And something I said of the first Republican gathering, in August, still obtains: Being President of the United States is emphatically not about speaking in sound bites, but any such moderated debate is entirely about speaking in sound bites. If the complex issues facing the President could be answered and solved in thirty seconds, they wouldn’t land on the President’s desk. The Presidency is much more difficult, much more in-depth, and I want to know that whoever we choose can actually deal with such complexity. How they perform answering a question in 30 or 60 seconds is meaningless.
It’s interesting that the candidates spent so much effort attacking big business and the “billionaire class” while standing on a stage in the Winn Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.
Beyond that, I don’t think O’Malley said enough to attract my interest (although I was thrilled when he was the first to mention reinstating Glass-Steagall), nor did Webb (although I tend to prefer Webb’s experience of the five on the stage). Chafee stumbled mightily. Of the top two, Clinton sounded too much of “I’ve been running for President for 16 years. It’s my turn, so just vote for me. I’m only here to be polite to the also-rans.” Sanders impressed me the most, though I’ve liked him for a long time. Unfortunately, I disagree with about half of his positions.
So yeah, I watched the debate. And no, it didn’t do anything to convince me which of these five should be the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party (nor did it do anything to convince me who I should vote for in the next Presidential election). I still think my ideal candidate is partially Bernie Sanders, partially Donald Trump, a bit of Jeb Bush, a hint of Jim Webb, and a very large chunk of me.