One observation stands out to me from this debate. Hillary can be relentless and like a sledgehammer delivering tendentious but probably effective attacks. But whatever you think of those attacks, Obama isn't very good at defending himself. And that's hard for me to ignore when thinking of him as a general election candidate.The experience that is going to be needed in the general election is campaign experience and Obama doesn't have it. He can't defend himself and the Republicans will parse every word he says and the Swift Boat teams will be very busy. Hillary on the other hand has had nearly 16 years of experience.
In most of these cases -- such as the Reagan issue -- I think Obama's remarks have been unobjectionable but ambiguous and certainly susceptible to both misunderstanding and intentional misrepresentation. And if you're going to talk like that -- nuance, as we used to say -- be able to defend it when people play with your words. And I don't see it.
Over at The Left Coaster eriposte agrees:
However, I want to make two quick points. One, Sen. Obama and his supporters come across pretty poorly when they keep complaining about how inappropriate it is for President Clinton to be a strong advocate of Sen. Clinton on the campaign trail and challenge Sen. Obama's record. Other than the fact that this is another Clinton Double Standard, this also makes them look like they are weak and can't stomach an ordinary battle, a battle that is going be one-hundredth less difficult than a general election campaign against the Republicans. Sen. Obama's debate performance didn't give me much more confidence about his ability to withstand withering Republican attacks.