ABC News/Facebook/WMUR New Hampshire Democratic Debate Winners and Losers

Winners

  • John Edwards: Stayed strong and on message.  Sided with Obama as a candidate for change, and put Clinton on the spot as the status quo candidate.  He came off as articulate, clear, and as the viable alternative to a non-confrontational unity politician like Barack Obama.
  • Bill Richardson: Didn’t do anything good, didn’t do anything bad.  His one big flop was calling Russia the Soviet Union.  But he’s tired, just like the rest of the candidates.  He’s not going to be the nominee, but he isn’t going to be left out of the race.  He’s clearly making the case as an experienced vice presidential candidate.
  • The people of New Hampshire: Compared to the Republican debate, the second half of the Democratic debate was quite engaging on the issues, on the race, and on substance.  Clearly, there is a push for new policies and ideas in the Democratic party.  We want real leaders who will talk clearly and our Democratic candidates are willing to do that.  While looking exhausted when not answering, they were engaged when the camera was on them.  New Hampshire has a tough choice ahead of them.
  • Barack Obama: He didn’t shine like he could’ve as the front-runner, but Gibson made sure he got the first and last word.  He seemed more tired and lackluster than he is on the stump, but that seems to have been the case for most of the debates he has been in.

Losers

  • Hillary Clinton: Her angry moment sure didn’t help her (though it is quite clear she has the energy and is quite committed to the race) and Edwards’ double-team with Obama against definitely portrayed her as the third wheel of a two-person race.  She’s falling fast in New Hampshire and needs to dump Mark Penn.
  • The Republicans: After watching most of their debate, I can’t see how American or folks in New Hampshire would want their old grumpy grandpa or their sleazy corporate boss as president.  Huckabee’s the only one who looked presidential but his policy offerings have largely been substance-less.  Bill Clinton had the advantage of being an intellectual and Rhodes Scholar to overcome the fact that he was really only the governor of Arkansas.  Huckabee doesn’t have that advantage.
  • Charlie Gibson (And his NH counterpart): Maybe it was just me, but his cynicism towards the Democrats in general seemed to make him look just as grumpy and frumpy as most of the Republicans in the hour and a half before the Democrats.  I’m glad they challenged the Democrats but it seemed a bit harsh and a bit more than needed.

Feel free to call me out on these and offer your own thoughts and reactions.  We all know I can be wrong from time to time.  And if you’re curious, Time’s Mark Halperin offers his grades of the candidates here.

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ABC News/Facebook/WMUR New Hampshire Democratic Debate Open Thread

Update: The liveblog and commentary is in the comments section.  Go there, participate.

I’ll be offering some of my commentary on tonight’s debate here at BH either here on the front-page or in the comments.  Feel free to drop in comments whenever  you please and share your thoughts.

Right now the Democrats and Republicans are on stage for a huge photo op.  Interesting image…

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Citizen journalism in Iowa

Cross-posted at Political Forecast.

Maybe I’ve missed something in my absences from blogging over the past few months, but has the Register ever really done a serious news or feature piece on Iowa’s bloggers and citizen journalists?  I mean, I know we threaten their credibility and their readership by getting scoops, insight, and news out faster sometimes–not to mention that our commentary is sometimes more consistent and better written than their columnists’–but it almost seems like there is an intent to ignore the contributions that bloggers in Iowa have had both before the caucuses and in previous elections or issues.  Today, in their features section, they profile one citizen journalist who has been vlogging for PurpleStates.tv (she had to audition to get the gig) and one guy who has been doing it for MTV.  Don’t get me wrong, their efforts are valuable…but what about the folks who do this on their own time and don’t necessarily live off of it?

The folks at Iowa Independent have been doing regular news and political reporting since May, and other bloggers on both sides of the aisle have been part of the debate and policy discussion in Iowa politics for a few years now.  Other papers across the state, as well as national papers and news magazines, have highlighted our growth and commented on our contributions.

Simply put, why can’t Iowa’s paper of record recognize or examine the Iowa online community for what it is and report back to the people of Iowa on it?  I don’t want the media attention, the scrutiny, the interviews, the publicity; I just think that some of us deserve the recognition for the contributions we make.  Two of my former colleagues at Iowa Independent have already talked a bit about this subject (see Chase Martyn’s initial post here and read Ben Weyl’s abbreviated response here) and I think it is one worth further discussion as we continue to build Iowa’s blogosphere.

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Surge in Edwards' online fundraising

UPDATE (3:40 PM): I just got a fundraising email from Joe Trippi on behalf of the Edwards campaign.  Seems like they’re going to keep piling on the money today. -Chris

I’m not one big on making releases front-page material here on BH, but I’ll try to condense this release from the Edwards Campaign to something we can talk about, with the full release available here:

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to Sen. Edwards’ strong finish in Iowa,” said Edwards’ senior strategist Joe Trippi. “We’re on track for our best online fundraising day ever, since www.JohnEdwards.com went up a year ago – and half of the contributions we’re seeing are from new donors to the campaign. That speaks volumes to the strength of John Edwards’ message of standing up and fighting for the middle class.”

The campaign first saw an uptick in online fundraising late last night, as the results from Iowa’s first-in-the-nation contest began rolling in. The surge continued overnight, and by 8:45am ET this morning the campaign’s online contributions had already topped the previous day’s day-long total. Between the hours of 10:00am and 11:00am ET today, the campaign experienced its best online fundraising hour ever.”

I’m not sure what this means in the grand scheme of online fundraising for the top-tier Democrats, or even the Edwards campaign itself since there aren’t really specific numbers and totals.  However, I think it will be really interesting to see what Obama and Clinton are seeing in terms of their own online fundraising and I hope they put out some information about those numbers soon.

A couple other quick facts from the Edwards campaign:

  • Half of those who have contributed are first-time donors to the campaign
  • More than ninety percent (92.6%) of today’s online contributions are for amounts less than $100

Those are some pretty impressive figures.  Let me know if you hear of any more numbers or interesting stories.

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Thank You Joe Biden and Chris Dodd

Chris Dodd and Joe Biden have both decided to leave the presidential race and will be going back to the Senate.  I wish them the best of luck.  In the extended entry, you can read Dodd’s remarks to supporters and you can read the release from Biden’s campaign.

On behalf of Iowa Democrats and the Bleeding Heartland community, let me say thank you to both Senators for their remarkable fight and effort they put into the caucuses.  Without Biden, we wouldn’t be able to have the serious debate about the future of Iraq like we’ve been able to have.  Without Dodd, things like FISA and restoring the Constitution would have been tossed aside.  These men have extraordinary experience and are good leaders for the Democratic party.

We Iowans are interesting people.  Of all the Senators and former Senators in the race, we picked the one with the least experience in that institution.  Maybe it is because of his message of hope, of unity, of change.  But we also looked past a combined 50+ years of experience in the Senate.  Is that a bad thing?  I don’t know.  I hope not.

However, these two men can now head back to the Senate and keep working hard for our majorities in Congress.  And pressing this reckless President for change.  Dodd can keep fighting and filibustering.  And who knows, maybe we’ll see one of these men later on as a vice president.

Or maybe as the new Senate Democratic leader.

One more time, thank you!

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Iowa Caucus Results Thread

(Turnout keeps going up...227,000 now.  Wow. - promoted by Chris Woods)

Wow, I just got done with my precinct caucus–I was chair and had to tally results.  Des Moines 4 went for Sen. Barack Obama, but just barely.  He left with two delegates, two for John Edwards, and one for Hillary Clinton.

Let me know what’s going on in your caucus. We had amazing turnout–122 people–with almost 40 newly registered Democrats who were formerly registered as no party or Republicans.  And they came to caucus for all three of the big name candidates.

What’s on your mind?  And how about these turnout results?  Seriously, 221,000 Democrats as of right now. Over 100,000 Republicans.  That’s over 300,000 Iowans.

Eat it, Markos. Iowans turnout. And we take things seriously.

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