Campaign Moments

05/25/2011 12:25 pm ET

Yesterday CNN's Ballot Bowl, which continues to be an excellent and very useful program, ended with Caroline Kennedy at a campaign rally in Los Angeles. She was introducing Oprah, and they had to cut to a tape of Thursday's debate, which struck me as odd. I totally wanted to hear what Oprah had to say.

Later in the car driving to a SuperBowl party at the Scobles in Half Moon Bay, I listened to the debate which was being broadcast on KQED, the local NPR station, and I was struck by how intelligent the two Democratic candidates are. I had totally missed that the first time, when I watched it live, I was paying too much attention to Twitter, and I was looking for the zinger. They had a thoughtful debate, both candidates were very well-informed. At one point I imagined Obama saying, "There you go again, see that's what I'm talking about" and saying how lucky he was to have an opponent who is so intelligent and thoughtful.

We are lucky. After eight years of Republican appeals to our naivete it is refreshing to be talked to as adults on TV by political leaders.

In contrast, the Repubican field is a mess. The front-runner, McCain is a petulant angry sore-winner, he argues about nothing. Ron Paul tells the truth, and they laugh at him. Huckabee cracks jokes about how irrelevant he has become. While the Dems were talking about real stuff, and arguing the fine points, the Republicans have been reduced to talking about nonsense like being a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution and waving the white flag of surrender. Obama is right when he says the wheels have come off the Straight Talk Express.

I want Obama for President. I'd love to see Hillary as Secretary of Health and Human Services, so she can drive the effort, this time for real, for universal health care. The difference this time is that it's one of the central issues of the campaign. It's going to happen this time if a Democrat is elected. We have to make sure of that.