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I-Reporters weigh in on the Las Vegas debate

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  • I-Reporters watch the Democratic debate and offer their analysis
  • Viewers critique the debate format and the candidates performances
  • Respondents interested in hearing views of candidates other than "Big Three"
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(CNN) -- CNN hosted a Democratic debate Thursday evening on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. users tuned in to see if Hillary Clinton would recover from the last Democratic debate and what questions, if any, would unravel the candidates this time.


Joe Sabah says he is voting for the first woman who runs for president because he believes men are "war-minded."

Moments after the debates began, e-mails from viewers around the country began flooding in. Respondents took issue with the debate's opening focus on Clinton and Obama, and with the candidates' lengthy responses.

I-Reporters also pointed out some of the debate's key moments. Below are some of their e-mails, edited for length and clarity.

Carole Menard of Eagle Lake, California
I think that the real points of this debate were better answered by the candidates who were NOT Clinton, Obama, or Edwards but those candidates who believe in the Constitution and the rights of the people, not "I am the answer to our problems."

Theland Treadway of Auburn, California
I am currently viewing the follow-up program to tonight's Democratic presidential debate. Just now, 53 minutes into this follow-up program, is the first time I have seen or heard anything that Senator Biden had to say. In my mind, he was the strongest debater and the most likely Democrat I could vote for.

Bob Booney of Oakland, California
Barack "Rubric of Rhetoric" Obama needs to find his alter ego "Joe Alabama." Use the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Partner with Hillary on healthcare, give us an eight-point plan, red and white tie, bolder stripes, strong and aggressive. I want to see you, Mom and Michelle in a photo. We are America and the world.

Krishna Pillalamarri of Bel Air, Maryland
8:08 - Okay, finally it started.
8:11 - Obama says "American People" want straight answers for tough questions. I am going to see if he follows that prescription himself, if/when he is asked a tough question.
8:20 - Biden stopped his answer short in midstream, when Blitzer interrupted him. Great!
8:22 - But Edwards went on and on, as Blitzer tried to cut him short.
8:26 - Biden: Hell, no - I won't support any of these candidates (in jest) - great answer!
8:29 - Answering a question on drivers' licenses, Obama went all over the lot, forcing Blitzer to repeat the question.
8:48 - Dodd answered "National Security", as more important than say Pakistan respecting Human Rights. Surprising. Though a comfortable red state response.
9:01 - Edwards gave a great answer to NAFTA question. Clinton's answer was very good too. She admitted NAFTA didn't quite do what it was supposed to do, and said it has to be revisited.
9:10 - Richardson scored with a very good response to Yucca Mountain waste storage issue.
9:22 - Now the candidates are sitting! Wow! Appreciate that they did the transition during a commercial break and didn't waste any time sashaying on the stage.
9:25 - A woman (whose son already did three tours of duty in Iraq) from the audience asked a great question - ideal for Kucinich. Biden answered first. Got a good response.
Happy Birthday, Bill Richardson! (November 15, 1947) Not only a birthday, but a big-60!
9:37 - Kucinich got his call for impeachment.
10:08 - A fun question for Clinton - do you prefer Diamonds or Pearls! What a silly question! (Clinton said - why not both!) Oh, that was the last question, in the spirit of the regular newscaster, which conclude with a "good news" or funny story.

Andrew Tossetti of Amherst, Massachusetts
Kucinich is a consistent thinker. Specifically, he voted against the Patriot Act as well as the war, two things we as a nation are perhaps regretting and are at the forefront of modern political topics. This kind of foresight is essential in a leader. "What if we had a president who got it right from the beginning?" he asks. This was a powerful thing to say that needed to be said. He is indeed worthy to be our president, the son of a truck driver who worked his way up while not abandoning very important moral and humanistic considerations.

As a voter, I am encouraged by the overall field. Biden has a great sense of humor; Clinton is assertive, Obama commanding. My dream ticket is Kucinich for president and a toss up between Clinton, Obama and Edwards for vice.

Charles Bean of Eureka, California
I would like to have heard more from Biden, Mitchell, Kucinich or Dodd. Most people know about Clinton, Obama and Edwards. The first four I named represent more of the public in my thinking. We just don't hear much from them during the debates, as usual.

Kathe Randle of Polson, Montana
Joe Biden won this one! He is logical, factual, knowledgeable -- and all the other candidates keep saying they agree with Joe. Why doesn't he get any coverage?

Pam Melton of Mount Juliet, Tennessee
I have watched almost all of the presidential debates, and I have been extremely disappointed at the amount of time that is spent on what the candidates think of each other. I could care less if anyone thinks that Mrs. Clinton is playing the gender card -- that's one of those things that we voters need to decide for ourselves based on her answers and her actions. I had really hoped that CNN would avoid those kinds of questions; unfortunately, you spent at least half the first hour on that stuff. I want to hear them talk about their stands on the issues. When they are actually asked issue questions, I have no problem understanding what their positions are.

Michael McCaddon of Fort Belvoir, Virginia
As a supporter of the democratic party, I find the diversity of candidates refreshing. However, I find it more important to focus on the candidates who are directly answering posed questions; Senator Biden and Governor Richardson have done so eloquently. These observations have shifted my thoughts that supporting one of the top 3 candidates in order to ensure a democratic presidency toward supporting a candidate who does not evade questions by stating their policy on related or unrelated topics. After this debate I will be much more inclined to research the policies of Sen. Biden and Gov. Richardson because one of them will likely receive my vote in my home state of Arizona.

Ahmed Naguib of Chicago, Illinois
The question regarding supporting issuing driving licenses to illegal immigrants is a poor question and distracts from the actual problem. Like Sen. Obama said, he's not issuing driving licenses for immigrants to come to the US to drive, but more of a public safety issue. Answering yes to the question does not and should not translate into supporting illegal immigration.

Paula Hyatt of Austin, Texas
Finally a question is specifically addressed to Dennis Kucinich, 37 minutes into the debate. We have barely heard from Biden, Dodd, or Richards. I want to hear from more than Hillary, Edwards, and Obama. Give each candidate equal time, quit deciding for us who is going to be the candidate.

Gary Sales of New York, New York
The candidates all talk strongly about shutting down foreign trade when the imports are tainted or illegal, but what will they say to the American families who work for the American companies that suddenly find themselves out of work when these companies shut down?

Dion Harrison of Rockville, Maryland
We should have a series of debates that focus on a single issue at a time. These sound bytes of resolutions lose their depth. All these candidates are very intelligent individuals that have a wealth of knowledge that could help the American public unify on a strong answer and also become better educated on the rationale behind each candidate's argument.

John Lundin of San Diego, California
Bill Richardson has dominated the debate and has expressed himself eloquently and demonstrated his experience and grasp of the problems facing the country. I'm not a Richardson supporter, but if your question is who "won" the debate, it is unquestionably Gov. Bill Richardson.

Sam Sussman of Englewood, Ohio
I personally want to know where these presidential candidates are planning to get the money for "free health care" and, as Edwards said in the interview on national television, "free education?". Also, what do these candidates plan to do about the tasering that police are doing? E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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