A few thoughts on the Democratic presidential candidate debate last night:
- Person who got the most positive bump in my personal book: Hillary Clinton, from neutral to somewhat favorable. Yes, I know I was probably the only person on the planet to have a neutral view of Hillary before last night. But she cleaned up some of the misunderstandings about her position on Iraq and held her own on other subjects. There were a few obvious dodges, but she's a politician so who's surprised?
- Honorable mention: Mike Gravel. I think he's Dennis Kucinich 2.0: Now With More Fire-Breathing Anger. Gotta love the one-issue candidates.
- Ways to piss Jeff off: everyone, but EVERYONE, dodged the environment question and started talking about terrorism. Given that energy policy and the environment rank behind only civil liberties on my list of important issues, this annoyed me. It basically demonstrated that no one on that stage gives a damn about energy or the environment. Kudos to Brian Williams, though, who made the comment of the night after Gravel went off-subject on an environment question and ranted about Iraq: "Getting back to the environment, which is unbelievably where that question started..."
- I swear that I commented to Mike (without whom I would not have known about the debate) that I think it would be great if a candidate gave a one-word answer, yes or no, to a question. Leave it to the normally loquacious Joe Biden to steal my idea.
- Boo to the format. I was amused by the section of the debate where the questions were essentially "explain your health care plan in sixty seconds." Yeah, like that's possible. It takes sixty seconds for these people to introduce themselves. Maybe we should give people a little bit more time? We could sacrifice a few of the stupid questions.
- Overall: Richardson's still my #1, but not by much. Edwards and Obama slipped a little in my estimation; Clinton jumped the most but Dodd and Biden did pretty well. And I hope Gravel sticks around for as long as possible... at least long enough to become the first presidential candidate to break out into a public fit of cussing on the campaign trail.