The tide turned tonight. Two candidates walked into the Kodak Theater with a star-studded audience. One of them walked away looking like the next leader of the land of the free. Check out Wonkosphere to see who catches the buzz but a quick trip across the interwebs suggests this was a big night for Obama:
On the Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire,” 75% of the voters declared Obama the winner. My favorite comment posted there:
I was undecided until this debate. Obama sounded more decisive, more intelligent and more interested. Comment by – January 31, 2008 at 10:15 pm
One of Obama’s strongest moments occurred during the discussion of Iraq. If he walked on the stage with the objective of emphasizing his strength in a match up against John McCain, he executed that plan brilliantly. He asserted the clear contrast in his position as someone who never supported military action in Iraq against that of a candidate who now comfortably discusses being committed in Iraq for 100 years.
Obama didn’t let the moment pass without addressing his Democratic opponent, however, and Ben Smith does a fair job of catching the transcript at Politico:
His [Obama’s] trump card is his vote against the war, and he’s moved toward a new argument for why it’s relevant.
“I think I will be the Dem who will be most effective in going up a John McCain…because I will offer a clear contrast,” he says. “I don’t want to just end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.”
Clinton, then, is pressed to revisit her own vote…again….calling it “sincere.”
Marc Ambinder shares his first thoughts on the debate. Ready to declare the evening a draw, he can’t resist the power of Obama’s strong start or his answer on Iraq: