Final Thoughts: Who Won The Nevada Debate?

Headlines after the debate: Clinton Sparkles in Vegas Debate (Guardian); Hillary Makes a Recovery in Las Vegas Debate (CNN); Hillary Shows She Can Take a Punch in Vegas Debate (San Francisco Chronicle); Clinton Calls and Raises in Vegas Debate (CBS News); Hillary Takes Aggressive Tack Against Rivals (International Herald Tribune); Clinton Swings Back Against Rivals (Boston Globe); Hillary Hits Back (Washington Post). After Rough Few Weeks, Hillary Clinton Gives Strong Debate Performance (ABC News).

Obama falters Over Illegal Immigrants (New York Sun); MSNBC: "Richardson, btw, had one of his better performances, possibly his best. Dodd didn't get a lot of time but when he did speak, he seemed to be on message."

My thoughts on the debate:

Winners: Hillary, Dodd, Richardson.

Waffler: Obama playing slip and slide on drivers' licenses for the undocumented. Four chances and wouldn't answer the question.

Least likely to have gained new support: Edwards. But he gave a great answer in response to a question from the audience on racial profiling. Said when he is President, there will be no racial profiling, no illegal spying, no Guantanamo, no torture.

Biden: Displayed a sense of humor, it still doesn't make up for his bad position on issues, particularly on crime. Sample comment: People are afraid their kids are going to run into a drug dealer on the way to school.

More --and a poll -- below the Fold

Kucinich: A little too angry tonight, but deserves praise for taking on Wolf for calling the undocumented "illegal." Best line on why he was the only one who voted against the Patriot Act: "Because I read it."

Favorite political line: Hillary saying she understands they're attacking her not because she's a woman but because she's ahead.

Favorite issue answer: Bill Richardson on drivers' licenses for the undocumented, "I've done it." "We should stop demonizing immigrants."

Who do you think won? Reminder: There are no losers because every one of these Democrats are better than the alternatives Republicans are offering. (Poll Below).

< Democrats Nevada Debate: Open Thread | An Unintended Consequences Case With Racial Overtones >


Who Run the Dems Debate ?
Hillary Clinton 38%
Barack Obama 23%
John Edwards 3%
Bill Richardson 3%
Chris Dodd 3%
Dennis Kucinich 15%
Joe Biden 11%

Votes: 26
Results | Other Polls
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  • Display: Sort:
    DA in LA (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by DA in LA on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:40:17 AM EST
    Well, I thought Hillary did well, same with Obama.  Edwards offered the same and as a guy looking up he has a tough hill to climb.  I still like Dodd.

    One thing really, really bothered me.  The crowd booing Edwards and Obama for going after Hillary, but strangely not when Hillary attacked.  That kind of thing rubs me the wrong way because it has a Bush feel to it.

    This debate did nothing to change my opinion on the candidates, which is the most important thing.

    Did the Leftie Meanies (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:04:25 AM EST
    actually boo Edwards??

    How nasty.


    Democratic Voters lost in the debate (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by pioneer111 on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 02:59:18 PM EST
    Or what debate?  This was like the others, a circus contrived by the media and the candidates have to figure out the game to entertain us.  

    When were they really given a chance to explain policies and defend them.  

    This is an abomination and we should be screaming to end debates like this and beg the League of Women Voters to take over.

    It looked like they were trying to set up a Nevada boxing match.  

    I am so disgusted by the process and by the lack of condemnation of the process.  Although that is growing.  

    Hillary did not win anything.  It was a stacked deck.  Biden was noticed.  And Richardson is doing his job protecting the left flank of the Clinton machine.  

    I finally saw a bit of fight in Obama and I liked it.  Edwards knew he was being marginalized and took advantage of every moment he was reluctantly given.  

    But the blindness to the DC beltway control and staging of the event is mindboggling.

    I just listened to some (none / 0) (#11)
    by DA in LA on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 07:31:12 PM EST
    of the debate on the radio again.  I was really struck by the audience.  They really should be ashamed of themselves, it was a disgusting display.  Trying to yell Obama down?  Some people were yelling that it was too combative.  Uh, you're YELLING during a debate that it is too combative.  Amazing.

    Hillary is Good (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by SFHawkguy on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 04:47:40 PM EST
    at thinking on her feet and does well in debates.  I found myself liking Hillary's style (not her substance--she was the most right-wing candidate on the stage).  I also get the sense she will be a great hands-on manager.  She would have a refreshingly bright, hands-on, intellegent approach to running the office of the Presidency.  She's a hard worker and will be a great manager so that's the one bright side I see.  Unfortunately, even though the debates have papered over this . . . she will prove to be almost fatal to the future of liberalism.  The Democratic party has already moved way too far to the right the last 10 or 15 years and she continues that trend.  

    Kucinich does the best job fighting for liberal ideas.  The other candidates simply accepted the right-wing framing of the questions from the CNN goon squad. It is indeed refreshing to have someone on the stage that was right the first time around and doesn't need polling data to believe that liberal ideas work.  

    And I didn't think Kucinich was angry.  He was appropriately serious about the gravity of where we are as a country and what the next President should do.  The whole atmoshpere of the debate was far too laid back for me.  I guess I think we should be more serious becuase I believe the current President has committed high crimes and his administration has wrongly curtailed civil liberties and started unjust wars.  It's no time for jokes.  We need an articulate, serious, and morally sound person as president.  And what we need more than anything is someone to stand up for liberalism and not be afraid to say that liberal ideas are smart, moral, and American.  Unfortunately, Hillary will sell liberals out and undermine liberal ideas for generations.  And even more unfortunately, the one person that comes the closest for standing up for liberals is mocked by everyone as being crazy and unelectable.   I'm just so dejected . . .  

    The debate, contrived and staged, Hillary plants (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 06:42:24 AM EST
    Hillary did better than the last debate, but after putting her campaigning on hold, and weeks of preparation and coaching, I would surely hope so.

    The beginning between Obama and Hillary was just too confrontational, looked like the kind of thing you see on Fox news where people are trying to talk over each other.  Then it deteriorated into boring recitations of the candidates already too often repeated soundbites, hardly any actual debating happening at all, just a lot of playing to the camera disguised as debating.  I was not impressed.

    Chris Dodd and Dennis kucinich seemed like the only people on stage who were interested in a more genuine exchange.

    And I wonder how many of the people in the crowd were planted there by the Hillary campaign, I wonder if anyone in the media bothered to question these hecklers and hooters.  To me it seemed quite obviously contrived and staged.

    These shills should have been detained, and after a little water boarding, I'm sure they would've spilled their guts.  Doubtless their checks are in the mail already.  :-)

    Wolf Blitzer, journalist? Or CNN's propagandist? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Aaron on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 06:53:32 AM EST
    Found over at Ezra Klein's


    That link goe to (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:43:56 AM EST
    Matt Yglesias, not Ezra.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#12)
    by Aaron on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 10:06:13 PM EST
    I know how I annoy you sometimes, but you need to read what I write, it says "found over at Ezra Klein's," which is where I found it posted.

    I didn't post a link directly to his site because I'd never mess with those permalink things, but here it is, just for the record.

    The Debate

    I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.


    It does (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 10:47:11 PM EST

    Kucinich on youtube (none / 0) (#6)
    by Natal on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:20:46 PM EST
    Kucinich doesn't get much time in the debates. However, see his excellent PBS interview with Judy Woodruff on youtube.com for his uplifting vision. Also, see his charismatic wife's video presentations on youtube -- a very wise humanitarian.

    Hillary won this debate. (none / 0) (#8)
    by masslib on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 03:18:11 PM EST
    I not just by not losing , I think she actually won.  I agree with you about Dodd and Richardson.  I thought Biden did well.  Kucinch did extremely well, IMO.  He effectively took on Edwards, and for someone with a shakey record on women's reproductive freedom, he did well with the supreme court question.  

    I dont think you can call it a win (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jgarza on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 03:33:17 PM EST
    she stopped the negative slide, but this debate cast Obama as her one true rival.  Plus she was not able to control the debate like she has in the past.  CNN analyst all work for her, or have in the past.  No wonder they all thought she was wonderful.

    I also think the booing is going to end up being another scandal, because I'm guessing her campaign told people to do it.


    Wake up call for Obama (none / 0) (#14)
    by Canaan on Sun Nov 18, 2007 at 10:14:46 PM EST
    Obama and Edwards were booed because they took the primary into divisive attack mode.  They pandered to the bloodlust of the anti-Hillary cult.  They gambled on attack politics, and it backfired.

    Only once in my life have I voted Republican.  In 2001, two popular Democrats ran for Mayor of New York -- Mark Green and Freddie Ferrer.  I voted for Green in the primary.  The primary was a tie, so they had a runoff.  Green went negative against Ferrer in the runoff and won - but angered so many Democrats that he ended up losing to an unknown Republican (Mayor Bloomberg) in the general election -- I voted for Bloomberg.  Green went from a rising star to a forgotten nobody by attacking another Democrat.

    The booing in Las Vegas was a wake-up call for Obama.  He listened to the 'political class' who've been fantasizing that attack politics could take Clinton down.  Spin all you want, 'drawing distinctions', 'Hillary planted the entire audience', whatever, it doesn't matter.  You are just banging your head against the wall of political reality.  Attack politics backfire!

    If you believe in Obama, then stop demanding he attack Senator Clinton - that's nothing but an Ezy-pass to political oblivion.  Of course, if you just want to use Obama as a tool for your Hillary Hate, that's another thing.