I missed the Democratic presidential debate last week. I might have had trouble reporting it objectively in any case, and the reaction of some well-connected Democrats may be more probative than anything I could have said first-hand.
From Richardson supporters and potential supporters, I heard disappoinment. Apparently, he just didn’t do very well. Richardson is a borderline contender at best, so he could hardly afford to come up short on this stage.
From Clinton supporters, the talk was about Obama, not Hillary. I heard relief that, in their judgment, he hadn’t been particularly impressive. This assessment was consistent with what others with no stake were saying. The significance of what I heard from the pro-Hillary crowd resides, I think, in how fearful they were that he would do better. The fear is that he can present himself as someone who transcends ordinary politics. The relief was that, at least on this occasion, he came off as just another over-handled, over-rehearsed candidate.
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