Sunday, August 19, 2007

Democratic Dustup in Des Moines

It was , "Yea! Rah! Rah! _______" (fill in the blank) outside the Democratic presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, as the Democrats easily won the candidate-support "sign off" when compared to the tepid few who showed up two weeks ago for the GOP debate.

While Hillary Clinton continued her smooth, no mistakes performance, and Barak Obama "drew fire" from his rivals but held his own, several other candidates more than rose to the occasion.

Bill Richardson rekindled his flame, and had his best debate performance thus far. A memorable line, and one that set him apart on education, was just to scrap No Child Left Behind. Others just fiddled with Bush's failed education program at the edges.

John Edwards advocated powerfully for labor, and was unequivocal that he wouldn't "negotiate with lobbyists," but just take their power away. Right on!

Obama slyly sniped at Clinton, advocating that the country needs to break out of the red and blue-state patterns of the last 20 years.... and just in case you weren't paying attention..... he added it was a problem that predates the Bush administration.

Joe Biden was convincing on Iraq, and the other candidates thought so too, often referring to "Joe's" proposed plan. When all the candidates were asked if there was a time when they didn't tell the whole truth about an issue, the once-verbose Biden self-deprecatingly said that his problem "is saying too much about what I think."

Chris Dodd's impressive angle on neglected small farms was to have a Justice Department that deals with antitrust issues because that impacts across the board.... media, corporations and conglomerates that have accumulated too much power. Let's chant: "No more Gonzo! No more Gonzo!"

An ignored Dennis Kucinich's best line in response to a question on the candidates reliance on God to solve problems was, "I've been standing here praying to God you were going to call on me."

Mike Gravel showed up to throw bombs at his fellow candidates, but instead bombed.

(Drum roll)....The trophies go to: Found "fire in the belly": Richardson. Stepford delivery: Clinton. Clinton swipes: Obama. Iraq guru: Biden. Perry Mason persuasion: Edwards. Sincerely yesteryear: Dodd. Quixotic solutions: Kucinich. Biggest waste of debate time: Gravel.

Perhaps Obama's best defense of his relative new-comer status was, "Nobody had more experience than Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and many of the people on this stage that authorized this war." Sis-boom-bah!

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