Saturday, January 05, 2008

Live-blogging the Facebook debate
Squeezing her out

The debate has been substantive, but your blogstress has been a bit too weary to stay focused on the details. So instead, she'll play the MSM game of writing the sports narrative.

The strategery here seems united among the men: they want the broad out. Edwards seems to be hedging by not taking on Barack Obama, the party star, and Richardson seemed to cast his lot, as well, with the men. They'd all rather lose to a man than lose to a woman.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debate
Hillary fascinates

Hillary Clinton continues to fascinate. She can lull us to sleep with wonky policy descriptions, then suddenly lurch into an impassioned plea to be heard.

From Jonathan Cohn at The Plank:

was about to write an item suggesting that Hillary Clinton's angry response to John Edwards was going to become "the moment" of this debate, because the media -- which, regrettably, always focuses on theatrics more than substance -- would deem it evidence that she had lost control of her temper.


From Ezra Klein, herewith:
In the debate over health care mandates, rather than argue for his plan, or against Obama's, Edwards went after Hillary as a force "of the status quo" fighting those trying to bring about change. It backfired.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Likeable enough

When asked to respond to polling showing that people do not find her likable, Hillary made a mock-sad face and said, "It hurts my feelings." And immediately seemed human and likable. (Barack Obama, in an ungracious moment, said, not looking her in the eye, "You're likable enough, Hillary.") She reminded the audience that the American people last elected a president that "they would like to have a beer with." But then she went on to argue that she is an agent of change, and it felt flat until she said that being the first woman president would makes a pretty strong statement of change.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Triangulations

Obama tries to make John Edwards a compadre. Hillary tries to pull John Edwards to her side. Bill Richardson tries to make himself relevant by calling the other three uncivil.

That's because Hillary lost her cool after Edwards poked hard at her, by trying to squeeze her out of the discussion by counting himself as a change agent next to Obama, reminding viewers that he came in second in Iowa, next to Obama. In truth, he came in much closer to Hillary -- within one point -- than he did to Obama, with whom he had an 8-point spread.

This really ticked her off, prompting her to demand, rightfully, an opportunity to respond. But when she did, her irritation was apparent, something that could work just fine if she were a man, but she's not. And even for men, it's a risky course. Remember when Bob Dole demanded of a fellow Republican that he "stop lying about my record"?

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Ch-ch-ch-ch-change(s)

Charlie Gibson has asked Hillary Clinton to address why Barack Obama represents change. She just responded that the Associated Press wrote that Obama could have a pretty good debate with himself, having changed positions, she said, on health care. Obama says that the AP was quoting some of Hillary's people.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
How to respond to a nuclear attack on America

Everybody retaliates. Hillary goes after stateless terrorists in the nations that harbor them.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
The Democrats

Everybody seems really tired. Bill Richardson is advancing his simplistic and idiotic position that the U.S. should make Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf step aside, invoke a clause in the Pakistan constitution for a caretaker government, and call new elections.

Hillary Clinton gave a very smart answer about how to move with Pakistan with regard to following actionable intelligence to go after Osama bin Laden, reminding viewers that you can't lob missiles into Pakistan without considering the possibility of igniting a nuclear conflict in South Asia if India activates its arsenal.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Why not Obama?

Scott Spralding, the moderator from WMUR just asked the Republicans to explain why people should not vote for Barack Obama. More revealing than their answers so far is the very fact of the question; it would appear to anoint Obama as the frontrunner, even though WMUR's own poll shows him tied with Hillary Clinton.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Our grandparents got here; everybody else go home

That's pretty much the Romney plan. According to The Politico's Jonathan Martin, Romney's been dropping attack leaflets all over New Hampshire, going after both John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani on their immigration policies.

I hate to say it, but Rudy's sounding good on this -- talking about comprehensive immigration reform. McCain has the same plan. Romney is freaking out. Fred Thompson, in an attempt to come back from the dead, is playing prosecutor on this one, challenging Rudy, rhetorically making the point that, under Rudy's plan, undocumented immigrants would be "rewarded" for breaking the law by allowing them to stay in the country.

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Huckabee bares his teeth

Round one is over and Mike Huckabee has shown himself to be quite formidable, making short work of the hapless Mitt Romney. During one exchange, Romney got testy with Huckabee, telling Huckabee to let Romney describe his own policy postions, to which Huck responded, "Which one?"

Sphere: Related Content

Live-blogging the Facebook debates
Republicans on foreign policy

Ron Paul: Islamists attack us because we invade their countries.

Rudy Giuliani: Ground Zero; 9/11. I gave a $10 million check back to a Saudi prince who gave it to me at Ground Zero (WHERE 9/11 HAPPENED) because he [like Ron Paul] said America needed to change its foreign policy.

Sphere: Related Content