public persona

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Down here in front of my computer I watched the entire debate last night at the U. of Texas between Hillary and Barack. Cynthia didn’t want to watch it on TV upstairs because she wouldn’t be able to stand it, she said. She’s strongly for Clinton. So she stayed upstairs and read.

I’m liking Obama more and more, not only because I think he has a better chance of beating McCain, but because he’s proving himself presidential more and more, like he did in the debate last night. Hillary did well in the debate, too, and her closing remarks were nothing short of magnificent. I’m not one of those who subscribes to Hillary’s public persona as rigid and fake. I’ve read that in private she’s likable and outgoing, and I believe she probably is.

But of course, she’s a politician, just like Obama. Politicians have to be actors on the public stage. And they get interpreted and stereotyped by the media and the talking heads. That’s why I turned the debate right off at the end rather than listen to the talking heads discuss it, but I did scan their opinions this morning.

Most say it was a draw and I agree. The negatives were the bit about plagiarism, which, with Obama, I agree is just silly, and the bit about the Obama speeches being Xerox copies, which is also ridiculous. The rest of the debate, the large majority of it in fact, was very civil and stuck to discussion of issues.

On the health care issues, although I see the point many make about mandates, Obama may be right in that mandates are not all they’re cracked up to be (witness Massachusetts) plus getting them through congress will be daunting even if a Democratic majority gets elected. Obama’s approach, being more flexible, might actually get something passed in the way of significant health care reform.

So, to conclude, I thought they were both great, that the debate was civil for the most part, and that it was probably a draw. Actually, Hillary may pick up a few points because of her Eureka moment at the end. We’ll see.

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