Friday, February 1, 2008

Clinton Vs. Obama- The Debate

Look at the picture above. If nothing else comes out of the much anticipated one on one debate the picture above is historic and to me inspiring. We are weeks, maybe months away from the first ever major party candidate in the history of this country that is not a white male. 230+ years it took for that to happen. So unless there is a brokered Democratic Convention and Al Gore is nominated from the floor, this country will have to decide if a woman or African American will become the 1st minority to ever be President.

Now to the debate. It was a different debate than many expected. After the bloody South Carolina Debate on MLK day, the bloodier South Carolina campaign battle, and the contentious Republican debate last night think people were expecting fireworks. Instead what we saw was two people who can be President, are eminently qualified to be President, and above all acted Presidential.

Now it wasn't the kind of debate people will jump up and down over because of a lack of fireworks and nastiness. Unlike the Republicans last night who talked very little about their plans, Obama and Hillary were very clear and eloquent on what their vision was for the country on healthcare, on the economy, and on the war. Well on the war, Obama was clear, Hillary talked herself into a bit of a circle.

As for the debate I don't think there was a clear winner. They both impressed me and I thought the way they battled was civil, but not boring. Personally I think they are both interesting and captivating candidates.

I give Obama big credit for showing a grasp on policy that he was lacking in recent debates. Think this was his best debate. Hillary came in on her game and he stood toe to toe with her. Very impressive effort. Think he gets hurt on the Healthcare debate even though his plan is probably more feasible and realistic than hers. I think he was brilliant on the War and think his best line of the night was, 'I think its more important to be right on day one.' Think it was a clear way to go after Hillary's most used arguement against him.

As for Hillary, she was strong and I think winning the debate until the topic turned to Iraq. As I wrote yesterday I respected John Edwards for saying his war vote was wrong. Hillary Clinton has been battling this question for the whole campaign. She got caught on in tonight and it derailed a nearly flawless effort. She handled immigration, was passionate on healthcare and showed a warmth and humor that many people feel she does not possess. She had some great one liners and the biggest ovation of the night for her 'it took a Clinton to clean up the first Bush mess, it's gonna take another Clinton to clean up another Bush mess. The Kodak Theatre went nuts. On the war though she talked herself in circles and it worries me when if she goes up against McCain.

While Hillary stumbled on the war she did great overall and Obama did too. It was a stark contrast from the night before and I hope that in the next few days leading into Super Tuesday, these two and their campaigns raise the level of debate on the issues. They did just that in the Kodak Theatre, and I for one implore them to do that for the rest of the campaign. May the best PERSON win.


Patrick said...

As a healthcare executive that deals mostly in rural ares, I'm all for universal healthcare. Both plans more or less make sense, but Obama actually addressed my concerns (as someone who is in the business) much more directly than Hillary.

They kept hitting Obama with this made up 15-million-people-won't-buy-into-his healthcare-plan-because-it-is-optional nonsense, as opposed to Hillary's mandated plan.

Even if that is true, so what? 15 million people uninsured by their own choice is a hell of a lot better than the situation we have now, especially since if these people then need healthcare they can back pay the premiums.

Further, I think this illustrates a prime difference between the two candidates.

Obama seems to have faith in the American people to do the right thing if they are empowered to do so and Hillary seems to want to tell the American people what to do.

That's an aspect of her character that bothers me the most. Hillary doesn't want to lead, she wants to dictate. I don't think it matters what the topic is, she just wants to tell you what to do.

In this case Obama is saying "here is this plan. it is in your best interest and the best interest of everyone else that you buy into it, and we have made it so it is affordable for you."

Hillary is saying, "I know best and you aren't smart enough to act in your own interest. Do this."

I don't think it is solely healthcare issue. Across the board, Barack seems to want to inspire all of us to do better. Hillary wants tell us all what she wants from us. It is extremely off putting.

Reagan and JFK inspired people to create the America that they wanted (Camelot/A shining city on a hill and all of that) and I think Obama does that.

17 People said...

Excellent contribution Patrick.

Healthcare debates are important and you know that better than most. How many of your hospitals get their bottom lines destroyed by people that come in with no healthcare. The hospital and the community end up paying the bill and the result is higher healthcare costs.

Doing some more reading on this and have what I hope will be a thought provoking post coming up soon. Will want plenty of feedback from the whole office when it goes up sometime next week.