Thursday, February 21, 2008

Abbreviated Debate Thoughts

Given that Obama has won the last 11 contests (he won the Democrats Abroad primary today with 65% of the vote) and a win in Texas would probably be decisive, everyone was looking to see if this debate in Austin was going to be game-changing. But it wasn't. Since Obama's the front runner, he didn't need to knock it out the park, just not stumble (he didn't). Hillary, however, needed to hit it out of the park and that didn't happen. While she did really good, no one dominated - so Obama wins by default by not having been knocked down (this dynamic is very similiar to the one back in the debates when Hillary was the front runner and Obama and Edwards were trying to knock her down). Clinton also took a lot of shots (which backfired with CNN's undecided voters according to their reaction monitors), but all Obama needed to do was show he could stand up to it all and stay above the fray - and he did that. Hillary's got one last chance in the Ohio debate next week to change the race, but right now she hasn't slowed him down enough to flip things around the way she needs. So Hillary did good (particularly her closing), but so did Barack, so it just might be too little, too late.

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