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Debate Rebate: Democratic Debate the Morning After

The congenial tone of last night's debate genuinely knocked my socks off. Thanks for tuning in with me! While I'm still undecided, there was one clear winner: the Democratic Party.

Here's the exchange that really got me thinking: the debate about Iraq. Now, I don't hold Hillary's tortured authorization vote against her, but I found Barack's stance completely compelling. During a monumentally difficult time he had the clarity of judgment to see the folly of starting an unprovoked war, and the leadership to publicly take an unpopular position. Last night he one upped Clinton's standard of "being ready on day one" to an even more important qualification, being right on day one.

Overall I thought Hillary had a wildly strong night. She was likable, knowledgeable, and turned troublesome subjects — like the Bush and Clinton dynasties — into light moments. But, did anyone else feel like Barack convinced them that good judgment is just as important as experience, if not more?

With only a few days before Super Tuesday, I need to make up my mind — fast! Anyone else out there undecided? Anyone want to persuade me one way or the other?

And if you want to read the GOP's playful response to the debate,


Republican National Committee issued its own set of mock Academy Awards. Included among them:

Actor in a Leading Role: Barack Obama, for his performance as Clinton's "friend" after snubbing her three days earlier.

Actress in a Leading Role: Hillary Clinton for her performance in reaching out her hand "in friendship and unity" for three days.

Writing (adaptation of a screenplay): Hillary Clinton for rewriting her record.

Director: John Edwards for dictating the first 15 minutes.

Cinematography: CNN for capturing Hollywood's love of the Democratic candidates.


Join The Conversation
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
I don't believe in the American system of voting - it's vastly flawed, considered inferior and more corrupt than some developing nations in the world by voting inspectors. However, disenfranchisement and the illusion of democracy aside, Clinton and Obama on the same ticket!!!??? Kiss this election goodbye. I'm not a Democrat, I find them usually to be just as repugnant as the Republicans, but I plan on voting for Obama if I'm able to in the final election, and from all my understanding, it seems as though Edwards would jump onto his ticket. Hillary Clinton could only alienate the entire South from going Dem for Obama if she were on his ticket - after tomorrow, I think those results will be abundantly clear. Of course, this is all my opinion, and I'm not trying to start an argument up about it. I'd much rather get PM's asking me why I think this country is far from a democracy - that, I will answer.
rivrchild rivrchild 9 years
I've heard people with doubts that Hillary would accept being VP for President Obama, and I can see their point. I think a Clinton-Obama ticket would be more likely, but I guess it all depends on who wins the candidacy first. I hope that if he gets it, that she won't be too proud to deny a VP position under him. I mean talk about really making history.
ktacce ktacce 9 years
I thought the same thing rivrchild! I'm thinking it'll be Obama Prez, Clinton VP, esp since obama made that complimentary comment about being friends with Hillary before and after... And yes, all those small gestures. I live in DC but sadly know no one in either of the camps (I had a friend who did press for Edwards, alas, it's over) or I'd wring them for gossip and share! ;)
rivrchild rivrchild 9 years
I agree ktpolarbear about a Clinton/Obama ticket. And the way they answered that last question of the debate makes me think that it might just happen. In fact, the overall friendly flavor of the debate is another clue that might be their plan. Did anyone take note of how Obama put a hand on Clinton's back/chair to help her up at the end of the debate? Followed by the near embrace and what looked like a very jovial exchange of words? I know they are small gestures, but I think their body language was quite telling.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
That's awesome, love the response. I agree that it is the insurance companies that need to be controlled, but I was talking about a visit to the Dr. for someone without insurance. My sister does not have insurance, b/c she let hers lapse. She has serveral medical conditions and can not find affordable/adequete coverage now. When she goes to the general dr. her office visit alone can run anywhere from 80.00 to 200.00 depending on what area of town she is in, and of course that does not include any labs or "add-ons". And obviously a specialist is even more costly. Yes, it seemed Obama's decleration that he would broadcast negotiations on C-span was a big hit. But the truth is most people will not watch it A) b/c most of them will be at work and B) the rest of them just don't care, also I think it was mostly intended as a digg to Clinton.
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
PS: Obama scored big points with a lot of people following the healthcare plans and whatnot with his pledge to broadcast negotiations on C-Span Granted, not too many people tune in to C-Span, but the information will be available. Kind of like voting -- if you don't vote, don't complain. If you don't tune in, then don't complain. and... what about the real possibility of Bill Clinton as a Supreme Court Justice? He's a smart guy, but that's just not anything I'm ready for. I'm pretty sure Taft was the last President to also serve on the Supreme Court (but I think he held a tri-fecta -- I think he served in all three branches of government)
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
Um, time out. While a visit to the family doctor might show up on a bill as $200.00, the reality is that the health-insurance companies will only pay a fraction of that. If your co-pay is $20, then your insurance company probably pays about $40 for the visit, and the doctor is making $60 total. The money is going to the fat cats who own the stock in the private insurance companies (which, funny thing, have also started moving in on government contracts ever since HMO-style plans were approved as part of state-Medicaid plans) Check out KevinMD -- it's a medical blog that covers tons of issues, but it shouldn't be hard to find a post referencing an article or blog about the death of the family practitioner. It's virtually impossible for many of them to pay rent, malpractice insurance, support staff salaries, monthly fees for their accounting systems, etc. One of the biggest problems is the current reimbursement system. Private insurance companies base their rates on Medicare/Medicaid rates. Medicaid and Medicare base their rates on private insurance rates. Additionally, Medicaid and Medicare (well, Medicaid especially, but Medicare to some degree as well) are required by law to consider what would be "adequate" reimbursement for a HOSPITAL. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but the reality is that hospitals have funds other than the reimbursement they receive from each patient to cover their overhead. And, if a hospital sees a "disproportionate share" of Medicaid patients, it gets extra money to help cover the costs. The system currently favors quantity over quality -- the family doctor would probably love to spend more time with you and catch up on how you and the rest of your family have been doing -- but the reality is that they cannot afford to do that anymore. I could go on for days (literally) -- but I'll stop here. If you're interested in digging deeper into some of this, I have countless journal articles and references that I'm happy to share.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Exactly! And it's my humble opinion that Obama will lower the costs, and also that he has less *friends* in Washington - and that's a good thing when it comes to tackling the drug industry and their lobbyist.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
I agree with you ReGinaMaRie119, healthcare is on my priority list too. I am fortunate enough to have always had health insurance, but I know so many people who have not. The problem in the USA is that the medical profession is treated as an open market business. Medical services should be capped. It should not cost 200.00 for an office visit to your family dr. the best way to help people is not to mandate that they buy unaffordable insurance, but to put caps on the industry. I worked for a spinal implant company, and i know first hand how these things work through the system. It is ridiculous, and a gold mine for people inside. The same product that we sell her in the USA for $1,200 is sold in France for $200.00. It is not that it is cheaper to make, it's because France does not allow thier medical proffessionals to abuse the sick.
I was looking forward to voting for Edwards in our primary, which happens to fall WAY late in March. Unfortch, with him out, I'm completely undecided. I'll have to watch closely for the next few weeks, because I keep going back and forth on who I want as the nomination. I will most def support either one of them that gets the Democratic Nomination. Either one of these Democrats would be far more beneficial to our country than any of the Republicans involved.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
hmm, I just read the transcript of the whole debate and I agree that Obama seemed to come across a litte bit stronger than Clinton. But I also noticed that Obama took shots at Clinton several times that she did not reciprocrate. Now, i know she recently said that she was not going to run a campaign of taking shots, but truthfully it is was sits in our minds. If hear the negative things about Clinton from Obama and then nothing negative about Obama, we assume that there must not be anyhting. It is a mistake of the Clinton campaign that can be easily looked in terms of past elections. The one who refuses to play dirty ALWAYS loses. It is just the way we hear things that sets up our minds. They are both great and I was really excited to see that they both indirectly said "yes" they would consider each other on thier short list for VP! What a fantastic ticket that would be!
RobinSparkles RobinSparkles 9 years
I'm still undecided, but definitely backing the Democrats over the Republicans. The debate last night didn't really help make my decision either, as it was mostly a repeat of where they stand on the issues. The healthcare issue is something I worry about though, as I agree that everyone should have insurance, but don't agree that it should be mandated. I live in Mass. and had a turbulent year with my own insurance situation (leaving my full-time job, working part-time over the summer, and then attending grad school in the fall). I had insurance most of the time (through Cobra and my school), but my reasoning wasn't because it was mandated through the gov't. I simply wanted to be covered, and there was even a month where I wasn't. The penalty for not having insurance was cheaper than what I was paying for my Cobra coverage, so it wasn't much of a deterrent. I'm more concerned with making healthcare affordable for everyone, rather than mandating insurance, but I realize that's a larger task than any candidate can effectively take on at this point . . . Whew, sorry for my healthcare rant, but it's one of the areas that's keeping me on the fence.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
There's been endorsements left and right, and lately most has gone to Obama. The National Republican Party gave this statement as a response to one in particular today: “It’s no surprise would endorse the newly crowned ‘most liberal’ member of the Senate. Obama may claim to unite the country, but he’s only uniting the extreme-left wing of the Democratic Party,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican committee. He added, “Considering how was originally founded to defend the Clintons, this must be a blow to Senator Clinton. Coming after the Kennedy and Kerry endorsements, today’s news begs the question: Why are those most familiar with Clinton’s record rejecting her?” I think it gives a taste of what's ahead.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I agree with Jill, great comment. I think that covers the overall feeling of most republicans. I know in my years of being able to vote I never had to look at that way, or had that be the reason why I lean a certain way. I can tell you want thing, this election has definitely changed my thought process as well as the party I side with. This election is also the first where Ive a seen a such a remarkable difference of opinions with in a party, its refreshing that it is not really politics as usual. All I can say is the may the best candidate win.
mommie mommie 9 years
I watched the first part of the debate and I came away clearly feeling that Hillary had a better menu of experiences that would do her well as President. Besides, the men have screwed things up for so long, lets give the women a chance. Its going to be a huge deal to clean up the mess no matter which one of these two win. Nothing new will get done until the old mess is addressed and that could take the whole first term. However, no matter which one it is I'm voting Democratic.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I agree with Jillness and what juju wrote. Just because she says she's got authority on the issue doesn't mean that one should stop asking questions. She keeps repeating that it will cover everyone but she dodges the point of penalization for those who can't afford it, each and every time. She says she will lower the costs but obviously not as much as Obama(she would be quick to make that point if it was so), and with the rates being so incredible high it would still not be affordable for everyone. She did not go into details on health care, Obama did. He asked her how she planned to execute this; by fines if you don't pay , by taking it forcefully out of someones paycheck, or other methods. She smiled, and said; we will cover everyone. Pause. And she kept on saying that it was the right way for the democratic party to go, to cover everyone. But not HOW. It all sounds nice, but people I know in Massachusetts are dead against it, and it is the system that Mitt Romney is so hated for so I don't know if that's the best idea for a democratic health care system.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I think Hilary's healthcare plan is one of her weak points. There is no way that moderates will vote for her plan that makes health insurance manditory. As Juju said on another thread, Massachusetts already tried that position: "people in Massachusetts were having difficulty with the mandatory insurance, and that people who couldn't afford the government's plan were fined, and thus in an even worse financial sitution than they started and STILL don't have health care. I spoke to a friend who just moved here in November from Mass., and she said that for her income bracket (she was a waitress right out of college) her mandatory insurance was $400 a month, and she was glad that she moved because she wouldn't have been able to afford it. Hillary's plan is just like Mass., and it won't work!!"
dannysf dannysf 9 years
I, admittedly, only watched the first part about health care. And, full disclosure, I'm a Hillary supporter. But, I don't think you can argue Hillary's particular authority on that topic. She clearly stated her opinion and how we'd get there. Obama's plan seems less thought out. I will say, I'd be happy with either candidate. But, for now, Team Clinton!
urple urple 9 years
So hard to choose... they are both great candidates but I still want to know more. From the debates alone, Hillary looks really strong to me in just the way that she is very sure and confident of what she is saying. Barack doesn't seem as confident when he speaks. But that just could be nerves....
gendervieve gendervieve 9 years
Ok...first of all...Obama bought PART of an adjacent property from the guy in CHI. I really dont see that as crisis in terms of national you recall the Clinton Whitewater scandal that was a wee bit bigger? Or know that Mrs. Clinton was a paid (to the tune of $100,000 in earnings) on the Board of Directors for Wal-Mart? NO ONE in politics anymore is clean completely, from the mere fact the vast networking and fundraising and political deals that occur mean inevitably one or two bad seeds end up getting in the fray marginally. BUT the point, which Obama made last night, is who is more willing to make the tough stands from the beginning? Someone who said no to the Iraq invasion on totally false and inadequate information or someone that earned $100,000 from Wal Mart and then a decade later tried to say it is a bad thing? You decide. The BIGGER point, IMO, is who will be more able to run against McCain. They are both quite adept at their knowledge on the various issues and ability to serve as President. However, Obama is much more capable of pulling in NEW VOTERS AND REPUBLICANS to vote for him, whereas there are a significant number of Democrats that would rather vote McCain and she would be hard pressed to get as many independents or Republicans (who largely dont like the Clintons, period) to vote for her. Time for CHANGE! If you're looking for a couple of excellent articles the New York Times (which endorsed CLinton, btw) a search for Billary (and it discusses Bill's role in the election and beyond) and do another search for an article on the Bush and Clinton Dynasty. Our founding fathers set a two-term limit for a reason, and regardless of Mrs. Clinton's capabilities, what message would we be sending subsequent generations by electing her? I SERIOUSLY doubt Bill would not play a large factor in her Presidency. The current Newsweek issue has an article about how he's getting out of hand.
piper23 piper23 9 years
If you're using shady dealings as an excuse not to vote for Obama, then you might want to check out Hillary's history of shady dealings as well. She is still dealing with Sandy Berger at least in an advisory capacity. Then there's Norman Hsu. And this is just recently. I'm not promoting either one but no one has a spotless record.
Eppie22 Eppie22 9 years
Great posting Liberty!
sarabel sarabel 9 years
I attended the debate last night and was undecided going in. I left the debate with a vote cast for Hillary. Obama did not live up to his hype. He came off nervous and not as confident. Overall they're so close on the issues. It's great that he can see he wouldn't have voted if he were in office but it's a hypothetical. Asking someone to re-write the past is unrealistic. His comment on doing "what's right" on day one fell flat with me. It was very interesting to see them in action. Wolf was a jerk though. He was horrible and the question asked by one of Obama's top advisors left the worst taste in my mouth. If the questions are seeded by the opponent's camp it's not helping anyone.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
The whole dealings with the slumlord thing is pretty ridiculous.. everyone should check what actually is true about that story, before they make any decisions based upon it. Or, maybe check out the new story about Bill Clinton's fundraising for charity, and it's irregularities.
ALSW ALSW 9 years
I'm with TheCityGirl - I really haven't made up my mind just yet, but I'm certainly more inclined to vote for whomever the democratic candidate is. I was surprised by last night's congenial tone as well!
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