Friday, February 22, 2008

Debate over the debate over the debate

I think it’s crazy to suggest that Clinton’s final words in Austin constituted a concession. Seemed more like a cleverly calculated move to recast herself as an underdog who’s not afraid to lose. We all know how she loves to play the sympathetic figure role when her back’s against the wall. Let’s let March 4 (and the upcoming debate in Cleveland) come and go before we claim white flag sightings. I know the delegate math looks pretty bad for her, even if she wins Ohio and Texas, but why would someone with her ego and apparent sense of entitlement capitulate unless the odds were clearly insurmountable? And she did attack him on the Deval Patrick and Kirk Watson things. (On the latter point, she totally gave Obama a great opportunity to list some of his legislative accomplishments. All that just to express her amusement at Watson’s lack of preparedness to be a surrogate?)

Another thing about that upcoming Cleveland debate…wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until then to start throwing the haymakers, giving Obama less time to recover before the primaries? I’m no expert on these kinds of things, so I can’t say for sure.

I’m glad it drew boos from the crowd, but I kind of liked her “Change you can Xerox” line from a comedic standpoint. I’m easily amused.

Overall, I agree that Obama won simply because he made no mistakes and held his own effectively against attacks on his experience, health care policy proposals, Plagiarismgate and just about everything else. I didn’t care for his getting-his-things-together-before-he-leaves response to the final question about challenges.

“Uhhh, well, you know, my life has been kinda interesting and stuff.”

On the other hand, I kind of like the analogy many bloggers and commenters have made to a football team running out the clock with a big lead late in the fourth quarter. But couldn’t he have come up with something – anything – specific to preemptively take steam out of Clinton’s histrionics?

Then again, it’s not like he can say “I took on the Republican attack machine in a presidential election as a black one-term senator, and I survived.” Yet.

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