(From Kelly Haddad, Hardball intern)
It was the 3rd Democratic presidential debate, the All-American Presidential Forums at Howard University. Clinton, Biden, Richardson, Edwards, Obama, Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd were all there. The introduction of the journalist panel looked little like a criminal lineup between the dark lighting and their frozen faces. But from the media-filing center we could see the debate audience trying to hold on to their Tavis Smiley books and get ready for all the action. (Is this the first debate where the moderator promoted his or her own books?)
Post-game analysis was unanimous in declaring Senator Clinton the winner, so your blogger decided to focus on all the atmospherics that make up an event of this political importance. I believe she won the “best-dressed” award. In her pink stone necklace and matching sweater (in 95 degree weather) topped off with a large black belt, and double-breasted navy blue jacket. She was all style and confidence. The men were in almost matching navy jackets although we noted a diversity of ties. While former Senator Mike Gravel wore a red tie with a small yellow design. Congressman Kucinich incorporated a red jacquard tie with a white-checkered shirt beneath a pinstriped suit. Senator Dodd, Obama, former Senator Edwards and Governor Richardson all wore blue ties from ice blue to French blue. We couldn’t figure out if it was ducks or whales on Senator Biden tie. (HB’s own Brooke Brower would approve!) The best accessory of the night was Edwards Live Strong bracelet.
From a TV producer’s point of view this was a show all about faces, from the first close up that panned down the line of candidates as they stood together on stage. The blue and orange tinted faces that made up the faces that made up the background of the stage (msnbc opted for logos) to the faces (of all nationalities) pasted on the podiums. The director cut away for close-ups of the faces of the famous and not so famous faces in the audience, from the actress Victoria Rowley from “The Young and The Restless” to Harry Belafonte. Look, there is Vernon and Ann Jordan! Hardball’s friend Rev. Al Sharpton had, by far, the most reaction shots. There was only one reference to Paris Hilton the whole night, thanks Tavis. Tavis also told Senator Obama he loved him. Is that another first for a presidential debate?
Here is how Obama supporter, professor Cornel West analyzed the debate to your Hardball blogger. “Well Hillary did a good job hitting certain points but Obama is qualitatively higher when it comes to statespersonship. And by statespersonship I don’t mean making a point here, making a point there and isolated insight there. But overall vision that comes from the heart mind and soul. And I think that’s part of my dear sister Hillary’s challenge.”
Sister Kelly Haddad signing off