Warning, my debate highlights are based on the Q & A session following the debate as I missed the debate itself. I have some serious concerns about the way CNN structured this debate including questions like “was Bill Clinton the first black president” which have no bearing on any of the candidates abilities, experience, or policy plans. I was also deeply concerned by the post-debate “Does race matter” special which seemed to be largely Republican and clearly pitted race against gender claiming that black women do not see themselves as women or are only concerned with women as wives and mothers. Worse, the post-debate special once again put forth the idea that black women do their thinking at the hairdresser; I am sure this is a result of too many Friday Barbeque outside the Barbershop after the Hairdresser movies put out by Hollywood and the real fact that *everyone* talks when they are the salon regardless of race, however I find the supposition that this is the only place we, black women, discuss race, offensive and demeaning.
Now the highlights (from the latter half):
- Clinton – the candidate who will be “ready from day one,” long history of fighting for women’s and children’s rights, mentioned poverty stats for women of color and how those were once alleviated by the Clinton administration; no response to criticism that she is using Bill’s record as part of her own, lawyer for Wallmart, still taking money from lobbyists; (post-debate point on CNN special – she may mobilize so much animosity as to be rendered in effective when/if she wins the nomination)
- Obama – claims he can unite and work with democrats and disaffected Republicans in order to actually get work done in a mixed party government; no legitimate response to his reproductive rights voting history in Illinois + consistent failure to acknowlegde gender oppression until end of the debate
- Edwards – committed to the poor and to civil rights, clear outlined policies for domestic leadership, “only one capable of beating McCain/ winning in rural South;” takes money from “wives and children of lobbyists”
The next Democratic debate will be held by CNN in California at the end of the month: Jan 30