Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obama Wins Texas Debate

Barack Obama maintained his front runner status tonight in a cordial, upbeat debate with Hillary Clinton.

After winning 10 states in a row, Barack Obama had nothing to gain by going on the offensive. Clinton's campaign is on such tenuous ground that she could not afford to go on the offensive. As a result, the tone of the debate was in stark contrast with previous encounters. The candidates praised each other routinely, acknowledging similarities in their policies while also trying to highlight their differences on immigration, health care, and Iraq.

Both candidates showed signs of fatigue, with Obama suffering from nasal congestion and Clinton simply looking dog tired. Despite the exhaustion of criss-crossing Texas for days, neither candidate stumbled, and in the event of a draw, you have to give this one to Obama. This was one of Hillary Clinton's only opportunities to revive her campaign, and in that sense, she failed to capitalize.

In Hillary's uncharacteristically generous comments toward Barack Obama near the end of the debate, I couldn't help but feel like she was trying to make up for the nastiness of her earlier campaign. Unfortunately, she cannot sweet talk her opponent at debates only to slander him on the stump. Fortunately, most viewers will realize that when she takes the stage at her next event tomorrow, she'll be back to ripping on Obama.

One final note: Cheers to Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos for his excellent questions tonight. His direct, straightforward questions on Cuba, immigration, and Iraq were highlights of the debate. I hope we see him more often in future debates.