Gloves Off Early in SC
Was that a debate the Democrats held yesterday, or what? Hmm, let's summarize what we learned--Hillary is a lying, manipulative, NAFTA-loving, Wal-Mart globalist, while Obama is a lazy, indecisive, overly sensitive slumlord!! And that was just the first 25 minutes!! I like these candidates very much, but I felt like I needed a shower after those smarmy exchanges. Edwards clearly benefited from the childish behavior of the other two-- but does it really matter if it doesn't translate into votes?
I think Hillary made Obama look like exactly what she wants him to look like--an indecisive, passive guy that can't take a punch and thinks he is going to charm his way to a successful agenda. I thought he won the last debate in Vegas, but he seemed at times weak and undisciplined last night. I also think he is mistaken about his health care proposal. There will always be a rather substantial group of people at the bottom of the economic ladder that will choose other necessities and vices over health care coverage. If coverage is not mandated, these people (not just poor people, but other large groups, like young adults) will simply opt out and continue to blow a hole in any system that is implemented--by over-utilizing emergency room services and the like when they do become ill. I agree wholeheartedly with Edwards and Hillary on this one--coverage must be mandated, or it still won't cover the vast majority of those needing it today or address the problems facing health care providers.
McCain is Democrats' Worst Nightmare
As much as I admire McCain, his overall voting record is just left of Attila the Hun-- so I was very glad to see him sitting so far back in the polls not long ago, particularly with all of the other GOP hopefuls being sooo beatable. Unfortunately, it now appears that even many evangelicals (judging by the results in South Carolina) have wised-up to the fact that McCain is the most electable candidate they have.
McCain is no Bush tool and has a ton of credibility on the reform side due to his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance measures. In addition to the senator's impressive military record, the media's continued treatment of the bribery of the battling Iraqi warlords as a successful surge strategy, allows McCain to rightly take credit as the only guy on either side to be for the troop increases from the beginning. He is also the only Republican running for the presidency that has openly differed with the current administration over the conduct of the war and tax cuts favoring only the wealthiest Americans. In short... John McCain is no Mitt Romney.
An inexperienced, one-term African American senator, or a polarizing woman with very high negatives and more baggage than a UPS man--one of those two will be taking on McCain. One of them is going to have to wage a general election campaign against a former POW and war hero with a reputation for integrity, who is as comfortable on The Daily Show as he is on Meet the Press. I don't know about you, but that scenario would scare me. Perhaps Dems need to start talking about his age.
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