Who’s your horse?

Did y’all act like good little Americans and watch the debate last night? It was ridiculously overcrowded (seriously! Eight candidates and only 90 minutes?), but overall I found it to be interesting and in some cases enlightening.

Here’s how I would have ranked the candidates before the debate:

1. Edwards/Clinton (I’m having a really hard time picking between them)

3. Obama

4. Richardson

And the rest, in no particular order (mostly because I knew little about them):

Dodd

Kucinich

Biden

Gravel

Here are some of my observations about the candidates:

Richardson: Wow, he really tanked during the course of this debate. I have always liked Bill Richardson because I think he’s an amazing diplomat and generally a respectable statesman, but I thought it came off as really desperate and arrogant in this debate. It really REALLY bothered me that he kept going over on his time limit, in a couple of cases making it to where the other candidates couldn’t even answer the question. I thought his skirting of the Gonzales issue (he said he hadn’t called for his resignation because he was Hispanic) was poorly done, and none of his answers really impressed me that much

Dodd: Came off as being the most politicky of all the candidates (which is a tough act in this crowd!), and also had the most canned answers of all the participants. Good ideas on some counts, but overall I wasn’t impressed

Edwards: If anyone “won” the debate I would say it was him. He came off as smart, tough, charming, and honest. I thought he made some really good points with his “Two Americas” campaign, and the fact that trust needs to be brought back to the White House. He also had the best quote of the evening with: “We ought to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war.” YES!

Biden: Blown away by Biden. Without a doubt, he had the highest gain in my head from this debate. I knew almost nothing of him before the event, and he really impressed the hell out of me. I thought he came off as exceedingly capable, very trustworthy and dependable, and totally electable. I can’t remember what in particular he said that made me like him so much, but I was really satisfied after all of his answers.

Obama: Yeah, he’s great. Yeah he charming and full of hope and yadda yadda yadda. I just can’t get excited about Obama. He did well, I think, but didn’t do anything to raise my opinion of him.

Clinton: I think she did a terrific job and came off as being tougher than usual, which is remarkable. I love Hilary Clinton, really I do, but I can’t decided if she’s my candidate or not. This debate was somewhat odd, because sometimes she came off as wooden, and sometimes she came off as utterly human, like with the VA Tech answer. I trust her.

Kucinich: Yawn!

Gravel: You’re are nutbag! Definitely the Kooky old man in the corner over there (or what was it he said he felt like, the “potted plant?”). I love that he’s passionate, but honestly, politicians need to learn to control the passion. He made some good points, certainly, but I don’t think he did much for his campaign.

After the debate, here’s how I rank the candidates:

1. Edwards

2. Biden

3. Clinton

4. Obama

5. Dodd

6. Kucinich

7. Richardson

8. Gravel

Highest gain was obviously for Biden, who’ll I’ll be watching much more closely from now on. It’s still WAY to early for me to choose my candidate, and I think they all need to prove themselves further, but he really made me start thinking outside of the CLINTON/OBAMA/EDWARDS maelstrom. Sadly, I doubt we’ll have a candidate that isn’t one of those three, just because they have hijacked the spotlight.

Not that it is a bad thing, because I think all three of those candidates would make excellent presidents, but it just seems undemocratic to have it already laid out in front of us SO FAR before an election.

Y’all don’t be afraid to back one of the little guys. There is still time.

Now. If you watched the debate (or hell, even if you didn’t) tell me what you’re thinking. Did anyone impress you? Did anyone crash and burn for you? Who do you like? TALK TO ME!

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Teresa on April 27, 2007 at 9:17 am

    I have to confess I didn’t watch the debates, and actually slept through most of them, though from your analysis, it sounds like it really wouldn’t have changed any of my opinions of anyone.
    My thoughts on the candidates (for what it’s worth):
    -Edwards is by far and away my favorite, $400 haircuts and all! He’s truly liberal and progressive, and I pretty much adore his Two Americas thing. Not only do I like his politics, but he and his wife are adorable, and he’s very charismatic and intelligent, which we really need after 8 years of the buffoon-in-chief.
    -I really dislike Clinton. She’s far too center-right for me, and too much of what she says just sounds like political evasion shit. As much as I love the idea of having a female president, she’s too much of a Lieberman “Democrat” for me. Not to mention that of all the candidates, she’s really the only one who prompts a viscerally, rabidly negative reaction in Republicans; they can dislike the rest of the candidates, but Clinton’s the only one who really makes people start frothing at the mouth in opposition.
    -Like you, I really can’t get excited about Obama. He’s more liberal than Clinton, which I like, but his campaign seems like more style and flash than substance (though I understand that he’s trying to change that). And maybe this is just me being my old contrary self, refusing to get excited over the things that excite all those “normal” people.
    -As far as the other candidates, I really don’t know that much about any of them, and I really don’t think any of them stands much of a chance. I like to be an idealist, but there’s really only so long I can keep that up…
    But yeah, my few cents. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Adam C on April 27, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I have to admit, Edwards looked nice and I guess “won” the debate, but more surprising to me was Hillary’s lack of personality. I want to like her as a candidate (her ideas are great), and I think she’s been a great force in Washington, but its just so hard to like her past that…she just seems so blah all the time, and we need a leader.

    I’m not one to drink the kool-aid, but if you’re looking for some inspiration from Obama, check out the speech he gave to the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs a few days ago. Really made me feel good about him as a realistic, not just exciting, candidate.

    And Biden is a great, great speaker. I heard him on the radio a few months ago, and swore I would vote for him if Obama didn’t get into the race. Oh well….

    Reply

  3. My fiance is from Delaware, and he has always been a big fan of Biden. Although I think it’s unlikely that Biden will gain the nomination, he is a man with interesting ideas and lots of foreign policy experience. I was thinking that if we were to be blessed with a democrat as the next president, it would be an awesome move to pick Biden as the secretary of state. Plus, I believe Delaware has a democratic governor, who would appoint a democrat to replace him, so they wouldn’t have to risk losing the senate if he gave up his seat.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Ezra on April 27, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    So you liked Edwards, aka the guy who made 40 million dollars suing people over something that actually became more of a problem after he made all that money, and which people can’t pay for anymore because insurance companies had to raise their premiums, leading to another black mark on our health care system. Yeah, he’s a great man.

    And Hillary is just mean. She gets upset, and doesn’t know how to be human. She is here on someone else’s coattails.

    I have a favorite, but anyone other than those two would be good for the country. Voting for them is the same as voting for a Republican who is just in politics for the sake of politics. At least the other people truly care about something other than their own careers.

    Reply

  5. The problem with Biden is that he was one of the engineers behind the GOP efforts last year to basically make it impossible for private citizens to declare bankruptcy. He was supportive of the war in Iraq from the beginning, agreeing with Bush that Saddam “had to go.” He also continues to support appropriations bills for the war, despite saying how the strategy needs to change (a lot of good that will do the overall situation, we all know how much Bush loves hearing advice from members of the opposition). He also ridiculed former UN weapons inspector Scott Ridder before the Iraq war, saying that the decision to go to war was “above your pay grade.”

    Bottom line: Biden is a “sensible liberal” in the mold of Joe Lieberman, who is more than willing to talk to us about how fucked up the war in Iraq and the domestic situation here at home is, while conveniently neglecting to mention how he was not only dead wrong from the very beginning, but actively helped get us to where we are today.

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  6. Also, I think you miss the point Ezra, and are taking a cheap shot at John Edwards for being one of those scuzzy “trial lawyers” the Republicans bitch so much about, and yet surround themselves with every time an election rolls around and they need to challenge the legitimacy of the ballots. John Edwards represented a 9 year old girl who literally had her intestines sucked out by a pool drain, the makers of which had failed to install warning labels on their product despite 12 prior lawsuits.

    If you want to complain that suing doctors raises insurance premiums and that makes medical care more expensive in general, the key is not to stop suing doctors and companies that screw up and/or are negligent, but rather to institute universal health care coverage so everyone can afford it, or pass laws preventing insurance companies from jacking up premiums excessively.

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  7. Sorry Taylor, I didn’t watch either. I have YOU to be my pundit, but Here’s my gut feeling at present. I have nothing against Hillary or Obama, however, and it’s a big however, we are in a political struggle with the Republican right, and these two have too much “baggage”: Hillary, because of her gender, her relation to Bill, and some people just don’t LIKE her, and Obama because of the race thing. That leaves the rest of the “white guys” which maybe, just maybe, might lure a fence-sitting Republican or other undecided. Do you really want 4 more years of rabid Republican rabble running roughshod over our beloved our republic? We’re just out of the starting gate. There’s a long track ahead.

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  8. I agree. Edwards is the safe bet, and the most “electable” of the candidates, in my opinion. There are too many reasons for too many people not to vote Obama or Hillary, even if that makes me sound like a bad progressive. (I’ve never been a Hillary fan though. Not quite as Liebermany as Lieberman, but she’s Liening in that direction.)

    Of course, given that there’s another eighteen months until the election, the administration could very well screw up enough that any Dem is an electable Dem. They’re heading towards that, anyway. (Knock on wood.)

    Reply

  9. Posted by Ezra on April 27, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    I was referring to the cerebral palsy case. He sued a doctor for negligence, even though the science showed it wasn’t really the doctor’s fault. But he was a smarter lawyer than the jurors. Then a lot of similar cases popped up all through the region because lawyers figured they could get a quick paycheck. There is no less cerebral palsy in the region today than there was a decade ago, but the insurance is more expensive. Basically meaning that people get a lower standard of care than before this happened.

    I will agree that laws should be put in place to limit the power of insurancee companies. They are the culprits in the vast majority of our health care problems. Next time you go to a doctor ask him how often a doctor has to perform procedures that cost more than the insurance carrier is going to reimburse for. Doctors are routinely doing procedures because they have to, even though the insurance won’t cover the procedure let alone the doctor’s time. You’re probably thinking that all doctors are rich and they can afford a paycut, but doctors also have 9-11 years of training minimum. An insurance exective makes ten times what a doctor makes.

    Universal health care is fantastic from the standpoint of being able to help everyone, which I’m very much for. But it tends to lower the overall quality of doctors. When was the last time you heard someone choose to go get a procedure in Canada because of the great doctors? Our doctors are the envy of the entire world, and it’s because there is competition.

    For the record, my family is a bunch of lawyers. My wife works in a lawfirm that deals primarily in medical malpractice. And, I am going to medical school.

    Reply

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