Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Last Night's Debate: a comment (and a change in hiatus policy)

I want to go back to the roots of weblogging a bit. While I'm on hiatus here, I'm still reading and commenting at a number of other blogs. Some of those comments are -- if I may say so myself -- substantial, and I want to keep them in my own space. So I'll be, periodically, possibly even rarely, reproducing a comment I make elsewhere, with a link to the original post as a way of broadening the discussions and keeping track of my own writing.

In an open thread at Ozarque on the lastest Obama-Clinton debate, I wrote this:
I read the transcript (it's faster, for me, and body language doesn't do that much for me, most of the time), and -- aside from sharing the apparently common desire that we find people who are actually serious about politics and policy to serve as moderators -- I was unimpressed. I don't think either of them said anything suprising. I think the Clinton campaign is struggling for results, and the candidate reflects that with complaints about process, fairness, tactics. I think the Obama campaign is trying hard to find a comfortable zone in the uncomfortable gray area between taking a high road and effectively attacking, and some of that struggle was clearly on display.

My concern, at this point, is a strategic one: I want a Democrat to win in November. I'm actually uncommitted to either Clinton or Obama: neither one really has a resume or proposals that are decisively better (and proposals are rarely enacted as-is anyway; if there's one thing I haven't seen in politics in a long time it's realistic discussions of how platforms might become reality), and both are likely to lead moderate and effective administrations. Both camps need to realize that there's a possibility that they might lose, and both camps need to realize that there will be a merging of the campaigns into the general election, and both camps need to know, and act like they know, that one of them will have to stand up and support the other one (and I'm not even talking about the possibility of a VP deal!). Both of them make some noises like they understand this, but they also are maneuvering in ways which make this less likely to work out. Clinton, in particular, has been disturbing me with her much more of a scorched-earth style.

You can comment here, or join the discussion over there. (Ozarque has a large and very smart commentariat: I recommend going over there, frankly. My commenters are brilliant, of course, but few....)

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