January 21st, 2008
10:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: Some final thoughts – two different strategies

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Which strategy do you think will be more successful? (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - Here’s some quick post-debate thoughts:

John Edwards got himself back in it - he showcased his style and his key issues, and is clearly back in the game. He showed he continues to deserve to share a debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and voters here will likely give him another look after tonight.

The debate showcased the remarkably different primary strategies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. She's going for the partisans that have historically constituted the overwhelming majority of primary voters. This is clear over and over again in her language, every time she talks about "fighting Republicans."

Obama, on the other hand, talks a very different game - he repeatedly said tonight he can forge consensus, and will work with Republicans.

Clinton's strategy of going for the partisans in the primaries has shown itself to be a winning one time and again. But this election season has been anything but normal - and it's possible that after eight years with one of the most partisan presidents in history, even partisan Democrats want a consensus builder.

Clinton is running as the anti-Bush, while Obama is running as the un-Bush. Which will primary voters prefer?


- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

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