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Democratic Debate Scorecard.

Viva Las Vegas

Last night, the Democrats, minus Mike Gravel (who is still running, believe it or not), took the stage in Las Vegas, Nevada to debate who is the most socialist, pro-union, anti-war, anti-Bush, pro-tax hike, anti-trade, pro-abortion candidate of the lot.

And they all won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it.

Actually, though, there were very real differences in the candidates. Some did really terribly bad, while others did just sort of terribly bad. To put these relative performances into perspective, imagine that the candidates, while some did better than others, are all at the very bottom of the wrong end of a typical bell curve. Some were just awful enough to crack the bottom 2%, while others were bad enough to make the bottom .1%.

Imagine it something like this:


First, let's take the two major frontrunner types, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hillary Clinton was allegedly on the ropes after the last debate, where she simultaneously took several different positions on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. She recovered completely on this issue and essentially "won" this debate, assuming the only two candidates who mattered were Clinton and Obama.

Barack Obama was asked the very same question that tripped Hillary Clinton up last time, and he muttered and fumbled and equivocated almost as badly as Clinton did before. He missed several softball lobs he could have knocked out of the park. Overall, Obama came across as favoring huge tax increases, favoring holding hands with enemy leaders, and favoring ethereal concepts over actual American security. Obama may be well-groomed and articulate, as Joe Biden might say, but he needs a great deal more political seasoning before he will be ready for the big stage.

Again, if this debate was between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, which it was, Obama certainly did not gain any ground, and Clinton did not lose any.


The entire middle tier of candidates, meanwhile, is comprised of John Edwards. The middle tier is not always such a terrible place to be, especially at this point in the game. Sometimes, when the top tier candidates destroy each other, or falter on their own, the middle tier candidates become "Plan B." John Kerry, the very definition of mediocre, became the Democrats' nominee after candidates in front of him, including Howard Dean in an infamous way, imploded.

That's not going to happen this time. There aren't enough top tier candidates to destroy each other. There aren't enough middle tier candidates to come to the rescue. John Edwards must, deep down, realize he is making no traction whatsoever, so he has shifted gears in a big way; his current attack dog strategy is not very flattering, however, and he is suffering for it. At one point, after Campbell Brown asked Hillary a softball question about politics being an all-boys club, Wolf Blitzer gave the others a chance to respond. The appropriate response would have been to wait for the next question. John Edwards seized the moment, however, and-- although he was not saying anything inherently mean-spirited-- was met with boos from the audience. How dare he attack a woman, essentially, was the statement there.


John Edwards is only second tier because of the name recognition he has left over from 2004. Otherwise, he'd be bottom tier.

Speaking of bottom tier, Governor Richardson has been the biggest bust of the entire campaign. He should be pulling in far more votes than he is based on his Governorship (why so few Governors this year?) and his Ambassadorship and so on, but he is just terrible. It's pretty clear that he has earned his reputation as a candidate seeking the VP slot more than anything else.

Meanwhile, Dennis Kucinich was the biggest winner before the debate. Yes, he won bigtime when Alaskan has-been Mike Gravel was omitted from the debate lineup. Kucinich once again became the lone candidate who is truly off the deep end. Cuckoo.

Meanwhile, the two white-haired, white-skinned, old, male, Northeastern Senators performed the best in the debate, but the best is still not enough. It might not even be enough to move into a VP slot. Joe Biden has learned from earlier debates that he is most popular when he is not filibustering. He now seems resigned to the fact that he is not gaining in the polls, not raking in the funds, and not really being taken seriously as a candidate, which has made him more relaxed and jovial on stage. It is funny that all the other candidates point to him with great regularity in agreement, as if he is the arbiter of appropriate policy, yet he will forever be known as the guy who goes on weekend morning political talk shows and yammers on pedantically.

Chris Dodd, meanwhile, of all the candidates on stage, gives the most succinct, fulfilling answers, and seems to understand that protecting America is the number one duty of the President, yet he still is going nowhere with the base of the Democratic Party. If I were forced to pick one of the Democrats, it would probably be Senator Dodd.


The "winner" of the debate would have to be Senator Clinton. She reestablished herself as the front runner of the pack, steadying her waffling and refusing to pander to the far left on the war. While her performance in the debate was good for about third place, behind Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, they are irrelevant and thus she is the winner by default.

Senator Obama, while not nearly as disappointing as Governor Richardson, just fails to deliver, again and again. It looked briefly like Obama might benefit indirectly from John Edwards' anti-Hillary laser beam. Unfortunately for Obama, Hillary seems to have deflected the attacks back onto John Edwards. Indeed, Edwards is only damaging himself at this point, and he is not really helping Barack Obama.

Pretty soon, Obama will need to step up to the range and take his own aim at the leader, Senator Clinton, because the potential attack surrogates will not be around much longer, and most of them-- save, perhaps, Dennis Kucinich-- won't dare resist the Hillary Clinton machine.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 November 2007 01:09 PM


Yikes! That is a scary looking group of Presidential candidates. The Dems should go ahead and admit they are Commie Socialist's these days. These are NOT the kind of Democrats my grandfather voted for.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at November 16, 2007 02:03 PM

Gravel kucinich paul nader perot carter [conyers?rangel?] united for truth elicit fear smear blacklist.

The people know too much,
democracy rising democracy now.
Rage against the machine.

Honesty compassion intelligence guts.

No more extortion blackmail bribery division.
Divided we fall.

Posted by: gravel kucinich paul nader at November 16, 2007 05:24 PM

How about this: Rage Against Stupidity.

By not voting Democratic, for starters.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at November 17, 2007 10:33 PM

Great idea, Ken!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at November 18, 2007 01:52 PM