Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Presidential Election is Less than 21 Months Away

The Democrats had a debate last night in Nevada. A Presidential primary debate. For a Presidential primary contest whose first election is still almost 11 months away. Let's take it away with some of the more interesting points from this report by Marc Cooper...
The line of the day at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential candidate forum came from former Senator John Edwards. When asked if he was afraid that voters would suffer “election fatigue” given that this first debate was taking place more than 600 days before the actual November 2008 balloting, Edwards responded: “I’ll tell you why there won’t be any fatigue. There won’t be any because right now hardly anyone is paying attention.”

No doubt Edwards is right. While lots os Americans are feeling quite passionate, most would be hard pressed to offer you many details on how one of these Democratic candidates differs from the others.

And if they had sat through today’s two hour parade of Democratic contenders, it’s unlikely they would have any sharper of a notion.

What heat there was, if any, sparked between the two most prominent candidates who showed up: Hillary Clinton and John Edwards (Barack Obama was the only candidate who didn’t attend).

...Candidates Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Vilsack and former Senator Mike Gravel also appeared.

It’s doubtful whether any of these second – and third—tier candidates made any measurable advance at today’s event. Dodd, who was the lead-off speaker, seemed to have no rationale for his candidacy other than that he’s a senior senator with lots of experience. I vote him best candidate for a casual, relaxed after-dinner speech. My pal, Bill Bradley had a similar reaction to the affable Bill Richardson. “He’d make a great golf commentator,” Bradley said of the New Mexico governor. “He’s got the right tan, a nice blazer and those pressed khakis.”

Biden kept it short and sweet and succeeded in not uttering any of his trademark gaffes. He focused on his own plan for Iraq, a plan for partition, er, I mean “decentralization.” I don't know a single person who takes his candidacy as anything other than a job application for Secretary of State.

...Dennis Kucinich got his licks in, trashing all the other candidates. “It must be hard for these politicians to say they were misled, tricked and deceived by George w. Bush,” referring to their positions on the war in Iraq. “Here’s one who wasn’t. I organized 125 Democrats in Congress to oppose the war and I saw all the same information these other candidates did.”

It’s a fair enough point by Kucinich. He then ended his talk by saying he was the only candidate who had no strings attached to him. Then he lifted his arms up to his shoulders and slowly twirled around on stage repeating: “No strings. No strings. No strings.”
(hat tip: Instapundit) I have only a few observations at this point:

1. That might be the smartest thing John Edwards has ever said. I know that's damning with faint praise, but you have to start somewhere.
2. I'm guessing that things won't be the same on the campaign trail without John Kerry's rollicking sense of humor to keep things loose.
3. I grow more impressed with Obama's judgement each day. I may not agree with his policies in the least, but I admire anyone who thinks a debate at this point might be a tad silly.
4. I'm not going to say anything particularly mean about people who attended this event, but you're visiting Nevada in February. Most normal people would go to Las Vegas.
5. Good thing Mike Gravel was there.
6. I know we're going to miss the comic relief of Al Sharpton pretending he was a serious Presidential candidate and Howard Dean speaking, but God bless Dennis Kucinich. Now, someone fetch him a straitjacket.


Post a Comment

<< Home