There were two debates tonight the first being the Republicans followed by the Democrats. I will briefly say that the Republicans beat up Mitt Romney fairly well and that Fred Thompson looked like the winner in this one. Ron Paul held his own and John McCain was on target most of the night. Rudy invoked 9/11 and Ronald Reagan every other sentence. The Democratic debate was much more lively and was more fun to watch.
Hillary Clinton had a melt down and I think it will show on Tuesday. I admit that she did not go negative on Obama in the fashion that I thought she would but it might be because John Edwards sided with Obama and they tag teamed her pretty good. She did not hammer Obama when moderator Charlie Gibson gave her a huge opening to do so by asking her to describe the issues that separate them. Her Howard Dean moment came when she got very angry after Edwards said that the status quo (He pointed to Hillary) would always attack agents of change like him and Obama. She was obviously frustrated and when she addressed the comment she became visibly angry and animated. She would have done better if her answer was shorter and she was more sane. Her campaign is saying she showed strength but the reality is the media is hammering her and the undecided voters said that Obama was the change agent and did not appreciate her response.
As for the rest of the Democratic debate, I noticed a few other Hillary gaffes. One of the first questions dealt with Pakistan. The question dealt with al Qaeda building up along the border. The question was, if we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden was there and the Pakistani government would not go attack him or the AQ terrorists would they, as president, attack the area? They asked Obama first and he said absolutely. Then Gibson said that this was the same as the Bush doctrine of preemption. Obama said no because we had actionable intelligence (as if the intelligence from all over the world that Bush had was not actionable). Hillary said that if we tried diplomacy and it failed she would but that we had to be careful. She then talked about how they (she and Bill) launched a missile based on intelligence that OBL was someplace and he was not there. She said we had to be careful. I believe that they launched the missile because soil samples indicated that a building was being used to make chemical weapons. It turned out to be an aspirin factory (I am sure this is what she was talking about). This means, if it is the ASA factory, that she lied about why we bombed it. Additionally, she failed to mention the three times that we had OBL in our sites, on camera or via witnesses, no doubt he was there, and she and Bill refused to pull the trigger. Details, details. They bombed the aspirin factory to take everyone’s minds off the Monica problems. There was one other instance where we launched missiles and then called the country to tell them and we gave them enough warning that they were able to warn OBL. If this is what she was talking about then the intelligence was right and the method flawed. Now there could have been other incidents but it is doubtful since Clinton worked hard at not getting OBL.
Another security question dealt with a nuclear bomb being detonated in a US city. It was a two parter and the questions associated were (paraphrased); 1. The day after what do we wished we would have done? and 2. What do we do now? None of them answered these directly though Obama got closest to the what do we wish. However, all who answered said that we would find out who did it and we would attack them with all we have. Charlie Gibson made the point that anyone who would do this would not be from a country or have a government’s blessing to do it. Hillary said that they might not have a country but they had to train and plan somewhere and we would find out where that was and attack it. She said there would be no difference between the people who did it and the the people who let them plan and train in their country.
Check me on this but wasn’t George Bush the one who said that we would make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them? Wasn’t George Bush also the one who said that we will attack first to prevent being attacked? Their admission that they would violate the sovereignty of Pakistan to hit OBL means they would use preemptive warfare and wage war in a country that did not attack us to get our enemies, or the Bush Doctrine. I don’t disagree with the idea but I have not been using Bush’s name in vain and telling voters that I would be different than he. I am not out there saying that George Bush mismanaged the war. They have all been criticizing the war and the way Bush has operated and yet they are willing to use the same tactics to protect our country. The MSM will not likely focus on these things because they are Democrats. Only Republicans are evil in the eyes of the MSM.
I did agree with Hillary and she showed some foreign policy savvy when she said that once we launched the missiles toward Pakistan we would have to notify that government because of the tensions with India we did not want them to think that it was India attacking. I agree but we should not call until a few minutes before impact so that no warnings can be issued.
All in all the Democratic debate was more fun to watch than the Republicans. The Republicans were mostly civil (though they really beat up Romney) and had differing approaches to the issues. The donks attacked each other and were fighting like alley cats. Governor Richardson said he had been to hostage negotiations that were more civil (the quote of the night from the left).
Hillary did not have a good night. Her response to the change issue will haunt her and I think she will lose New Hampshire by 10 points.
I can just hear her now in her best Dean voice; Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa.
ADDENDUM: I forgot a great part. Hillary, while claiming to be the champion of change, said something about being the first woman president and how that is change. Obama was too classy to say it but wouldn’t the first black guy as president be just as real a change? Hillary played her gender card. She said before that she was just another candidate. Now she is playing the woman part. Desperate times call for desperate measures…