January 21st, 2008
10:09 PM ET
13 years ago

Schneider: Second half of debate calmer, better

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - I enjoyed the second half of this debate considerably more than the first. The different format - they were all seated in chairs - facilitated more of a conversation on the issues. It lacked the fireworks of the first half, but it touched on issues Americans actually care about.

Related: Watch Clinton and Edwards discuss their 'fundamental differences'

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Schneider analysis
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Curtis McMinn

    it was def. a much better format. less barbs and attacks on each other.

    January 21, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. marie SC

    I believe Edwards clearly won the debate. He is the only candidate with answers that made sense. He truly is the only one that has a shot in November.

    January 21, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Karen

    I agree, it was definitely more congenial. A little bit of 'making up' all around, which I think we in the audience appreciated. Clinton was right on when she stated that these are certainly not topics that we'll hear being addressed in the Republican debates.

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. Chris

    I like the combination. It is important that the candidates fight for this nomination. I don't mind the fireworks. It shows they want it passionately and that they are tough. The 2nd half they played nice. It was a lot like bad cop good cop.

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. Brad

    I think during the break, the senators called a cease-fire, because no one was going to gain anything from continued bickering, and lack of focus on the issues.

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. Chris

    Amen. Get rid of the Barak vs. Hillary petty bickering and focus on mainstream issues.

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  7. Marija

    There is no doubt that the only Democratic candidate who can flat out beat the Republican is Obama!I don't know why Democrats are still thinking about who to nominate, if they want to win!

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  8. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, CO

    The debate was muddling.

    January 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. Jordan

    I agree with you.

    In regards to the first half, I doubt the heat will backfire on Clinton. She may or may not win South Carolina, but she can win delegates in larger states.

    Obama really stumbled and fumbled when being confronted about his hypocrisies and contradictions. He was taken by surprise by Edwards double-teaming w/ Hillary.

    I think what was most entertaining, yet not surprising, is Hillary maintaining herself, her class, and remaining sophisticated while Obama seemingly was desperate to create a defense for his image...which was almost unnecessary.


    Chicago, IL
    17 Years Old

    January 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. Trish

    I disagree. The second half of the debate lacked substance and was all about playing nice and marking the differences with Republicans. As Democrats, we KNOW the differences between us and the Republicans. The purpose of the debate is to learn the differences between these candidates.

    January 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. matthew

    Barack was so wrong about Hillary bringing up Reagan in the debate. She clearly did not.

    Role that tape back like Obama wanted.

    January 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Hal

    Did I miss a question about the Dow futures down 500?

    January 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. chris

    I concur. This was a far more civil exchange of information that will serve the party far better than any individual. I've also noticed that the less the former president is injected in this campaign/debate the more civil the exchange. It helped to deliniate the differences between the candidates, and also let Edwards become more active in the discussion.

    January 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  14. AJ

    Second half was smoother. Edwards won the second half as well, even though it was kinda we, the Democrats, are better theen the Republicans discussion.

    January 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. James Dankel

    Clinton, Obama phooey. Edwards ok.

    January 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Amanda

    I think it is absolutely DISGUSTING and IGNORANT of both Edwards and Obama to refuse to shake hands with Clinton after the debate. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    January 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Terri

    I think this debate as a whole left us weaker as a party than the previous debate 'roundtable' style did.

    What I wish all the candidates would is this: they are not supposed to be running AGAINST each other, they are supposed to be running FOR the Democratic nomination.

    Once they have the nomination, then they run against the Republican candidate and maybe the Independent candidate.

    I'm sure the Republicans appreciated the 'he said/she said' portion of this debate, but I did not and I think it was a great disservice to the Black Caucus, the Democratic party and the American people.

    January 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  18. DC

    Hillary Wins Hands Down! She is ready to lead this Country and we should be proud to have such a great person running for President of this country in a time that we can't take chances on Obama who has no proven viable record. If our economy was strong and we weren't in debt then perhaps we could take the risk on Obama. We know Clinton has the know how and understands the political challenges and how to overcome them so we need to be careful to elect a President who can get in there and clean up all the messes we are in. Perhaps after 8 years of Senator Clinton then we can take a chance on someone who wants to lead by inspiration. Obama looks good on paper but I'm very afraid if he is elected that he can't clean up what has happened and will miserably fail. Not a chance I'm ready to take.

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. Patricia

    Indeed, this was the better half of the debate because it was about the issues that matter and Hillary was best equipped. Period!

    Go Hillary!

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. Pam Lewis

    Great debate! The dems actually have three wonderful candidates! Why don't the republicans talk about things that matter. They still weild the politics of fear. America isn't afraid, we are up for the tasks that face us. Let's start tackling them.
    Well done CNN!

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Mary

    I disagree. It's a debate, not a conversation. The second half was boring compared to the first because all it was stump speech speak.

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Mike

    They are all in the Senate, therefore why haven't they already gotten the changes they want to make already accomplished? Their records show they can't get it accomplished. What will change? They can veto the House and Senate? Why is the $3.00+ gas prices still happening? That alone is rippling through and hurting the economy big time!

    They are part of the problem of this country and I want to get rid of the problem!

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. John

    It certainly was calmer. Obama was better at stating his position. His piece on responding to Dr King with greater involvement from the bottom up rang of Kennedy (ask not what your country can do...). Is it odd that Clinton didnt respond to that? I thought she and Bill were inspired by JFK?

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  24. ray lebonville

    I was pleased to finally have the opportunity to hear more of John Edwards. This is not yet a 2 person race and he should not be excluded by the media. Edawrds has very concise plans for our future, he has been thinking about our problems and formulating solutions for a long time. America desrves to hear him even if he does not have the financial backing to buy the ad time.

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Farfalle

    I can't agree with you more. While it is important to understand each candidates record, I can read and decide that for myself. I am more interested in them delving into their policies and initiatives.

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
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