I decided not to live blog tonight's Democratic Party debate in New Hampshire. I was busy doing something else, but I had the debate on in the background. So I thought I would just post some thoughts I had as the debate was happening. (And I might try live blogging again for the Republican debate... because it's fun to tease them live).
1.) During the audience question segment, four teachers and a student asked questions but none asked about education. Gov. Richardson finally brought up education during the final seconds of the debate... but that was it? To me, education is a very important issue. I want to know what these candidate plan to do to fix the education system (especially the damage from No Child Left Behind). I know Iraq is the main focus, but I hope they'll discuss education in upcoming debates.
2.) All the candidates want to get rid of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Great! That's very good to hear.
3.) Mike Gravel is a crazy, old coot. He at least made the evening somewhat entertaining.
4.) Larry King is an on-the-floor reporter for the aftermath? Wow, it seems weird to see him away from his desk.
5.) I continue to like Barak Obama. He's a smart guy and makes a lot of good, well-thought-out points. I like that he fleshed out his idea of rolling back President Bush's tax cuts for the rich. He did a great job with that.
6.) Hilary Clinton had a couple of great jokes tonight. They came when she was talking about President Bush's failure of diplomacy. She mentioned that every once in a while, Bush will send Condi Rice around to other countries on diplomatic missions, but she doubts they have any substance to them. And then she mentioned Vice President Dick Cheney going on diplomatic missions and how that is "hardly diplomatic" in her view. That made me chuckle.
7.) The candidates kept hammering the idea that the Iraq War is President Bush's war and how he doesn't care about public opinion or how many American lives his war destroys. That's going to continue to be their best strategy.
8.) Joe Bidon raised some interesting points, especially when it came to his vote for the Iraq spending bill last month.
9.) Health care was almost as big of an issue as the Iraq war in this debate. That was interesting. I wasn't listening close enough to remember which candidate has which position, but they all seemed to be interested in giving health insurance to those who need it. Richardson had some interesting ideas that he seems to have already experimented with in New Mexico.
10.) Also interesting was the discussion of the VA hospitals and how they get a much better deal on medication than other hospitals do.
11.) One of the commentators in the aftermath discussion mentioned that he though Hillary Clinton looked "presidential." And they mention that the other candidates seem to be looking to her for leadership. Interesting.
12.) Obama brought up how President Bush let Osama Bin Laden get away because he let himself get distracted by going to Iraq (a country that had nothing to do with Bin Laden's attack on 9/11). Good to hear.
Those are my thoughts right now. I'll probably think of some more after I sleep on it.