I didn't realize there was a debate last night. We went out for dinner and got home just as the commentary about the Republican debate ended. I missed that whole thing. But I was just in time for the Democrat debate. For those who missed it, the two debates were at a small college in New Hamshire in anticipation of next week's primaries there. To qualify to be in the debate, you had to place in the top 4 in your given party at last week's Iowa caucuses. So the Dems were Edwards, Obama, Richardson, and Clinton. (I believe the GOP debaters were Romney, Huckabee, McCain, and Thompson.)
So anyway, just after I declared that my allegiances were swaying toward Obama in my last blog post, I may just have to rescind that. I still like Obama so far (heck, I'd be happy with any of the Democrats over any of the Republicans at this point), but I was mightily impressed with Edwards last night. He was on fire. One of the commentators afterward said that all the candidates showed fatigue and looked haggard. Only Edwards seemed energized. He came to Obama's aid when Clinton suggested his calls for change were too vague. He kept returning to the idea that we need to take the power away from the special interest lobbyists and to consort with them makes it impossible for you to fight them later. (I'm not totally up on my research, but I couldn't help but feel that this was a jab at Hillary and a suggestion that she is in the back pockets of certain Washington lobbyist groups.) It almost sounded like he considers her to represent the problems with the establishment while he wants to change things. He repeated that he'd never taken any money at all from special interest groups, implying, of course, that other candidates had.
His passionate speaking with regard to the healthcare problems that real Americans face these days and his citing his own background and parents made him seem really concerned and not just throwing those things out there as campaign tools.
I was impressed.
After the debate was over I had the feeling that:
* Bill Richardson doesn't really stand a chance against these other 3 although he is a likeable enough guy
* I like Hillary less and less as a potential candidate each time I see her
* Of the 4 debaters, Edwards was by far the most passionate
* I want to know more about Obama