Hillary lost the Democratic debate tonight in New Hampshire. She was uptight, defensive, curt, unfriendly, cold, and tense in her defense of her positions on the Iraq War. Only after the first forty minutes of the debate, when the subject turned to more congenial fields for her such as health care, gays in the military, and immigration, did she finally loosen up and show some smiles and charm.
Barack Obama, dignified, substantive, and prepared, came out the best. His reasoned answers and his calm, deliberate presentation contrasted sharply with Hillary’s tight unsmiling presentation. Edwards set the tone for the debate with his criticism of his two rivals. He did very well and may have talked himself back into the race — although he did himself no good by repeating that the war on terror was just a “slogan” or a “bumper sticker.”
Hillary did nothing to outshine her rivals and looked very much one of the pack. She will probably slip in the polls as a result.
The best performer, bar none, was Joe Biden. His defense of funding for the war — to buy protective vehicles for the troops to minimize casualties — was very persuasive and his demand for action on Darfur was inspiring. Dodd did well as did Richardson. Everybody did well except for Hillary. This was not her night.