Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SC Dem Debate

I'm really not sure how the fireworks between Obama and Clinton in last night's debate will play with voters. I think it's good that they can defend their records and dish out substantive attacks -- the winner will need to be able to do this in the general election. But yes, it's a bit of a turnoff, especially considering how comparatively civil, substantive, and high-minded the debates have been thus far.

Clinton and Obama more or less ignored Edwards. You can hardly blame them, since the media have been doing the same thing. But the risk of their two-person slapfest is that it allows a third participant to rise above the ugliness. It hasn't gotten a ton of attention, but after one of Clinton and Obama's nastier exchanges, Edwards said this:
What I want to say first is, are there three people in this debate, not two?
And I also want to know -- I also want to know on behalf of voters here in South Carolina, this kind of squabbling, how many children is this going to get health care? How many people are going to get an education from this? How many kids are going to be able to go to college because of this?
We have got to understand -- you know, and I respect both of my fellow candidates -- but we have got to understand this is not about us personally. It is about what we are trying to do for this country and what we believe in.
And he was frequently interrupted by applause.

It's probably too late for Edwards, but I hope he'll stick it out for a while anyway. Apparently, Martin Luther King III agrees. He had this to say yesterday:
I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.
Nice endorsement.

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