From Mexico and Outer Space, Aliens Visit Debates

two%20aliens.jpgSen. Hillary Clinton almost made it through last night's debate without a scrape. She came out crisp, assertive and confident. She held her annoying smirks to a minimum and seemed to respectful to other candidates, attentive even. But did anyone notice she looked weird? It was horrible! Her eyes were dead and her face appeared waxy and paralyzed. When she spoke, her words and mouth movements never quite linked up with her eyes. And that seems, shall we say, a little unnatural.

Anyway, Dodd was pretty much white noise in our left ear until he kneecapped Clinton over whether illegal aliens should be allowed driver's licenses, a question on which she flip-flopped before pretty much refusing to answer. With this, Dodd created an opportunity for Russert, Obama and himself to get Clinton against the ropes. And that's exactly what they did with only a few minutes left in the debate.

Then there's that odd little spider monkey, Dennis Kucinich, who if he wasn't so fucking crazy, would be reduced to the status of fruit fly. But he is crazy and officially got measured for his straight jacket last night: "Russert: Did you see a UFO? Kucinich: I did. And I'm moving my campaign office to Roswell, New Mexico." Then, amid the laughter, he squeaked out some strange and desperate plea for presidential legitimacy: "Hey, Jimmy Carter saw a UFO!" Exactly.

Richardson played the diplomacy card ("We need to be more positive"), which hardly adds any excitement to his campaign's lackluster dynamic. Biden was fun, but whenever he flashed those false white teeth he looked every bit the car salesman, or a creepy uncle who's always jingling the change in his pocket. But props to Biden for taking on Giuiani with the casual smugness of an old Hill vet: "For Rudy Giuliani a sentence is a noun, a verb and 9/11." (This morning, Giuliani responded).

While squishy and prone to titling his head and speaking out of the side of is mouth, which gives the appearance of sketchiness, Edwards held his own and even got a few god shots in to Clinton. But when the subject of health care was addressed, who didn't laugh when he spoke about "the serious nursing crisis in this country"? Really?!

Obama, meanwhile, seemed to stammer and speak without any soul--there was no fire, just smoky haze. Each response would begin with croaking half-starts, which either means he's thoughtful and measured , unprepared, or just caught in the headlights. But for Obama, the unplanned and off-the-cuff is often gold. Asked if he believed in UFOs, he managed his biggest applause of the night: "I don't know. And I don't presume to know. What I do know is that there is life here on Earth. And that we're not attending to life here on Earth."

Anyway, the reviews are in!

The Early Word: Democratic Debate Reviews [NY Times]


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