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In The Spin Room, Talk Again Turns to Saturday Night

By Perry Bacon Jr.
The two Democratic presidential campaigns don't agree on the skit that Hillary Clinton can't stop talking about.

VIDEO | Clinton and Obama -- Final Question

Clinton has seized on a skit on Saturday Night Live last weekend that depicted a CNN debate in which moderators fawned over Barack Obama while firing tough questions at her, and she referred to the skit again in the debate here, complaining that the tough questions keep coming at her, but not Obama.

As aides to the two camps filled the so-called spin room after the debate, much of the talk was about SNL.

"I think tonight was a great example of life imitating art," Clinton adviser Ann Lewis said after the debate, which some Clinton supporters felt was another example of her talking sharper questions than Obama.

Mandy Grunwald, who makes Clinton's television advertisements, said Clinton's mention of the skit was not "the story of the debate," but added "we all enjoyed it."

Obama advisers said they are not sure if their candidate has even seen the skit, but they have and were not impressed by SNL or Clinton's mention of it, which Obama communications director Robert Gibbs described as one of Clinton's "weird, off hand comments" in the debate.

"A call for open auditions is in order," said spokesman Jen Psaki, who said the actor playing Obama in the skit did a poor job of portraying the candidate.

David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist, said he had seen the skit, but added "I don't know how she gets time to see Saturday Night Live," referring to Clinton.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 27, 2008; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , The Debates  
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Comments

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Posted by: rywvxhke calmwvxo | April 16, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Racist-Saturday Night Live?

I Suggest the following Poll...

Question:
"Is it Racist for Saturday Night Live to use a White actor in Black-Face makeup to impersonate Barack Obama?"

Please answer in your own words.
.......................................
I have observed...
SNL has used white performers in black-face makeup to impersonate famous African American people for years. As a matter of fact, as a regular viewer of the show, I can say with certainty that the great majority of all the impersonations of Black people that they do, are done by White people or Jewish people.

SNL has never had two Black performers as 'regulars' in the cast simultaneously and there has never been an African American woman as a regular cast member.

In my opinion, the cast and production team of SNL are benignly racist. Like many members of sororities and fraternities in American colleges, they don't intend to be bigots, they are just clueless as to what life is like for other races and the common person.......

Posted by: ChipShirley | February 27, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I Suggest the following Poll...

Question:
"Is it Racist for Saturday Night Live to use a White actor in Black-Face makeup to impersonate Barack Obama?"

Please answer in your own words.
.......................................
I have observed...
SNL has used white performers in black-face makeup to impersonate famous African American people for years. As a matter of fact, as a regular viewer of the show, I can say with certainty that the great majority of all the impersonations of Black people that they do, are done by White people or Jewish people.

SNL has never had two Black performers as 'regulars' in the cast simultaneously and there has never been an African American woman as a regular cast member.

In my opinion, the cast and production team of SNL are benignly racist. Like many members of sororities and fraternities in American colleges, they don't intend to be bigots, they are just clueless as to what life is like for other races and the common person.......

Posted by: ChipShirley | February 27, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

JakeD.. is right, Hillary is not complaining about getting the first Q, just pointing it out; and tax returns release are the tradition AFTER THE CONVENTION, NOT BEFORE. Another phony and distracting issue from Obama.
On press coverage, I don't see anyone picking up on the fact that Obama has not rejected or renounced SUPPORT from Farrakhan; he has simply renounced and rejected the STATEMENTS of Farrakhan. Big difference! Obama mockingly and dismissively converted Hillary's challenge into a dismissive punchline by saying he renounced and rejected Farrakhan's sayings but he never said he rejected his SUPPORT and the SUPPORT of any of his followers who subscribe to that hate speech. Once again Obama is sounding like Bush who said he disagreed with the Swift Boaters but he would not reject or renounce their SUPPORT. And the media again looked past another slick Obama dodge of the real question/issue of REJECTING FARRAKHAN SUPPORT even though that is exactly the way Tim Russert originally framed the question.

Fadgen

Posted by: veritabile | February 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Hillary is not "being forced" to do anything. She is merely being asked (repeatedly). Her refusal to make the disclosure makes people wonder if she is hiding something. Just politics? Perhaps. But why is the intrigue possible? Because the Clintons have created a very, very, very deep closet.

Now, why should she make the disclosure? Because Obama already has. That is a significant perceived advantage. She is losing and can hardly afford to trifle any advantage away anymore, particularly one that is completely under her control.

For me, and I suspect many other voters as well, the Clinton pattern of evasiveness is troubling. Truth and integrity have no need to hide in the shadows. The answers she provided last night were insufficient for me, not just for the tax returns but also for the long-requested library papers. With her time in the White House comprising a significant portion of her touted experience, you would think she would be eager to release them instead of hide them? But that is hardly the case. http://www.newsweek.com/id/57351

Hillary constantly reminds us that she is "a fighter." Why can't she be a fighter on transparency and disclosure?

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 27, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

shmaryahoopizzaman:

It is not "complaining" (in fact, she said she was happy to answer all these first questions) to simply point out the facts and -- more importantly -- that he has a tendancy to simply build off of her first answers -- that's called a "debate".

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Schmedley:

I obviously disagree on your assessment re: John SIDNEY McCain's chances, especially if there's another terrorist attack -- I'm wondering if you are similarly upset about U.S. presence in South Korea -- you can also see the SNL skit (and read a partial transcript) right here:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/02/24/obamas_bffs_with_press_passes.html

Although I would never vote for Hillary DIANE Clinton, I don't think she's obligated to turn over her tax returns PRIOR to the Convention -- no other (eventual) major-party nominee has -- why the sudden demand this time around?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

i think hillary is wonderful; however!!!

don't complain about getting the first q in a debate -- you're the one with experience and should be able to handle anything they throw at you

the press has always been for obama - the fault of your campaign advisors is that they never came up with a strategy to counteract it.

you can be senator from ny for years to come -- that can be a lot more profitable

your daughter can run in 16 years - don't screw it up for her with a nasty end game

Posted by: shmaryahoopizzaman | February 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote, "Did anyone see today's LA Times/Bloomberg poll showing John SIDNEY McCain beating BOTH Dem hopefuls?"

It'll be that way as long as Dems are split between Obama and Clinton. Once those two camps coalesce, that tsunami will swamp the StraightTo100MoreYearsOfWar Express.

Posted by: Schmedley | February 27, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist, said he had seen the skit, but added 'I don't know how she gets time to see Saturday Night Live,' referring to Clinton."

Oh, she saw it when she was just taking a break from getting together all those tax returns that she's going to release....aaannnyyy day now....

Posted by: Schmedley | February 27, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

She called for these added debates, then whines about them. She says the media is showing favoritism. If Obama had lost 11 contests in a row the media would have allowed him to go gently into that dark night. However, Hillary, the actual loser of 11 contests, is still being highlighted and spotlighted in the media. It is, in fact, the media that has kept her in the race. Her constant changing demeanor concerns me. To paraphrase Forest Grump, she is like a box of chocolates, you never know what (or who you are going to get). I am afraid she will run the White House like she has run her campaign, which does not reflect the experience she claims. Mr. Obama on the other land had run a much better, even an excellent campaign and this was done absent the long-term Washington experience the Clintons seem to think he needs. His corporate like ability to lead and motivate will bring the right people with the experience and expertise to change this country to his administration. A Clinton administration, however, would be more of the same ole, same ole, same Washington "experience" that got us where we are today.

Posted by: friendlyfire | February 27, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

brooksofsheffield:

I am talking about NOMINEES, before the COnvention (although you reminded me that Bill JEFFERSON Clinton did not release his tax returns after he was nominated as well). Every OTHER nominee has released his tax returns AFTER the Convention. That was why I am asking whether Hillary should be forced to do so prior to the Convention.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

USA did a quick analysis of HRC claim that she was getting a lot of first questions.

Turns out HRC was right! David Shuster did his own analysis for MSNBC and made it seem fairly balanced-he did not give an accurate account. MSNBC being unfair - you bet.

When you look at during the debates who also got the first question when the subject changed, HRC got the first question too many times for it to be a co-incidence!

The media isn't responsible for Clinton losing in the primaries. The media is responsible for being the Obama lap dog and not giving the viewer a fair and balanced analysis!

Posted by: FredCDobbs | February 27, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, this statement:

"NO prior Democratic (or Republican) nominee has turned over such papers, tax returns,"

is patently false. You might check the paragraph entitled, "Tax Release Common Post-Watergate"

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=3165953

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 27, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This whole Democratic campaign is like a old hollywood movie, namely the Wizard of Oz. It is time for all democrats to join in a rousing chorus of "Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead."

Posted by: biteoh | February 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

She would not be the first. Obama has already released his. The question is why doesn't she?

Why do you think she has been asked this question time and time again? Why do academics and members of the media refer to the Clinton Library as Fort Knox? What is wrong with disclosure from those who claim to serve us so selflessly?

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 27, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

brooksofsheffield:

I'm sorry you are not comforted, but NO prior Democratic (or Republican) nominee has turned over such papers, tax returns, etc. until after the Convention. Why should Hillary DIANE Clinton be the first?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Here's just one of the "questions" asked by an actor portraying a journalist:

"Senator Obama -- my God, I'm so nervous. I still can't believe I'm actually talking to you.

"Okay, as you know, uh, Senator, as I explained in the letter that I duct-taped to your front door, and I'm sorry that it went on so long, I just, uh, I really really really really really want you to be the next president, and not just because you're a fantastic human being and the only person that can turn this nation around. But also because, deep down, I really and truly believe that it is destiny that one day you and I will be together. You will become a part of me and I a part of you, joined as one. Does that make sense?

[shakes his head]

"So my question is, Are you mad at me?"

[CNN scrolls question at the bottom of screen]

"I was afraid you might be mad at me because, you know, all the shilling for you in my campaign coverage has been so obvious and because I spend every night sitting in front of your house in a parked car."

You can see the full skit at the link above. FUNNY STUFF!!!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"The Clinton campaign ... has finally settled upon "Hillary the fighter." Are these people not aware that combativeness is exactly what people do not like about Hillary?"

Apparently not.

I don't think she is actually trying to win TX as much as hang onto her base to prevent a blow-out. She has some gender-specific videos now and she is asking her women supporters to send them to all their women friends. One features Ann Richardson. I think it is interesting that she is crying sexism from one hand, then dealing the gender card with the other.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/oneofamillion/?sc=1636

The party insiders must be hoping, for the sake of the party, that Obama takes TX big and manages a win in OH too. Hillary's response about the presidential papers and her tax return are not comforting. Tack that on top of Bill's refusal to disclose donors to the Clinton library and his little Uranium gig and . . . well, you get the idea.

Posted by: brooksofsheffield | February 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You can see the SNL skit (and read a partial transcript) here:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/02/24/obamas_bffs_with_press_passes.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"McCain the down-to-earth man will surely flower."

Many weeds (lobbyists) around that flower. Can't wait until McCain becomes the main focus of the gardener. Time to weed the garden. Time to dig up the old perennials that come back year after year only to disappoint due to diseased root.

Posted by: dionc9 | February 27, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Rivercitylawyer:

As long as she goes down all the way to the Convention floor, fine by me.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I am a DEMOCRAT, but I will never VOTE for Barry HUSSIEN MADRASA Obama. (مدرسة )

According to Black people (African American) Clinton was the FIRST BLACK PRESDIENT, Now they called the Clintons RACIST. If you don't have anything good to say about Barry HUSSIEN MADRASA Obama (مدرسة ), you are RACIST

If you do not VOTE For,
Baarry MADRASA HUSSIEN Obama (مدرسة ), you are RACIST
You don't like
Baarry HUSSIEN MADRASA Obama (مدرسة ), YOU ARE RACIST. hmmmmm

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The Clinton campaign, seeking some cover for their bayonet charge against Obama, has finally settled upon "Hillary the fighter." Are these people not aware that combativeness is exactly what people do not like about Hillary? Her defensiveness - against enemies real and imagined - is precisely what sent her negatives above 45% sixteen years ago. And kept them there.

The "fightin' side" of Hillary Clinton casts some long and fairly dark shadows. It doesn't help that her most memorable battles involved personal rather than societal injustices. To compound the problem, she seems to make even the driest policy distinctions seem personal: disagree with me and you are clearly unreasonable, argue with me and you are making an unfair attack.

It is important to remind ourselves that Hillary's greatest failure resulted from her unwillingness to accept anything other than her health care plan. As tonight's debate showed, she is still willing to go the distance over the smallest detail.

Despite her many virtues, these are serious, serious flaws, and unfortunately ones she shares with the current occupants of the West Wing. The public is clearly irritated with the Republican strategy to govern on behalf of Republicans and to hell with everyone else, but that doesn't mean they are willing to accept the same from a Democrat. "Hillary the Fighter" will go down, swinging.

Posted by: Rivercitylawyer | February 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see today's LA Times/Bloomberg poll showing John SIDNEY McCain beating BOTH Dem hopefuls?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

A poem about the debate and campaign


"The Landslide of the Democratic Party"

Hillary is down eleven in a row,
But if the tables were turned for her,
She would holler and cause a stir,
Pursing his lips Bill would tell Obama to GO.

Dodd and Richardson had experience over Hillary,
And they wiped out while she clutched to Billary,
She is desperate to be Prez so badly,
That she tries the methods that Gore used on Bradley.

While Hillary plays Raul to Bill's Fidel,
The Democratic party sits on the brink of hell,
While Hillary and Obama put on charades in their fight for power,
McCain the down-to-earth man will surely flower.

Posted by: eam179 | February 27, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

She did it again. She Blah, Blah, her way out.
Looks like Tim Russert owes something to this woman. Why is he so afraid of her?

She rambles and rambles and nobody is compalaining.
She has no substance.
Brains against brainlessness.

Posted by: ritarodriguez212 | February 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Exchequer"?
We don't have those.

So, I can't see any possible way this New Brand of Unifying Politics that will Bring Us Together to Solve the Nation's Challenges by calling our opponents "weird" might not work splendidly.

Who else is weird? I can't wait to hear.

Posted by: zukermand | February 27, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Woefully, weird and offhand is fast becoming the Clinton's campaign trademark. Its weird to bring up a comedy show sketch that is purposefully ironically overdrawn to illustrate that reality is more like the exaggeration than people think. It shows a disconnection from reality, or a failed sense of humor. On the heels of a weird rant about the debate format, it was even weirder.

This is not the new strategy Clinton needs. Im waiting for Clinton to make one single pitch to voters beyond the delicious promise ploddingly purveying plan after plan; followed by complaints that people don't like her despite her planning. I'm waiting for her to step up and take on McCain right now, as the proper nominee she claims to be. This is a presidential election not an application for Exchequer. Plans don't govern and plans don't lead. Voters are tired of being lectured to that they are too stupid or inattentive to focus on the plans.

Posted by: wharwood | February 27, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"...can't stop talking about"

I do wish the reporters here would grow up and at least pretend they are professionals who take their responsibilities seriously.

Posted by: zukermand | February 27, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"weird"?
It's interesting to note, while the Clinton campaign criticizes the media's job performance, the Obama campaign makes personal attacks against Sen Clinton, up to and including childish name calling.

Posted by: zukermand | February 27, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Saturday Night Live is a comedy, late-night program. What is serious, are these figures:

Barack vs Hillary Analysis:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=53

Posted by: davidmwe | February 27, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist, said he had seen the skit, but added "I don't know how she gets time to see Saturday Night Live," referring to Clinton."

A rather pissy, catish comment by macho Dave.

Posted by: PhilTR | February 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This is getting ridiculous. Hillary Clinton should really try and find a way to bow out graciously. Six of the biggest english spoken European newspapers agree on her poor performance yesterday and in her campaign. She is to blame, noone else. As I said before primaries are not a crowning, they are a democratic political process and if you want the vote you better show your respect for the voter. The Inevitability claim felt like getting a candidate shoved down your throat. Meanwhile Barack Obama claims 1'000'000 contributors to his campaign, see the difference?

It's over for Senator Clinton!

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/its-over/

Posted by: old_europe | February 27, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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