Dodd Wins Points, But Will It Help?

It’s been a good couple of weeks for Chris Dodd, at least in the blogosphere, but it remains to be seen if this will translate into meaningful support in Iowa and New Hampshire. The National Journal has moved Dodd up to fourth place behind Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, admitting that this is not justified by any of the polls. Bob Geiger has outlined some of the arguments for Dodd at Huffington Post including his leadership in opposing domestic surveillance and defending Constitutional liberties. Dodd received similar praise from Glenn Greenwald last week.

Dodd made a point during last night’s debate, which he previously stated in response to a question from Bill Maher, which so far is getting little mention in the post-debate media coverage. Dodd supported decriminalizing marijuana:

We’re locking up too many people in our system here today. We’ve got mandatory minimum sentences, they are filling our jails with people that don’t belong there. My idea is to decriminalize this, reduce that problem here. We’ve gone from 800,000 to 2 million people in our penal institutions in this country. We’ve got to get a lot smarter about this issue than we are. And as president, I’d try and achieve that.

It was fitting that the opposite view was presented by John Edwards. Edwards once again showed his disdain for freedom along with the vacuousness of his thought. In a remark reminiscent of his opposition to same sex marriage because it conflicted with his religious upbringing, Edwards chose to continue the failed drug war because to do otherwise would send the wrong message. Perhaps some day he will realize that he is as wrong on the drug war as he originally was on Iraq and apologize again.

Otherwise the highlight of the debate was showing that Hillary Clinton is vulnerable on issues ranging from Iran to illegal immigration to her personal integrity. Kucinich made two controversial comments, with his UFO sighting receiving more coverage than his call for the impeachment of George Bush. Richardson clarified during the post-debate interviews that his recent comments on Roswell were purely for the benefit of New Mexico tourism.

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