We're at the CNN/WMUR/Union Leader debate. With press credentials. With 575+ other Clackers.
Our buddy James Pindell "scored" Team Obama's official talking points for the night. Most likely not from Team Obama.
The talking points are interesting because they show just how "messaged" presidential politics is these days.
Even when you're dealing with the "Change" candidate.
* Barack Obama intends to use this debate to show Democrats in New Hampshire and across the nation that he is the candidate who will turn the page on the failed politics of the past so we can come together and meet some of the greatest challenges we’ve faced in generations.
* Whether it’s fighting to end the war in Iraq – a war he opposed from the start – or outlining his plans to make health care and college tuition more affordable, Barack Obama has been laying out a substantive agenda for change.
* All across the country, we’re seeing crowds we’ve never seen before. People are coming to the first political event of their lives. Just last weekend, we had 300 people in Berlin, 1,500 in Conway, and 5,000 in Hanover. People in New Hampshire and across America are hungry for change and they’re seeing that our campaign is not just about winning an election, it’s about transforming our country.
* That’s why hundreds of people braved the rain and chilly temperatures to attend our New Hampshire canvass two weeks ago. They knocked on more than 13,000 doors, and talked about why they support this movement for change. That’s the kind of strong grassroots support that’s at the heart of this campaign.
* Barack Obama certainly isn’t the candidate who’s had the longest experience in Washington. But he is the candidate with two decades of experience bringing people together to solve common challenges as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, law professor, state Senator, and now U.S. Senator.
* Barack Obama believes that complicated problems deserve real answers and these debates tend to help those who offer sound bites, not solutions.
On health care plan
Barack Obama has laid out a universal health care plan that cuts costs by up to $2500 per family and covers every American. Once the plan is implemented, if there are still Americans who are not insured, we will find a way to cover them. But the major reason that 45 million Americans don’t have health insurance is not because they don’t want it, it’s because they can’t afford it. That’s why this plan focuses heavily on bringing down the cost of health care for every American.
By cutting the cost of health care, Barack Obama’s plan will strengthen our middle class. Because when families pay less for insurance, they’ll have more left over to pay for other basic necessities. And with costs going up for everything from college tuition to gas, Barack Obama believes we need to do more to lift up our middle class.
On the substance versus style critique
In the last several weeks, Barack Obama has laid out a foreign policy vision that restores American leadership in the world, rebuilds our military, secures all loose nuclear weapons within four years, and doubles our investment in weak and failing states. And he’s laid out a universal health care plan that will cut costs for every family by up to $2500 and cover every American. On energy, he went to Detroit and told automakers they had a responsibility to raise our fuel standards so we can save our planet and break our dangerous dependence on oil. He’s talked about how we can stand up to private lenders and reform our student loan system so we can make college more affordable.