Democrats & Liberals Archives

Welcome to Baltimore, Hon

What a difference six months make. And what a difference six hours make. I was ready to publish a post this morning about last night’s Baltimore debate, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus (co-sponsored by Fox News, who of course gives it the Fox perspective), but was distracted by work of all things - a major blogging hazard.

For those of you who missed it (and while I try to avoid sports cliches like the plague), Slate has a good overview of the 90-minute show. The Behind the Scenes coverage is even better.

There were no knockout punches however - and the “What’s your favorite song?” question is truly classic - but Dean is setting the pace and the agenda, despite the focus on one sentence that’s dominating the headlines this afternoon.

When I returned to finish the post I'd started this morning, I was surprised to find how much of the news focus had shifted from the Dem's bashing Bush and talking about Iraq to Dem's bashing Dean and talking about race.

While Dean's comment was obvious bravado, it would be helpful to keep it in context. And more importantly, it confirms for once and for all that Dean is the frontrunner. Not because of how much money he's raised or his current level of exposure - but simply by the action and reaction of his fellow contenders.

I had hoped that the candidates would, for the most part, refuse to enter into pissing contests with each other -- and keep the focus on Bush, which I believe they did for the most part last night. And kudos to Lieberman and Sharpton for deftly handling the LaRouche hecklers. But that type of single-minded focus continues to look less and less likely.

And I guess I'm not the only one who thinks Al Sharpton saved the debate and more than carried his own last night.

What's even more telling than the "debate" though is that the anticipated SEIU presidential candidate endorsement today will likely wait, much as AFSCME has already decided. This "wait and see" approach by the nation's largest labor unions bodes well for Dean. Whether you support him or not, his impact on this race - and probably all races to come - is undeniable.

Posted by 9thwave at September 10, 2003 3:43 PM