Hillary Wins

I say this not on the merits of what was said–it was all pretty awful–but because I think she still has the edge in the polls, and the friendly and cheerful tone of the debate, as well as the policy focus, helped cover her rough edges that were apparent in recent weeks. I think that a lot of Democrats will conclude that they like Obama, they want him to be president some day, but that day hasn’t arrived yet. I just didn’t get a changing of the guard vibe.

Romney Donated $18 Million To His Campaign in Q4

That’s according to his campaign. On top of the $17.35 million he spent the rest of the year, it means he spent $35.35 million of his own money in 2007. That doesn’t include whatever money he spent in the past month.

Romney also raised $9 million in other contributions during the fourth quarter.

For the full year, he raised a total of $90 million, including his personal loans, and had 119,000 contributors.

UPDATE: Romney ended 2007 with just $2.43 million cash on hand, which means he spent about $88 million last year. I’d bet that once we learn about the January numbers, we’re talking about a campaign that will have cost more than $100 million.

The Iraq Exchange

Look, it’s hard for me to put myself in the mind of a Democratic voter, but it seems to me that Obama got the better of that exchange. Her insistence that her vote to authorize the use of military force wasn’t the same as a vote to go to war was always ridiculous, and Obama did a good job noting that that’s what everybody thought at the time.

Hillary Nails The Dynasty Question

To be clear, from my perspective, the answer was preposterous–especially her statement that she didn’t start out with an advantage because of her husband. But to Democratic voters who like the Clintons, her closing line–which I’ve heard on the trail before–that it took a Clinton to clean up for the first Bush, and it will take another Clinton to clean up after the second Bush, was a home run with the crowd. There are a lot of Democratic voters that would happily vote for a third Clinton term.

So Far…

The debate is really boring, which I think benefits Hillary. Obama’s greatest advantage is when he’s inspiring and she’s grating. If they’re both boring the audience to tears trying to debate policy when they are on the same page 99 percent of the time, it’s a coup for Hillary.

Perhaps if I eat a grapefruit, the second segment will be more enjoyable.