Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Democratic Debate


So, I watched the debate from Philadelphia tonight, Clinton versus Obama.

Until tonight, I was leaning toward Hillary. Not any more. It's not just that she took the low road and offered material that stopped just short of slander; it was that as somebody whose family has been subject to this kind of crap for years, she had to know what it felt like, and she did it anyway.

I was disappointed. I should know better by now, but still, I was. She's a smart, capable woman, but I didn't like what I saw and heard.

I don't think either of them particularly won the debate. But Hillary lost at least one primary vote because of how she conducted herself.

A shame.

11 comments:

Ed said...

I missed the debate tonight but I had seen the same things you mentioned from Clinton in earlier speeches that turned me off. I caught a lot of her speech here in Eugene when it was televised - at least locally - and she was really good - focused on issues - and didn't get into the negative crap. She must have someone in her camp or reading some surveys that show the negative is helping her - it sure isn't in my book. A person would have thought they learned from Bill's win. All I remember is a mainly a positive run, even when he took some hits. They are all politicians and will do or say what they think will get them elected so they can then try and get some things done when they take office - hopefully good things! And they get a great benefits package too - Excellent healthcare and retirement! The house is nice too. Kind of big and I would hate to pay the energy bill, especially now since Regan took out Carters Solar Panels. Maybe they have new ones now --- right. Maybe another oil tank.

Michael B. said...

I agree Steve. I too watched the debate and was waiting for her to take a high road, she didn't. I guess by any means necessary is her plan. All in all I thought the debate and the subsequent questions were more on the line of cleaning up the messes our mouths may have made. Obama did that to some degree, Clinton continued to shovel dirt.

Kai Jones said...

I didn't watch the debate, but because I'm deeply involved in a feminist argument elseNet, I read your post through that filter, and I wondered whether you realized that it could be interpreted to mean that the woman candidate should have better ethics than the people who attacked her family (which is holding women to a higher standard).

I haven't picked a candidate yet (not even a party in this election yet!) so this isn't a strange form of Clinton promotion, just an observation.

Steve Perry said...

If you didn't watch it, you can't really speak to the debate, nor my interpretation of it. People who saw it can disagree, that's their right, but it doesn't change what I saw.

Understand, I have been a Clinton supporter from the word go. I thought -- still think -- she has the chops to do the job. But: pressure brings out the best and the worst in people, and as Hillary has fallen farther behind in the race, some of her behavior has been distressing.

It's easy to smile and be affable when the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day. When the shit hits the fan, things go differently.

That business about being under fire when she wasn't, and only backing off when a video showed up? She glossed over that in a hurry, then went right back to attacking Obama for things he had said.

That one is hard to gloss over. She was tired? Unless you are somebody who has been in so many gunfights that they run together, not remembering whether you were shot at or not is a big one.

Clinton's campaign has made some major missteps. It was hers to give away, and so far she has. If she is to be the Commander in Chief, she ought to be running the show. Either way, the buck stops there.

If she can't run a campaign to win, she can't be the CiC.

Both Rocky and Hillary have said some stupid things, and he addressed that last night -- when every word you speak is recorded and analyzed over and over, some of what you say is going to be pounced on, no matter how careful you are.

FIne. I'm not looking for one of the Stepford wives for President, I want a human being.

But what I saw last night was Clinton trying really hard to smear Obama's personal reputation, using guilt-by-association and attacks on his character.
She was careful, but that's what she was doing. And given how much crap has been thrown at her over the years, she had to know exactly what she was doing.

I don't hold her to a higher standard than any other candidate, and if people think that, they are wrong, and fuck 'em.

I don't give a rat's ass what Rocky's preacher said, nor is the fact that he once served on a board with a guy who had been in the radical underground forty years ago worth a second thought. If they could hang us for the bad-asses we've associated with over our lives, most of us would be hanged.

When she was talking policy, Clinton made her points well -- better than Obama. When she was tromping around in the mud, she looked small, and she sounded petty.

Small and petty are not attributes I look for in a candidate. I'd love to be able to vote for a woman, but that's not the only criterion.

I'm a long-time feminist supporter, married to a smart and strong woman, with two children raised on those values. Last night, something in Clinton's character came through that I thought was ugly.

My wife, who has also supported Hillary from the git-go, sat there shaking her head, too. She didn't like what she saw or heard, either.

Obama mostly stuck to the high road, and his defenses against the attacks were good ones.

People see what you are made of when the going gets tough. There came from Hillary what I saw as a mean-spirited line, and I didn't like it.

I'm not asking anybody to change their vote. I'm changing mine.

Dan Moran said...

not remembering whether you were shot at or not is a big one.

I've been shot at 3 times in my life. It's fucking memorable.

Dan Gambiera said...

She started off as a Republican.
Her policies are middle-of-the-road for a Republican.
Is anyone surprised that her campaign playbook was written by Richard Nixon and Karl Rove?

If Obama gets the nomination look to see Senator Clinton sabotage his campaign with faint, faint support.

And no, I'm not an "Obamamaniac". He was my third choice.

Dan Gambiera said...

It actually raises my hopes for the election. Obama has been running against the Republican tactics through the primary season. He'll respond in a more productive fashion than did Gore or Kerry.

Steve Perry said...

Sorry, Dan, we still don't agree. If, by some miracle, Hillary gets the nod by the D's, she gets my vote.

Given what the R's have done to the country for the last eight years, I would feel like a criminal if I didn't vote against the next old white guy warmonger.

Better a bitch on wheels than a bastard on tank treads.

Steve Perry said...

Rory has been in so many fights he can't remember them all, they number in the hundreds. I can understand that a particular one fifteen years back might not be memorable.

I've been shot at twice, had a gun pointed in my direction another time, and been on the pointy end of a knife once. All highly imprinted on my brain, and probably among the last things that will fade when the wetware evaporates.

Since Hillary had her daughter with her when this event didn't take place, I can only think that would have added one more big factor to the memory -- they shoot at me and my child!

I dunno why she misspoke, whether it was to pump up her action credentials or she truly didn't recall, but she got caught out.

(The only time I was ever shot was by accident, and it was so minor that it hardly counts, but I remember that, too. At the range, during a match, and it was splashback -- somebody's bullet hit a metal plate twenty-five yards downrange and a bit of the shattered round came back to the firing line. I didn't even notice until somebody pointed out my neck was bleeding. I dug the bit out later, about the size of a pin head. Freak accident, but a good story over dinner.)

Dan Gambiera said...

Mmm, I'd vote for Clinton if she were the nominee. It doesn't mean that her policies and tactics aren't and haven't always been straight neo-con Republican.

By the bye, the word isn't "misspoke". The correct spelling is "lied". If it had been once one might have cut her some slack. But she repeated the lie quite a few times.

Steve Perry said...

Nah, "misspoke" works. If she believed it -- and nobody knows save her -- then she wasn't lying.

Granted, it mIght be something of a stretch to go there, but having misremembered a thing or two in my time and put it forth, I know it happens.

A lie is an intentionally-false statement. If you believe it happened, then it isn't a lie. It just isn't true.

That said, everybody in this race lies -- high, wide, and repeatedly. I expect that. But I also expect them to do it with some skill. A good lie is one thing; a bad one is not impressive.

It wasn't that Nixon was a crook bothered me so much, 'twas that he was an inept crook ...