Thursday, November 15, 2007

Obama Has Best Line in Democratic Debate on CNN

Well, the self described "best" team of political commentators on CNN said Hillary Clinton had the best night in the Democratic Presidents debates in Las Vegas just concluded, but I disagree.

Hillary was indeed excellent, and did have memorable lines - most notably that the other Democratic contenders are ganging up on her not because she's a woman, but because she's ahead - but I thought the best line belonged to Obama, and certainly has the most important meaning for the future:

Pressed by Wolf Blitzer about energy choices - in particular, the problems of disposing nuclear waste - Obama insisted that he and the American people not be bound by the confines of current technology. Obama challenged Blitzer to think big, and have an open mind as to what we could do to technologically improve our energy situation in the future.

Maybe it's because I'm an historian of technology, maybe it's because I'm a science fiction writer, but I found Obama's point very profound and indeed crucial to improving our future.

Meanwhile, in general, the debate was about the strongest we've seen among the Democrats, so far. And, although I don't agree with some of Hillary Clinton's positions - especially her Senate vote declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard "terrorist" (the last thing we should do is give the Bush administration any more license for military action) - I was moved by what she said about what her election would mean for women in America. It is long since time that a woman was President of this country, and, although Hillary Clinton is far from perfect, her election would be revolutionary and healthy if for no other reason than she is a woman.

So perhaps Hillary Clinton did slow Barack Obama down a bit tonight. Debates are clearly not Obama's medium - he gives much better speeches at rallies than answers at debates. Edwards and the other Democratic candidates were fine, as usual, but did not light any new fires. Kucinich can indeed lay claim to being against the war, and on the best side of the important issues, from the very beginning. In a better world, he would be at least among the top three candidates running for the Democratic nomination for President.
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