Ok, so the big guy and I just watched the YouTube debate for the democratic presidential hopefuls. It was by far the most enjoyable debate I've ever watched, which says something--I've been a political junkie since I was in middle school. The format really changed things, some of the videos were really enjoyable, and I thought it was interesting to have the voters ask the questions to all the hopefuls, not just the final candidates in a single town hall meeting. Here are my thoughts (many of which are not politically insightful or relevant).
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn.
As with all of the candidates, I agree with him on some issues and some issues I disagree with him on some issues. That's about all I can say about him...I was just generally unimpressed with him. He didn't have much of a presence, he didn't seem to be really involved or passionate about any of the issues.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
Ok, I haven't ever really liked Hillary. I love Bill and I want him back, and I think that colored my perception of Hillary. In tonight's debate I saw her as a candidate who really wants change and who is passionate about it--not just a politician for the sake of politics. I thought she seemed the most presidential of all the candidates, which is impossible to define, I suppose. She seemed confident, poised, passionate, and competent. I also like that she's willing to go on the offensive, not just play nice. As long as she doesn't run a campaign based on attack ads I think that going on the offensive is a good thing.
Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.
Eh. I agreed with him a lot, but I just don't like him. He seems too much like a politician (no shit)--he seemed condescending to me. He talks about poverty all the time (and I agree that poverty is a huge problem that needs to be addressed), but he seems condescending even when he talks about the people he wants to help. He's too slick and doesn't seem genuine to me. He does get points for being honest about gay marriage--he said that he is against it personally because of his religious beliefs but that his religious beliefs will not impact his decisions as president. w00t for that--it reminds me of Gov. Kaine here in VA--he said publicly that he is against the death penalty but that he can't just take it away because he is a public servant, and he can only do his best to act on what the people want.
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.
I love Bill Richardson. I really, really do. He has the most experience with international relations (UN ambassador under Clinton, negotiated with North Korea and Iraq for hostage situations, negotiated ceasefire in Darfur in January of this year) and a fantastic environmental record, as well as federal and state government experience. Ok, I know that I'm showing who I really want to win, but I know he doesn't have a chance. He didn't get a lot of time in the debate, and I don't think he really got his points across--partly because of time restraints, partly because he just wasn't as clear and concise as he could have been. Still, I think he did pretty well.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del.
He seemed condescending to me. He kept talking about what he has done before, trying to emphasize all of his accomplishments (even belittling his opponents at times), but not being as clear about what he would do if he were elected. He just didn't seem to respect the others and didn't seem to be looking forward as much as he was looking back.
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio
Ahh...Kucinich. I have a soft spot for him. He doesn't have a chance, but I love that he says what he believes, doesn't pull punches, and is proud of being very liberal. I thought he did a good job of getting his message through and being forceful when needed during the debate.
Former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska
I was scared. He was so angry and incoherent...I have no idea what his position is on anything, but I know that he feels strongly about it. The big guy liked him, but I was just scared and confused.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
I like Obama better than Edwards. He does seem very young and he doesn't have the most experience, but I'm ok with that. I'm not sure if I prefer Obama or Hillary better--neither are my favorite, but I could deal with either of them...I think I lean towards Hillary right now, though. I never expected that.
Best quote of the debate:
"What I like best about Dennis Kucinich is his wife."
--Sen. Biden, when asked to say one good thing and one bad thing about the candidate to his left (Kucinich)
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