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The Democratic Debate
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I watched the first 45 minutes of it last night before I couldn't take any more. It was sponsored by CNN, and Wolf Blitzer did a pretty horrible job. First, they've got 7 candidates (I'd never know that there are more than 3 from the media coverage), but Blitzer started out by asking about Hillary's stumble on the driver's license issue from the last debate, and allowed her and Obama to spar for the first ten minutes. Biden was visibly agitated, and rightly made a joke when they finally got to someone other than Clinton, Obama, or Edwards: "I'm not criticizing any of the three people who are always the ones that get to talk all of the time."

Look, if you're going to allow these people into the debate, give them equal time. If the assumption is that they are marginal and no one cares about them and you're not going to ask them meaningful questions, what's the point of even having them participate?

So the questions were lame, and the answers were mostly lame. The first time Edwards was directly asked a question he said, "Was that a planted question?" It felt about as canned as Del Monte peas.

Surprisingly, I thought Dodd and Biden came off as the most genuine and least-scripted of the bunch, but there's no way either of those guys is getting the nomination. Watching Obama, I could almost see his wheels churning as he parsed every word. Clinton was fine, but not particularly impressive. If you didn't know she was the front-runner, and she wasn't prioritized for questions by the moderators, you wouldn't even know she was in the lead.

And one particular line struck me, I think it was from Bill Richardson. Anyway, one of them said, "The American people want action from their government [on issues such as health care, education, the war, etc.]." Actually, with a President who claims to be Republican but who spends hand over fist, and an incompetent Congress, I'd personally like to see a little inaction from my government for a while, thank you very much.

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