Posted by: Matt Compton | February 1, 2008

A couple quick post debate observations

As most people have noted, tonight’s Democratic presidential debate was a fairly tame affair (the 18th such joint appearance that these two candidates have made, I believe). But a couple quick points:

  • You can say what you want about Democrats, but it’s undeniable that we throw a good party. Given that this debate was at the Kodak Theatre — better know as the home of the Oscars — I guess you would expect a pretty extravagant show. But that’s exactly what this was. It seems like every single one of CNN’s cutaways featured a famous face from film or television. The crowds outside were so large and enthusiastic, you’d think the red carpet really were out. The whole thing made last night’s GOP debate seem a little tired.
  • Outside, it seemed that the Obama organization had an edge — they did a better job getting their supporters and signs in front of the CNN cameras. But inside the debate hall, the crowd seemed pretty even split. Hillary definitely got the loudest applause line of the night.
  • I, for one, was really glad that CNN had the two candidates on stage seated next to each other. I was really worried that there was going to be another pair of podiums. Neither candidate seemed to want to really go after the other tonight, so maybe this concern wouldn’t have mattered. But I think we as a party are better served when our next nominee for President isn’t pointing fingers and savaging her/his rival.
  • Though it was a small thing, the end of the debate was a really nice moment for Obama. After all the talk early in the week of some sort of State of the Union night snub, he very quietly helped Sen. Clinton out of her chair once the debate was over. Then two of them embraced, whispered something to each other, and shared a private laugh. They were both probably under strict orders from their advisors to make this kind of show, but it was nice nevertheless.
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