Barack Obama who crushed all of them in Iowa. First, Giuliani, Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul’s reactions to the surging senator from Illinois. Here are Romney, Fred Thompson, and Sen. John McCain’s reaction to Obama.

From what I saw, John Edwards was the winner on the Democratic side. He delivered on an emotional level — continuously stating his candidacy was for the working class and “personal” — on style and on substance. Gov. Bill Richardson did very well too — pointing out he is the only candidate on the stage that has executive experience and has balanced budgets — which made me so proud to be a Latina. My husband and I are thinking he has an anglo enough name to be vice president if he is not the presidential nominee! (Oh please, pretty please.)

Both Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton ran as frontrunners and did not deliver any memorable lines. All four candidates did a good job running a civil discussion and differentiating the Democratic Party from the Republicans. Indeed, I am proud of our field this year. What a tough, tough decision!

Did any of you catch the debate last night? What did you think?


42 thoughts on “Belated Presidential Debate Open Thread

  1. Did not catch any of it

    the kids had friends over and our TV was turned to Mrs. Doubtfire.

    I did see some of the clips. Same old, same old from the Repubs, as far as I could tell.

    I have to say I am shocked by McCain’s recent statements about the US staying in Iraq for 100, even 1000 years. What is he thinking?

    • I fear he ISN’T thinking

      From what he said, a mere 8 years ago … to now.  And now he is worse. I suspect he is getting senile.

      Either that, or he really, truly, doesn’t realize people can get his words back.  I think he is still living in the day when if you said something, and only had the MSM to remind people of what you said, he was home free.  (And the MSM has annointed him the next president.)

      Many older people are like that.  Hell, many younger ones, too.  “I don’t have a computer — why should I?”  Astonishing.  My mother is 80, and HAS a computer, and uses it, but far as I can tell, only for email.  She gets all her “news” from the TV.

  2. saw it

    I watched it.  I thought it was really good, both sides.  I learned a lot.

    I didn’t realize it until last night, and since Iowa, but I’m really rooting for Hillary now and I’m getting kind of bummed about her loss/slump.  I actually think she is the best candidate now.

  3. We watched it

    I thought it was a good debate and was pleased with all the candidates.  I would feel comfortable supporting any of them as the nominee.

    I was so excited to see a debate in which of the four frontrunners, only one is a white man.  I did really like what the white man had to say, but also really like the idea of my children growing up with the first black or woman president, so it might be a tough call.  I think we’re leaning Obama at this point, but will see how things shape up by the time our state has its primary next month.

  4. excellent debate

    I was stunned (okay, not really) to see all the attacks on Hillary on the open threads on dailykos.  No, it was actually disappointment at the flat out sexism.  

    All of the criticism was about style.  “Oh, she’s so mean!” “Why is she so angry?”  “She’s chopping and pointing with her hands!”  

    Clutch the frikkin’ pearls, oh my heavens, the kossacks had the vapors that she stood up for herself and her record! It was so bloody obvious.  Did they say that about Edwards when he got all screechy “This is personal! It’s personal! Dad worked in a mill! Did I mention my dad worked in a mill?”

    Shorter Obama: Hope.Change.Hope.Change.Hope.Change

    Shorter Richardson: resume.resume.resume. Did I mention I have a great resume?

    But, in truth, I also feel pretty good about the entire field and will happily support any of them.

    • Wow

      That kind of sucks.  Do you think it was really sexism or just the Obama and Edwards supporters getting all fired up?  

      I don’t post over there, but I skim maybe once a day, and the recommended diaries are out of control with just promoting the candidates.  YAWN.  

      I guess it could still be sexism though, regardless.

      When JE brought up the mill again last night I almost threw the remote at the screen.  

      Enough with the mill.  Enough.  

      • Some examples

        *And she went off shouting and her eyes bulged out and she looked crazily angry.

        *Was surprised how easily Hillary lost her cool.

        *Not sure anger is what she needs to get back into this race.

        *Sure looks angry to me.

        Then there were some defenders (yeay!):

        *Listen, I watched it and Clinton did NOT lose it. If you think she did, you might want to re-think your attitudes about women who aren’t going to put up with crap anymore.

        When someone said, “It’s not sexism!” others replied:

        *And that is why Cheney — a sitting Vice President — is under so much continued pressure after telling a Congressional Servant to “Go fuck yourself.”
        Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

        *And how about Edwards? He was pretty damned pissed and irritated about lobbyists. I’m no HRC supporter, but this blather about her losing her cool is plain old sexism.

        • i have to say

          the sexism displayed against Clinton (and why is it that we always use the men’s last names and the women’s first names?!?) really makes me rethink why I shouldn’t support her off the bat. Personally, I don’t support the senator because I feel positive towards Edwards and Obama, not because of an opposition to Clinton herself (although the dynastic implications are troubling and I dread the Republican onslaught if she is elected… but that’s not precisely her fault.).

          But when I hear people knocking her on grounds that sound sexist – like, she’s angry, she showed cleavage(!), yadda, yadda, yadda, I think, hey, I don’t like that and hey, by not favoring Clinton in the primaries, am I implicitly endorsing the sexist views? I’d prefer to support Clinton because I feel 100% about her as a candidate, but I’m getting to the point that I’ll support her because I agree with her 75% of the time and I want to stick it to the man for the sexism.

          • Internalized racism/sexism

            is a huge issue. I lean toward JRE and am not sure why. As a feminist, with an advanced degree in Women’s Studies, it really makes me wonder if I’m being swayed by internalized racism/sexism as well as the overt institutionalized racist and sexist structures that prevail. I don’t think we need to “stick it to the man” but I do think we need to think critically about why we prefer a straight, white man when there are two other candidates who are equally as good (and equally as problematic).

            I wrote about my embarassment/shame for not supporting Clinton a week or so ago. It is indeed very complex.

            • I think

              I think the whole ‘electability’ issue is an example of internalized racism/sexism.  Sometimes we can lean towards people because we think they are most electable, not because they are the candidate we like the best.  Is this is a bad thing?  Or is it just a realistic stance to realizing we live in a society rife with sexism and racism?

              Of course, if it’s three white guys going for the nomination, picking them taking ‘electability’ into mind seems benign.

              I don’t know, I think it’s hard to separate them out.

            • I hear you on this, yet

              why, oh why, did Hillary vote yes on that Iran resolution?? After all we have learned about Bush and Cheney’s tactics. And I never bought her deal that she “trusted” the president on the Iraq resolution and WMD and all that. If I knew it is bunk, based on simply reading the NYT every day, then there is no excuse.

              And she won’t admit it – or worse, she doesn’t believe it was a mistake. JRE believes it was a mistake, has said so, and I agree with him, not her.

              JRE has a more radical platform – first Two Americas, and now the simple concept of poverty. Something about his platform feels more “advanced degree in Women’s Studies”  – more than Hillary’s.

              So is it internalized sexism or this stuff? Why can’t our Hill say something – anything – that helps me feel like something big will happen if she is president?

              It’s so frustrating.

              • I agree

                RachelD…I really like JRE and what he espouses. And,

                it is very complicated, very frustrating, and very tiring.

                BTW, I hope I didn’t sound arrogant or stupid in the advanced degree thing – I only mentioned it because fleshing out race, class, and gender can be so vexing.

                • Oh gosh no

                  Oops, GiGi, I put quotes around your degree to show I get it as a whole idea – just to say I hear you on what many of those ideas are. I’m sorry if it looked otherwise, sarcastic or similar.

                  Typing very early here :).

                  • Thanks

                    It didn’t really look otherwise, but I got insecure because I’m not overly fond of people who throw their degrees around as if it really means something!


              • I know!!!

                Iran, Iraq, the flag burning amendment. Why, why, why?! It’s so conflicting.

                Look, to step back and get a perspective, here we are, 2008, and the top three candidates for the Democratic Party are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, with Richardson close behind and folks like Biden and Dodd waiting in the wings. If that doesn’t at least give a sense of hope that we’re making progress, well, I don’t know what will.

        • 17 year old dd watched

          the debates, i didn’t.  although i was very interested to hear her perspective on dem debate.  she felt ABC’s coverage afterwards was terrible and didn’t at all hit on the important moments.  she thought JEdwards was a one note charley and obama kept repeating himself.  hillary?  she felt she only lost her cool once, yet the media pounced all over it. she noted that edwards lost his much more frequently.  lastly, she thought HRC was far more substantive in the debate.

          there we have it…from the mouths of a young one. as for sexism?  alive and well imo.

        • Today is awful, too

          the posts on the ‘crying’ video are just horrible. I watched it and felt like she had real emotion – not scripted, not histrionic – exhausted, passionate emotion. I think I’m going to take a break from daily kos for a while as the sexist bullshit is making me ill.

          • I hardly ever

            go to dKos anymore; since MT has come around, I get the sort of political discussion I need, without the messiness that dkos has. Not to criticise dkos necessarily; it fills its need admirably and I really respect the front page commentators – particularly Hunter, MeteorBlades and MissLaura. But the comments are too much for me. When I do go on dKos, I read just the frontpage stuff and never dip into comments.

      • Totally for Obama, but HATE the sexism displayed

        towards Hillary.  My husband and I had a long talk the other night on how unfairly vilified she is by the MSM, the blogosphere, and ordinary folks who are also sexist.  My father is blue collar and a lifelong Dem.  He’ll vote for anyone the Dems put on the ticket.  He talks about how his co-workers hate Hillary, but not because she is Hillary, but because she is a woman.  She has a great command of facts, is extremely accomplished, and clearly warm and funny when she lets her guard down.  I realize, however, why she keeps her guard up:  even Democrats call her a b*tch and other horribly sexist and demeaning names.  

        I like Obama, have known of him since the late ’90s, and have supported him since 2003.  I also like Hillary, but running on being “ready” is simply not sufficient.  I want to win in November and I am not confident, based on feedback from family and friends residing in two Midwestern swing states, that she can win a general election.  Alas, I think we women here still have a long, steep road to climb.  My contribution to make that trip a little less arduous for my daughter and her friends is to be as vigilant as I can and challenge sexism with my son and the men in my life.  To borrow from Hillary, it really takes families and villages to raise a(n enlightened) child.

        • See, I like the idea

          of “ready” and experience.  We already had a learn on the job type president and I really do feel like she’d hit the ground running.  

          On electability… we’ve actually run into a few Republicans around here who said they’d vote for her just because they miss the 90’s economy.  I guess they feel she’d be like Bill in some way.  Months ago, I recall a discussion on this very site when I was lukewarm about Hillary… a few posted that their Republican relatives would vote for her.  

          • Me too

            I do too, I am supporting Hillary now because I really believe she is the most ready to take on the job.  I love Obama and Edwards too, but I really don’t think they have the experience she has.  

            She’s been a senator for eight years, has worked with the Repubs, been on the armed service committee.  And yes, being First Lady for eight years is experience, big time.  Up front experience on how things get done in the White House.  

            And as much as we talk about all of these power spouses (EE, Michelle Obama), isn’t Bill the ultimate power spouse?  I would love to have him back in the White House too and although he would be in a supportive role, what a great person to have in a supportive role.

            • experience isn’t everything

              I’m not against Hillary Clinton, but in terms of experience, who would you rather have had of the choice in the 1960 election – JFK or Nixon?! Nixon certainly had the experience factor …

        • Just an FYI

          My real name is Hillary,so my userid is not an indication of who I am ultimately supporting.

          I’m honestly on the fence at this point, and since my state’s primary is likely meaningless, I can stay there!

          • Mine as well

            Ohio’s primary isn’t until March 5th.  I’m guessing it’ll all be decided by then like it was 4 years ago, unfortunately.  

    • Well…

      maybe I’m a sexist, but I did actually think Hillary seemed somewhat angry and defensive.  She comes across better to me when she laughs stuff off than when she gets fired up.

      I am sort of turned off by her, I guess.  I get the feeling from her that she was certain she’d be the front-runner and is offended that anyone else, particularly anyone younger and less experienced, is now leading.

      It’s purely a style point, of course, but since for the most part they are all for more or less the same policies (with a bit of tinkering around the edges) what the debate ends up being about, really, is personal style and history.

    • I thought HC came across well

      There is a whole lot of hate for her even on the left, and it’s too bad. She’s incredibly smart, well-spoken, analytical,  and determined. She’s make an awesome president, I think. The reason she comes across as guarded is because she has to be– people from the left and right pounce all over anything and everything she says. She’s been villified and cut down for the past fifteen years, at least–I’d be guarded as well. Also, she’s a Scorpio: naturally guarded, strategic, vengeful. I wouldn’t mind a vengeful president right now, to tell you the truth. I like Obama too but Clinton came across as stronger, like she’s going to prevail no matter what, in a most methodical, canny way. Sometimes Obama seems like he’s too ready to make nicety-nice, and I wonder if he’s substantial enough. I wonder how he’d stand up to the slings and arrows, since so far he’s had nothing but love.

      I think any of the candidates would make a great president. I enjoyed watching the debate. Didn’t watch the Repub debate since I find I am actually too embarassed for them to keep my eyes open.

      • Yeah, that nicety-nice thing

        Now, I like nicety-nice in 99% of life’s situations. But what exactly about the last 8 years says nicety-nice, asks this Scorpio Mars.

        Interesting, btw, about Hillary being Scorpio. Scorpios make most people uncomfortable unless it’s tempered by something more approachable. My money is on a strong Libra placement for Obama, since everybody seems to like him. Make that a Leo-Libra combo of some kind. (Bill Clinton is Leo).

        • He’s a Leo

          Just looked it up. August 4. I dated a Leo for a time (I’m a Scorp). He was (and is) a great organizer, very charismatic, gets people involved. Downside: has to be the center of attention all the time and has trouble sharing/giving credit. Perhaps loves power and being the center of attention more than his principles?

          I’d love to read an astrological analysis of the candidates, just for fun!

          • My husband

            That’s my husband’s birthday.  And let me tell you, he in no way wishes to be the center of attention at all times!  The guy plays bass, for cryin’ out loud!

            I think my husband is charismatic, and he is the one who holds his band together, but the rest doesn’t fit him at all.

            • Interesting

              My mom is an Aug 6th Leo and she is definitely the glue  that holds the family together.  However, she would be mortified to be the center of attention.  She is very approachable and nice to a fault though.

  5. Interesting seeing the two debates back to back

    My big take-away was that even with their (ahem) “differences,” the Democrats were able to make their points without all the rancor and vitriol and constant interrupting displayed by the Republicans. The Dems were far more respectful by comparison. It made me proud to be a Democrat.

    I also agree that Edwards was the clear winner.

    Richardson is so capable and likeable–it did seem like he was gunning for Veep, didn’t it?

  6. Back to Elisa on her support for

    Richardson.  I don’t know if you are aware, but he has a fairly long and known rep for sexual harassment and discrimination.  He is also reported to be physically abusive of staff.  I really liked his comments in the ABC debate, but I can’t get the stories I’ve heard of him out of my mind.  I’m afraid that this could poison the well with women if he is on the ticket.  

    • I have this kind of problem with Bloomberg

      I’d never be comfortable supporting Bloomberg because of his history of problems in discrimination and harassment at Bloomberg.
      Haven’t heard of this problem with Richardson, but I’ll have to research.

    • Really??

      I couldn’t find anything online about it. I asked around and it sounds like they are rumors at this point. Do you have a source for this?


    In America, it seems that whoever wins the last primary is the frontrunner the next time.  Are that many Americans in a herd mentality?  I appears so.

    If there’s anything worse than those who stick by their candidate, no matter what, it’s those who just switch, depending on what Iowa or NH says.  Astonishing.

    Americans seem to NEED to be a WINNER!

    I guess I am madder than usual, because my primary has always been late in the game, and I had no choices.  I hope this year it is different.  I have a brain, and don’t need Iowa, or NH, or SC to tell me who to vote for.

    • people

      People like to support a winner, that is for sure.  I think the media really fuels it.  The Obama love going on this weekend on the media was nauseating.  Ok, he won Iowa, got it.  But they perpetuate into something so big that he won’t even be able to live up to it at this point.

      • Yes

        And they get worse every day.  This morning, they were saying he spoke like JFK.  In a month, what will they say, that he sounds like Jesus?  Oops!  Didn’t they already say he was a Hadrassa (sp?) member, named Hussein?

        I am rolling my eyes.  It was horrid today to watch the MSM.  I have been much more tranquil since I haven’t watched lately.

  8. I watched the repeat on CNN last night

    Though I only caught the Dems. I agree that Edwards seemed strongest, but I also don’t think anyone blew it. I am just so thrilled with the candidates we have! There were a few personal snipes, but nothing that overshadowed the discussion of the issues. They all came across as very intelligent and highly prepared for everything. Given how run down they should all be with the non-stop campaigning between Iowa and NH, I was doubly impressed with how alert they all seemed!

    I lean towards Obama at this point – started feeling that way about a month ago. But, I don’t hate anyone and will gladly support any of them. Yes, I wish Hillary had not voted for Iraq and Iran and also would be more like Edwards in at least admitting the Iraw vote was a mistake. Without those things perhaps I would have been behind her 100% from the start.

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