Democrats debate, Obama comes up short
The democratic presidential contenders took the stage for the first time on Thursday in what many expected to be a strong challenge of whits and knowledge that turned out to be somewhat tame and border-line boring.
I expected some of the more heated topics to really fire up Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards; but they all left me a little disappointed.
Barak Obama really let me down. While I have only recently started to get comfortable with the fact that the could be the democratic nominee, he lacked everything I was starting to enjoy in this first debate. Obama is known for being very well spoken, quick on his feed and somewhat uninhibited when it comes to saying the right thing. On Thursday night, he seemed to be holding back. The New York Times said: "Obama, by reputation a dynamic performer, was reserved and cautious, and he seemed uncharacteristically hesitant." I couldn't agree more. Barak Obama also seemed as comfortable as Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, and he didn't carry himself as strongly either.
Speaking of John Edwards, he has always proved to be a strong debater. In the 2004 election, he was a firecracker and wasn't afraid to step out and say what he felt needed to be said. Many often compared him to Hillary's husband, former president Bill Clinton four years ago. Maybe he is trying to avoid that reference this time around. Maybe Hillary would "call him out" if people starting comparing his characteristics to those of her husband's. (That's what I really want to see!) John Edwards also speaks well, and he always makes his points eloquently... and that southern charm will definitely help him in traditionally red states. I think Edwards missed his spark as well during this debate. I would have liked to seen him take a few jabs and start to draw the line in the sand, but he didn't.
Finally on to Hillary Clinton. Hill-dog was definitely my favorite in the debate. Clinton is really turning out to be my favorite in this primary altogether, but I really expected her to step out in front of the pack a bit more than she did. Watching Hillary's Senate debates in New York were like watching an educational video on debating. She never missed a point, and she always kept the steam alive even when there wasn't much to really be debating. In her first presidential debate, Clinton didn't dominate; but she did sound very presidential.
Since she is using her website (www.hillaryclinton.blog) to really address people, I hope her campaign realizes she can use these debating platforms as a way to really make her issues the ones that are debated.
The Clintons have this power to take control, and I know Hillary will use it during this campaign. By the time the general race rolls around, if Hillary is the front runner... her issues will be the ones they will be debating. I hope this first debate was just a way of playing it safe without predicting what is yet to come.
I really hope to see a lot more out of these three front runners, and I hope that some of those other no-namers will drop out soon. They're crowding the stage.