I watched the Democratic debate in California tonight, after watching some of the Republican debate last night. I was somewhat struck by the vastly different tones of the two debates. The Republican debate featured McCain and Romney clearly hating each other, Huckabee hating gays and evolution, Ron Paul hating monetary policy, and everybody hating Ron Paul. The Democratic debate, however, was downright chummy. Sure, Clinton and Obama poked and jabbed each other, but the gloves most certainly stayed on.
Now, the pundits were saying that the tone of the Democratic debate was a result of the strategy of both candidates: neither one wanted too look like the desperate attacker, with Obama trying to ride his surge and Clinton trying to run out the clock. This certainly seems likely; I don’t dispute it. However, beyond that, I think it really speaks to a different feeling in the Democratic party, certainly a different feeling from any I have experienced in my short political life. Since I was little, the Republicans have been the party united around a core of ideas, without dissension (except, notably, McCain and a few others), while the Democrats have been weak and in disarray. It seems finally that the tables are turning. McCain is a strong candidate, but a great many Republicans have issues with him. To use Republican terminology, he is no Ronald Reagan. The Democrats are united, and I fully expect ‘regime change’ come November. It seems one of the most important factors is cohesion, and the Democrats seem to perhaps have finally rediscovered it, refashioning Reagan’s ’11th commandment’ for their own usage.
Maybe I’m wrong, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Update: Some people agree with me.
The Republicans last night looked like men competing for a chance to lose an election. Tonight, Hillary and Obama looked like they were competing to be President of the United States.