For the Democrats, it’s all about ch-ch-changes. Not in any particular direction, just change by the platitude pound. First, here’s paranoid John Edwards making alliance with Barack Obama by going after “the forces of status quo,” earning Hillary’s icy stare for his efforts.
And here’s Hillary’s attempt to make her record one that demonstrates that even though she has been in Washington pretty much forever, she’s a big old change agent herself.
Resolved: The phrase “make change” should be banished from these debates. It makes them all sound like they’re experts at breaking a dollar down into coins.
Finale: Here’s how I score the debates.
1st–Fred wins. He said the least but what he said was most worth listening to. He managed to come across as the sage in the race, too wise to get into the fray but not above smacking the kids around when he has to.
2nd–Romney. He had to spend too much time on the defensive but he drew an apparent lie out of Huckabee on the surge and showed that he has a wonky streak. He also came across as in command of the facts, when he wasn’t having to fend off McCain’s swipes.
3rd–Huckabee. He’s good at this, but not as good as he has been in the past. He knows how to connect and he knows how to speak at a digestible level of detail. His command of the facts is weak though and he didn’t say anything memorable. His “bunker mentality” response didn’t work.
4th–Giuliani. I just didn’t think he was very impressive tonight.
5th–McCain. He’s shading the truth on amnesty and he showed a nasty streak a couple of times. Had a couple of good moments here and there.
6th–Paul, for whom I have one last question. We have several bases all over Germany. Why aren’t Lutheran terrorists flying airplanes into US buildings? Paul’s foreign policy is idiotic and dangerous.
I confess I missed a lot of this one because I was editing clips from this one, but here’s how I would score it.
1st–Obama. He’s easily the most likable and avoids gaffes. He stole the Hillary boo-freakin-hoo moment, which was set up for her to emote. Well played.
2nd–Edwards and Hillary tie. I can’t stand either one of them. They’re both shrill demagogues.
4th–Richardson. He doesn’t seem to know what year it is. He should stop pretending that he’s presidential material, because he clearly isn’t.