Reader Advisory Network Message Board

“Last night’s debate did not change my view on whom I’m supporting. . . . I did find Howard Dean’s statement that the other candidates should not criticize Al Gore for the endorsement, and he’s willing to take the heat for any criticism there may be – I think that was a very responsible statement, and I think it was very appropriate, because Al Gore does not deserve for all the other candidates to attack him.

“I’m very disappointed in (Joe) Lieberman. I understand that he’s disappointed (at not getting the endorsement) . . . but at the same time no one has a monopoly on an endorsement. He seems to believe he should have gotten (it) – he really denied all of the candidates and the Democratic Party last night.

“I work in Boston, lived in Massachusetts until a few years ago, and I am so happy that I live in New Hampshire because I’ve never been involved in a political campaign, never had the opportunity that New Hampshire provides (to meet candidates).”

“I like the way (Dennis Kucinich) ripped into Ted Koppel and wish there would have been more of it because the debate was a complete sham. The questions stunk and the follow-ups were worse . . . I wasn’t going to support him, and, no, it didn’t change that – but he added positively to the discourse.

“Still a tossup for me between Clark and Dean. Unfortunately, (the debate) didn’t (change) it. If anything, it made me think. . . . I never was a big (Richard) Gephardt fan, but it threw him into a possible third place.”

“When I looked at last night’s debate . . . I thought that the group was divided into three: Dean; the eloquent orators (Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman, Clark); and then the guys and the girls who are not really ready for prime time.

“Many of (this last group) really piqued my interest last night. I think that Al Sharpton, despite his previous biased and bigoted remarks, really has come into his own. If he can clean up his act and figure out how to portray himself not as hating himself, he might actually do OK in time. (Dennis) Kucinich surprised me. I see him as a quirky guy, (but) he really surprised me in the depth of his answers and thinking on his feet. Even Carol Moseley Brown did a good job and was clearly able to manage her way through some very important questions.

“I do think that Howard Dean will get the nomination . . . I would be surprised if he didn’t choose (Wesley) Clark for his running mate.”

“(I was pleasantly surprised by) Clark. He seemed more articulate and a little bit more with the program that I thought he would be . . . Frankly, I think a Dean/Clark ticket would do very well.

“I was rather disappointed in the debate.”

“They all started out with the usual finger pointing and saying George Bush is bad. I am getting sick of hearing this rhetoric. I guess it gets the Democratic crowd to applaud so they are encouraged to do it. It worries me that a political debate has the overtones of a hate campaign.

“Joe Lieberman was the only one with any backbone. He took a hard lick today from Al Gore and was composed and consistent with his message. I suppose of all the candidates, he would get my vote. He appears more forthright with his answers and firm with his convictions.”

“It’s kind of nice to be there, be part of the forum, hear them live, but we probably would have seen it better on TV.”

“The debate was sort of odd, the questions weren’t really very substantial. I can’t say anyone really surprised me very much.

“I have caught three of the debates. I missed the MTV debate – I have a feeling this was the most like it, in terms of the relevant questions.”

“I think Clark . . . did well. He may have been taken aback by some of the shenanigans.”