Obama “a little nervous” at debate

From the Sun Times:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), known for his soaring rhetoric, stumbled during the first Democratic debate Thursday at South Carolina State University.

“Last night I was a little nervous,” Obama said at a rally in Charleston on Friday, where he filled the gym at Burke High School.

This is funny:

Constrained by a 60-second limit for replies that worked against Obama’s speaking style — a very long windup to the pitch — his tendency to generalize meant he did not directly answer some questions. Even when asked something noncontroversial, what he personally did to improve the environment, he said 3,000 campaign volunteers planted trees on Earth Day. With a prod from moderator Brian Williams, the NBC anchor, Obama added he’s “been working” to install energy efficient light bulbs at home. He sounded out of touch.

Been working to install energy efficient light bulbs. I think this will be the last debate Obama sounds like this. His handlers will no doubt be working on his answers and command of the issues. I think Hillary looked much better than Obama.

Some examples:

• Obama failed to cast himself as a forceful commander in chief.

Obama was asked how he would “change the U.S. military stance overseas” if two U.S. cities were attacked by al-Qaida. After a reference to the botched response to Hurricane Katrina, he said “review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack.”

Contrast that with the reply from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) — her best during the 90-minute debate. “Retaliate,” she said. “Focus on those who have attacked us and do everything we can to destroy them.”

Obama knew he blew it because a few minutes later he added “enemies” of the U.S. “have to be hunted down.”

Obama’s weakness, his inexperience, showed strongly at this appearance. I’m betting that the next debate will bring a whole new Obama with sharp answers. Luckily this debate was aired exclusively on MSNBC and therefore, almost no one watched it.

We do have the entire 1 hour and 30 minute debate, unedited, here for anyone interested.