Yepsin Considers Obama Winner of Iowa Debate

To an even greater degree than in the general election debates, the winner of the early debates is determined by the impressions people receive from the media coverage. In Iowa politics this often comes down to the evaluation of David Yepsin. Yepsin gives the victory to Barack Obama. He was also impressed with Richardson’s performance as I was yesterday.

But the Sunday sunrise nature of the event didn’t stop some of the others from having strong performances. Obama may be the biggest winner.

He was in the cross hairs for much of the early part of the session and he stood up well to the scrutiny over his foreign policy positions and questions of whether he’s qualified to be president.

Obama’s campaign was quick to tout the results of a focus group held during the debate in which the participants tapped him as the best performer who eased concerns about his ability to do the job.

He came off as knowledgeable and temperate. He looked presidential and unlike some of his earlier, halting debate performances, was much more polished and laid back in this one. At one point he joked: “To prepare for this debate, I rode the bumper cars at the State Fair.”

Bill Richardson also had a good morning, turning in his best debate of the campaign. So did Joe Biden.

While questions of experience tend to be centered around Obama, it is actually John Edwards who is less experienced, and appears to be far less knowledgeable. It would be difficult for Obama to raise this as increased discussion of experience could benefit Clinton, even if Obama does demonstrate that he is more experienced than Edwards. If, which currently appears unlikely but not impossible, the race should turn into a battle between Obama and Edwards, then the relative experience of the two might become a major debate topic between them.

The strong performance by Richardson keeps him competitive, with some having predicted he will ultimately win the Iowa caucus. At the moment the polls show a tight three way race between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards but we saw in 2004 how quickly this can change with Kerry’s come from behind victory.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    absent observer says:

    Oh shit! I thought you said Yelsin.

    The dems do have a strong class this year.

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