I had my popcorn, a cold beer and put the kids to bed early so I could watch the most anticipated debate in history. This was going to be Ali vs. Frazier, Tyson vs. Holyfield (w/o the biting), Leonard vs. Hagler and all the matches UFC has ever had rolled into one. At least that is what I thought…
The debate turned into a pillow fight 30 seconds into Obama’s opening comments. He set the tone by mentioning his appreciation of John Edwards campaign and his beliefs in the unity of the Democratic Party. I believe he disarmed Clinton who is always at the ready to brawl when needed. She had to respond warmly in her opening comments or appear to be the first one to throw a punch. In boxing terms, they were feeling each other out and looking to counterpunch at the first opportunity.
Both candidates looked fresh and energized for this moment. They had to be on their game with all the A-list (B-list) celebrities in attendance. The Hollywood elite came out to witness hisory and cheer on their liberal heros. By the way, how did they get those great seats? I thought I was watching an awards show each time there was a cutaway to a famous faces.
With Clinton being the frontrunner (in the polls), her strategy was to maintain that cushion and refrain from using nasty terms like “slum lord” in characterizing her opponent. She knows that Obama has to catch her, therefore, he may be prone to risk taking as he attempts to whittle away at her margin. Her handlers clearly asked her to take something off of her fastball for the debate, but that gameplan may prove to be her undoing if Obama continues to surge in the polls. Tonight was her chance to deal a knockout punch but she wasn’t willing to take the shot.
The challenger to the II Clinton Dynasty was definitely prepared to talk to the minutia of his policies and proposals. He surprised by wandering into the supposed strength of Clinton by knowing many details of her plans. The best example was how he was able to contrast the differences of their Health Care Plans. He also scored points by pinning her to her vote to authorize the President to use millitary force in Iraq. Clinton was barely able to survive his force and badly stumbled when trying to explain her rationale to vote in favor of the war.
It was a draw. That typically gives the advantage to the supposed favorite. However, this is politics and because Clinton is touting her 35 years of experience the expectations of her are much higher. She did not live up to those expectations. The opposite is true for Obama. He has often been tagged with be underwhelming after his debate appearances. Last night, he exceeded expectations and has to be given the nod for that.
Overall, it was tea party and at the end they hugged and whispered nice things to each other after Obama pulled her chair out for Clinton. Wolf Blitzen played the villian and tried to get them to go after each other by falsely making claims that one Senator was taking a “swipe” at the other at the conclusion of their comments. Wolf tried to redeem his Man Card after the last debate when the candidates ran all over him as he tried to moderate.
Even Stevie Wonder saw that last night.