PBS Debate: Hillary Was Strong, Barack Was Warm, Edwards Was Composed


Riviera Cafe

225 W 4th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-3250

What a great venue. It felt like there were roads on all sides to the bar. Am I on West 4th or am I on West 10th? That is what it felt like.

Jacki E and her husband were there in full force. Jacki was busy putting up balloons. They are hard core. Many of the usual faces were there. Raj showed up with his girlfriend. Vishesh showed up with a friend from his LSE school days, Hildur from Iceland. Jeff. Carlos. Karen. Sylvan.

I met Vishesh first at Raj's MeetUp at his apartment in SoHo only a few days back, one of the best MeetUps I ever been to. It started in this huge living room. Then it went onto the rooftop, and then to a bar. A BBC movie crew was there.

Hildur's verdict was that Hillary won the debate.

In the last debate Hillary's attitude was, I am Hillary, and I am hilarious. In this debate she exuded strength, seriousness and discipline. She was one candidate who always stayed within her time limit.

She was the most aggressive on stressing that yes, racism very much exists. And she had a whole bunch of black women standing and cheering. She said if AIDS were impacting white women from this to that age, this country would be much more riled up about AIDS.

"Race matters powerfully." Obama has said that before. I wish he had used that line today. This was the audience for it.

When a whole bunch of black women stood up and cheered Hillary, Obama probably felt that his wife was perhaps feeling bad. She is the one who has been trying to breathe life into the Women for Obama effort. So he made a wonderful love gesture on that same question. Biden said Obama had gone through a HIV test. When it was his turn Obama pointed out that his wife had as well, just to make sure noone got the wrong picture. And that joke had the audience hollering, and got his wife beaming.

It was also a smart political move to show off that he could get the audience excited just like Hillary.

Hillary is a policy wonk, and it showed. She came across as super prepared.

Obama needs to battle on the gender front with the same vigor. How about saying, yes, we live in a sexist country. We live on a sexist planet. I know I do.

It is very important for both Hillary and Obama to run a positive campaign, and to not start trading negatives. In a few months they are both going to get desperate, but the positive has to be maintained.

It is so obvious one of them is going to win and the other is going to be number two. When that happens, they must pair up. Handling race alone is hard. Handling gender alone is hard. It is best if you handle both at once. The two mega issues feed on each other for progress.

Why Hillary?

I am rooting for Hillary for Obama's running mate. Why?
  1. For the same reason that JFK picked Johnson. You pick the person who finished second out of respect for all those who did vote for that person.
  2. There are three billion women on the planet. There are 150 million in America.
  3. Rudy is from New York. Bloomberg is from New York. Hillary is from New York.
  4. You get Bill Clinton as bonus. You pay for one, and get one free.
  5. She is smart, hard working, talented, disciplined, good looking.
1 Debate, 1 Major Policy Speech, 1 Rally, 1 Big Fundraiser A Month
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DNC Needs To Take Over The Monthly Debates
One National Primary, Monthly National Debates, Videoblogged
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Obama on the Airwaves Washington Post a speech that made him a force in national politics almost overnight. ..... "negotiation skills" and "ability to understand both sides." ..... The Obama campaign released little information about the extent of the ad buy other than to say it is statewide and "low level." ..... Obama's outstanding fundraising in the first quarter and the widespread belief that he will equal or eclipse that showing when the next fundraising period ends on June 30, he is likely to have the financial resources to stay on the air in Iowa all the way through the Jan. 14 caucuses. ...... Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) at 22 percent, followed by former senator John Edwards (N.C.) at 21 percent and Obama at 18 percent.
"Obama's Decline in the Polls: Who Turned Off the Electricity?" when the other side is telling a story about you that people are starting to believe, you'd better drop everything and offer a compelling counter-narrative ..... That two Democrats let George W. Bush make character an issue about them without ever turning his history of impulsivity, recklessness, drunkenness, investigation for insider trading, and draft evasion while cheerleading for the Vietnam War (not to mention his cheerleading at Yale -- not exactly a great visual image for a presidential nominee) into a voting issue speaks volumes about the way our party's leading strategists tend to understand the mind of the voter. ....... On the stump, Obama can be electrifying. And behind all that electricity is a first-rate intellect. ..... Northeastern intellectuals didn't care much for Bill Clinton, either, and he did what Edwards will likely need to do: he turned to alternative media (which are now much more powerful) and to local media, who are usually excited to talk with a major candidate rather than to run him into the ground. ...... Clinton, who is picking up votes the more she shows something other than the size of her cerebrum -- the warmth and humor whose lack have been her greatest emotional deficits. What Americans want most from their presidents are strength and warmth ..... We don't pick our spouses or friends based on their expected utility. And we don't pick our presidents that way, either. .... Let Obama be Obama.


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