Monday, January 21, 2008

Democratic Debates: South Carolina


The Democratic debate in South Carolina quickly developed into a nasty battle of “suitability” between Clinton, and Obama. While Edwards, to a thankful crowd, rolled his eyes.

The debate took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on January 21, 2008 at 5pm PT. CNN broadcasted the event, with timid moderators Wolf Blitzer, Joe Johns, and Suzanne Malveaux heading the debate.

The first question's, regarding the Economy and Health Care, became a personalized bickering between the two front-runners Clinton and Obama, both sliding off-track and boasting their own idea of what needed to be said. Edwards, at one point had to jump in saying, "Are there three people in this debate, not two?" gaining Edwards an enormous applause from the audience. He later continued his criticism of the bickering duo with the statement, "This kind of squabbling -- how many children is this going to get health care? How many people are going to get education because of this? How many kids are going to get to go to college because of this? I respect both of my fellow candidates, but we have got to understand this is not about us personally." Maintaining his moral stand, and professionalism, Edwards was seen, united from an Obama favored crowd, as the winner of the debate. But would this do anything to boast his numbers at the voting booth? Sadly, probably not.

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This debate focused less on political issues and more on defensive differences between the three candidates. Obama addressed the impact with Bill Clinton's prominent existence in Hillary Clinton's campaign. Addressing the issue in many different opportunities, the only positive remarks Obama made towards the former president regarded, “his [Bill Clinton's] important, and respected presence in the black community.” This was offered following the odd, yet charming question of “Do you think Bill Clinton was our first black president?” Referring to remarks made by the Nobel Prize-winning African-American author, Toni Morrison, who famously observed this about Bill Clinton in the 1990’s.

The issue of the past week’s feud between Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Obama, remained a minor focus in the debate. Most of the debate was spent in policy differences amongst the candidates in a bitter battle to snag the voter’s hearts.

When it came to the economy, both Clinton and Obama agreed on a quick fix tax rebate for the American people upwards of $650.00 to immediately stimulate the economy. Edwards, on the other hand, was for long-term goals, and did not believe in a quick tax rebate. Later gaining the support of Obama in his long-term plan.

Senator Edwards has been known in past pubic forums to side towards Obama, and has subsequently become the “anti-Hillary” vote for Democrats. For the first time seen publicly in the campaign, Edwards and Clinton ganged up on Obama, and his inability to be tough on issues. This following a prominent booing from the audience towards Hillary Clinton and an attack she made on Senator Obama about why over 100 times he voted present on a number of important issues in the senate, instead of yes or no. Clinton’s original approach to draw up the issue was regarded as distasteful from viewers, but with the interaction of Edward’s it became a moment of observation on the reality that Obama has been a little less than honest, and fair on his past voting record. He took it shamefully and the issue was moved on, Obama one down.

John Edwards stood true to his campaign forum, once again reminding voters that he is a man of honest footing, who is not a fan of lobbyist deceit. He attacked Hillary Clinton for her support of lobbyists, and her potential intent to include them in her cabinet, if elected into office. Her defense was little more than ‘let it go, you’re wrong.’ While she came out foolish in the end with an intersection from Obama, siding with Edwards on Hillary and her lobbyist ways.

The South Carolina debates proceeded far more heated than intended, fewer questions were asked than in previous debates, and no new answers were provided. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all stood true to there original campaign idea’s but the persistent combativeness between Clinton and Obama surely did nothing more than aggravate listeners, and possibly turn off undecided voters.

The strategies of each candidate were easily determined. Obama focused on the black voter’s of South Carolina, the pre-determined winner of the South Carolina Primary. While, Clinton fought in a more national debate, knowing her wins were in such states as New York, to be seen at a later date. Edward’s, being the good contender he is, focused his attention on his honest beliefs, convictions, and concerns, being truly a candidate of the people. It has now been made clear that Clinton is running as the anti-bush, while Obama is standing as the un-bush. So, where does this leave Edwards? Well, he is the American voice.

Written by: Jessica Erven (c) 2008


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