Merrimack: Obama Wins

You may have seen that CNN’s focus group at the Merrimack Diner determined that Barack Obama won tonight’s debate. Voters saw good judgment, the resolve to stand up against special interests, and bring real change to the country. Here’s what CNN’sMary Snow said:

“Well, Wolf, there’s a surprise here tonight. We’re here with 24 Democrats, Independents, who thought that Senator Hillary Clinton would be the best performer here tonight, but the results that we just got in, this is a focus group; show that Barack Obama got the most favorable in terms of the best performance from the 24 people who are here tonight… Clearly throughout this debate Senator Barack Obama was showing some favorable responses to his answers. Some of the things that he got favorable responses were when he talked about fighting lobbyists, particularly on health care.”

Barack on standing up to the special interests:

“Well, I think the questioner hit the nail on the head. As I travel around the country, people have an urgent desire for change in Washington.And we are not going to fix health care, we're not going to fix energy, we are not going to do anything about our education system unless we change howbusiness is done in Washington.”

Barack on the decision to send our troops into Iraq,a move he opposed while many of the other candidates supported it:

“But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in. And that is something that too many of us failed to do. We failed to do it and I do think that that is something that both Republicans and Democrats have to take responsibility for. When I am president of the United States, when I send our troops into battle, I’m going to be absolutely sure that it’s based on sound intelligence and I’m going to tell the truth to the American people as well as the families who are being asked to sacrifice.”

Barack on what it takes to fix healthcare:

“We’ve had plans before, under a Democratic president in 90’s, and a Democratic Congress we couldn’t get it done. The drug and insurance companies are spending a billion dollars over the last decade on lobbying, and that’s why we’ve got to have a president who’s willing to fight to make sure that they don’t have veto power. They can have a seat at the table, but they can’t buy every single chair when it comes to crafting the sort of universal health care that’s going to help the folks you saw in that video.”

Barack on bringing new leadership to the country:

“Every single question we’ve heard, you see cynicism about the capacity to change this country. The question for the American people who desperately want a track record of bringing about change, who can unify the country, not just Democrats and Republicans, but we’re talking about Americans who can overcome the special interests in Washington so we have a President of the United States fighting on behalf of ordinary people.That will be the kind of president that is going to be nominated by the Democrats and I believe that I’m best qualified to fill that role.”