Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday Night Debates, a brief comment from ringside

The media coverage of last night's debates have for the most part said it all. A few brief comments follow that reflect thoughts beyond what appears to have already been said:
---Guiliani seemed to be directionless. He postured as usual as an expert on terrorism and the Muslim world but had nothing new or interesting to say. Other candidates even patronized him, by referring to their agreements with him rather than entering into any challenges of consequence. He may end up just having been a celebrity attraction rather than a real candidate.
---From this perspective, Clinton made one comment that was way out of line. She said that we were "in" a recession. Notwithstanding the weak jobs report and other negative trends, the verdict on that, statistically and opinion related, is not in yet. While maybe this is an overreaction, it is very troubling that one of the leading presidential candidates and the wife of one of the most well known politicians on the planet would make such a statement. Asian markets open and close before U.S. markets start the week on Monday. What's a Japanese investor to make of this pronouncement tonight?
---While touting her record as a candidate of change, Clinton's tactics were those of an old style pol. She attacked with exaggerations and half truths as well as some respectable self defense. It's the only game she knows and maybe her best tactic at this point, but how in the world does this make her look like a possible uniter, a possible candidate of change. Actions speak louder than words as she ironically reminded us about 20 times last night.
---Everyone on the Republican dais detests Romney. It appears to go beyond disagreements about policy or political tactics.
---Charles Gibson did a good job. Can anyone imagine any of the other major anchors even beginning to measure up to his performance.

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