I was encouraged by John Edwards; he constantly returned to the issue of corporate power, which in my opinion is one of the most serious issues in the U.S. and therefore world. Corporate power has eclipsed popular or governmental power, but has little concern for the lives of the people in the car its driving.
Chris Dodd has always scared me; I think it was his eyebrows when I was younger. Still, childhood fears aside, he seemed coherent and intelligent.
Joe Biden is essentially the candidate with the most foreign policy experience on either side of the aisle. Matched Mitt Romney in terms of smoothness, but seemed to have more knowledge.
Bill Richardson. Eh.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both continued to perform well.
Moment of Truth: Barack Obama and John Edwards
After Biden defended his record on racial equality (in light of some comments he made that were sensationalized in the media), Obama came to his defense:
"I just wanted to -- I just want to make the comment that I've worked with Joe Biden, I've seen his leadership. I have absolutely no doubt about what is in his heart and the commitment that he has made to racial equality in this country. So, I will provide some testimony -- as they say in church, that -- that Joe is on the right side of the issues and is fighting every day for a better America."
"To remember that in the midst of the political hoopla, the glorification of -- politicians and presidential candidates, that somewhere in America tonight a child will go to bed hungry, somewhere in America tonight a family will have to go to the emergency room and beg for health care for a sick child, that somewhere in America a father who's worked for 30 or 40 years to support his family will lose his job, and that's what is at stake in this election.
What's not at stake is any of us. All of us are going to be just fine, no matter what happens in this election. But what's at stake is whether America is going to be fine."
You can watch the debate here:
After the two debates, I was glad that Ron Paul talked about monetary policy even if it didn't seem to resonate. His positions are fairly solid, economically speaking. I thought that the Republican focus on security seemed excessive. The long-time Neo-con strategy of presenting a fearful scenario -- a world in radical danger -- only to provide the "security" required has always seemed both successful and dishonest. To be honest one would need to admit that the question isn't secure or not secure, but involves an admission that one can never be secure as such and that sometimes too much security becomes its own prison -- the most "secure" prisons are the ones you'd most like to avoid. I found Huckabee 'likable' (whatever value that has) and like that he has the support he has in Iowa especially given that he's only raised $2.3M. I walked away from the Democratic debate thinking Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Biden could all do better than Kerry. I found my appreciation of Edwards increased, but could be happy with any of the front three democratic candidates.