Based on my watching of the Clinton-Obama “debate” last night, I think the overall evening favored Clinton about 55-45. From everything I’ve read, Clinton is ahead in several of the large states in next Tuesday’s Super-Duper Votearama. She’s got more organization and more of the party infrastructure going for her, though of course the recent polls don’t reflect whatever “Kennedy bump” Obama may get from the Ted K endorsement.
So, going into the debate last night, I think Obama needed some kind of knockout punch to move the needles out there, and if he landed it, I must have been helping my daughter with her Social Studies homework during that moment. I think a lot of undecided voters may have tuned in, seen both candidates smiling and discoursing politely, and figured, well, they both look great, both have plenty of answers, but she’s got so much more experience, so. . .
It seemed to me that the very setting of the debate, with the candidates seated close together like students in a classroom, favored Clinton’s style over Obama’s. Obama is best in campaign rallies, where his soaring, hopeful, “yes we can” rhetorical flights can lift his fans. But last night’s forum was more like a seminar than a rally, and when it comes to policy details, nobody can out-wonk Clinton.
And the overall niceness of the event, with the candidates dishing compliments to each other, wouldn’t get many negative juices flowing in voters, either. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of Obama’s fans already see him in the VP spot, which he’d be a fool to reject, and that may take some of the edge off their ardor in the next few days. Their line: Hey, why fight with each other when we can have both of them on the ticket?