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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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November 16, 2007 3:58 PM

Burner's review of Demo presidential candidates

Posted by David Postman

Democrat Darcy Burner was in audience last night for the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. She posted her thoughts at DailyKos but — spoiler alert — here's the good stuff:

* Joe Biden is brilliant in making his responses just a bit flip and very funny. I wish he'd figure out that his plan to end the war in Iraq could be a way to capture voters if he just explained it to them.

* Bill Richardson is skillfully running against DC — which he should be, given what the American public thinks of DC right now. I wish he would find a way to speak clearly and simply without making it ambiguous whether his stances are bold or naive.

* Dennis Kucinich is embracing his positions rather than dancing around them. That's brave.

* Hillary Clinton is the only candidate really listening to the other candidates when they speak — even nodding when she agrees. I wish she would make a bold, clear, shocking statement of principle so that it was easier to make that emotional leap to her.

* Barack Obama is using audience feedback to adjust his tone as he goes after the other candidates; he's being much bolder about testing limits in the debate than the others. I wish he would spend more time being as inspiring as he's capable of being, and less time attacking; we could use more inspiration.

* Chris Dodd really seems to be having fun.

* John Edwards is as angry as many of the voters I talk to in my district about what's going on, and I have little doubt he'd go to the mat for them. I wish he could find a way to make more of his optimism about the American people show through the anger, though.

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