Analysis: CNN Democratic Debate from Texas – 2/21

So far, both Clinton and Obama have done well on my scorecard. They have had good answers and good rebuttals. They are both spending a great deal of time attacking policies of the Bush administration, McCain has not come up nor has any of the attacks he’s levied against Obama.

They both agree that everyone should learn English and that Americans should learn more second languages. Obama also stated he believes in bilingual education for children who need it.

Here’s a short writeup from CNN:

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Clinton told voters she “offers a lifetime of experience and proven results” in her opening remarks in Thursday’s debate in Texas.

Clinton and rival Barack Obama are facing off for the last time before the crucial Texas primary.

Obama said “what’s lacking right now is not good ideas.”

“The problem we have is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die.”

When asked how a President Clinton would be different from a President Obama on the economy, both candidates stressed that they have similar plans for the economy, because it’s the “Democratic agenda,” as Clinton described it.

On immigration, Clinton said she would introduce a path to legalization within her first 100 days in office.

Obama said it is critical to “tone down the rhetoric” when it comes to the immigration debate.

“We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of immigrants, and we can reconcile those two things,” he said.

Both candidates said the country needs comprehensive immigration reform.

Update @ 9pm ET

Obama asked about copying speeches from his national co-chair, Deval Patrick. He said it’s “silly season” in campaigns. Clinton says Obama’s copied speeches are “change you can Xerox”. She didn’t back down on the issue of accusing him of plagiarizing.

Update @ 9:14pm ET

Big scuffle over health care and how to implement universal health care, as both candidates see fit. Clinton defende her plan which mandates the purchase of health insurance of government subsidies. Obama counters with the claim that people would buy it of they could afford it, thus, his goal is to lower costs.

Here’s Hillary’s line on Obama’s speeches:

Classic line.

We will be live coming up at 10pm eastern, 7pm pacific on You Decide Politics Radio with full debate analysis and reaction. We’ll be going over all the issues. I’ll post a “Listen Live” link at show time.

Update @ 12:27am ET 2/22

Here is the embed of the You Decide Politics Radio reaction and analysis of the debate for the full first hour. The second hour covers the other latest 2008 election topics:

Thanks to all the listeners and callers, we’ll be live next week Thursday at 10pm eastern, 7pm pacific.


Here’s the entire debate video:

Video: CNN Democratic Debate from Austin, Texas – 2/21/08

  • will the canidates promise to stop the double taxization on those of us who still have to work and draw social security. We are taxed on the social security after being taxed for it in the first place.

  • mike knick

    @russ scott

    i heard obama say during this debate that he would ‘end the loop holes in our tax system’ that for examples ‘taxes social security’.

    it looks like hillary has been practicing for this debate for a while now. obama needs to push how hillary is backed by special groups..

  • Jay Em

    How come there are no republican debates anymore?
    Huckabee could really use some debates now, but where are they?
    Do we wait till McCain gets his 1191 delegates first?

  • David

    Hillary is one to talk about “change you can xerox” :

  • Wendy Worlow

    Hey, Obama will be a great president in 8 years. But as a 44 year old long time bleeding heart liberal democrat, I must take exception to Barak’s stnad on universal health care. Having been in health care for many years, and having been a single mother struggling to provide that same healthcare to my children, I say MAKE IT MANDATORY!!!! There are far too many people out there who are offered insurance benefits by their employers who choose to opt out because they know that they can use the local ER as their family doctors. We are not going to turn away their 4 year old with a fever. The rest of us pay for what they choose not to.

  • Jeff

    The Democratic nomination is entirely within the hands of the voters in Ohio and Texas.

    If just one of those states goes for Obama then Hillary is out but if she wins both then this race will go right down to the convention and superdelegates.

  • sheron

    The commentators surprised me tonight with their bias opinions. I am republican by choice. I can’t believe they were hearing what I heard from tonight’s debate. I thought Hiliary was at her best . Obama is full of himself. No substance just hot air. People are like sheep. If Chrisma can buy the Presidency, we as a nation are in big trouble. Blind follow the blind and America goes to the ditch. Do people even listen to the words of the candidate. Hilary has the experience. Hiliary did great, and Obama just more words again. I believe People already have their minds made up, they don’t want facts. I still plan on voting for Huckabee, Democrates don’t want to be confused with the truth of what our nation needs. The truth.

  • Lorri

    I feel that Senator Clinton needed to stress the fact the Sen. Obama’s economic package was released after the primaries, not covering everyone as it claims and costing an est. 197 million dollars a year. Also, a interesting fact she should have addressed is the Global Proverty Act that Sen. Obama sponsored a few days ago. This will also cost the American Public an est.84 billion dollars. Money that we do not have and have to borrow from other countries increasing the debt for future generations. But, over all I feel that the comment made by Sen. Obama’s wife the other day is a serios issue. We have so many problems with foreign countries, a lot of them just do not like us. How will it look to them if some one is elected to office who’s spouse said this is the first time I have been proud of this country. Umm, I do not think that helps any.

  • Mary


    I agree with you that the health care system needs a total overhaul. But I’ve been saying for a long time exactly what Obama brought up in the debate tonight – mandates don’t work! Here in Massachusetts, we have this new mandate. Everybody, including me, got excited about having universal health insurance. Everybody really tried to make it work. And guess what? Fully 20% – 20%!! – of the uninsured are going to be able to get exemption from the mandate, because the plans available just aren’t affordable. The cheapest plan available to a family of 4 making 300% of the federal poverty level is $8,000. Plus, Medicaid premiums have actually gone up by 14%. So much for “universal” health care! Take that 20% and multiply it out across the national population and you’ve got 10 million left out by Hillary’s “universal” mandate.

    You can’t just wave a magic wand and say you cover everybody. You can’t penalize the poor who can’t afford health insurance by garnishing their wages. You have to focus on making health care both affordable and accountable – then people WILL buy it. Obama’s got “affordable” covered, saving the average family $2500 a year on their health insurance (details available on the website), and he’s also taking care of “accountable”, by ensuring that the insurance companies hold up their end of the deal and cover the care you need. These two things will get us as close as we can get to true universal health care.

  • Derek

    There were two things that really stood out for me tonight. In the last part of the debate, for the first time, I have been leaning toward Hillary and agree with her on the issues, but for the first time, during the last moments of the debate tonight, I felt that she connected with me not just on the issues, but as an American. It was genuine and went right to the heart.

    The second thing I noticed was that in nearly every response Senator Obama gave to a question – he talked about he agreed with Hillary or there was agreement between them. You know it’s not about stealing speeches or not having enough substance. I finally realized that Senator Obama is not ready to handle the responsibility and accountabiity he will have for our country and for us. As I think back I realize that most of what he has developed and discussed has been influenced greatly by others. Any President relies on the resources and experience for guidance, but in listening to him talk, I wonder if he is capable of making a very final decision on his own. It’s easy to rely on so much advice from the people around him now because they all agree with him. If he were to become President, he will have advice and words coming from every direction. I want a President that will actually be able to listen, but then act. I think Senator Obama will spend so much time listening and relying on others to help him reach a decision, that there will be very little action. His inspiration and his infusion of hope is admirable and uplifting. I’m just afraid he will not know how to implement it if he is elected.

    After tonight I am not simply leaning toward Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton now, without question, has my vote for President.

  • em

    i think that you need to take a listen to the candidate you are planning on voting for! all of the republican candidates have been full of more than hot air, and they are completely full of themselves–if you are truly in search of the ‘truth’, you need to join the democratic party and stop being brainwashed by the gop machine! we need change, and Obama is the man that can deliver that to the country.

  • love2008

    whats the mattrer with people who keep going about saying that obama is all hot air and no substance. Are you just plain daft or just stubborn? Everyone agrees that there is no basic difference between these to, policy wise. Today we saw an Obama that was more detailed and substansive. What else does he need to do to change this misleading perception? I have found that trying to change a cynic is as futile as trying to turn black to white. I cant believe you guys! Even Hillary agrees that much, saying there isnt much difference between both of them. Well, get used the fact on ground, Obama is winning this nomination and he is going to be the next president of the united states of America. DEAL WITH IT!

  • Quentin

    Unlike most people, I was unimpressed by Clinton’s final answer. She has done this “choked up” thing THREE TIMES in the last five weeks. To me, it seems fake, fake fake. Throw in the fact that Bill Clinton was known for crocodile tears (eg at Ron Brown’s funeral) and the whole thing struck me as about the phoniest thing I have ever seen.

  • love2008

    See how she pulls out the emotional card when all else fails. Its disgusting. And people out there are gullible enough to swallow it. One of the cnn commentators asked why she doesnt show more of that side of her since it was supposed to be her real side. I will tell you why, its because that is not her real self. That is her secret card she pulls out when ever she feels she is going down. It worked in new hampshire, it wont work in texas. People are not that stupid. If she really means a word of what she said, I wld expect her to call a press conference tomorrow morning and announce her withdrawal from the race. Then I will believe her.

  • Matthew

    I have to vigorously voice my opinion about our nation’s lack of “balls”. If we don’t show some kind of pride in a national identity and make a stand about this whole “English as an official language” topic, we are going to be overrun and our entire culture is going to go to hell. I am sick of seeing all of this Spanish everywhere I go… I am so so tired of it. There is a silent war going on. Soon, as a result of our inaction and inability to stand up for ourselves, we will cease to exist. By this I mean that we are afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings. What is so bad about saying, “English is our official language.”

    I say, “Learn English or go home. I wouldn’t travel to Mexico and get mad because the street signs weren’t in English. America! Wake UP!!

  • ebellam

    First off, I consider myself an independent, not confined to the Democrat or Republican Party.

    Overall, I believe that Barack Obama won the debate on last night. He did what Hillary Clinton has accused him of not doing by saying his campaign is all speech and no substance. At the debate, Obama gave very detailed plans unlike I have seen him do in past debates. His health care plan makes since if you look at the detail. His stance on Iraq is definitely unlike Clinton who signed for us to go into war. And every other issue that was covered in this debate, Obama gave great answers and explained his point to Americans.

    I think that the Clinton era is over and Hillary needs to admit that she is running against, not a good but excellent candidate. Take into consideration…Obama has won the last 11 primaries and caucuses and not once has Clinton congratulated him, but as long as she was ahead not only in the polls but delegate wise, she congratulted him.

    Also, I agree that the media, especially CAMPBELL BROWN, tried to add their own bias to the debate, but I am happy to say that Barack held his own, and even the media couldn’t knock him off his feet.

    Finally, I believe that the news have exaggerated Clinton’s last remarks. To me, they were not heart felt but a new rendition of what she did in New Hampshire. There were a few people to stand, but she DID NOT receive a standing ovation. The people stood to applaud both candidates because it was the end of the debate…this is the simple truth.

    I ask everyone to get involved for yourself. Watch the debates, press conferences, rallies, etc. and listen to the candidates for yourself. If the candidates are in your home town, go out and listen to them speak. Don’t allow the media to persuade you, you have to do what your heart says.

    This is the theme that I follow and my heart is telling me that Senator Barack Obama, Jr. Senator from Illinois has what it takes to take America to the next level and get the black sheet off of America, but he will help Americans work to show the world that we are still the country in which our founding fathers found, and we still uphold the standards of the “FREE” America.

    God Bless America.

    P.S. The Democratic party has two great candidates. You all need to stop making all the comments bringing the other candidate down, but begin endorsing the Democratic party so we can beat John McCain in November.

  • marcuswatson

    Clinton is a brilliant person with a good heart, as far as I can gather at a distance. What I think she and her supporters must respectfully understand is that she’s running in a fundamentally new era against a candidate who stands for that new era. Even when trying to be on her best behavior, her underhanded jabs reveal that Clinton is a politician socialized in the previous climate of partisanship politics and negative campaigning. The KIND of politics that she has mastered is a politics that today’s youth, and people young at heart, are turning away from. This is Clinton’s dilemma.

  • Bella Zialcita

    After the debate last night, it became clear who is the best candidate for president and commander in chief from day one — Hillary Clinton. I have never seen a candidate with so much knowledge on domestic and international issues. Extremely brilliant and phenomenal! She now definitely gets my vote! Go Hillary! We need you!

  • Poog

    Matthew… what the hell’s the matter with you? Did your ancestors learn cherokee when they first got here? Wake up, indeed.

  • eston

    We’ve finally reached the point where there isn’t even a “lesser of two evils” choice.
    THere isn’t a dimes worth of difference ibetween ANY of the candidates, both Demogogue or Repugnacant.

    Make no mistake-Hillary would sell CHelsea to the Islamists to get back into the white house.

  • michael bump

    It is time, once and for all, for Obama to concede the nomination and support Hillary Clinton as our democratic nominee. He and his method of politics, followers, etc. are far too devisive and crippling to the democatic party. For all the shallow rhetoric he offers of hope, for all the “inspiration” of his arena revivals, for his matra of positive campaigning, yet his followers are venomous, hateful, and drunk from comsumption of his “kool-aid.” A quick perusal of the above Obama-kin responses above shows this. If this type of devisiveness is what we can expect among Americans with Obama as president, forget it. Its time for Obama to step aside, and allow our country to move forward with a REAL candidate of change – – Hillary Clinton!!!!!

  • Nick

    To all of you who say Sen. Obama lacks experience. so? last time i checked, nobody has experience being president unless they’ve already been president, now sure Clinton has experience lying and cheating her way through her campains, and thats what most presidents do. but Obama is the kind of man that can reach people, put a spark in them. make people prideful of America, and that is a charactiristc of a great leader.