Hiller Instinct: Democrats debate
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Democrats debate
Everybody remembers their first time, even if they'd like to forget it, and everyone knows you only get one chance to make a first impression. The goal for every candidate was to make voters want to see them again and give them a second look.
It is no surprise what the top topic would be when the Democrats debated: the war in Iraq and the Senate vote to begin withdrawing troops by October. The party’s two front runners, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, revealed similarities on the hot topic.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
"If the President is not going to sign the bill that has been sent to him, then what we have to do is gather up 16 votes in order to override his veto."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
"I think what Barack said is right. I mean, part of our challenge is to put together the political support throughout the country to join with us to bring an end to this war."
John Edwards, who is third in the polls, was put on the defensive by a question about spending $400 in campaign contributions on a haircut.
John Edwards (D-N.C.)
"That was a mistake. It was simply a mistake, but if the question is whether I lived a privileged life, the answer is yes. A lot of us do. It's not where I come from, and I've not forgotten where I come from."
The prize for the briefest answer went to Joe Biden.
Brian Williams, NBC News
"Can you reassure voters in this country you will have the discipline you would need on the world stage?"
Joe Biden (D-Del.)
Dennis Kucinich spoke for all the long shots on the stage.
Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
"I think tonight's debate is going to change that, Brian."
And Mike Gravel spoke for everyone who's ever wanted to run for president.
Mike Gravel (D-Alaska)
"It's like going into the Senate. The first time, you're all excited... it's like, 'How did I get here?' Then, about six months later, you say, 'How the hell did the rest of them get here?'"
Some first impressions: Sen. Hillary Clinton was confident and competent while Barack Obama sounded short on substance. So, give Clinton the win.
John Edwards was weaker than expected, making him the loser.
Chris Dodd looks presidential, and Bill Richardson looks vice-presidential.
Joe Biden is a time-bomb; Mike Gravel is a bomb-thrower, and Dennis Kucinich is a re-run of a bad movie that bombed once and will bomb again.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that is my instinct.
(Copyright 2007 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)