Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NPR's Democratic Debate

You can download this afternoon's NPR radio debate between Democratic candidates for president. First, I think that NPR should do more debates - they actually have this thing called, well, substance. No "diamonds or pearls" plants from the networks. Three topics, deep dives, and (get this) actually making the candidates answer the questions.

I'm an hour into it, but I think you can start to draw conclusions:
Hillary Clinton is a campaign machine - if she thinks it will get her elected, she'll say it.
Barack Obama's star wattage goes down considerably on the radio (think Kennedy vs. Nixon in '60), but his positions are reasonable and well put regardless of star power. He gets much stronger as the debate goes on.
Joe Biden is perhaps the smartest, most well spoken person running for the Presidency.
John Edwards almost sounds reasonable until he hops on his "big corporations are the height of evil" hobby-horse.
Chris Dodd is like a bad cassette copy of Joe Biden.
Dennis Kucinich may still be on the UFO.
Mike Gravel is just-plain-goddam-straitjacket-nuts. The highlight of the first hour was Michele Norris basically telling him to shut up when he went on a crazy rant.

Bill Richardson was not present, as he was attending a funeral for a New Mexican Korean War soldier whose remains he was able to repatriate.

UPDATE: In the 77th minute (yes, I watch too much soccer), there is a freaky Joe Biden/Chris Dodd mind meld. Maybe Dodd really is a Biden clone...

UPDATE AGAIN: In the 95 minute, Joe Biden talks about women "getting the crap beat out of them" and says "S.O.B." I didn't know he had it in him to drop the senatorial decorum and get emotional about domestic violence. Go Joe.

If I lived in Iowa, I would caucus in the following order:
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
John Edwards
Hillary Clinton
Bill Richardson
Chris Dodd
Dennis Kucinich
Bag of Baseballs
Mike Gravel

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