The Campaign Spot

Hillary vs. Obama: The Showdown in Texas

Tough to grade this, as I missed the first forty minutes or so.
The audience was apparently under the influence of a combination of Prozac, nitrous oxide, tequila and cocaine, rapturously happy and eager to applaud anything either candidate said. Perhaps they had been playing a drinking game in which everyone was required to take a shot when they used the word, “the.”
It seemed Hillary had slightly stronger answers; perhaps because of the unspoken (by her) theme of “where’s the beef,” the beef was clear in her answers. She’s a far-leftie, but she knows her policy.
By comparison, Obama skimmed the surface. But the audience loved it. They didn’t just eat it up with a spoon, they ate it up with any other utensils, then scraped the bottom of the jar with their fingers, and then tried to pick out whatever was left under their fingernails. All he needed to do tonight was not screw up, and I didn’t see anything that might constitute that. Again, maybe there was something early.
But other than the Xerox line, it was tough to find moments where Hillary really seemed to pound home an argument to Democrats, “you can’t nominate this guy, you’re on the verge of a catastrophic mistake.” She needed to do that tonight; I’m a little surprised that she didn’t try to maul him, or to provoke some sort of unflattering reaction out of him. He’s so unflappable, I don’t know whether it would have worked. But when you’ve lost 11 in a row, you have to start throwing some Hail Mary passes.
UPDATE: Frank Luntz’s focus group is giving rival speeches. “We don’t want someone with electability, we want someone who can run our country!” 

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