Presidential Debates on MSNBC

politics from istockphoto.comFirst of all, if you haven’t seen the debates, I hope you’ll go to MSNBC and watch them. They’re broken up into short segments, so they’re easy to view. (Although I wish you could rewind.)

I also want to preface this by saying that although I liked Brian Williams and Chris Matthews, I felt that there was obviously more time and questions given to some candidates, and some candidates were clearly ignored. For example, I would have loved to hear more from Fmr. Sen. Mike Gravel on the Democratic Debate.

I would like to say that I’m on the fence, and giving both sides – dem and rep – equal time. But I’m not. I watched the whole Dem. debate, and although I was sick of Iraq and terrorism by the end of it, I was interested in what each one had to say, possibly with the exception of Gov. Bill Richardson. More on that later.

As I started the Republican Debate, I was instanly annoyed with their answers. Then as I moved onto the segment concerning abortion, and they all said, (paraphrasing, of course) “down with Roe v. Wade” – with the exception of a wishy-washy stance from Giuliani, I couldn’t watch anymore. There’s no way I’d vote for any of them.

I will go back and watch because I want to know what they stand for. I will go back and watch because I’m sure they will make good points, have valid ideas, and offer solutions that Democrats will not. But not today.

Here’s my snapshot take on each of the Democratic candidates (links go to their official election sites)…after the jump.

  • Bill Richardson: good ideas, well spoken, good at outlining his ideas like an outline (#1, #2, etc.), ANNOYINGLY ignored all time rules and requests, kept answering questions that weren’t asked of him.
  • Chris Dodd: Excellent speaker, quick, succinct, intelligent. I was most intrigued by him – I am not very familiar with him, but I really liked his answers and his positions.
  • John Edwards: My first thought was smarmy…but I actually think he’s very sincere. I fear that his accent hurts his credibility, but he’s likable. I want to look at his voting record. His lengthy pause when asked about his moral leader was kind of funny – it didn’t play well on TV, but I can certainly appreciate someone who thinks before they speak.
  • Joe Biden: Funny, intelligent, easy to relate to. I liked his positions, and especially that he didn’t take himself too seriously, but clearly takes the stakes seriously.
  • Barack Obama: Not as impressive as I’d hoped. He clearly makes good use of speech writers, because he wasn’t as impressive off the cuff. Nothing he said really stood out to me. I did notice him not answer the question of how he would pay for health care.
  • Hillary Clinton: I think she started very strong and kind of devolved. Her first answer regarding Iraq was her best. The rest of the debate, she seemed to do a lot of Bush-bashing – although, I thought her points were valid, she could have shown some of her other ideas. No matter what, she is very well spoken.
  • Dennis Kucinich: Ah Dennis, if we could put your idealism in a box with Chris Dodd’s intelligence and experience, Barack Obama’s charisma, Joe Biden’s humor and Mike Gravel’s pragmatism, we’d have the perfect candidate. I love his ideas, but I fear that the compassion and unity he strives for is a little too lofty a goal from the pit we’re currently in. I personally want real, solid steps towards diplomacy and energy efficiency. I have to look into his current legislation and see what he’s about.
  • Mike Gravel: My first thought was cranky. But aren’t we all? And he was somewhat ignored, so I’d say he had cause. I like that he put his finger directly on some of the problems we face, although, I don’t see him being the diplomat this country needs.

When I think, “Who would I be proud of? Who do I want representing the country I love to the world?” My first thought is Chris Dodd, then Joe Biden, then Hillary. But it’s very early. I have a lot of research to do.

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