obama-clinton debate

Wow — can I just say quadruple wow. I told my almost 16-year old son that he needed to watch the debates, because he might never have another chance in his lifetime to see this: an African American man, a white woman debating for the chance to be the democratic nominee for president. I hope I’m wrong. I hope my son will see all kinds of folks coming into government at all levels. We’ll see.

I’m still an Obama supporter. That was a hell of a debate, though. I liked the discussion and the care they took to distinguish their positions and echo their agreements. It wasn’t soap opera. It wasn’t entertainment. Thank heavens. It was informative. And that’s what we all needed.

Obama voted against the Iraq war. That’s crucial for me. He was quick to say, in response to a question about immigration, that making immigrants the scapegoats does not solve our economic problems. Crucial immediate ethical judgments…the right judgments, the humane judgments. His history is all about working from the grassroots up. That means he has the experience and the commitment to re-engage this populace, our country — the one that has become so bedraggled, corrupt, unjust, morally wrong.

Clinton’s best line was when she said, “It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush. And I think it just might take a Clinton to clean up after the second.” Very smart. Obama’s best line was when he reponded to those who think Hillary would start day one in the White House with more experience by saying it’s important to be right starting at day one, and he was referring to his vote against the Iraq war.

The final question was about an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket, and Obama said quickly, “It matters which way you say that.” His response was eloquent and the best encapsulation of why he’s now a possible president: his choices for anyone in goverment will be for those who know they’re working for the people. “No more yes-men or -women,” as he said. When pressed for a yes or no on Hillary as running mate, he said, “Anyone would want Hillary on their short list,” which was a smooth evasion. Hillary ended by saying she agreed with everything Barack said.

They both pulled their weight admirably.


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