The Campaign Spot

It’s Time for a Mercy Killing on Further Democratic Debates

The Democratic primary is over. Hillary Clinton ran away with this thing tonight.

In the post-game show, Chris Matthews is hot under the collar, declaring a ‘last minute knockout’ on the driver’s license question. I don’t know. Edwards hit her for flip-flopping on this, but to really hurt Hillary, he’s got to hit her on being wrong on the issue. Flip-flopping is bad, but being wrong is worse. If Edwards was willing to be the guy saying, ‘this party cannot be the party giving licenses to illegal immigrants, the Republicans will eat our nominee alive on that’, then maybe he could use that to chip away at her lead. But as it is, I don’t know if this is decisive issue among Democratic caucusgoers and primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, etc.

Among the cannon fodder, John Edwards had a little fight in him. He did score best on the driver’s license point, saying she had two positions in two minutes. I’d decree him Hillary’s True Rival tonight, for whatever that’s worth. Narrow the stage to two; everybody else is taking up space.

Chris Dodd seemed like the last sane man on an insane stage when he suggested that giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants might not be a good idea. It reveals the radicalism not just of Hillary, but of the Democrats as a whole, that only one man among eight candidates felt taking that stand was worth any political heat from the amnesty crowd. While this extended retirement tour of a campaign liberates him enough to jab at Hillary when he thinks she’s wrong, he doesn’t act like he really wants the job.

Tonight might be remembered as the night the dream died for Barack Obama. Mrs. CampaignSpot said he seemed tired. What else did he have to do that was more important than this debate? (Okay, maybe take care of his kids.) Still, he needed a big hit tonight, and he didn’t get it. It wasn’t even his “B- game,” as Tiger Woods would put it. The buzz coming out of this debate should be devastating: flash in the pan, roman candle, all sizzle and no steak, air ball with the game on the line, no killer instinct…

Obama did the impossible tonight: He failed to stand out on a stage full of boring white guys.

Bill Richardson is a lame man, vainly aspiring to the vice-presidency, trying to defend Hillary Clinton when she doesn’t need it. His presentation style is terrible. He still looks like an unmade bed, shiny of hair and jowly of skin. He looks like he gained a chin since the last debate. Terrible performance, considering what he needed to do, which is stand out on a crowded stage.

Joe Biden… Little sticks with you beyond his jab at Rudy mentioning 9/11 a lot, and in the end, Biden, if you had been mayor on that day and performed the way Rudy did, you’d mention it a lot too. Yeah, Biden, you go after people for running their mouth off and runaway egos, because you’re the guy to make those charges.

Dennis Kucinich… Not only does he have nothing new from debate to debate, he doesn’t have any new lines since 2004. The only upgrade is his wife. Having said that, the Elf Princess is a significant upgrade.

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