Debates can be opportunities for candidates to distinguish themselves, but it can also be times that can derail a campaign. Who do you think hurt his or her campaign tonight? Tell us by clicking on the "Add a comment" link below.
Let me begin my saying that I have lost my support for Hillary and Obama in this debate. Hillary especially flip flopped more than John Kerry on a beach, and Obama stuttered alot and gave many shrouded answers. Both were trying to safeguard their spots in the lead.
Edwards and Biden had an excellent showing. Edwards really slammed Obama and Hillary for being so fake and he was well spoken and definitely commanded every topic, despite his blow dried appearance. Biden has a great deal of experience and got very passionate, a real breakthrough.
Personally, I favor Kucinich the most, and he stood up to the big guys with his bold, objective takes. No one makes as much sense and cares the most about our country (and the least about money). Gravel is a funny guy, but he's more of a cynical side-guy and he'll never make it out of last.
Richardson needs to get out. Yes, we all know YOU'RE THE GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO. Stop referring to it!
Dodd is alright, but he doesn't strike me as a leader.
i think Hillary did very good. I dont think so any one near her.
I think former Senator Edwards came across as confrontational and spiteful. At a time when this country needs a leader with good diplomatic skills, he showed us all that he can't even get along with members of his own party. I think he shot himself in the foot.
John Edwards hurt himself the most. He stood on that stage just itching to attack his fellow candidates and it did not serve him well.
Hillary, by far, was the best. I did not expect her to be that professional and impressive. She's a star. We will be voting for Hillary.
Great, great forum! Please bring the candidates to us in this fashion more frequently. No debating; no bashing. Up close & personal with the candidates on the important issues before us: health care, global warming, poverty, New Orleans, the war, our deficit, etc.! We learn what the candidates feel. They tell us what's important to them and what makes them tick. Tonight they came across as REAL people. Soledad kept the speakers focused and managed to pull it off gracefully....left me with the "warm & fuzzy." Bring it on, Soledad, with more spots like this!!! I'll keep watching; you've started a new precedent with this Presidential campaign yuk that we all detest and strive to avoid. Bravo!!!
Judging by the unintelligible comments below, perhaps education should be of greater focus in future debates. ;) I have yet to hear the candidates address the issues Americans have been complaining about the most: Privacy (and the current regime's spying on it citizens), corruption at the highest levels of government and its blatant cronyism in awarding contracts to oil and weapons companies in Iraq, and national security. What ever happened to actually catching Bin-Laden? As far as I am concerned, all candidates failed in addressing questions Americans have been asking for years. This debate was just an opportunity for more political posturing- who can come across as the most faithful, politically correct, self deprecating "man of the people". I am tired of the antics, how about some real answers for a change?
John and Hillary came across as REAL people. Obama's posture and delivery were guarded and serious. I like all 3 candidates, and I warmed up to John and Hillary more because of their open dialogue about themselves and the issues. My perception of Obama tonight was that of an unapproachable statesman. Didn't get the warm & fuzzy with him. Haven't ruled him out, though.
Hillary Clinton may seem a bit calculated at times and too stubborn to admit that she may have been wrong but the truth is, she still was the strongest in the debate. She had the best one-liner at the expense of Connie Rice and Dick Cheney. She seemed the most sensible and the most intelligent. I especially liked her answer on the don't ask, don't tell question.
Richardson hurt himself the most I now know he is Gov NM and he wants to boycott the olympics in China( What are you saying!!!!). Obama seemed to generalize to much no details just spin. Clinton played it safe. The winner was Joe Biden which is incredible because Wolf Blitzer ignored him during the whole debate!!! In the time he did have to talk he came across as the most knowlegdable on all the topics and spoke from his heart especially on Darfur which I think is one topic that has been ignored for too long by all the candidates. He is also the candidate who could appeal to independents the most in the general election, which I think will also help propel him to victory in NH. Keep the pressure on Joe!!!!
When Obama replied "you’re about four and a half years late on leadership on this issue", I jumped for joy. Edwards isn't in the Senate now so it's too convenient for him to preach about how Obama should have voted. Especially when he agrees with the vote! He lowered my opinion of him when he indulged in the dirty Rovian politics of "Attack your opponents greatest strength, so it appears as a weakness". Accusing Obama as not leading against the war when Edwards himself got the biggest vote of his career wrong voting for it is blatant manipulative hypocricy!
I feel Governor Richardson lost the most ground during the debate. His responses did more to illuminate his resume (albeit impressive) than to explain his positions. His answers were not concise and, as such, his conclusions left undeveloped.
I think Biden did remarkedly well especially given how little time he was afforded during the debate. Otherwise, I thought Clinton's performance was very presidential. She seemed to be a sort of second moderator, above the fray and extremely knowledgeable.
I like Obama but I do not think he should be running in 2008. He will be an unstopable candidate in 2016, after which he will have had 10 years in the Senate and will be the natural successor to Hillary Clinton. I'm glad he's putting his name out there, though.
Edwards is a good guy but I fear he is always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Billery Clinton by trying to imitate
As a moderate independent I try to look objectively at what I'm offered by both major parties and not allow my emotions to influence (to any great degree) my decision. It's really a process of elimination. Hilary is a politician through and through, although not as good as her husband. In my book she's too phoney and fake to be put in charge of cleaning up the mess this country is in. Obama shows promise and intelligence but lacks the experience – he needs seasoning and it showed last night. Edwards has charisma, but, definitely doesn't shine when he's playing the attack dog this early in the game. Gravel – well I never heard of him until last night and I'm a political news junkie – didn't impress me at all. Kucinich is probably the one I'd have voted for if I was 20 and still a naive, innocent. Dodd has the experience and some smarts but has not particularly shined in committee meetings(I watch them all the time). Richardson who I was particularly hoping would do well because of his experience floundered all over the place and showed he's not ready for prime-time either. That leaves Biden as my top choice so far. As I said, I watch the C-Span senate committee meetings on a regular basis and have followed him for years. I was actually more concerned that he couldn't be direct and concise because in meetings he's a little long-winded, but, he's got the smarts, the experience and the genuine ability to 'reach across the aisle' when he has to. More than all the others, he's got common sense and a practical approach to problems. If he doesn't get the nomination, he should be seriously be considered for the VP spot or a serious cabinet position.
I think Clinton hurt herself in my eyes, as she seemed to be going around questions instead of giving straight forward, honest answers. John Edwards definitely seemed to be in attack mode, which was a turn off to me. But I give him Kudos on admitting he was wrong.
I do not agree with many of the comments I'm reading about Barack Obama. I don't feel he choked at all. Just because he takes time to think about his answers before giving them does not make him a "deer in headlights". Would your rather him rattle off at the mouth and say idiotic things like our current leader??