Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Debate Recap

The thing about debates is, if you already like a candidate, how they respond to questions will do little to change your mind. I really liked the format. Although Matt thinks the new format did little to change squirming politicians, I think it's refreshing that people could ask the questions for a change. The bottom line is that debates do little to change individual perspectives, but they're a good chance for discussion about where a candidate stands to be launched back into the public forum. Some things I liked and didn't like:

  • Clinton had a good point. It's refreshing for candidates to be fighting over who can do more form women's rights for a change.
  • The "reparations for slavery" question was interesting to me. I'm always amazed that this is an issue that gets talked about when, if we're going to be handing out reparations, we might as well go all the way back and payout to American Indians, who are objectively the worst off minority. Because they don't have a large enough voting population, though, they're easy to ignore.
  • Given that, I actually thought Obama handled the "reparations" question the best. He's right in that this question is really about equality of opportunity in America today.
  • I was surprised at how little time health care was given in the debate. It was like they knew it was an unpleasant thing for the candidates to deal with, so they just decided to skip over it. I believe it was Dodd who was furious that only the "top tier" candidates were allowed to talk about health care, and rightly so. This is a major issue that deserves a lot more attention than what it got.
  • Anderson Cooper = mmmmmm.
Part of me wonders how it would be if the candidates were forced to focus on one topic in depth. The problem with this, of course, is that the list of topics is endless, but I feel that instead of soundbites, if the candidates really got to dive into the nuances of each issue, it would allow the voters to make a more educated decision.

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