Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Democrats AFL-CIO Forum: Dodd v. Obama; Biden v. Edwards

After getting home from the Detroit Tigers game late (and, yes, I did boo Jason Grilli after yet another awful performance, but, give the Tigers credit for coming back and winning) I thought I was going to get to sleep pretty quick. Then I read a bit on tonight's Democratic AFL-CIO Forum, and a replay started on MSNBC at midnight, and, well, an early night turned in to a pretty late night. So on to some analysis, and video, of tonight's candidate forum.

A very interesting atmosphere with the outdoor setting and huge crowd reactions. My reactions to the debate were likely skewed by some of the reviews I read, from both Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Chuck Todd of MSNBC so I'm probably just repeating a lot of their thoughts, because they were right on in most cases. Dennis Kucinich had a really good night, and had some funny lines. Mike Gravel was absent, and the panel was better for that fact. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden certainly seemed like they wanted to be on the attack tonight (a smart move being so far behind right now) but curiously, instead of attacking the front runner (Hillary Clinton) they attacked Barack Obama and John Edwards. As Chuck Todd speculated, was Biden trying to show his worth as Vice President? I think he makes sense in that role for whomever wins the nomination, and certainly, would make an excellent Secretary of State. But, as both Todd and Cillizza pointed out, the storyline now becomes the "fresh outsiders" (Edwards and Obama) against the "experienced insiders" (Clinton, Dodd, and Biden) and I'm not sure that plays well for Clinton in the long run for the Democratic primary. And was Bill Richardson even there tonight? I love his experience, and thought a few months back he'd be a perfect VP candidate, but he has not impressed me at all.

The big two exchanges which took place over the course of the night involved, as previously mentioned, Chris Dodd going after Barack Obama (on Pakistan) and Joe Biden going after John Edwards (on labor support). First, here's video of the Dodd/Obama exchange, which included a short interlude by Hillary Clinton. The difference in opinion stems from Obama's charge that he would unilaterally attack Al Qaeda in Pakistan if Pakistan refuses to. And, while this may not be surprising given my previous support of Obama, but I agree with him on that point, as I think most people would when put to them just that way. Obama isn't saying he is going to unilaterally attack Pakistan, he's saying he would act on actionable intelligence. What President or candidate wouldn't?

The second spat involved John Edwards promoting his pro-labor history, and Joe Biden questioning him on it, with Edwards' later response. I don't have much analysis on this, but it is interesting to see Biden go so strong attacking Edwards.

So overall, worth staying up until 1:30 for, interesting, and maybe it'll shake things up a little bit. And with that,

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