Before we get carried away at the breadth and depth of Obama’s horrible outing, we should keep in mind it may not matter. With the possible exception of the “You’re likable enough Hillary” New Hampshire debate, none of the debates we have suffered through in either party’s primary race have significantly affected the next primary. Hillary arguably did quite poorly in the last outing, but won Texas and Ohio going away.
Posts For: April 16, 2008
Clinton good. Frighteningly good. Obama bad. Very bad. Any audacious hoper who presumes Obama will unquestionably best McCain in debate should watch this one and worry.
Obama, in his closing statement, says that by running with a message of unity and hope and change and puppies and cotton candy, he was betting America was ready to hear his words. He’s a brilliant politician, but there is a vainglorious solipsism at work here that is almost unimaginable in its breadth.
Hillary Clinton is gracious in saying she would find ways to use President Bush, just as he used Bill and George H.W. Bush for tsunami relief. Obama can’t bring himself to say anything pleasant about the current Bush so praises his father’s foreign policy. Hmm, we’ll have to see how Obama’s views (e.g. tea with dictators) match up with Bush 41.
But at this point the damage has been done- Obama will have a hard few days cleaning up this mess of a performance.
Hillary Clinton says gas prices are the result of Enron-like market manipulation. Apparently the fact that China is buying a lot of petroleum is a market manipulation.
Early pulse-taking from Obama-centric blogs and bloggers indicates that Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos are in for a world of hurt over the next couple of days. Expect thumb-sucking pieces in the New York Times and the Washington Post about whether the debate questions were “fair.”
Obama, the editor of the Harvard Law Review, doesn’t have an opinion on the D.C. handgun ban. He denies that he ever favored a handgun ban. When Charlie Gibson pressed him on a questionnaire he answered as a state senator, he answers, “My handwriting wasn’t on that form.” Well, if there is no evidence. . .
After badgering from George Steph., Hillary allows that an absolute ban might not be Constitutional. Neither will likely give John McCain a run for his money with Second Amendment advocates.
Was that her saying a capital gains tax might not be a good idea? Was that her objecting to a raise in the payroll tax cap? Nah, must be my imagination. In fact, I’m highly suspicious that there is an imposter on the stage tonight – not a screech, not a fumble and not a oppo point missed (“But I think he was on a board with Bill Ayers,” she drops casually into the conversation.). The real Hillary must be tied up back stage.
Obama is talking about lifting the Social Security exemption — the amount above which no more SS moneys are taken out of paychecks — entirely. Tonight, as he blunders from subject to subject, he suggests he might rebate back SS funds to taxpayers who make between $97,000 and $200,000. So why not simply raise the exemption to $200,000?
Hillary Clinton claims if she had been president there would not have been a sub-prime mortgage crisis. This is perhaps the most absurd thing she has ever said, but she is taking Obama to school on how to offer specific false promises.
These are the best questions, bar none, asked in a debate this election season. Don’t revenues go down when you raise capital gains taxes? Would you leave Iraq if the generals told you chaos woud ensue? Why did you stop wearing the flag pin? If the ABC game plan was to utterly undermine the “liberal media is giving them a free ride” complaint they succeeded in spades. The questions are tough and actually helpful in pinning down the candidates without being rude or injecting themselves. Conservatives will have to find something else to complain about.
He’s so flustered that he can’t even offer a clear answer on an obvious Democratic strength: Offering goodies to “help people” through the recession.
ABC’s anchorman points out that Bill Clinton signed legislation lowering the capital-gains rate to 20 percent and revenues went up. As he spoke those words, the River Nile briefly changed direction, hell froze over, and the law of gravity was suspended.
Obama on Iran: “Our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians…I would do whatever it is that’s required to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iranians.” Then he says whatever is required means “direct talks.” We can use “carrots and sticks.” But he won’t say anything about the sticks. He will take “no options off the table…and that will include any threats to Israel.” Asked whether he would extend America’s deterrent umbrella to Israel, Obama said: “An attack on israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one whose security we consider paramount. That would be an attack…I would consider unacceptable and I would take action.”
Clear as a Jell-O mold with bananas in it.
She’s getting out no matter what, regardless of the advice she gets from the military. This is a Democratic primary, after all. Both defend the primacy of civilian control. But they didn’t feel this way when the generals wanted to come testify and denounce Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
Hillary Clinton: “We don’t know what will happen if we withdraw, but we do know what will happen if we remain mired in Iraq.” Actually, this is entirely backward: We do know what will happen if we withdraw too early — a bloodbath — and we don’t know what will happen if we stay and win.
Andrew Sullivan whining, whining, whining about how badly his candidate is doing — including likening George Stephanopoulos to Karl Rove!
…and it’s clear this is Obama’s worst performance of the entire campaign, and judging from the pained expression on his face, he knows it.
He must have known he would be asked about why he doesn’t wear a flag pin. Yet he stumbles and shifts, putting it in the negative ( “how could I but love this country”). But why not wear the flag pin? He doesn’t say and then he fudges, saying that he never said he doesn’t win the pin. But he did.
He says sure he’s friendly with former terrorist Bill Ayers but then he’s also friendly with U.S. Senator Tom Coburn. Uh oh. I think that’s not a good analogy. Hillary offers up some further facts pointing out that Obama was on a board with Ayers. Oh my.
to get back on substance. Because this stuff is killing him.