Looking for anything that mattered in this debate is like looking for needles in haystacks. But let’s hunt, anyway…
There are three candidates who matter in Iowa; none of them made any catastrophic gaffes, or anything that is likely to generate buzz, good or bad, in the next few weeks. All of them were playing “ball control”, nobody wanted to take any chances.
Charles, a Campaign Spot reader, wonders about Hillary saying she wanted to raise her hand:
Weird that she did that. It shows that she’s familiar with what happened at yesterday’s GOP debate, but Fred Thompson’s anti-hand raising bit was pretty much the consensus pick as the best moment of the debate, as a clear winner.
So Hillary and her people picked out the most-applauded incident and decided to do a 180 on it? And this was just a (for Thompson) winning gesture, not an argument that could be countered. It’s not like Hilary offered a rebuttal. She just did the opposite of what worked best the day before.
Bit by bit, you can make the case that maybe Hillary hurt herself a bit today.
Mort Kondrake noticed that Hillary “cackled wickedly” when Obama was asked about how much change he could represent when he had former Clinton administration folks advising him. He thinks it was an unflattering moment for her.
My old boss Nina Easton, now with Fortune magazine, is marveling how there was no question on terrorism, or Iraq, or illegal immigration.
Luntz asks his focus group how many people’s impression of Hillary Clinton improved . Only 2 of about 30 hands go up. The same pair think Hillary won. Everyone liked Obama’s response to her, saying he looked forward to her advising him. Maybe that comment will generate some buzz.