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21st Time's the Charm: Another Democratic Debate in the Works

By Garance Franke-Ruta
If you're interested in another 30-minute argument about health care mandates, followed by one more round on the 2002 Congressional vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq, you're in luck: the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates will be holding another primary debate.

That would be their 21st one.

Today Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) announced that they had agreed to participate in a nationally televised debate in Philadelphia on April 16, in advance of Pennsylvania's April 22 primary. The debate will be hosted by ABC News and is sure to see the candidates covering familiar ground, as well as any matters that have cropped up since what many thought would be their final debate, held in Cleveland, at the end of February.

Obama has also accepted an invitation to participate in a debate hosted by CBS News in North Carolina on April 19, in advance of that state's May 6 Democratic primary, moderated by Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer.

"Senator Obama welcomes the opportunity to openly debate Senator Clinton on the issues important to Americans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and hopes that she will accept these invitations as well," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton in a statement.

No word yet from the Clinton camp on this one.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 13, 2008; 4:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

From the caliber of comments, I am going to guess that most of you commentors are escapees from some mental ward somewhere, possibly armed and dangerous and definitely in need of your medication.

This is a place to dialog and participate in meaningful discussion - not act like a bunch of drunk frat boys away from home for the first time -- your going to O.D. and die.

I think with the upcoming debates, we are going to get the proper "coverage" from the news media, focusing on the real issues and getting to hear what he are here to listen to -- how is this country going to heal.

Posted by: therookie | March 16, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

ABC NEWS Story about Barry Hussien's 20 years friendship with his MENTOR, FREIND, PASTOR, and "UNCLE"... I hope, Barry is finished after this

He is a FRAUD

ABC NEWS
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4443230&affil=wabc

God Help US

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

ABC NEWS Story about Barry Hussien's 20 years friendship with his MENTOR, FREIND, PASTOR, and "UNCLE"... I hope, Barry is finished after this

He is a FRAUD

ABC NEWS
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4443230&affil=wabc

God Help US

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his Mentor, friend and "Uncle"...

ABC NEWS

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4443230&affil=wabc

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his Mentor, friend and "Uncle"...

ABC NEWS

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4443230&affil=wabc

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his Mentor, friend and "Uncle"...

ABC NEWS

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4443230&affil=wabc

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Another Debate?

I can just guess the remaining questions that voters still have not already gotten answers to.

"Senator(For Now) Obama, do YOU think God should D@mn America Now, if you lose, or if we are STUPID Enough to Elect a Racist POS like you in?" ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 14, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget that there is another election tomorrow in Iowa that could decide who gets the 14 Edwards delegates. Details: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/03/dems-ready-for-contests-in-michigan-and.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | March 14, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric about the nation's need for a post-racial politics that "brings the American people together," his campaign at times has seemed overly sensitive about race. It also seems to want it both ways. Mr. Obama claims that his brand of politics transcends race, but at the same time he's using race as a shield to shut down important and legitimate arguments.

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric about the nation's need for a post-racial politics that "brings the American people together," his campaign at times has seemed overly sensitive about race. It also seems to want it both ways. Mr. Obama claims that his brand of politics transcends race, but at the same time he's using race as a shield to shut down important and legitimate arguments.

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Boy, Michelle Obama is Homley.
She unattractive to be a first Lady.
She is to ANGRY tt be a first Lady

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Barry Hissien Obama is a MUSLIM.

Born a MUSLIM is always a MUSLIM

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

HRC will kick is FRAUD and THUG AS* in PA by 20% with 70% white Vote!

When 90% Black People Vote for Obamabi, its called pride

WHen 50% + Whites Vote for Hillary, its called Racism

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Electing Barry Hussien Obambi? Look Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG


Electing Barry Hussien Obambi? Look Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG


Electing Barry Hussien Obambi? Look Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Barry Obambi is another Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG
Barry Obambi is another Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG
Barry Obambi is another Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot THUG
Barry Obambi is another Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot THUG
Barry Obambi is another Kwame Kilpatrick of Detriot. THUG

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!


Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!


Yes we can!
Yes we Khan
Yes we Farra-khan!

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 14, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Would the media stop focusing on the minor differences between the two Democratic candidates and refocus their attention where it normally would, and should be: defeating the Republicans.
-Travor Wynne
Washington, DC

Posted by: trevorwynnewhitehouse | March 14, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Why are people criticizing Garance?
Posted by: ericp331
================


I believe we're all well aware of Ms Ruta's opinion on the utility of further debate. She thinks it will be boring. You and I should not know this, she is a reporter, not an opinion columnist. We have quite enough cool kids writing sneering Heather diary entries in lieu of actual news reporting, thank you.

On the merits, perhaps Ms Ruta has watched the first 20 debates. It's safe to say the overwhelming majority of us have not. I would add interest in the campaign is snowballing on a vast scale as evidenced, among other things, by viewership of the debates. I suspect those recently attentive are very interested in seeing the candidates debate...again.

Posted by: zukermand | March 14, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Monica's ex-boyfriend's wife for President?

I DON'T THINK SO!

Obama will continue to resist Clinton's attempts to get into a mud fight. She is so small. Her whole campaign looks, not surprisingly Republican.

Obama/Biden 2008!

Posted by: dab23 | March 14, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Why are people criticizing Garance? How is she wrong about what the pattern has been in the debates between Clinton and Obama? Haven't each of the two-person debates (after Edwards dropped out) dealt with health care and Iraq?

It will be interesting to see if Obama's asked about his pastor (who is retiring next month) and for further explanation about his relationship with Tony Rezko. And, what exactly did he accomplish in the IL state legislature and in the U.S. Senate?

It will be interesting to see if Clinton's asked about the nature of her foreign policy and 35 years of experience, and about her campaign's pattern of playing the race card. And, similar to Obama, what exactly are her accomplishments in the U.S. Senate?

Posted by: ericp331 | March 14, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

script for Obama

..it's not a Black state

...it's not a white state

....it's not an Hispanic state

IT'S THE UNITED STATES!

Posted by: kevinlarmee | March 14, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

script for hillary:


"I am just so proud to be running with an AFRO-AMERICAN! candidate! I don't want RACE! be part of this. Forget that Obama is BLACK! Forget that he is AFRO-AMERICAN! RACE! should not be part of this campaign...and I am sorry if my campaign has offended anyone.....because, again, I'm just so proud that Obama is BLACK!!!

Posted by: kevinlarmee | March 14, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

According to the Internet Stats, this may be Hillary's time to make a strong showing- a win;

Hillary vs. Barack:
The Google Factor...
(Click in Graph to get LATEST stats- WOW, Clinton is coming on strong!)

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=57

Posted by: davidmwe | March 14, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

You know people its time to stop the hatred...it isnt the candidates who are starting all this...its their campaign people. I am an Obama fan but I no more think Hillary Clinton is a racist than the man in the moon...also I know more think Obama thinks like some over zealous pastor who made the dumb comments he made..(Obama wasnt even present that day when that was said) ..Hillary has denounced Ferraro and Obama has already denounced the statements of the pastor. If we dont come together as a democratic party the republicans win. Hillary and Obama dont hate each other...that was evident today in the senate when they showed Hillary come up behind Obama and they started to talk...you could tell in the body language that it isnt them...its these stupid campaign people that stir all this junk up. Hey if Obama doesnt get the nomination...I will vote for Hillary...as far as what they want to do for the country there isnt a whole lot of difference. So please people...stop letting these campaign antics and not the candidates themselves stir up such hatred in us. When we do this they win. Dont let them dictate how we believe or act.

Posted by: Webster51 | March 14, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Well, hopefully by that time, Hillary will have released her JOINT, 2000- forward tax returns!!

Posted by: Robby1 | March 14, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

O'Bombias, RUN, and Hide! Maybe after a few months of not hearing your sup[port of a Reverse Racist America Hating Snake in the Grass, we might have forgotten WHO you are, without you having to change your Names and Identities!

SHAME, is being an Obama Supporter!

G'Damn America?

No. But, HELL NO!

G'Damn YOU! :-(

Posted by: rat-the | March 14, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Clinton clearly has much more to lose in any Pennsylvania debate for the simple reason that she is way ahead there. The two latest polls released today have her up 13% and 18% -- quite sizable margins: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/03/clinton-up-double-digits-in-pa-where.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | March 13, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

GOVERNOR SPITZER was biggest candidate for VICEPRESIDENT.
We saw many times the ads:CLINTON/ SPITZER *2008
Now we know that Spitzer is gone to the history,but there is still notions about who tipped him off.
Its obvious that the Secret service
was folowing him,because the secret service protects all the canidates and they cannot let somebody like Spitzer to full this country so there goes the truth.
We should pronounce Alexandra Dupre for hero,she saved this country one more time from the obnoxious candidate.

Posted by: kendreik | March 13, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

DISPATCHES FROM THE GROUND WAR ...

THE SCRANTON (PENNSYLVANIA) TIMES-TRIBUNE IS REPORTING ...

03/13/2008
Poll: Hillary's negative rating rivals Santorum's

BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK
STAFF WRITER


New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has something in common with former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum. A large percentage of Pennsylvania voters dislike both of them.

In fact, greater percentages of voters here have consistently viewed Mrs. Clinton unfavorably than Mr. Santorum, according to a review of data from a respected statewide poll.

The data could buttress arguments by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign that Mrs. Clinton, if she wins the Democratic presidential nomination, might not be able to defeat Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, in the Keystone State. ...

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 13, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Say what people want about Eliot Spitzer, at least he gracefully accepted responsibility and resigned.

Not so Hillary's husband, the person the ethically challenged wing of the Democratic Party wants to return to the White House.

Now that would be a great example of honesty for the next generation of kids growing up, wouldn't it?

In the city named after the president who "could not tell a lie," no less!

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 13, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Ol' lying svreader, Ph(ony)D(egree) is at it again. What kind of weasel proposes a bet, and when you tell him, I'll take you up on it, show me your money, says "you first"? No wonder he supports the Clintons. It takes a lying weasel to know a lying weasel.

And if you believe he's got contacts on the Hill, you believe he's a millionaire with a Ph.D., too. Who thinks hardship is spelled "h-e-a-r-t-s-h-i-p" (his lame excuse is it was a typo). Who just HAPPENS to spend his spare time between compiles ('cause we know all CEOs spend their time writing code) posting to WaPo. 3000 miles away, 1000 posts a month.

Only a Clinton voter's dumb enough to believe THAT.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 13, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

And what are these debates supposed to answer? All policy differences have been hashed out; character and poise established. These are merely going to be reporter snark-fests...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | March 13, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pastor of 20 years. His "family" asking God to damn America. Check this out folks. An ABC news report.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWvxTUy47Fk

If you can vote for Obama after watching this then do so. If you doubt the closeness between Obama and his pastor check the web.

Check this link for more egregious instances. Watch the sort of attacks he makes:

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/03/12/obamas-controversial-pastor-puts-church-in-hot-water/

Posted by: Umbria | March 13, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Next debate conclusions:

Hillary: I care for all and have the experience

Obama: I am almost a saint and will bring happiness and prosperity for all

Why don't we replay the Superbowl instead?

Posted by: trace-sc | March 13, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Boring, boring, boring!

Posted by: trace-sc | March 13, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The debates have not yet broached one of the biggest issues of American democracy: The seven-year assault on The Constitution. I doubt new ones will. Reporters don't seem to care.

As for the comments above, it amuses me that readers of the Post don't seem to read the Post. Obama inexperienced, a fraud? Try opening your mind enough to read this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html

He's the real deal.

Posted by: LevRaphael | March 13, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims that race should have no place in the campaign,claiming that the Clinton campaign keeps bringing it up. It is his own church pastors that keep bringing race up claiming that Hillary was never called the "n" word. Obama's surrogates are quick to pounce on Hillary yet are silent when it comes to Obama's church. Hillary needs to stay in this race until Obama is fully vetted.

Posted by: adyp73 | March 13, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims that race should have no place in the campaign,claiming that the Clinton campaign keeps bringing it up. It is his own church pastors that keep bringing race up claiming that Hillary was never called the "n" word. Obama's surrogates are quick to pounce on Hillary yet are silent when it comes to Obama's church. Hillary needs to stay in this race until Obama is fully vetted.

Posted by: adyp73 | March 13, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

It's heartbreaking, given the opportunity by her recent promotion to contribute substantially to our political discourse, Ms Ruta chooses to write that snide crap instead. Shame on you.

Posted by: zukermand | March 13, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Another debate. Good! Perhaps now someone will have the guts to ask Obama why he consorts with a bigoted preacher who he now maintains he "sometimes disagrees with".

Yoohoo, Barack, why did you sit in the pew for the last twenty years; nodding your head, slowly raising your hand and proclaiming "amen" to the miscellaneous rantings of a madman?

Tell us please! We want to know. Or is this another, wink!wink!, I really do agree with the man but I can't admit it while i'm running for president!

Posted by: magellan1 | March 13, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse


Obama is SUCH a freaking cry baby.


I don't care what ANYONE says I will never vote for Obama's incompetence. It has nothing to do with Hillary's over qualifications. He is just plain inexperienced and incompetent. A boys club boy.

He was a do nothing taker in Chicago, withe Resko more important than his freezing constituents. Oh - I suppose they were too poor to be the voting sort. He turned his head from his people.

His life doesn't hold a birthday candle to MLK, JFK, or Jefferson - he recites their words as thought HE wrote them.

He didn't. He isn't them. He is an impostor and a fake.

He could be running against anyone, black, purple, white or Russian - and I would never vote for Obama. Simply because he is so dishonest.

Posted by: Thinker | March 13, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought so, now take the aluminum foil out of your hat, I can't really read your mind - and neither can the martians.

Posted by: J_thinks | March 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

svreader, now your talking my language, you have no dc contacts, no-one with dc contacts (real ones) are listed here and will not disclose it as such. Fraud, stop the madness buddy. Get over yourself, and take off the mask. Especially with all your contacts, you could have gotten your video played without bombarding this board with your issues.

The offer still stands, can get you some airtime if you like - doing an expose that I think all your insight can be quite beneficial. IF - you want to do as you say and inform the public at large. Over to you.

Oh I almost forgot - wack-a-mole. Cheers

Posted by: J_thinks | March 13, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Before the election got underway, I called in a bunch of favors in Washington and got all the candidates checked out in detail.

The most interesting information came from the staffers who do the actual work.

They all gave high marks to Hillary and said that all Obama ever talked about or spent time on was his image.

Contacts higher up told me that Hillary is highly respected on both sides of the isle.

I used multiple references for each candidate.

The references on Obama were so universally negative that I went the extra step and had him checked out in Chicago and then went farther back to contacts who had known him at Harvard.

I've never gotten such a bad set of references on a well known politician.

I've never gotten the kind of negatives I've gotten about Obama with respect to any senior person at all.

I'm not going to be the least bit surprised to see him indicited.

What he did in Chicago shows such a complete lack of concern for one's fellow human beings that its chilling.

This is a very poor method of getting the word out.

When I found out about the book "Obama's Slums" I found that lots of other people are following similar leads.

They write far better than I, and have access to a much wider base of readers, listeners, and viewers.

It will be interesting to see the results of their efforts.

Posted by: svreader | March 13, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Taking responsibility:

"Over the course of my public life, I have insisted--I believe correctly--that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct," Eliot Spitzer said. "I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor."

Weasling:

"I did not have sex with that woman" Clinton said, "Miss Lewinsky, not one time ..."

Why put the latter back in the White House?

Time to move on ...

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 13, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Nooooooooooo!

Dear God in Heaven!

NOOOOOO!!!!!! :-o


And I thought the Dimocrat Socialists were all against TORTURE! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 13, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Since GFR has shown at least a fair grasp of the political issues surrounding immigration, perhaps she would care to explain why that issue has been so poorly featured in the "debates" so far.

And, that's especially noteworthy since it's their weakest issue by far and one that I, were I given the chance, would use to show that neither are fully qualified for the presidency.

For an example of just how bad this topic has been covered, at their last debate, CNN allowed a *Mexican citizen* (Jorge Ramos) to quiz the candidates on the issue, without disclosing that he's a *Mexican citizen* who's chosen not to become a U.S. citizen. They did not allow a U.S. citizen equal time to offer questions from a pro-U.S. - rather than pro-Mexico - standpoint.

In another CNN debate, they asked worthless questions and allowed the candidates to lie:

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

At another debate, Obama lied about illegal aliens driving down African-American wages:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007436.html

The language of a bill he co-sponsors contradicts that claim:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007530.html

My discussion of just how bad the debates have been starts here, which links to a full list:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007412.html

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | March 13, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The way things are going, the economy may be an issue cropping up. The news today have been mindboggling and there is no end in sight. Whoever finds a way to connect with voters on the recession fears will go far in Pennsylvania. But how are you going to tell the voters, that there is no quick solution to that mess and that they most probably will have to go through a pretty tough time. Ending the ruinous wars would, however be a step in the right direction.

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/its-the-economy-stupid-part-2/

Posted by: old_europe | March 13, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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