Monday, January 7, 2008


At Least there Were Fewer Debaters

Keene, NH (Jan.,2008. TBC) With a scant 120 hours between the results of the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary, the presidential candidates from both parties spent the weekend in a rush of frenzied activity. Aside from various and sundry town hall meetings, public events, TV appearances and interviews, Saturday night, both the democratic and republican candidates participated in separate back-to-back debates sponsored by ABC News and Facebook.

The candidates also made obligatory appearances on the numerous Sunday morning talk shows while the GOP contenders had yet another debate, billed as a Forum, sponsored by Fox News Sunday evening.

The one saving grace to this schedule was the fact that there were fewer candidates spewing out the same old hot air, bilge, lies, nonsense and political gibberish. The remaining candidates were at least permitted a certain amount of time to express ideas, opinions and to confront one another when prodded. The toll of all this mass debating is beginning to show on some of the candidates, most notably, democratic New York Senator, Hillary Clinton. She appeared shrill, angry, arrogant and otherwise churlish on Saturday night. GOP contender MItt Romney managed to perform his most effective imitation of Mrs. Clinton during the Forum on Sunday evening.

In a sense, it was somewhat refreshing to see the field of candidates reduced, but those remaining did little to distinguish themselves from their standard stump speeches, campaign rhetoric as they pitifully clung to their “message” at every opportunity. By now these scripted, robotic somewhat idiotic sound bites are more insult than annoyance.

The democratic debate Saturday was the typical display of those running. John Edwards was apoplexily on the attack against whatever it is that has him so pissed off. Bill Richardson continued to find new and novel ways to demonstrate his ignorance, irrelevance and overall ineptness. Hillary managed to be defensive, hostile, coy and her usual lying self with little effort. Barak Obama, fresh off his victory in Iowa, seemed more at ease with himself and the format. He spoke well when he needed to and made no obvious blunders. His colleagues managed to do that.

Sunday evening the republicans, sitting shoulder to shoulder, cheek to jowl, managed to keep their voices at conversational tones and overall, behave cordially. Romney, in one exchange with Iowa winner, Mike Huckabee seemed childishly exasperated. He looked like the little rich spoiled brat not getting his way. The facial expressions alone illustrated a side to Mitt that was telling: this man simply lacks the temperament, poise and self discipline to be the president. Added to his other liabilities, New Hampshire should be the end of the road for this millionaire. It would be convenient since, he would not be far from his palatial mansion in Belmont, Massachusetts and could be home the next day in time for tea and a massage.

Fred Thompson made several clumsy attempts at glibness and humor tonight, all of which fell. Apparently the Geritol enemas, B-12 shots, Head-On and Mountain Dew are just not working anymore.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani had an acceptable performance although Chris Wallace, the moderator, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to goad Mike Huckabee and John McCain into confrontations with Romney. McCain repeated his usual swill while Huckabee managed to resemble Jim Nabors at a city council meeting more than ever. When Rudy had an opportunity to speak, he was poised, confident and spoke in simple, understandable terms. Thompson chose to use his microphone time to discuss the arcane complexities of Social Security and certainly looked as if he’d be better off at home collecting it.

At least the voters here will actually be able to vote as opposed to the asinine, antiquated caucus process of Iowa. New Hampshire will be a true winnowing ground whereas Iowa simply removed the most obvious “no chance in hell” egotistical wannabes hoping for a cabinet post or some other handout when all is said and done in November.

Farley Marsden, New Hampshire Correspondent for TBC

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