The New York Times has posted a good transcript of the debate.
Greg Mitchell was disappointed they did not parrot their talking points on Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care and mortgage crises, the overall state of the economy and dozens of other pressing issues
On which Hillary and Obama hold basically the same views.and instead were asked about trivial issues like Obama's recent "bitter" gaffe and relationship with Rev. Wright (seemingly a dead issue) and not wearing a flag pin -- while Clinton had to answer again for her Bosnia trip exaggerations.
They may have been "trivial" but at least there was a debate between their positions.Ed Morrissey thought Thanks to a surprisingly tenacious set of questions for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from ABC moderaters Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous, Barack Obama got exposed over and over again as an empty suit, while Hillary cleaned his clock.... Obama, however, never did figure out the First Rule of Holes. Once again, he described religion as a refuge people use when government doesn’t work — a fatal misreading of religious faith in America.
"Religion as a refuge people use when government doesn’t work" is consistent with what Rev Wright taught at the "church" Obama spent 20 years in.He not only came up with bad answers, he looked lost and tentative throughout the entire period.
Joe Gandelman blogged it wasn’t Obama’s best night (possibly his worst debate performance), Clinton continued effectively and relentlessly on the attack — and ABC and the debate moderators will come under fire from Obama supporters and perhaps others due to the first 45-minutes being questions that basically put Obama on the defensive.
If he can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.Marc Ambinder blogged Obama's supporters like to see him fight back against the Man... witness his quick response to "bittergate".....; tonight, it seemed as if he was surprised by the pace of the questions and all the air was gone from his answers. There was no fight. Unless you paid attention, you might have missed a few firsts: the first time the candidates debated gun control. The first time that Obama attacked Clinton about her husband's pardon. Obama's floating the idea that he would exempt workers who make between $97,000 and $200,000 from his payroll tax hike.
Ann Althouse blogged 1. It was good.
2. Obama has always had a blandness about him. When you're feeling good about him, you project your hopes onto that blandness and he seems wonderful. When you're anxious about him, you think he's effete and ennervated. He's always the same. His face did look puffy and not as fresh as it once did. Deal with it. He's a human being.
Despite what his supporters may think.3. Hillary bloomed with bright energy in the environment of ABC's questions. She can reel out the policy when that's what's required. But cruel political fighting unleashes her super powers.
Scott blogged Most striking to me was Obama's dour attitude. The man is not a happy warrior. Obama was unhappiest when questioned by George Stephanopoulos about his friendly association with the terrorist Bill Ayers. He weirdly likened his friendly relationship with Ayers to his relationship with Republican Senator Tom Coburn,
who disagreed with him on abortion, but who had never bombed any abortion clinics.and therefore a tribute to his own magnanimity.
Nitya Venkataraman blogged Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama opened Wednesday's presidential debate on a point of accord: neither would answer head-on whether they'd be willing to name the other as vice president.
Hillary missed a good oportunity here. Obama answered first, and dodged the question, and Hillary could have hit it out of the park by saying if the voters picked her she certainly would include Barack. He would be a fool to accept, since he would be in third place behind Bill, but illary would have pleased a LO of super delegates if she accepted the idea.... Pressed by Stephanopoulos on whether Obama would be able to defeat McCain in the general election, Clinton — after a long statement that avoided the question — said, "Yes, yes, yes."