Well, that was weird
Posted by clubsodaandsalt on February 26, 2008
That’s basically the best summary of the debate I can come up with. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t watched Tim Russert moderate before (thankfully). The whole thing seemed kind of surreal, with hypothetical after hypothetical. What if we have to re-invade Iraq? What if we have to re-invade Kosovo? What if Putin invades Finland? What if we need to hold Kamchatka? Does anyone really think that this is a good way of evaluating candidates? HRC was definitely channeling my feelings when she lamented all the important foreign policy questions that could have been asked, but weren’t. I do like that she is willing to call him out on being an awful moderator.
That said, I think Obama took this one. He handled himself very well in the foreign policy section; in fact, I think he did better on that front than Clinton. The point about having a nominee who can point out that they opposed the war from the beginning is important, and has resonance with those of us who were frustrated by Kerry’s failure to effectively oppose Bush in 2004. Hillary really needed to bludgeon him here, and it didn’t work. Moreover, it was a rough night for her, not because of her answers, but because she definitely got the short end of the stick with the moderators (Russert especially). Also, and maybe this was just me, but I thought that her response on the Louis Farrakhan question, where she basically implied that maybe Obama wasn’t being forceful enough in “rejecting” anti-semitism, was really poor form. Worst moment of the night, IMO.
Not that much else to say that I haven’t. It was overall weird, and kind of boring. Not exactly a rip-roaring end to the primary debates.