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Clinton Challenges Obama to a Debate a Week

Updated 3:01 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
If further evidence were needed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton does not expect to sweep up tonight, she is now challenging Sen. Barack Obama to a debate a week going forward, her advisers said as voters were at the polls on Super Tuesday.

Clinton has also accepted three firm debate offers: From ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous," on Sunday; a debate in Ohio, sponsored by CNN, on Feb. 27; and a debate on MSNBC in Houston on Feb. 28. Clinton advisers think that voters have not seen enough of Obama, but that once they do, they will swing back her way.

Among the debates Clinton would like to participate in is one on Fox -- which Democrats have previously shunned, accusing the network of being slanted -- as her campaign tries to build momentum heading toward the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4. The Fox debate is scheduled for Monday. Senior Clinton strategist Mark Penn described the debates as "critically important."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 2:45 PM ET
 
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Mrs Clinton, I would like to see you and O'Bama say the pledge to the Flag before the debates on National television.Please discuss a little about your Christian beliefs.It will help give Christian's a better look at your true conventions and your personal beliefs and how you can better serve all Americans as President of the United States.Thank you and Good Luck!

Posted by: landersbec | February 26, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

It seems that Clinton keeps badgering Obama to debate her. There's been enough debates and frankly it's beginning to look like an act of desperation on her part. I'm sick and tired of listening to her bashing Obama whenever she speaks. She's beginning to look like nothing more than some big bully that wants to win at any cost and I can't respect that. Focus on the issues and stop the attacks. I wish Obama would stop debating her and just focus on spending his time with the people as he's been doing and moving forward.

Posted by: sammy2008 | February 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Been there, done that - any more debate would be an exercise in futility, at this point.

As any analyst worth his or her salt will tell you, strategically the Clinton's campaign's push for debate has nothing to do with "discussing the issues." Not, at this point. It's not like Hillary Clinton has something else to say. Or anything new.

The Clinton's campaign is hoping to drown Obama's novelty and vigor into the lack of variety of a routine of wearisome monotonous debates.

It's not about winning a debate on the issues (I don't think a debate on the issues is winnable by any candidate anymore.) The thing here is that Hillary Clinton doesn't need to win a debate, a series of debates "going nowhere" is all she needs. In terms of perception, strange as it may be, psychologically because of name recognition and the eminence of Bill Clinton in the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton is still the "incumbent," and despite his phenomenal success, Barack Obama is still the "challenger." In a situation like that, if you have a series of debates "going nowhere," it ends-up playing into the hands of the perceived "incumbent," and erodes at the freshness of the "challenger."

If the last debate is any indication, a series of debates "going nowhere" is what we would be heading towards, here. On a one on one debate, the first candidates perceived as going "negative," looses. Hillary Clinton knows it, and she is counting on it. Clinton's campaign has Barack Obama pretty much declawed in term of how free he would be in confronting Hillary Clinton, face to face, on her record (which is his perceived role as a "challenger") without him risking being villainized as a result (this is the trap set for him): The minute he appears "critical," she'll be the "victim," he'll be a "cad." And her campaign will play it up, using the gender card too, if they can manage it.

So this is a kind of a catch 22. If Barack Obama challenges Hillary Clinton, he'll be a cad. If he doesn't, he'll just look weak.

Posted by: marnie_bowen | February 7, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The issue here is that we need to have Obama out there more than ever before. We need less debate and more time to campaign. Time is running out.. . This is a waste of time. I think this is a trick to keep Obama away from the voters. We all know than one debate a week requires two days of preparation and that means that Obama will have no more time for campaign.

The fact is that the more voters got a chance to see Obama campaigning and firing up the crowd, the more votes he tends to get.

Please do not fall for that -- this is just another way to derail Obama off this message and to suppress this momentum

Posted by: nixbenoit | February 7, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Billary always wants to set the agenda. When she was supposed to be coronated, she won't talk to the media and shied away from debating er opponents. Now she wants the terms to be changed to her tune.

No wonder she cries when she can get her way.

Posted by: kwakuazar | February 6, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and yes, it will also give HRC more opportunities more material to distort. I'm sorry, I don't know or dislike her personally, but I think she is ruthless and dishonest in her campaign tactics.

Posted by: Marie4 | February 5, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I think another debate or two would be good. I think both HRC and Obama are strong debaters.However, I think that Obama would be disserved by debating weekly. I say this because he is still unknown relative to "Clinton"; he increases voter familiarity and wins votes on the campaign trail. If he is debating every week, HRC knows that means that he is not out campaigning, and therefore, not out winning votes from her. Plus, I think her campaign wants free press because they need more money.

Posted by: Marie4 | February 5, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA and we lost our jobs. Now, his wife. What else must we lose?

Posted by: ds_cenpak | February 5, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The last debate between Clinton and Obama was useful not just in terms if policy issues discussed but also in helping to reduce the growing tensions within the Democratic Party. I think it would be a good thing for both candidates and the Party and I would hope that Obama would agree to participate. I would actually prefer to see a Town Hall discussion with the two candidates inviting questions from around the country.

Posted by: krutkow75 | February 5, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's camp is now asking for more debates, as if we didn't know her and her husband well enough already, and how they will use any opportunity to distort and defame. ...

However, if Obama agrees to another debate, I hope someone will ask Hillary the following question:

"Ma'am, your husband's presidency was marked by scandals running from the salacious to national security, you've run a campaign based on race coding, and both you and your husband have scant regard for the truth.

"Personal responsibility is the key to government accountability.

"What could you--or your husband--say to young people, what could you possibly bring to the table, for those who need to hear a message of honesty and integrity?"

Martin Edwin Andersen
Churchton, Maryland

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 5, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's camp is now asking for more debates, as if we didn't know her and her husband well enough already, and how they will use any opportunity to distort and defame. ...

However, if Obama agrees to another debate, I hope someone will ask Hillary the following question:

"Ma'am, your husband's presidency was marked by scandals running from the salacious to national security, you've run a campaign based on race coding, and both you and your husband have scant regard for the truth.

"Personal responsibility is the key to government accountability.

"What could you--or your husband--say to young people, what could you possibly bring to the table, for those who need to hear a message of honesty and integrity?"

Martin Edwin Andersen
Churchton, Maryland

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 5, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Debates are alway good, as voters need to be informed about the candidates and the issues.

But Fox?

Ha!-- A RIDICULOUS NOTION

Those people are the destroyers of our democracy. Don't fall for their trap.

Posted by: alarico | February 5, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

CherylMathews and Others;
With respect to Obama's capability to lead in Washington I suggest you look for a magazine article that appeared a few months ago (sorry I could not find it just now) that discusses his tenure as Harvard Law Review President. He was elected in an environment that was so acrimonious that people were concerned it might shut down.
There were interviews with Conservatives who supported him because they respected and trusted him. He promised to listen to them and give them a voice, and they generally agreed that he followed through once in office. This was the first story I read regarding Obama's leadership style and ability. To be perfectly frank I wish he was more to the left, but I think his gift is that he is an inspired human being which I do not think can be faked, and a natural uniter.
We know for certain that the Clintons are not uniters. Is anyone considering what 8 mores years of the acrimony we have had for the last 16 will do to all of us?

Posted by: drw3344 | February 5, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

There are still many unaswered questions for both Barack and HRC. If the debates address these unanswered questions, I'm all for them. I am not convinced Barack will be effective in Washington politics - I would like a higher level of certainty about his political abilities. What is the likelihood he will be chewed up and spit out? The resistance the Clinton's faced in the White House is probably 50% their own doing and 50% being up against merciless adversaries. How will Barack fare against Republicans who "take no prisoners," and "want power at any price"? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and personality flaws. Hillary's have been on parade for years. We know her strenghts and weaknesses inside and out. But Barack's are still unknown. I'd like those to surface so we can compare apples to apples. Right now Barack is able to bask in the glow of Camelot, and we need to balance emotions with information. As for Hillary, I would like to probe whether she learned enough from her past mistakes to be an effective president. Does she have the ability to make progress on our democratic agenda? I would also like her to explain Bill's potential role and decision-making power. So let's have more debates, but I need more information on personality, character, and leadership in order to vote Feb 12th.

Posted by: CherylMathews | February 5, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

There are still many unaswered questions for both Barack and HRC. If the debates address these unanswered questions, I'm all for them. I am not convinced Barack will be effective in Washington politics - I would like a higher level of certainty about his political abilities. What is the likelihood he will be chewed up and spit out? The resistance the Clinton's faced in the White House is probably 50% their own doing and 50% being up against merciless adversaries. How will Barack fare against Republicans who "take no prisoners," and "want power at any price"? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and personality flaws. Hillary's have been on parade for years. We know her strenghts and weaknesses inside and out. But Barack's are still unknown. I'd like those to surface so we can compare apples to apples. Right now Barack is able to bask in the glow of Camelot, and we need to balance emotions with information. As for Hillary, I would like to probe whether she learned enough from her past mistakes to be an effective president. Does she have the character and ability to make progress on our democratic agenda? I would also like her to explain Bill's potential role and decision-making power. So let's have more debates, but I need more information on personality, character, and leadership in order to vote Feb 12th.

Posted by: CherylMathews | February 5, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

If the roles were reversed, and Obama was trailing badly, would Clinton throw him a bone? I don't think so. This race is for all the marbles. Being magnanimous and helping your opponent just isn't part of the game.

Posted by: sbarnold | February 5, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama and Clinton on the same ticket will be another 4 years of Republican rule, Guranteed. HRC will get her votes and Obama votes will go Republican so HRC loses.

Obama should choose another capable woman some Governar or someone better than HRC as his running mate.

Posted by: alfa2 | February 5, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama declines all the debates, because there isn't anything about them so far that resembles genuine debate. Excellent candidates have not been fairly represented from the beginning, but most offensive is the biased and insulting questions regardless of who is presenting the debate, and there is just no reason any candidate should subject themself to it.

Posted by: Katy7540 | February 5, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama, please tell Ms. Clinton, "Debate This!" and end it! No second chances Hillary. You blew it!

Posted by: johng1 | February 5, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

ALSF - - PLEEEEASE pull yourself together. After all your suggestion is waaay off. There is no way he make Barack look stupid. You obviously did not see the last debate. Hillary makes herself look stupid. As one article so accurately documented - - "she dug a hole and kept digging" she did that to herself without Barack simply observing and finally decided to through the dirt on top of her.

Posted by: ddraper81 | February 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Jetlone said, "Come now. If you're going to talk about "Lying down with dogs", let's add the other big dog [pun intended]: Senator Clinton herself."

-------------------------

Not to single you out, there are half a dozen examples posted on this page, but the sexist attacks don't do any one any good.

Posted by: ghokee | February 5, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Mark Penn is really pressing the envelope on this. I don't think he reallly know what he is proposing because Obama always comes out on top in those debates and it is not because Hillary doesn't know her stuff. Actually, it is because she displays this "so together" aura. People like Barack's realness, plus his being astute of the issues. That combination makes him hard to touch. As a matter of fact the last debate he was President Obama. He was great!!! and every exit poll indicated he won. However, one thing people forget Barack Obama is how tough he really is - - he will not be forced into anything. I don't believe people pick that up about him as much as they should. He is no flake. He has the ability to kick you in the teeth and you not know it. He is a very savvy man. Don't mess with him on the down side. You will not win.

Posted by: ddraper81 | February 5, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a brilliant idea.

I wish she had thought of it months ago!!!

Go Hillary!!!

Posted by: svreader | February 5, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad someone else brought it up -- doesn't Chelsea look like Webb Hubbell AND NOT Bill Clinton? I'm not saying, I'm just saying . . .

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 5, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's weekly debate "challenge" may not be the brightest idea for her as it seems to be the case the more people see and hear of Obama, the more support he gets.

Who knows, but I sure wouldn't rule out some devious motivation from the Clinton Machine. At the very least, it appears the Clintons are feeling a little nervous this Super Tuesday.

Posted by: binkynh | February 5, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

One week, she says he's too inexperienced. The next, she says he's experienced enough (to be VP, and implicitly, President). Polls must be showing Dems are fed up with her trashing Obama.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 5, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Barack, dont do it!!!!

She wants to get you on national TV and quiz you about the specifics of healthcare, the white house, foriegn policy, names of foriegn leaders etc....

She'll make you look dumb! Its a trap!!!

AAAIIIIIIIEEEEE!!! Its a WONK!!! Run!!!!

Posted by: ALSF | February 5, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I think that debates are the only fair way for two candidates to make their cases, and yes, make their accusations. At least in a debate you hear what they have to say with the threat of an immediate response from the opponent looming. Those of you that think that challenging to a debate is a sign of weekness obviously don't watch the debates. The truest test of a candidate comes when they are challenged to unscripted, knowledge and experience based responses. That's how you prove that you will perform under pressure.

Posted by: nascardsan | February 5, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. A few days ago, HRC was way ahead in many polls. Then she had a head-to-head debate with Obama.

Now the polls are much closer, maybe even tied.

Obviously, she needs some more debates?

More than the 18 already?

If she thinks it'll work, I am sure Obama would obliger her... to a point.

Sometimes it seems the HRC camp likes to put things out in the media, get them repeated, and hope they'll come true.

The statement akin to "the more people see Obama, the less popular he'll be" is ludicrous... exactly the opposite is true.

The most recent example is SC vs Florida. One state had campaigning for 10 days straight. One had none. How did that work out?

She should be proposing that both candidates go into hibernation.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Boycott Faux news! The Bush channel.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 5, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see all the liberals here very objective and sharing some insights (:-). The tone is very cooperative and full of empathy, good for liberals. And discussion on FOX would surely improve the otherwise biased reporting, because we can all easily agree that FOX gives us the most unbiased information. It's good that now liberals finally admit this, and wish to appear on FOX. Btw, follow the money. HRC got double the money than any other candidate from defense industry. That's why she voted for Iraq, Iran and against landmines ban. Obama argues against these positions. This will show in his big campaign contributions and in support for him in establishment and big media, including NYT (a liberal paper!). He needs more pragmatical approach and experience, to learn to follow the money. Bush now throws tons of money at every problem, not a conservative approach at all. But democrats compete on who will "donate" or spend more money on (healthcare) issue, like if it was their money that they are offering. It will be up to fiscally responsible republicans (but this is also oxymoron by now) to prevent their spending spree, just like representatives did in '94 when HRC tried it the first time. This is so much the same stuff, does it look like a groundhog day only to me?

Posted by: bo7fun | February 5, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons may announce a 2/11 Fox debate but it won't be with Obama. As reported in this paper - http://blog.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/01/obama.html - Obama has no love for Fox since they smeared him as soon as he announced his candidacy.

I agree that, if there are more debates, the moderators should hold the candidates to the truth. Most especially, if they do not answer a question directly, the moderator should not move on until such candidate does so.

Personally, I've a few questions I'd LOVE to hear Sen. Clinton answer:

When Pres. Bush decided to cut tail from the hunt from bin Laden to invade Iraq, why did you - the Senator from New York - not stand on the floor of the Senate and hold him to his Ground Zero promise to bring the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice?

Are you consciously lying about the substance of the Levin Amendment or, like the NIE, did you simply choose not to read it?

As President, from Day One, what transparent checks and balances will you have in place to ensure that your husband's White House presence never violates the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

What guarantees to we, the taxpayers, have that your husband will conduct no personal business out of the White House and will serve in solely a ceremonial - not an advisory role - in your White House?

Posted by: GordonsGirl | February 5, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

To:dyck1230---

Come now. If you're going to talk about "Lying down with dogs", let's add the other big dog [pun intended]: Senator Clinton herself.

In the last minute Presidential pardons, President Clinton freed members of a terrorist group that killed police officers. He did it to help his wife's bid for the Senate. Two of the other last minute pardons were arranged by Hillary's brothers, who benefited financially. And let us not forget that many of the other pardons were for Clinton benefactors.

The counter argument is that Hillary had no idea that any of this was happening: she'll take partial credit for everything good that happened during the Clinton administration, but she didn't know about any illegal, immoral, or unethical conduct. Well, if any Hillary supports want to make that claim, no one who isn't main-lining Clinton Kool-Aid will believe it. But then I'd also say that calls into question the whole idea that her experience as First Lady counts for anything. As Dick Morse said about her eight years in the White House, "So does the pastry chef."

Then there's the Travelgate scandal. If the numerous stories are true, Hillary was the driving force behind getting Billy Dale, the head of the White House travel office, illegally removed to make room for her friends. This is a classic example abusing power to destroy an average hard-working middle class person to aid the rich and powerful. The Clintons had literally thousands of patronage jobs to give away, there was no need to ruin Dale's life (and others) so that she could arrange a new position for the Thomasons.

How about the $100,000 cattle futures deal? Of course it was a bribe by Tyson chicken so that Governor Clinton could help the corporation continue to endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the public by polluting the air and water. Hillary's direct involvement in the receiving the money makes her the "Bagman for the Arkansas Mafia".

And let's not forget the Hillary personally arranged for the "private investigators" to track down and pressure Bill's "bimbos" to sign affidavits.

And then there's Hillary's fingerprints on the billing records that she was required to turn over to investigators - but didn't.

And then there's her involvement with Whitewater and Madison Savings and Loan.

It just goes on and on and on. The Clinton's a scum. They routinely abuse power for personal gain. President Hillary Rotten Clinton!? Only if the majority of Americans have no moral, ethical, or legal standards.

5. Posted by kevino | January 30, 2008 10:17 AM | Score: 5 (9 votes cast)

Posted on January 30, 2008 10:17

A month or two ago, Hillary... (Below threshold)

6. Posted by _Mike_ | January 30, 2008 11:03 AM | Score: 6 (6 votes cast)

_Mike_:
A month or two ago, Hillary had to abruptly cancel an appearance at one of her fundraisers because the person putting on the event was indicted on felony bribery charges (Richard "Dickie" Scruggs). There was very minor coverage in the national press at the time.

6. Posted by _Mike_ | January 30, 2008 11:03 AM | Score: 6 (6 votes cast)

Posted on January 30, 2008 11:03

Johnnie Chung - Clinton fun... (Below threshold)

7. Posted by Geminichuck | January 30, 2008 11:38 AM | Score: 5 (5 votes cast)

Geminichuck:
Johnnie Chung - Clinton fundraiser who admitted to funneling illegal contributions to the Clinton and DNC campaigns

The McDougals

Web Hubble - pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges in connection with his handling of billing at the Rose Law Firm (plus isnt he Chelsea's bio dad?)

George Stephanoplolis - free loan for his pricy DC-area home

Dick Morris - prostitute toe sucking while listening to president on phone (isnt something there illegal?)

Jim Guy Tucker - jailed for fraud over something

Nora & Gene Lum - convicted for laundering money for DNC, I believe

Posted by: jetlone | February 5, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

re: 136 votes present

If you had to vote RIGHT NOW (4:30 eastern) whether today was a good day politically, would you vote yes or no? It's too early to tell. I respect a politician who votes present when faced with a false choice. He could have skipped the vote, but instead decided how to vote (present) and went on record.

Second point: I've been thrilled to hear Obama say on occasion he might not "get everything right" and has made some mistakes in the past (who hasn't?). It is refreshing to hear this honesty and unabashed humanness. How come neither Bush nor Hillary can admit a mistake? What gives?

Posted by: mrmatttt | February 5, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why the debate challenge? It's real simple - just follow the money.

Obama January Fundraising $32 million
Clinton January fundraising $13.5 million

Clinton doesn't want Sen. Obama to dominate the airwaves.

It is surprising to say this, but the fact is she can't compete with Obama in the money race. He is not only raising more money now, but has the greater potential because a smaller percentage of his donors have maxed out.

Posted by: JasonT910 | February 5, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This is typical of her "do anything it takes" approach to politics. Another political stunt like declaring victory in Florida. If he's debating on primary days and on days before primaries, voters in MD, VA, DC and Maine wont be able to see him in person. Yet one more reason to vote OBAMA!!!

Posted by: oscar.ramirez | February 5, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

trisha writes
"his record is consistent -- 136 votes present!"

That line of attack is pretty telling. To the naive & impressionable, it looks like damning evidence of an unprincipled or indecisive politician. But when you look at how the IL Senate works, you see it is par for the course. An honest portrayal of his record would compare his votes to his peers', rather than take the number out of context and misrepresent what it means.

Posted by: bsimon | February 5, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I think these debates are becoming redundant. I don't feel like I have to see any more, nor do I see how they will necessarily help Hillary and hurt Obama. If anything, I think it is working the other way. I do worry that in her quest to secure the nominaton, Hillary is willing to risk damage to the unity of the party.

Posted by: SarahBB | February 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What I would love to see (but which is probably logistically unfeasible) even more that debates would be an online site that people could post specific questions to any of the candidates, who in turn could answer as many as possible. Not an opinion blog, but a factual one, that isn't run by one or another candidate, so it would be very different from what the candidates provide already. A ratings system for their answers would be useful, as well. I'm dreaming, I know...

Posted by: mishte | February 5, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"It is the housing scam ... is telling. That is not standard political fundraising."

Whitewater?

Posted by: bsimon | February 5, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton advisers believe that voters have not seen enough of Obama, but that once they will, they will swing back her way."

Everything I've heard and read suggests the exact opposite. The more people see of Obama, the more they like him.

Posted by: jvred386 | February 5, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

She and they must be feeling scared that people will come to their senses and see who the Clinton's really are? Liars

Wanting more debates is just over kill. We've already had many years and trials of Bill and Hillary...

Maybe we should have National Stump speeches spelling out their visions? Then Barack Obama will get the edge. Plus when He wins, we get to see and hear his winning speeches.

Who is she too demand something?

Posted by: QuietStormX | February 5, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

136 votes present as opposed to one vote and 4,000 American troops dead.

Posted by: BigB1 | February 5, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

haha it's because obama does poorly when put on the spot and looks junior.

why are all the obama kids getting so worked up? getting nervous?

yeah, his record is consistent -- 136 votes present!

Posted by: trisha2 | February 5, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Chicago Public Radio put up a complete list of direct Rezko contributions.

The contributions do bother me that much. Every campaign needs tons of cash and everyone that wants their phone calls returned is going to give it. Par for the course.

It is the housing scam Rezko pulled off for Obama that is telling. That is not standard political fundraising.

Posted by: barry | February 5, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, when is day one. If she's talking about January 21st then that's impossible because all of her cabinent appointees have to be nominated by the Senate. SO there's a obfuscation on her "day one I'm going to request of my Secretaries and Generals" routine regarding bringing the troops home

Posted by: BigB1 | February 5, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the debate schedule has already been set up and agreed to - unless, of course, this is Clinton being worried about the nomination. Besides, a debate a week is a little much!
Secondly, Fox has made no bones about being 'pro-Clinton'. If there is a debate, it should be in neutral territory.
Third, as far as some of the comments above - Clinton has proven, time and again, to vote in a way that makes you think she really doesn't think for herself!

There is already a debate schedule...I say they stick to it!

Posted by: ndolan622 | February 5, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

to dyck21005:

What??? Hillary talks as if when she was first lady that she was in on all the decisions and that this gives her experience. All she did was put together a health paln that failed because of her insecurity and inability to drive an issue forward.

Just as with her Iraq vote, she WILL be muscled into policy decisions by the republicans if she (assuming that she wins the presidency which she won't because Obama will) wishes to retain COngress after the midterms or get re-elected.

She has a very shady past and as much as I love the CLintons, she is not right for America today. As she attempts to show disparities in Baracks statements the uglyness will come out and if her tactic is successful with the debates, the republicans will come out in droves to eleminate her from the WH, thus destroying any possibility of bringing the changes this country needs after Nixon's ghost, aka Dick CHeney, and Bush.

Barack seems to have a pretty consistent record. Though there are some flaws he seems to understand the way to move America forward.

Posted by: BigB1 | February 5, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse


When will somebody, anybody with a smidgen of chutzpah ask Hillary this question:

If you get back into the White House will you let Bill have the side office and desk, he and Monica spent endless and ardent seconds discussing the legal implications of using the word Is, back or will you use yourself?

Direct, simple to the point and guaranteed not to provoke a cough or a tear or a wishy washy answer.

Posted by: omop | February 5, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This challenge is not for a debate, this is for a "do over".

Posted by: valskeet | February 5, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Why should we expect a higher level of political discourse by campaigns? Look at the sniping going on here.

I think a race between Hillary and Barack is a great thing. I wish Edwards had more traction but frankly he ran a better campaign four years ago when I was working for Kerry.

Barack is great but, GO HILLARY!

Posted by: barry | February 5, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

dyck21005, do you really think its a winning strategy for Sen Clinton to attack Obama on sleazy campaign contributors? Hillary went right for the sleaze by bringing up Rezko, but Obama didn't respond in kind by mentioning Hsu, McDougal, Rich, or others. My guess is she was trying to trap him into doing exactly that, so they could rebut with "where're the politics of hope now?" Perhaps they're struggling because he keeps declining to take the bait.

Posted by: bsimon | February 5, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the Fox "debate" is really a tryout for a feature where she and Rush Limbaugh will do a shrill and shriller routine, with Rush really hollering, and Hillary pretending once again to cry. I think it's a go.

Posted by: rpmcestmoicoxnet | February 5, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

There have already been SEVENTEEN debates!!!

This has got to be a record in and of itself.

SEVENTEEN!!!!!

Posted by: valskeet | February 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone should score the debates. That would be interesting. Otherwise it's all the same stuff--both policy stances and bickering. Just serves as an excuse for people not to read up on the person they do not support.

Posted by: darkestcloud | February 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama should agree to the debates because all he has to do is ask hillary to answer specifically, or "yes-or-no" on any topic and she instantly is unmasked as an intellectually dishonest dinasaur politician who tries to triangulate her own party's voters.

Example: How much are you going to garnish from our wages for hillarycare?

No clear, unambiguous answer = "President Obama".

Did you not know you were voting to authorize use of force?

No clear, unambiguous answer = "President Obama"

VOTE BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!

no answer

Posted by: onestring | February 5, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

She is not so good in front of large crowds in less controlled situations. Obama is great. Clearly her plan is to keep him from his most effective forum. Two things will increasingly tell on her campaign:

1) If Democrats keep control of both Houses, how does the 'I will fight 4 u' keep its force? She will be fighting her own veto-proof party? Her experience is in a divided bitter partisan environment. That just may not be there after Nov. So, her experience must be heavily discounted.

2) She will be ready Day One. If you don't plan on doing anything new and different (ie CHANGE) yeh I guess you would say that.

Posted by: twstroud | February 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

More corrupt camp donations for Obama! WHERES THE MEDIA??? We are sick of the media pushing obama down our throats! on Oct. 5, in the aftermath of federal bribery/extortion/conspiracy/other miscellaneous badness indictments of former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill , Obama camp supporter and financial contributor to Presidential candidate Barrack Obama who desperately wants campaign cash from another, criminal or not, Again Obama camp has its hands full with other publically indicted bankrollers Rezko. Now Mr. Hill's campaign finance report shows donations on April 28, and federal campaign finance reports indicate Mr. Obama received donations in June 22 as well. The Obama camp couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday...Of Couse, did axelrod loose his voice?
Obama's Relationship With Rezko Goes Back 17 Years. Obama Kept Contributions From Accused Fixer's (REZKO)Wife And Others ABCNews.com Analysis Shows the Campaign Still Hasn't Returned More Than $100,000 in Obama is referred to in document which outlines case against Rezko As Barack Obama is finding out, it's not as easy to dump politically toxic campaign donations as it might seem. For the third time in more than a year, Obama's presidential campaign announced this week it was shedding more donations tied to indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Calculations by the media and Obama's own staff of Rezko's financial impact on his past political campaigns have been all over the map and shifting. In the case of Obama, public records don't make clear every Rezko connection. The records show that since 1995, $74,500 came from Rezko, his relatives or contributors listed on official disclosure forms as employees of one of his businesses. Rezko has raised money for Obama's presidential campaign.

Posted by: dyck21005 | February 5, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Now that she's no longer "inevitable", she's getting desperate. Last thing we need is a "debate a week" from now until November.

Posted by: rseymour | February 5, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What. Is she going to complain that her entitlement rhetoric is not working on the American people. What else is she going to tell us??? I don't think she wants to bring up anything on Obama that she does not have problems with as well. SHe's already proved that she cannot explain her way out of a paper bag with regard to her Iraq vote. All these debates are going to be is a tarnish Obama campaign, kind of Mit'esque.

Posted by: BigB1 | February 5, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

While an aide to Sen. Barack Obama, who spoke at a town-hall meeting yesterday in Los Angeles, tried to explain away the altered policy changes, analysts excused him, noting the passage of time and less-liberal competition.Barack Obama, senatorial candidate 04, is very different from presidential candidate of 08.Videotapes of debates and speeches obtained by Washington Times shows Obama took positions during his Senate campaign on nearly a half-dozen issues ranging from the Cuba embargo to health care for illegal aliens that conflict with statements during his run for the White House. For example, in MSNBC's Oct. 30 presidential debate, Mr. Obama hesitantly raised his hand and joined with most of his Democratic rivals to declare he opposed decriminalizing marijuana But as a U.S. Senate candidate, Mr. Obama told ILL college students January he supported eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana use or possession. When confronted with the statements on the video, Obama's campaign offered two explanations said the candidate had "always" supported decriminalizing marijuana, suggesting that his 2004 statement was correct. Then after The Times posted copies of the video on its Web site, www.washingtontimes.com, yesterday, his campaign reversed course and declared he does not support eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana possession and use.
What is Senator Obama going to say to republicans when asked why he favors granting drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants as Obama has admitted twice in debates? About Obama's present position that undocumented workers will not be covered in his healthcare proposal, yet when he was running for the Senate he said that children of undocumented workers should get the same healthcare benefits that citizens get? when they begin to ask him about negotiating in unstructured summits with the leaders of Iran, North Korea and Cuba without preconditions? What will Senator Obama say when Senator McCain asks him why he said in 2004 that he did not know how he would have voted on the Iraq war authorization and that his view of the Iraq war was not different from President Bush's? What will Senator Obama say when Senator McCain compares Obama's votes to fully fund the Iraq War in the Senate to Obama's rhetorical opposition to that war? What is Senator Obama going to say when Senator McCain questions Obama's claim to be "the most qualified person in America to conduct the foreign policy of the United States"? What is Senator Obama going to say when Senator McCain says that Obama is not one of the most qualified members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to lead this country in today's dangerous world but instead one of the most absent? Senator Obama has not conducted a single policy hearing as chairman of the subcommittee on European Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee?


Posted by: dyck21005 | February 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

All the debates so far have been a sham, with "reporters" who are one step up from local weathermen asking wimpy questions and then just standing there while the candidates give speeches full of lies and misleading statements:

youtube.com/watch?v=nIbDAVQMKGM
youtube.com/watch?v=wm0uWz2BS9M

And, of course, at least two CNN debates featured plants:

youtube.com/watch?v=TpqKogu9bzA

The best way to avoid such debates in the future is to have policy experts from across the spectrum "cross-examine" the candidates:

http://nomoreblather.com/policy-debates

While it would be very easy for the WaPo to put on debates like that (maybe $10k for something simple), don't expect them to do it. On a topic like immigration, the last thing the WaPo wants is a real debate.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, more debates would be good. It makes for good tv and both candidates can handle themselves. How many debates have we had so far? 20? 30?

NOT ON FOX, though. You can have the Fox debates in the general election, when lies and b.s. are more expected. But don't screw up our primary with your transparent propaganda. Go back to trashing McCain and leave us alone.

Assuming the debates are on a REAL news network, I would like to see a subject-specific debate. How about a debate on just the health care plans? I still haven't heard those really explained and argued in a debate beyond just Clinton's has a mandate and Obama's doesn't cover everyone. To what level would private companies be involved and/or in control? I could see another debate on foreign policy, and not just Iraq. Who are our allies? What is our responsibility to the world situation? Strategically what new ideas can each bring to the table? The economic trouble we are in could make for a debate in itself as far as taxes, mortgages, interest rates, deficit spending, demand vs supply side economics, green economics and the begging question: what really stimulates an economy besides just giving people money we borrowed from China?

Posted by: grimmix | February 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm OK with more debates, but please no more tears, Hillary. I'm assuming you will go back to being the Ice Princess if elected, however.

Posted by: stewart1393 | February 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I think debates are a good way to showcase the candidates IF the facilitators don't let the candidates get away with obfuscating the issues or telling falsehoods - e.g. Hillary's obfuscation on the Iraq vote (she didn't believe it was a blank check for war) and the Levin amendment (from what I've read, the UN spin she put on it was not what it was about, nor had she expressed this concern previously). It is annoying when candidates are allowed to spin without confrontation.

Posted by: bethechange1 | February 5, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Funny, zuckerman, I thought that Clinton has been campaigning for a year, with personal appearances, mailings, commercials, and 18 previous debates.

It must be a pretty thick smokescreen of media bias to hold down all that.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Factless hope of utopian change will dissipate soon if nutral moderators ask real qustions to the candidates.

Posted by: mgm18122003 | February 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If this story is true, and the Clinton campaign expects voters to turn away from Obama as they learn more about him, that explains exactly why Hillary should not be elected president. Expect more dishonest, negative attacks from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Enough already.

Posted by: johnc_80 | February 5, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Senior Clinton strategist Mark Penn described the debates as "critically important.""


Penn must have the latest polling numbers showing that Sen Clinton has some work to do, to shore up her support. Time for the pre-spin of tonight's results. Forget the Feb 5 numbers! Lets have a debate every single week to drive the news cycle, rather than our lower-than-expected results from actual primaries & caucuses!

Posted by: bsimon | February 5, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, Zuckermand! You've now cruised past "JakeD" and are right behind that psychopath "HotNuke" as my least favorite poster on this board. Keep up the unhinged commentary!

Posted by: RyanMcC1 | February 5, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

How's your German folks? Genug ist Genug! In English, enough is enough. 'Nuff said! Desparation time in Westchester County?

Posted by: NoMugwump | February 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

...this goes well with her statement yesterday, saying she'd consider Obama as her running mate? Okay, that works. Against reason.

This would do nothing but help Obama. I hope this happens.

Posted by: mishte | February 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

...this goes well with her statement yesterday, saying she'd consider Obama as her running mate.

This would do nothing but help Obama. I hope this happens.

Posted by: mishte | February 5, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"...Hello, Mr. Clinton, still there?

Posted by: Foreigner | February 5, 2008 03:14 PM "

Good Lord. Do people really think this way? Come on, you're a parody crank, right?

Posted by: zukermand | February 5, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I sense the Clinton campaign has determined Anne Kornblut, Perry Bacon, Dan Balz, Tim Russert, Shailagh Murray, Chris Matthews, Kit Seelye and Patrick Healy have all abdicated any sense of professional responsibility and journalistic ethics in favor of childish taunting and schoolyard sneering. The only way she can communicate her campaign positions free of caricature and derisive snark is to speak to us directly and at length, the debates being the best venue for doing so on a wide scale.

It's sad our political discourse has broken so badly, it's really very important.

Posted by: zukermand | February 5, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well now, she who must be elected isn't feeling so "inevitable" these days. Interesting turn of the tables.

Posted by: meldupree | February 5, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Clinton that a weekly debate would clear up a lot of unclear issues about both candidates. But let this be a debate under supervision of a neutral moderator and with a table lie dectector that shows the results immediately on the screen. Hello, Mr. Clinton, still there?

Posted by: Foreigner | February 5, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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