Sunday, January 06, 2008

Debates Goin' to the Dogs

If you had a dog in last night's ABC presidential candidates debate, you probably thought they decently defended their territory.

Although, if you support Fred Thompson you may well be more than pleased. The bar for him has been set so low when he bestirs himself to make salient points it has the same startling effect as watching your favorite basset hound talk. He had his best night.

If you are into truth telling, you would connect with Ron Paul's performance. Feisty. Making his points like a terrier on the postman's pantleg. Really, his slogan should be.... "It's the economy, stupid" which won't get much better until we pursue peace. And he's right. But most of the other GOP presidential candidates don't want to hear it and resort to ridicule to keep him out of the pack.

But, maybe ridicule would have been better than the ambushes Mitt Romney encountered. Snarly John McCain, cheap-shop Mike Huckabee and fast-talking Rudy Giuliani showed their ugly pack mentality, especially McCain. Snapping at Romney with bared fangs. Lowering themselves to personal attacks merely elevates Romney and exposes their mean streaks. Not very presidential. Their behavior may come back to bite them.

Not that the Democratic presidential candidates were all tail waggy and "Oh Boy.... It's Bacon"ish. Hillary Clinton so far forgot herself in response to a charge of being part of the old guard that she barked at John Edwards and Barack Obama like a threatened junk yard dog. But her trusty Saint Bernard, Bill Richardson came to the rescue, diffusing the dustup with a keg of humor... one of the few light moments of a long night.

All in all, nothing much new on the policy front was gleaned. Perhaps the best moments came when the candidates from both parties were on the stage together, the idea being that regardless of their differences they wanted what was best for the country.

Big doggy treats to Charles Gibson and ABC for the debate format, the best yet. Tonight FOX news will conduct a roundtable with the same GOP candidates as last night's debate, with one notable exception.... Ron Paul wasn't invited. Too bad. A debate needs a smart terrier.

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