Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BTW: There was a Debate tonight

Senators Clinton and Obama had another verbal slap-fight tonight--otherwise known as the debate hosted by ABC news.

Policythought's take? Obama got treated like the front-runner. He got grilled on the hot topics of the day and his personal hiccups. Clinton broke no new ground, but didn't lose any either.

In fact, neither candidate gave a break-through performance tonight. If you felt nervous about an Obama presidency before tonight, you likely still feel that way. If you are distrustful of the Clinton campaign, nothing tonight would sway you. Both candidates seemed to play within their margins.

If there is a take away from tonight you can say this. Hillary Clinton seems to believe in her solutions. She gave smart, straight-forward answers to economic policy questions. She believes in her knowledge and capability to answer the nation's problems. Obama represents a different kind of leadership. You get the impression not so much that it's his answers that are correct, but that he wants to find the correct ones.

In the end, there is a sense that Obama would work for a coalition of forces in government--a coalition that would force both sides to listen, argue, and come up with viable solutions. Clinton's approach is more top-down. She believes her proficiency in crafting policy is the solution we need. It is worth noting, however, that the President does not craft and pass law individually. They have to work with Congress, which means both Republicans and Democrats. So perhaps the question we should be asking (and forcing candidates to answer) is who is best suited to do that dirty work?

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