More than anything, this debate compared to Wednesday’s Republican debate shows you exactly what the differences are between the two parties. Not just in the substance of their approaches but what they actually care about. The GOP debate was a pissing contest between McCain and Romney to show which of the two of them was more for the war in Iraq. The other contest was to see how many times within the confines of the program the name Ronald Reagan could be invoked as if it would raise him from the dead. By comparison the Democrats spoke about issues actually affecting Americans, what they would do about them and how Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama had differing approaches – yet aimed at the same goal. It was the party of Bush versus the party of Fixing Bush’s Mess.
In any other year I would probably bemoan the candidate’s attention to detail, and frankly that sort of thing is not going to be the major substance of this fall’s election – it just won’t, but for Democratic primary voters coming down from the Bush years in which the best details were to leave everything up to tax cut fairies – this is strong motivation and reassurance that we’re going to be behind someone who’s a grownup.
The match was mostly a draw but I would give a slight edge to Obama if only because the exchange on Iraq echoed 2004 way too much with Sen. Clinton replacing Sen. Kerry in the equation.