Democratic Presidential Debate
I was disappointed with the debate last night, it wasn't the rousing, confidence building show I was hoping it was going to be. Sharpton and Kucinich were basically the one note long shots that they are, Edwards struggled to distinguish himself from Kerry, and Kerry merely plodded along in a workable manner. Nothing really excited me.
Kucinich was a joke. He constantly attempted to get the other candidates to sign on to his policies, which he had to know they were not going to do. So he just ended up looking desperate. I like a lot of his policies, but the vast majority of Americans do not. He cannot win, and we have to win.
Sharpton was the comic relief, and he did get in some major zingers, however his constant reminders that he was just there to get delegates for the convention made him look like he is conceding the race.
Of course the real theme of the night was could Edwards present himself as a viable alternative to Kerry, and could he do it in such an amazing way that he would reverse the momentum of the process. Unfortunately I think he failed at that. In a very non-Edwards manner, he was not clear in his answers, and he often seemed to avoid answering the questions. In all fairness to Edwards, he was in a very difficult position. He has to give voters a reason to vote for him instead of Kerry, while simultaneously trying to not make Kerry look bad. It is an almost impossible line to walk, and he failed last night. I have been a supporter for Edwards, so I was disappointed, but unless he pulls out an amazing performance on Sunday's debate, he is done.
Kerry was much better than the last debate. He was willing to be nailed down on positions, which is very non-Kerry. He gave succinct well thought out responses, and I think he came off the winner in the debate. The best part of his performance though was his insistence that we not get dragged down into the Republican's agenda. His reminding the panel that Bush wants us to be talking about Gay marriage, when the real issues in our country are jobs and health care, was a brilliant stroke. The Republicans are desperately trying to start the culture war over the gay marriage issue, and unfortunately I think they are going to succeed, and the issue and the amendment are going to end up the major focus of this election, however the Dems shouldn't let them get there without a fight.
One final comment, Larry King. I think I can safely say that he should not be involved in these debates. He brought up inconsequential questions (what about an amendment to allow foreign born presidents) and made inappropriate comments (Isn't that just socialism Mr Kucinich?). I was unimpressed with his performance last night.