Nevertheless, I keep reading comments like this:
"Obama had some good moments, but her [Clinton's] ability to rattle off policy details on the fly really comes through whereas Obama needs to pause to think."
I couldn't disagree more. By allowing herself to be portrayed as a no-nonsense policy wonk, Clinton has damaged her chances at the nomination.
Obama's responses during the debates have always seemed far more meditative--as if he actually considers the questions being posed. Clinton sounds rehearsed. Her pithy one-liners ("change you can Xerox") are clearly not off-the-cuff improvisations, and her most memorable moments involve mawkish and overtly phony displays. But, more importantly, her choice to focus on policy details rather than policy themes makes her sound more like a bureaucrat than a president.
It's especially distressing for those of us who think that she's dead wrong on many of these seemingly minor policy battles--from health insurance mandates for ALL Americans to a mortgage rate freeze for home owner-occupiers. How can we expect any reasonable degree of compromise (and, thus, any hope of genuine reform) on these specific details when they have become so central to her campaign narrative? And how can we expect Clinton to have the flexibility that a president needs--and that George Bush woefully lacks--to pass any meaningful legislation through Congress?