I didn’t stay up for last night’s Democratic debate, but plenty of other people did.
As he has all primary season, Stephen Green drunkblogged last night’s festivities:
6:53pm CNN is trying to get the candidates to draw blood, asking them to defend the terrible accusations they make about each other in their speeches. Hillary deflects, taking aim instead at President Bush. If you’ll pardon the language, I have to ask “What the fucking fuck?” Tonight is no different than any of Clinton’s previous debate performances — and we can tell how much good those have done for her. Is she setting herself up for a graceful exit on March 5? She’s a Clinton, I can’t believe that.
6:54pm Obama deflects, also. But in his case, that’s the smart move. As for Hillary… I’m a little drunk and could use some help picking my jaw up off the floor.
6:57pm Barack just made fun of one of Clinton’s anti-Obama lines, and Clinton is doing that weird face-thing she calls a laugh. The debate just ended. It’s too late. There is nothing Clinton can do at this point to turn this thing around.
Turn off your TV. Scrub your TiVo’s hard drive. It’s over.
I’ll keep watching, out of some strange sense of blogger duty, and because I still have a lot of brandy to go.
But the rest of you should just go on home already.
And, later, Steve summed up just how badly Clinton lost last night:
I never thought I’d say this, but Hillary Clinton is too stupid, dependent, and timid to be President of the United States of America. A year ago, even a couple months ago, I might have said that Clinton was too shrewd, shrill, and bellicose to be President. But not anymore. Not after tonight.
Clinton came into tonight’s debate a loser. She lost the last ten primary contests, she lost the support of some unknown number of superdelegates, and she lost the mantle of inevitability to Barack Obama. She came into tonight’s debate needing to shake things up. And what did we get? The same Hillary we’ve seen in every other debate of this overlong campaign season.
Hillary needed to shake things up. She needed to be bold, be daring. She needed to show her heart and her steel. Instead we got… what? A candidate who changed the subject when the going got rough. When asked about the Mexican border, Clinton talked about Canada. When asked about Obama’s credentials to be commander-in-cheif, she talked about health insurance. When asked about what she’d do as President, she pretty much admitted that she wasn’t going to get the job. “Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine,” she said.
Ron Chusid, admittedly an Obama fan, agrees:
This was the first debate in which Clinton was the clear underdog. To get back into the race she needed a performance which could change the dynamics of the race. Instead we saw more of the same. I’ve felt all along that Clinton’s campaign was failing due to lack of substance and an over-reliance on Rove style attacks. Just as Clinton’s attacks have worked to Obama’s advantage during the campaign, seeing Clinton booed only reinforced how her strategy has failed.
Stick a fork in her, she is, I think, done.
I can see how this will unfold now. Clinton will continue losing ground in Texas and Ohio. She will lose the popular vote and the delegate count in Texas and, in Ohio, it will be such a small margin that it won’t really count as a victory. By the time we wake up on March 6th, it will be clear that Barack Obama’s path to the nomination is clear and that the only way that Clinton could stop him would be to engage in tactics that would both destroy her and the Democratic Party.