February 2, 2008

Barack Obama Wins California Debate

Dayum ... this was a good debate. However, I thought Barack Obama showed me that he is truly the leader that our nation needs to follow-up the bumbling, mumbling and stumbling Dubya. Quite frankly, I left this debate with realization that Hillary Clinton would be a good vice president. The two of them could potentially create a landslide victory in November.

Did you see the debate? It was truly an uplifting civics lesson in which the two candidates talked at length about immigration, health care, experience, character and Iraq. Here are some of the key points in my view:
  • Health Care - The difference seems to be mandating health care vs. lowering the cost of health care. Both seemed very comfortable with their health care policy. Clinton was very passionate about automating medical records. If she becomes president I am confident that she will put her full energy towards putting our medical records online.
  • Immigration - Interesting question from a Black woman who felt that illegal immigrants were taking jobs from African American youth. Obama correctly point out that Black youth have experienced high unemployment rates well before the latest wave of illegal immigrants. He doesn't think it is a good thing to scapegoat Hispanics for unemployment rates in the Black community. On the other hand, Clinton appeared to be willing to use this issue as a wedge between Blacks and Hispanics when she ruminated about a brother she met in Atlanta who felt that he was losing construction work as a result of illegal immigrant. I felt that she was throwing fuel on a fire she would like to see set between Black and Brown people in our country.
  • Experience & Character - Both gave their resumes for the past 20-30 years. Hillary spoke about her work as First Lady as it relates to health care issues and speaking out for women in China and 81 other countries around the world. Obama praised Hillary, however, he pointed out that it didn't matter if you are ready for Day one in the White House ... he would prefer that you be right on Day One. Obama noted that his campaign is bringing in new people ... young people to the electorate. He indicated that his vision for his time as POTUS is to inspire Americans to reach for higher goals in life. He was passionate about the possibilities for his administration, his cabinet and everyone that works in the federal bureaucracy. It was another moment when I realized that he truly is the right person for the job.
  • Iraq War - This is where Obama won the debate. He almost won it by not saying anything. Just listening to the tortured explanation that Hillary gave about her reasons for giving George Bush authorization to go to war in Iraq was painful. She simply won't acknowledge that she made a mistake. Obama pointed out that he stood against the war when it was unpopular to do so. He suggested that not only does he want to "end the war", but, he also wants to "end the mindset that allowed us to get into this war in the first place."
At the end of the day it comes down to the fact that Hillary Clinton made a mistake on the single most important public policy vote in her life ... authorizing the Iraq War. Her mistake (shared by 74 other senators back in 2002) cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. And it comes down to the fact that Hillary is a divisive figure in American politics who doesn't inspire ... whereas Obama is an inspirational leader who can transform the way that we all think about our government.

Barack won the debate in my view. Did you watch it? If so, what did you think about it?

13 comments:

Jennifer said...

Obama proved that he is one with dignity and patience to deal with anything. Clinton would make a great vice president too. Glad to see that they are civil towards one another despite everything we hear in the media.

Urban Thought said...

I was unable to watch the debate. Thank you for the analysis.

Villager said...

Jennifer - Yeah, they both decided to be civil to one another. Did you see at the end that Obama pulled out her chair? He truly didn't want to be accused of snubbing her like some did at the SOTU earlier this week. I agree with your analysis. It should be interesting to see the results of Super Tuesday. Are they voting in your state next week?

Urban Thought - Just my opinion being shared. Others may have seen it differently...

MsMarvalus said...

I watched and thought they were neck and neck until...the Iraq question. This is where I thought Barack won. With Hillary not able to admit her mistake (why can't she just say "I made a mistake?") and then giving a rambling, bumbling response to the question, she lost it...

OBAMA '08!!!

Villager said...

Ms. Marvalus - I agree with your analysis. I 'spose that I understand Hillary's dilemma. It is one thing if she apologized for her mistake way back when ... but, now she is stuck with her lie (sorta like her husband was stuck with his fib on Monica) and she can't change it now. If she were to admit she made a mistake now ... she would be damaged goods and a political liability. Classic catch-22...

Keala said...

I saw the debate. I thought it was quite hilarious how Hillary was loving all over Barack and how Wolf Blitzer kept trying to instigate a fight.

Obama has proven over and over again that he is ready to take over as leader of America.

I agree with msmarvalus on the Iraq issue too. I was just waiting for Hillary to say, "I made a mistake". That would have boosted my respect for her up at least 13 notches.

Janet Shan said...

I agree with your analysis for the most part, but I don't think there was a clear cut overall winner. I believe that they both scored points on the issues that they were strongest in. For example, kudos to Barack Obama for his position on the Iraqi War, but he, like Clinton, vacillated on the issue of drivers licenses for illegals. She got tangled up in the mess about her vote for the war and I am not sure how she could possibly justify that. I think they would make a good team but we will see on Super Tuesday. I am supporting Obama, but I think as it stands now, Clinton has the edge. The debate was a good one, but I don't think Obama won it outright.

I am curious as to why Obama has never been asked about his connection with Kenya. There has been some rumblings on a few political blogs about his ties. In my opinion it is not a liability, but I am sure there are detractors. We know his father's family still lives there.

http://blackpoliticalthought.blogspot.com.

Villager said...

Jan - Thanks for taking time to share your village voice with us. Did you feel that Hillary's answer on the immigration question appeared to be encouraging a rift between Black and Brown people in this country?

re: Kenya. At one point after the Iowa victory there was some mention of Obama being in touch with the two sides in the Kenya situation. I was hoping that he would be able to help nudge the leadership in that country to some type of reconciliation. However, I imagine that is difficult to do when you are a candidate. I imagine he will be able to have more influence when/if he gets into office.

I understand that George Bush is traveling to Africa this month. Perhaps he can have some positive impact on Kenya's situation.

Janet Shan said...

No, I don't think her response about immigration would encourage a rift between black and brown. It is obvious that we need to do something drastic about illegal immigration but I agree with her that we cannot send all these people back without a plan. Romney is suggesting something radical as this but it totally inane.

There is a blog called Faultline USA that has an article about Obama's ties to Kenya. It was interesting. I believe it has been said that Obama reached out to Odinga, the opposition leader, but I am not sure he contacted Kibaki, the President. It is a difficult situation because he is only a candidate for President. As you have stated, President Bush is heading to the region, so hopefully he will be able to effect some change.

The one thing I am extremely glad about is the fact that Obama has managed to energize many to vote and to pay attention to the process. I am sure many of us did not realize how important the primary and caucus process is to the general elections.

Again, I believe Obama can do a lot of good for this country and I hope he prevails because we can do a lot better in this country than settling for John McCain, who almost left the Republican Party in the early 2000s, and the classic flip-flopper Mitt Romney.

Villager said...

Janet - I like your flow. I visited your blog and added it to my Google reader so that I can see the headlines as you add new posts in the future. It looks like you are a blogger-extraordinaire as I see you have 5 or 6 other blogs as well...

Janet Shan said...

Thanks for the positive vibes. The other blogs aren't up and running yet. One is actually for my son about Bionicles. I added you to my blogroll as well.

What do you think about Ann Coulter saying that she would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than John McCain? I think the Democrats are in a good place, if they unite and work towards the common goal of the presidency. Many conservatives do not favor McCain or Romney. I believe they want Huckabee but his numbers are not supporting a winning bid. They are in a bind, so to speak, and the Democrats must capitalize on that.

Invisible Woman said...

I don't think Hillary would allow herself to take second place to Obama. Even if she did run with him for historical reasons, they would be locking horns all term.

I think they put on a united front to keep people focused on the leadership of the Democrats and not the bickering. They both know this could be a win over the RepubliKKKans if they play their cards right.

Villager said...

Keala - Asante sana for sharing your village voice with us. I hope you find reason to come back often. There is a place under our baobob tree whenever you have time or incliantion...

Janet - I chuckled when Laura said she would support Hillary, however, I didn't hear here say she would support Obama over McCain. Whatzup wit dat? (smile)...

Invisible Woman - I'm probably older than you ... but, I recall that George Bush call Reagan's economic plan, 'Voodoo Economics during the campaign ... and the convention battle was still up in the air ... but the republicans came together at that Detroit convention when Bush accepted the vice presidency from Ray-gun.

I also recall that Al Gore accepted the #2 slot under Bill Clinton despite the fact he had opposed him in the campaign. So, an Obama/Clinton (or vice versa) ticket is still possible...