The following comes from WatchBlog: Democrats & Liberals. It neatly summarizes a big reason why Obama has won over the hearts and minds of the Democratic party.
After hearing so much about her “throwing the kitchen sink” at Obama, I was amazed to see Senator Clinton wilt not from Obama’s attacks but from his cool, calm, and complimentary rhetoric. At the Democratic Debate last night, he answered all her charges in an even, confident voice and where possible he complimented Clinton.
Clinton started where she had previously left off dressing down Obama on his "shameful" ad about her healthcare plan. She went after him hammer and tong. To every charge, Obama responded in a clear, measured tone. And each time Clinton atacked Obama's response, and then Obama retorted. They kept at it for several cycles until moderator Brian Williams stopped it and declared that they had taken up 16 minutes on healthcare. Clinton did not let go; she claimed that the subject was important.
After this first exchange Clinton attacked again and again, but with less vehemence. With his cool and reasonable responses, Obama had calmed her down. When Obama denounced Farrakhan but failed to reject Farrakhan's support, Clinton made a big to-do about the difference between "denounce" and "reject." So Obama smoothly replied that he "denounces" AND "rejects" Farrakhan's support.
Much discussion had taken place before the debate about photos of Obama dressed in Somali garb in Africa. So this came up and Clinton claimed she was against this sort of thing and that she would fire anybody in her campaign who distributed such photos. Obama immediately said he takes her at her word. No more was said about this. You could see Clinton relax somewhat at this point.
At another point, Obama took the opportunity to praise Senator Clinton: Senator Clinton has campaigned magnificently. She is an outstanding public servant and I'm very proud to have campaigned with her.
Slowly you could see how Obama softened Clinton up. At the end she finished graciously.
I have read several assessments of the debate. Some dwell on the conflict, others dwell on moderator Russert's nastiness, still others on who won. I came away marveling how Obama turned an angry attacker into a more relaxed person.
Cool Obama. We need such coolnes in the White House.
I've wathced many of the debates and I agree whole-heartedly with this assessment. I started this cycle as a Hillary supporter and now, I have been won over by Obama's demeanor, ability to remain calm, grasp of the issues, and ability to communicate. Many (myself included) thought that Hillary Clinton would run away with the Democratic nomination. But Barack Obama has run a phenomenal race and is winning. And I don't see anyway that Hillary Clinton can make a comeback. At this point, I find myself hoping that Obama wins in both Texas and Ohio next week - - and I will be voting for him in the Texas Democratic primary.