Democrats & Debates

So...I finally read the transcripts for the April 27 (?) and December 13 Democratic debates. Due to interest, I really only read the answers offered by Clinton, Obama, and Edwards--but had the time to draw a comparison between the candidates' development. The April debate was better for general answers, although both debates are full of plenty of vague statements.

Clinton & especially Obama were already both solid speakers in April; Edwards' oratory skills have also advanced a bit, though the veneer occasionally slips away. While it was hard to glean as much useful information as the second debate focused on more rural and domestic, especially Iowan, issues that simply wouldn't affect me. Me = middle to upper middle class, college student, liberal, biologist.

Edwards: the man of the middle class, hates corporations and the way they're eating the lower middle class away. Some of his plans seem pretty solid, in particular his stance on education. But there are points where I question the validity of what he wants to do. I also didn't see much of his intentions for foreign policy beyond the generic war = bad, so...looks like he'll be good domestically and that the generic Democrat anti-war platform will dominate otherwise. Edwards' awareness of the importance of economy impressed me. I didn't initially think he would stand a chance against Clinton or Obama, but he fills in some of their gaps. Environmentally speaking, he was also on a bit sounder ground as he cared about the economic impact of green living. His expectations of a pre-K year seem a bit radical to one who escaped the new SATs and thinks that people who go to college admissions camp and, in general, pay money to do better on admissions tests & essays are giant fucking idiots.

Clinton: my least favorite because she's so dominated by her healthcare plan, which, when she kept referring to Medicare and to Social Secuirty, seems limited to the truly underprivileged. A lot of what she said that was actually concrete struck me as wishy-washy; paying money to pollute? Yes, it's nice to be able to invest in R&D, but seriously.... As a college student, Hillary as president wouldn't do me much good, especially since her plans for funding are...well, dubious. Transparency in government is cool, but it seems like Hillary has had too much experience being in government; her proposals come off as immediate negotiations, a problem because they offer more opportunities for Republicans to demand--I, for one, think plans should start off more liberal than the author knows they will end. As for foreign policy--reasonable

Obama: although his lack of experience disappoints--I'd hoped he would run in 2012--he's got some very solid, consistent opinions that I really hope to actually see turn into actions. Namely, the need for massive reform of how the government does things. And yes, Obama, too, focuses more on the genuinely unprivileged rather than the middle classes; however, his goals are more universal because he doesn't feel the need to limit as strongly. His foreign policy is consistent with his domestic--the government has to be reformed for things to truly work out; his goals are what I would like. But the problem is, are these things possible? Obama would need a fair amount of time and support in Congress.

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