January 6, 2008

New Hampshire

It's always tough to say whether one debate had an impact on a gubernatorial or presidential election. Singling out any one variable, whether an issue or a tactic, is tough.

In the case of the final 1994 "He-Coon" debate between Governor Lawton Chiles and challenger Jeb Bush, I would argue that people were watching more than usual because of the national political environment.

The showdown between President Clinton and Republican barnstormer Newt Gingrich supercharged even local elections with significance. This was Clinton's midterm report card, and Gingrich wanted every TV set tuned in.

I think last night's Saturday night prime time presidential debate in New Hampshire was big. Sure, most people probably tuned into Redskins football during the Republican debate. But I think a lot of folks wanted to see if Obama could close the deal and overcome the Clinton machine one more time. Richardson stole the show in my opinion, with his admitted screw-up on Supreme Court basic knowledge at the end.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Richardson? You must be joking. He was more nonsensical than Obama, and speaking as someone who can't figure out what is so hot about Obama's policy ideas, that's saying a lot. Richardson argued with other candidates when there was no argument, couldn't stop talking about the jobs he has held (take a shot whenever he says "North Korea"), and called the other three candidates uncivil. He's been apologizing for naming White for months now; he's turned it into an applause line, and that is tacky. I don't think he should have even been included in the debate. I take Mike Gravel more seriously than I take Bill Richardson.