Caught a little of of the democratic debate from New Hampshire tonight and here are my thoughts...
Clinton: Seemed angry and overly aggressive. Not sure if this is her or her advisors, but it was offputting especially when it was obvious she was trying to dominate the discussion (final word, etc.)
Obama: Seemed inclusive and big-tentish. Also tried to dominate the discussion similar to Clinton. One thing I think Obama has going for him, is that his tone is distinct but pleasant. He talks about working together, doing what's best together, etc. This is different than Bush and many of the candidates who either say or seem to say, that is they know what's best so shut the hell up and let us do what's best. Obama is the only candidate tonight who emphasized the role the people must play in a functional democratic government, the other dems seem to talk from a perspective that plays into the "welfare state" mentality of the far right. (I noted that the republicans are falling all over themselves to appease the religious right so anyone not in that camp knows they are screwed.) Based on what I heard, I think Obama stands the best chance of pulling in independent votes and the votes of republicans who are sick of the BS Bush et al have brought to us using the disguise of republican values, when in fact these are neocon- religious right-republican value themselves and none other.
Edwards: Said many excellent things, but is a bit too far in the "government must help you because you are incapable of helping yourself" camp. Obviously, Edwards does not feel this way, but it is the message I got. I think Edwards can and should play a major role in the next administration.
Richardson: Clearly the odd man out. He did not try to dominate like Clinton, Obama, or to a lesser degree Edwards so lacked there. But Bill Richardson had many good things to say and a perspective as a state governor that was lacking in the other candidates.
Interestingly, it seemed to me to be an Obama/Edwards vs Clinton fight with Richardson abstaining. Although I have to admit Clinton seemed to be the aggressor, with Obama responding and then Edwards essentially affirming Obama, even when he had policy disagreements with Obama. This made Edwards and Obama come off much better. Obama was good about redirecting attacks from Clinton towards the similarities between the dems and their stark constrast with the republicans.
Finally, I think Clinton has an extremely tough road in front of her. In fact, I believe the USA is not mature enough to elect a woman to the highest office. I have said it before, it would be difficult for a non-white citizen to be elected, but if they were male they would have a chance. Clinton (white woman) NO - Obama (black man) YES; Rice (black woman) NO - Powell (black man) YES. The racism in this country is profound, but not epidemic. The sexism in the country is not profound but is epidemic. (Clearly, if you are dealing with either racism or sexism it is profound and epidemic, my point is that more people in this country would be uncomfortable having a pair a breasts running the oval office than some additional melanin.)
Crap. As I re-read this I find myself falling into the Obama camp. I don't want to be that decided at this point.
27 minutes ago in Variety of Life