Many positioned tonight’s debate as a showdown, but it was more of a discussion then a debate between Senators Clinton and Obama. There was an in-depth discussion of health care tonight and both candidates brought up a vital piece of any health care reform – reigning in skyrocketing costs. Both candidates agreed this is an important issue and both discussed a range of options to try and manage it. Sadly, it took the end of the debate cycle for the candidates to start discussing some of the specifics in the health care discussion. Things like electronic medical records and preventive measures were discussed tonight and are critical to bringing down the cost of health care for everybody.
Financial issues were mentioned, but lacked the details that voters want to hear about. Right now, economic issues are a huge motivator for people at the ballot box. We know that people are concerned not just about the shaky housing market (since homes are such a critical piece of retirement savings), but also how they can afford to retire. It was a lost opportunity for these candidates to overlook these issues tonight.
While tonight’s debate was less contentious than last night’s, the questions were more focused on personality than substance. Instead of falling into the trap, the candidates chose a route of talking about the issues instead of swiping barbs. This is a good thing and we can only hope this mature tone is part of things to come.
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