Democratic Texas Debate – Postscript

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No homerun for HRC tonight, which is what she needed; no stumble for Obama, which she also needed.
Obama was far more presidential; landed a perfect combo in response to the Xerox sound bite – sort of a “I’m so disappointed in you for doing that” shake of the head. Understated, well-played.
Hillary finished strong, I thought.   I wonder what the numbers would have been if she had not spent her campaign trying to be tougher and more prepared, calculating and micro-managed rather than softer and more human (which seems to really resonate with voters).   If she has a softer, more human side (which I doubt), she has become so used to keeping it hidden that when it sneaks in by accident it seems like she’s a total stranger. “Caught red-handed showing feeelings…showing feelings of an almost human nature. This will not do.”

HRC’s worst moments tonight reinforced every negative perception of her so in that regard, as well, she did not win anything. Her best moments were not strong enough to swing anyone who does not already support her. I found her insistent name-dropping and faux attempts at relating personal stories, as almost always, too prepped and scripted. Her demand to speak again, and again, and then again on health care came off poorly.

Obama’s worst moments…he didn’t really have any beyond seeming perhaps a little more subdued than usual.  His best moments demonstrated to everyone that he does have the goods on policy, can reach out to broad segments, and really is dedicated to doing things differently.

There was also, IMO, an interesting physical dynamic.  When HRC was speaking, Obama looked at her; appeared to be listening intently and considering what she said.  When Obama was speaking, Hillary looked down or away, smiling.   To me it seemed at best dismissive, at worst smug and condescending.   He listens to her – she dismisses him.   An extension of her campaign’s strategy of refusing to acknowledge his strengths, instead treating them as attack points.

I have spent a long time loathing HRC. I find her means, methods and style lacking or counter to qualities I would wish for in a president.  Nevertheless, now that it would seem to be almost a fait accompli that BHO will get the nomination, I hope Hillary can find a graceful way to exit the campaign for her own good, the good of the party and the Dem prospects in the general election. If she can’t be graceful about it, then I look forward to great heaping bowls of schadenfreud when she is forced to call it a day.

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