First up, Barack Obama, who sounds so tired that the anchors ask him if Red Bull is playing any part in his campaign (My take: Red Bull is playing a part in every campaign. And the lives of most political bloggers too). Obama reserves his ire for Bill Clinton rather than Hillary, accusing him of making “several misleading statements” about Obama’s record. Presumably, he’s talking about speeches like the one in which Clinton called the Obama wave “the biggest fairy tale he’s ever seen.”
The interview doesn’t really warm up my interest until Brian Kilmeade trips Obama up by first getting him to vow to destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan, then asking him about destroying al Qaeda in Iraq. Obama blinks and shuffles, then recovers by saying that it’s al Qaeda in Afghanistan that’s most dangerous. As things stand now, that’s probably true. But if we had left Iraq too early, it might not be true and in fact it probably wouldn’t be true (and if we hadn’t invaded Iraq at all, well, al Qaeda was there before the invasion). Even if we were out of Iraq we would still be in Afghanistan regardless, but if al Qaeda in Iraq had been left with a free hand in a failed, fractious Iraq, we probably would have seen more plots like this one. I wouldn’t expect the senator from Inexperience to see things that way, though.
Next up is Clinton, appearing via satellite from her “home town” in New York (how many home towns does she have?). She rips off a risible line about her getting up every day for 35 years wondering what she could do to help someone else (I wouldn’t believe that of a Mother Teresa figure, much less Miss Travel Office Firing, Miss FBI File Riflewoman, or Miss Cattle Future Speculator, all of which describe Mrs. Clinton). She’s an operator, and not the smoothest operator at that. She is asked about the Muskie Moment. About 7 minutes in Fox host Gretchen Carlson says she “hasn’t seen the kind of passion” from Bill Clinton in years, that he showed in going after Obama in New Hampshire. Yeah, putting “passion” in a sentence with Bill Clinton drew a juvenile laugh from me. There I go again. The question serves up a chance for Hillary to hit his record, and she swings solidly.
The New Hampshire outcome on the Democrat side seems to be about the best a conservative could hope for. Split verdicts mean there’s no coronated front-runner, which means the two campaigns will keep trading shots for a while longer. Edwards says he’s staying in, so he’ll be out there muddying the waters as he demagogues his way across the country. He’s underperforming compared to four years ago, so there’s no real rationale for his staying in and he has to know that this year is his last hurrah, but thanks to matching funds he has some money and little else to do. In delegate count, both Clinton and Obama got nine apiece last night. Hardly a clear, resounding victory for anyone.
The first party to settle on a nominee usually wins. Neither party is settling just yet.