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Keystone Kerfuffle: First Thoughts

The Fix is overloaded on pretzels and Alka-Seltzer cold medicine at the moment, but we couldn't shut down the computer for the night without offering a few additional thoughts on what we just witnessed.

We'll be back tomorrow with a fuller look at the Pennsylvania Democratic debate, but in the meantime this should tide you over. Offer your own thoughts on the proceedings in the comments section below.

* The first 45 minutes were Barack Obama's toughest time in any debate. He came under withering assault from the moderators (and Hillary Clinton) on a whole host of issues from the comments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor, to his decision not to wear a flag lapel to his connections with a one-time member of the Weather Underground. Time and again, Obama dismissed the questions as part of the politics of the past, something that he was running to change. Given both the number and nature of the questions he fielded, it would have been impossible for him to shine in those first 45 minutes. He survived -- at least as of this writing -- without making any more adverse news, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

* Clinton, as usual, was incredibly well prepared from a policy standpoint. While she spent the first half of the evening watching Obama squirm under tough questioning, Clinton made clear her mastery of the major policy issues facing the country in the vesper half of the debate. But, will it matter? As we noted earlier today, the L.A. Times/Bloomberg surveys showed that voters in Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina already believe she better understands a number of domestic issues than Obama and yet still opt for Illinois senator.

*The choice between the candidates crystallized tonight. It is not, fundamentally, a choice about issues or even ideology -- it is a choice about approach. Obama is an idealist, using nearly every question to appeal to the better angels in people; Obama sees the world as he wants it to be and believes he can make it. Clinton, on the other hand, is an unapologetic pragmatist; she has been through the wringer that is national politics before and knows how to play the game.

*The longer the Democratic campaign goes on, the more clips Republican Sen. John McCain's campaign can harvest for use against the eventual Democratic nominee. It's one thing for McCain to take note of ties between Obama and a former member of the Weather Underground; it's quite another for McCain's campaign to roll tape of Clinton making those accusations. You can bet Steve Schmidt of McCain's campaign was Tivoing every minute of tonight's proceedings for use when summer turns to fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 16, 2008; 11:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

crt12;

Yes, for once the debate was fair and Obama didn't get a free ride to say only what he wanted. While on MSNBC (Is that and NBC the stations Oprah put a billion dollars into?) Hillary was pressured, interrupted and rudely told by Brian Williams the commercial was more important. That is unless Obama was talking.

However, on ABC, several times Gibson let Obama ramble on about himself and his positions, unfairly. I believe it you count the time, Hillary came up short.

Posted by: Katherine | April 17, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Note is was three to one against Obama. Not surpised at George S. who was a former (Bill) Clinton staffer, but Charlie? They have shown loyalty to Disney by making ABC news a Mickey Mouse operation.

Posted by: Jimbo | April 17, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It was shameful for George Stephanopolous to have spent valuable air time to give such importance to a clip of someone asking why someone does or does not wear a flag pin. Is George that shallow to suggest that the wearing or non-wearing of a pin is a measure of loyalty and patriotism? I am reminded of the number of courageous Dutch during the Nazi occupation who chose to wear a yellow star to neutralize the stigma to Jews who were forced to wear the yellow star. Perhaps we should all wear the flag pin to neutralize the right-wing attempt to define themselves as more patriotic because they wear the flag pin, and some others do not. Shame on you George!!

Posted by: Harriold | April 17, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Whahhhhh, Typical White Grandmother, Georgie and Charlie picked on me. They won't let me be president! And Hillary was egging them on!

There, there, Barry, Typical White Grandmother will make it better. Now drink this koolaid and take your Hope pill.

Posted by: Obama Who? | April 17, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

How could George Stephanopolous be the moderator of this debate? A conflict of interest maybe? He was White House press secretary for Bill Clinton. He worked on the 92 Clinton campaign. Now he sets the mood and tempo of a debate that could either save or sink the current Clinton campaign. Those that allowed this to happen should be ashamed. Why did Obama's people agree to participate. Stephanopolous will soon be joining Katie Couric on "Wait, I used to have a news show" Island.

Posted by: A | April 17, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more with most of the commentors above. Charlie and Georgie were an embarassment to ABC. To waste nearly an hour with such moronic fare questions the legitamacy of the affair. Hillary must have paid them well.

Posted by: PJD | April 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting assault on Obama from two Clinton lovers i guess - but i want to know what Republican would be so supportive of what Hillary says that they would think badly of Obama when these clups are shown - Hillary has no cred, and once he beats her - she will have even less than 0

Posted by: John Post | April 17, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Stephanopolous cohort James Carville called Governor Richardson Judas because he endorsed Senator Obama. After last night's debate, Carvile and his Clinton colleagues from their White House days are surely resorting to scripture once again, "well done good and faithful servant".

Posted by: Tim | April 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Mr. Last on Adlai Stevenson and Obama. When Adlai Stevenson spoke, few people could understand his convoluted phrasing and high-minded themes. Stevenson was never much of a politician--and certainly not a candidate who could bridge the growing divide in the Democratic Party between North and South. The more he talked, the less you knew. Obama is a much more gifted rhetorician and he will lead a party much less divided than Stevenson did. Obama has broader appeal in the party than Stevenson did, and, unlike Stevenson, Obama will not be running after two decades of Democratic presidents.

Posted by: wesfromGA | April 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The news from the debate should be that Senator Clinton wants to ramp up US military commitments in the Middle East. "Massive retaliation?" What the heck is that? How does it differ from what is going so wonderfully well for us right now in Iraq?

Will the MSM even ask her about this comment? Or will they wait for some new YouTube clip showing that Obama was late returning some books to the library in the tenth grade--and he wasn't wearing a flag lapel pin when he paid the overdue charge either, as you can almost make out on the three hundredth viewing of the clip.

Posted by: wesfromGA | April 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE at this point that PA puts the rest of us OUT OF THIS MISERABLE PRIMARY ROMP !!! FINISH THE CLINTONS OFF NOW, SAVE US SOME FURTHER MISERY FROM THEM..we've been there and had to do all that befor with the Clintons and want NO MORE ....get them off the stage, get the hook, something PUH.LEEZE !!!

Posted by: Bozzy | April 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, while the Fix continues to have this no login policy for this blog, my policy is to not respond to anonymous posts.

CC: Please fix the login!

Posted by: Dave! | April 17, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Pardon my french or political speech. Could someone take the rose-tinted glasses off of Lynn. what debate was she watching? Both Clinton and Stephanopolous took jabs plenty of jabs at Obama, all to make not point at all but to perpetuate the gritty Rove-smear-style of politics. . .to the Dems detriment, unfortunately.

Posted by: Longhorn Lazy | April 17, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Dave!,

You say, "al-Qaeda may well continue to recruit, but it was the recruits that were brought in under Clinton that were responsible for 9-11."

This actually began under George H.W. Bush. When we put US troops into Saudi Arabia, is when bin-Laden decided to attack us.

Also

Obama did say, "This will require a new era of American diplomacy. To signal the dawn of that era, we need a President who is willing to talk to all nations, friend and foe. I'm not afraid that America will lose a propaganda battle with a petty tyrant - we need to go before the world and win those battles."

But Hamas is not a nation.

Speaking more generally, it DOES matter what the rest of the world (especially our allies) think of us: our motives, our intentions, etc.

World opinion, like public opinion here at home, does matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The Nemesis Who Won't Go Away
Increasingly, Hillary and company have projected onto Republicans the "the culture of corruption" mantra and, onto President Bush, the "I" word - impeachment. This is to deflect attention away from Hillary's latest scandal, one in which she will undoubtedly deny everything to escape accountability or even criminal indictment.

In short, Hillary's current nemesis, Peter Paul - the largest single campaign contributor to her 2000 Senatorial campaign - has filed a suit against her and President Clinton - among many others.

According to Mr. Paul, the suit is "for committing a series of business frauds against me that involved me spending more than $1.2 million for Hillary's Senate campaign; having a Clinton front man go into business with my Japanese investor partner, causing the collapse of my public company; and filing fraudulent reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in the amount of nearly three-quarters-of-a-million dollars."

Today, all of the many codefendants in the case - except Hillary - have exhausted their appeals and are now poised for discovery and trial, the schedule for which will be set by the court after a hearing on Hillary's anti-SLAPP motion in Los Angeles in March.

NOTE: SLAPP suits, or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, are recognized in California as lawsuits that are brought against individuals, corporations or organizations in an attempt to silence defendants who speak out on matters of public concern. An anti-SLAPP motion seeks to strike all claims against a defendant - in this case, Hillary herself!

Initially, Hillary's anti-SLAPP motion appeal was denied by both trial and appellate courts but then sent back to the trial court to clarify a discrepancy. But on February 3, 2006, the judge changed his original ruling. He ignored the tardiness of Hillary's original filing and agreed to allow her to argue that her 1st Amendment rights (to conduct her senatorial campaign) included her own and her husband's right to defraud her largest contributor. This action will allow Mr. Paul's lawyers to depose Hillary. [Read more about this case in Part II of this series].

As the disposition of Hillary's appeal approaches, the Clintons, their lawyers and spinners, as well as their echo chamber in what used to be the "mainstream" media - but is now known as the Old Media and even the Antique Media - are using all of their formidable resources to make sure that Hillary dodges yet another scandal.

Sound familiar? This is exactly what the leftwing media did when they tried to smear Paula Jones when she accused the Philander-in-Chief of sexual harassment. What they didn't count on, however, was that Mrs. Jones had the truth on her side and believed so fervently that justice would be served that she refused to knuckle under to their unceasing assaults.

Today, Peter Paul (http://www.hillcap.org) also refuses to be intimidated by the Clinton machine and is equally assured that justice will out. He has become yet another Clinton nemesis who won't go away.

Posted by: Jarda1 | April 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

JohnLocker,
Our HORRIFIED friends don't vote in US elections and the American public as well as every politician should not care one iota what they think or believe. It is not their election, it is ours. I don't care if the French or anybody else approves or disapproves of who we elect. They will or will not work with us based on what they think is in their best interest.

al-Qaeda may well continue to recruit, but it was the recruits that were brought in under Clinton that were responsible for 9-11. In fact, al-Qaeda and radical Islam have never had a problem recruiting terrorists. You want to know a good recruting tool? How about Obama supporter Jimmy Carter legitimzing the terrorist organization Hamas by meeting with them? Now I know that Obama has said "I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas". But doesn't that conflict with his description of an Obama foreign policy where he would be willing to talk with anybody and has said the following:
"When I said that as President I would lead direct diplomacy with our adversaries, I was called naive and irresponsible. But how are we going to turn the page on the failed Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to our adversaries if we don't have a President who will lead that diplomacy?"

AND

"This will require a new era of American diplomacy. To signal the dawn of that era, we need a President who is willing to talk to all nations, friend and foe. I'm not afraid that America will lose a propaganda battle with a petty tyrant - we need to go before the world and win those battles."

Posted by: Dave! | April 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Hundreds of thousands of new voters -- US citizens who never participated in the political process before -- are Marching to Obama's words."

It is hundreds of thousands today... but the Fall general election, it will be MILLIONS.

Posted by: williamseward | April 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson once said of JFK: "When I give a good speech, they say, 'nice speech, Adlai'; but when he gives a good speech, they say, 'let's march!'.

I submit that Obama is more of the JFK mold, rather than the Adlai Stevenson mold.

Hundreds of thousands of new voters -- US citizens who never participated in the political process before -- are Marching to Obama's words.

Obama's inspiring rhetoric is Key to reviving American morale. Stevenson never possessed this gift.

Posted by: JohnLocker | April 17, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Upon first witnessing Barack Obama on the campaign trail, I thought he might be something different, or maybe even new, in American politics. The more I saw of him, the more I suspected he was a conventional figure--basically this generation's Gary Hart.

But some time around Wisconsin it occurred to me that Obama might actually be this generation's Adlai Stevenson. Events since then I have tended towards this theory and it seems to have occurred to others as well.

A Democrat Bill Kristol spoke with recently observed that Obama was "in the Stevenson reform mold out of Illinois, with a dash of Harvard disease thrown in."

Michael Barone did a very nice job teasing out some parallels, noting that:


Like another eloquent little-known Illinois politician who emerged suddenly as an attractive presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson, [Obama] seems more comfortable with the language of diplomacy and negotiation than with the words of war.

Like Stevenson, he speaks fluently and often eloquently but does not exude a sense of command. He is an interlocutor, not a fighter.

His habit of stating his opponents' arguments fairly and sometimes more persuasively than they do themselves has been a political asset among his peers and in the press but not among Jacksonians, who are more interested in defeating than in understanding their enemies.


And George Will picked up on it yesterday, recalling that Stevenson campaign presaged many of the themes and postures the Obama campaign is using now:


Stevenson, like Obama, energized young, educated professionals for whom, Barone wrote, "what was attractive was not his platform but his attitude." They sought from Stevenson "not so much changes in public policy as validation of their own cultural stance."

They especially rejected "American exceptionalism, the notion that the United States was specially good and decent," rather than--in Michelle Obama's words--"just downright mean."


None of this is meant pejoratively, but only as (1) another interesting lens through which to observe the dynamics of the race and (2) a reminder that there is very little new under the sun--despite what some excitable, forgetful commentators might proclaim.

I suspect that in the coming months we'll see many more similarities between the two candidates' styles, messages, and supporters.

Jonathan V. Last

Posted by: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp#6478 | April 17, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Not alone. I think that should be NATO's job. But we should keep expanding NATO eastward -- bring in Ukraine next -- all the way to the Russian border. In fact, I hope to see Russia in NATO one day. That would be fantastic power.

With that kind of power, we could force the Saddam Hussein's of the world to abide by International Law without committing solely US troops to battle.

We could eliminate the kind of genocide that we're seeing in Africa.

If we act in concert with the rule of law, the VAST majority of the world would be WITH US.

With this kind of support, we would ELINMINATE the threat of Islamic Extremism.

And isn't this what we want to do? To defeat this radical fringe of Islam, we need the cooperation of the world. This is not a struggle that can be won in the old-fashioned method of invading countries and occupying them the way John McCain want to.

Posted by: JohnLocker | April 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So, you're saying be the policeman of the world?

Posted by: Metternich | April 17, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It is not naiveté, Metternich.

The only reason we can do this -- be great power acting with Integrity -- is exactly because of our overwhelming military and economic superiority.

Never before has one nation been so militarily dominant. Not even Rome.

And this superiority coming at a time when technology is uniting the world.

Think about it. No country on this planet can threaten us with destruction militarily. A terrorist attack, or attacks (plural), will not bring down this great country. It would only piss us off even more!

Russia could have during the latter stages of the Cold War, from the mid-70's on, threaten us with annihilation. That threat is gone (although Bush is working hard at resurrecting that threat).

Today... no one, not al-Qaeda, not bin-Laden, not Iran, nor Islamic Extremism... can bring us down.

So, we can be magnanimous. We have that luxury.

We can do what is right. And we should.

We can Force the world to live by the "rule of law" as determined by the U.N.

Think about this: the U.N. is CONSTITUTIONALISM in action.

We have defeated ABSOLUTISM.

This is of Historic import.

Bush was a throwback to the 20th century in the way he led.

Barak Obama is forward looking. He "gets it".

Hillary and McCain (even worse) are throwbacks to the Old Regime.

It is a New Era. The Global Era. We can, and should, Lead.

And Lead with Honor we must. It is our historic obligation.

Posted by: JohnLocker | April 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary is 'experienced' and 'knows how to play the game', is that what we need - more Stay The Course? Last I checked, it ain't workin'...

Mr. Obama is a very sharp guy and after experiencing a presidency lead by the class dunce, I'm ready for someone with a decent vision on how American can restore her elemental goodness as a world citizen. How can we expect to achieve anything globally when we aren't respected by other nations? You can't be a leader if no one wants to follow you.

The country is a mess. It will take some unpleasantray to put her on even somewhat of a corrective course. I think Mr. Obama has the guts to do just that. I suspect that Hillary will be a presidential flag that waves in the corporate largesse wind.

Posted by: Joe from MT | April 17, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Well considering the major league softballs Obama got at the debate before super tuesday, it was fair.

The press has an important responsibility within democratic countries to investigate and probe candidates so that we the voters can make an educated choice. As democrats wouldn't you rather have Obama's dirty laundry out in the open before we enter the general election. I mean the Clinton's dirty laundry has been out there for years.

Honestly the press should have been more aggressive with Obama from the start. Do even Obama's supporters believe he would be ahead in this primary if all of his dirt would have come out before super tuesday?

Posted by: DCDave | April 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

methinks thou hast spouteth naivete from every pour, poor JohnLocker

Posted by: Metternich | April 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Americans,

Let's be Leaders of the world. Let's not just be another "great power" in the world like Great Britain in the 19th century, or France in the 17th, or Spain in the 16th...

The world is "uniting" because of technology. Globalization is FOR REAL.

We, America, can be a new kind of Great Power. We can lead the world with integrity (not old world power politics) and fairness (not old world Machiavellianism).

We should use the U.N. and the W.T.O. as forces to do what is right.

Not invade and crush tiny countries BECAUSE WE CAN.

Let's be better than that.

Let's disavow torture
Let's disavow aggression
Let's disavow imperialism

Sure we must defend ourselves. But only when attacked. Never "pre-emptively".

Make Barak Obama our next President.

Let's re-establish America around the world as a force for Good.

GOD Bless America

Posted by: JohnLocker | April 17, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I am a simpleton who was allowed to use the hopsitle hospitle hospital computer unsupervised, but Nurse Ratched now insists that I alpogize aplogize apologize, and upon reflection I agree. Even I would make a better president than Hillary would, and I take lithium twice a day for my sever seveir severe cognitive deficits.

Posted by: Joe from Pennsylvania | April 17, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Joe from Pennsylvania,

Why do you think Hillary will beat Obama?

...the Super Delegates?

Posted by: Metternich | April 17, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

My family and I are voting for Hillary.

Hillary beat Senator Obama. He's a paper lion, all roar but no experience.

Hillary will be the next President, and she has her work cut out for her.

Go!!! Hillary Clinton, Go!!!


Posted by: Joe from Pennsylvania | April 17, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with novamatt's post above. Not exactly journalism at its best.

But...

This IS who we Americans are.

Yes, it would be wonderful if we could focus on the issues and not have the sort smear event that was the first 45 minutes, but in America, in 2008, that ain't gonna happen.

This is what we are.

So...

Let's deal with it. I just hope -- fervently hope -- that American voters do the right thing this time. Not like 2004. When we voted back in the guy who took us into an unnecessary war, beating the hell out of a tiny country with no WMD and no ties to al-Qaeda, merely settling an old score that he thought his father should settled.

Our allies across the seas (Atlantic and Pacific) were HORRIFIED that we voted that guy back in, in 2004.

They accepted that he "won" in 2000. But after the moves he made in 2003, with his pre-emptive war, the most massive military machine in the world's history pummeling a country around 2/3 as populous as one of our 50 states (California) -- we voted for him AGAIN. This HORRIFIED our friends.

It cheered our enemies, though, as it greatly strengthened their recruiting. Bush and Cheney are the best recruitment tools al-Qaeda has ever had.

So... all that said, I truly hope the American people do not make THAT mistake again. We have a "once-in-a-generation" Leader here in Barak Obama.

Let's not miss the important by focusing on the diversionary as we did in last night's debate.

Posted by: JohnLocker | April 17, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

We should all realize that this was not a debate. I would love to see just the two candidates, with not even a moderator on stage, just the two candidates, for 90 minutes. No rules. Just...

Have at it.

For 90 minutes. No breaks.

Posted by: Metternich | April 17, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If by some miracle (or political machination) Clinton wins the nomination, the clip the McCain campaign will play ad nauseum is of her admitting she was embarrassed that she lied. And however much her attacks on Obama will hurt him in a general election, that lie would doom her.

Posted by: calgal | April 17, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

JD, I understand your point. A good debate would have more of the kinds of questions like the one about Tel Aviv. The debate format should, ideally, show how a candidate thinks on her feet about the important issues that could face her without a gaggle of advisers feeding her answers. That's good stuff. More of that, please. Two hours of that each week on all the channels.

Instead we get stupid stuff like the Bill Ayres non-story, the flag pin non-story, the Reverend Wright stuff that people use to gauge "character" when more complex and revealing stuff about "character" makes their little brains hurt. Little Stephy and the Good Morning America guy wanted to make news last night by asking a gotcha question that a candidate (preferably Obama) would fumble, resulting in that Holy Grail of political reporting, The Gaffe. It's alarming that this is what journalism has sunk to.

Posted by: novamatt | April 17, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I did not get a chance to watch the debate unfortunately. I will say that people need to realize that a president is not elected based only on their policy positions. I read many comments about "tabloid name calling" and "the media's obsessive sensationalizing of the horse race tit for tat that has been going on for the past month". Presidents are elected partially based on what people think and how people feel about the candidate. Many say that Obama's ties to Rezko, Wright, Ayers, etc make no difference in the scope of the election. I submit that they do in that they help define who Obama the person is. Obama can claim that this is politics of the past but he runs the risk of being defined by it. That and it's not politics of the past - it is who you are as a person. He has these relationships. If they did not exist, the questions would be off base. But they do.

I really want to go back and watch this because, based on the comments, I think that it might be problematic for Obama in the general election because this might have helped to define him, and not in a good way.

Posted by: Dave! | April 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

You talk about the Bloomberg/LA Times poll and claim that it shows something it doesn't show.

From a methodological standpoint, polling registered voters instead of screening for likely primary voters makes this poll more or less irrelevant. Obama has been able to draw atypical voters, but if he's getting a ton of bad press, a minor drop in the enthusiasm level could be devastating to him in the upcoming primaries.

I'm not saying that is necessarily what is going to happen, but you can't diss small town voters and not pay a price for it in PA and IN.

Posted by: leuchtman | April 17, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama was quite right to question those kinds of questions. They have nothing to do with what kind of president he'll be.

Posted by: novamatt | April 17, 2008 9:05 AM

Novamatt, I get your point, I really do. However... I would say that his reaction to attack has *everything* to do with what kind of president he'll be. I believe that the next President of the US will have to deal with any number of issues and emergencies, including a likely nuclear Iran, what to do about Iraq, how to react to an attack on Tel Aviv (which they were directly asked last night), to financial issues, SS solvency, etc.

While a liberal might see those questions as 'unfair', I saw them as a crucible to prove they can make the hard decisions, deal with the tough issues.

Posted by: JD | April 17, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama has pretty much been given a pass by the media so far. I think he needs to be put through the wringer a time or two; it really highlights his unimpressive performance under pressure. How will he react to the incredible pressures he'd endure as President? I say if he can't stand the heat, he needs to get out of the kitchen.

Posted by: lilycat | April 17, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Anointed One got his butt kicked - by a girl. Cool!

Posted by: darleneann | April 17, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't what's more pathetic and disappointing - ABC's hit job last night or the denial and spin coming from Clinton's supporters today.

Posted by: drewdane | April 17, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The real story is that ABC botched that debate and insulted the American public. Check out their comment board for proof. Big media like ABC, Washington Post, NYTimes better learn to be critics of themselves too, or they'll continue to see their audience disappear to sites like the Huffington Post which already is fully covering how horrendous that debate was.

Posted by: Andrew | April 17, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The worst of the worst. What a pathetic spectacle.

A debate? It was a fascist smear campaingn. it was revolting. ABC has completely slipped the righwing edge now.

CALL AND COMPLAIIN!


ABC Switchboard: 212-456-7777

Posted by: Sam | April 17, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The words that stuck with me is the ones that he changed. This guy gets away with everything and there is no one to challenge him. I've seen various comments all over the web and I must have been watching something other than what was on CBS and called a "Debate".

Posted by: lylepink | April 17, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It seems that Obama may not only be fighting Politics of the past but the media approach of the present.

What ABC focused on was embrassing -- they wasted two thirds of the debate promoting and rehashing tabloid name calling.

Do they do it for ratings or because they think the that is what we care about? They give us no credit for having brains or wanting to hear about real issues -- when are they going to become real news jounalists or is that a dead profession?

Posted by: Jesse | April 17, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

That was a splendid debate and Clinton excelled in her answers.

Obama, as usual, spent more time bashing Hillary and dodging commitments than providing substantive, knowledgeable and workable answers.

Clinton nailed this one, hands down....

Posted by: Lynn | April 16, 2008 11:16 PM


I agree with Lynn. It was splendid.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 17, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hey George Stephanopoloussuosus,

Who gives a rats behind who wears a flag pin, you little Clinton pimping who-er.

Posted by: jeffp | April 17, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey George Stephanopoloussuosus,

Who gives a rats behind who wears a flag pin, you little Clinton pimping who-er.

Posted by: jeffp | April 17, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

A Clinton I staffer moderates the debate, and all the "scandalous" questions go to Obama.

I'm shocked!

Posted by: Finn | April 17, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Nothing I like better than the Obamaniacs when the Obamassiah screws up. They get their panties in a wad, throw words like "fascist" around.

Chris, are those the "better angels" than BHO is appealing to?

Posted by: Bruce, NV | April 17, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

That was not a debate. It was a slanted, barely disguised, tawdry Obama Roast. Hillary faced a couple of tough moments too, such as the video from a gentleman who said she'd lost his vote over the Bosnia debacle, but Obama was clearly the target from the first moment. Gibson & Stephanopoulos were patently idiotic and embarassingly non-neutral. In large part it was more a cheesy tabloid format, rather than an informative, substantial debate. Shame on ABC....ick.

Posted by: Dody - Asheville, NC | April 17, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

All of these debates have become a joke. The idea of a debate is to establish the debater's position on a subject as well as show how he/she thinks on their feet. The questions chosen by moderators are calculated more for their newsworthiness the next day than they are to provide genuine information on the candidates.

If they want a REAL debate, let them pick a series of topics (economy, health care, Iraq war, foreign trade, immigration) and hold a debate on each point. Flip a coin to see who goes first. Fifteen minutes each to state their position, then another five minutes each to rebut.

End of story. No more ignorant questions from moderators. The questions will carry MUCH more weight if the candidates ask them of each other.

Until the campaigns adopt a meaningful debate format, the rest of us should just change the channel.

Posted by: OhYeahBabe | April 17, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

After that, how could anyone vote for Hillary. What a lying sack of (...). All she did was make herself look very un-Presidential.

Posted by: Hillary just lost the election | April 17, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The trivialization of politics continues. congratulations to ABC.

Posted by: Dave Anderson | April 17, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering why anyone would take offense at your comments. I don't agree with you that Obama sees the world as he wants it to be, I think he sees it as it can be if everyone would just grow-up. He is indeed pragmatic, he has always worked both sides of the aisle to get bills passed. He believes in everyone's right to their own beliefs, which is different than legislating beliefs for people.

As to Hilary, did you miss how many times she referred to the 90's? Whose running, Hilary, or Bill?

What noone ever calls Hilary on is to get her to answer a specific on any policy that she is stating. I think she can understand information but it's the application I am concerned about. She kept saying it would depend on revenues. She should have known approximately what hte math would be and how to interpret it. They didn't give Barack that question, and he could have answered it more specifically.

And as for beng on the grille, I wish news would return to news and skip ratings, if 50% of the peeps want drama, then let them get it somewhere else.

We need responsible stable, brilliant, energetic people in government, and I think we should be putting the two of them to that test, not who their friends are. It takes a true gentleman not to bring up Bill's indiscretions when Hillary is being such a @**** about walking out of a church.

Think about how you would feel about that in a conversation at a party, you'd walk away from her to get a drink, because it would be so annoying.

The guy is smart, he's for real, why aren't there more specific questions, he was the one that had to point that out about the Capitol Gains tax.

And where were the questions on foreign policy and renewing our diplomatic strengh?

Did they skip that because it is going to be one of Obama's strengths, his ability to listen, negotiate, and act.

I am proud to be a supporter of Barack Obama!

Posted by: Patrice | April 17, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

ABC was obcene. Clinton was as charming as a snarling, chomping, biting street rat. How could anyone contemplate someone with so little grace or humanity or compassion or justice---for the President of the United States. I was supporting Obama before this debate, but I never Hated anyone before. Today, I am working very hard to talk to myself about being like Jesus. But, so far Mrs. Clinton has finally manifested rage in my heart. A thoroughly repulsive display.

Posted by: karela | April 17, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

What doesnt kill you makes you stronger

Posted by: nclwtk | April 17, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

novamatt -

Ditto. When Obama referred to his "bet" in his closing statement, I think he also included a bet that the voters really are tired of this irrelevant noise, tired of having their intelligence insulted, and able to see through the crap and think about the issues.

Of course last night, thanks to George and Charlie (as in "Bob and Ray," "Abott and Costello," and "Burns and Allen,") there was precious little talk of issues.

I was disappointed with Obama's performance; he could have buried HRC once and for all with a strong outing. My guess now is that HRC wins PA by 10 or so (now deemed a "landslide" by Rendell). The polls suggest that BHO will swamp her in NC, and that means, as he has said, he has to finish her off in IN, or we're in for a long, hot summer.

Posted by: jac13 (also from no. va.) | April 17, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I am sick of hearing and reading that because some of us do not support Hillary, we are sexist. I have great respect for such politicians as Feinstein, Boxer, Olympia Snowe, Janet Napolitano, Katherine (?) Sebelius, and the list goes on. My issue with Hillary is that she is blatantly, nakedly ONLY about herself and her husband, NOT the Democratic Party and NOT the U.S. She lost my vote when she supported George's Big Adventure in Iraq, and she has since done nothing - NOTHING - to win it back. She has demonstrated a willingness - learned from her husband? or taught to him? - to do or say anything in order to further her own political goals - including, but not limited to, lying to the press about her trip to Bosnia. People, that was not a case of stretching the facts - she MADE THEM UP. What's even more astonishing to me is that she seems to think that having been shot at - with her (at the time) young teenage daughter in tow - would somehow make her seem more able to serve as chief executive of the most powerful nation on earth. I'm sure she lists this as part of her much-celebrated "35 years of experience," which says something about its value or lack thereof.

Posted by: bokonon13 | April 17, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

JD, process-y obsessions might be fine in a forum like this, but it's a little weird to make them the focus of a debate. Electability, the most process-y obsession of all, seemed to be the central contention of the first hour last night. That's the charitable view of the early questions from last night.

The moderators took electability to mean the ability to run the gauntlet of the little mini-scandals that modern political reportage specializes in, and so they asked the kind of gotcha questions that have come to dominate the way the media covers elections. Can Obama be elected in the fall if he's been associated with Person X? If he doesn't engage in the lazy patriotism of sticking a flag pin in his lapel every morning? If he occasionally plays amateur sociologist?

Obama was quite right to question those kinds of questions. They have nothing to do with what kind of president he'll be. And they're only one slice of the whole electability pie. Where were the questions about how the candidates plan to arrive at 270 EV's? Where were the questions about the nomination endgame? Some voters, certainly, will base their vote on the silly stuff. Most won't, though, and many are likely quite appalled that the whole process, as exemplified by the performance last night, has been dumbed-down to this sort of garbage. That wasn't a debate last night. It was an extended dual press conference conducted by a couple of celebrity non-journalists. And it was appalling.

Posted by: novamatt | April 17, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The problem the Republicans have with using Clinton question clips is that she ALWAYS gets the facts a bit scrambled. She may be able to get away with that in a debate or other one-time situation, but the Republicans won't be able to use that in an ad that runs over and over - they'd have to pull it as soon as someone pointed out the obvious untruth(s).

(No, I haven't the slightest idea if she's doing that on purpose.)

Posted by: Tom J | April 17, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

To characterize these affairs as "debates" is to mangle the English language. Where was the debate?

More accurately they are "Broadcast Media Talking Hairdo Inquisitions".

Posted by: Chris Brown | April 17, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Will the real journalists please stand up if we have any left? This is the extreme result of what happens when news is made to be a revenue stream by corporate media, instead of funded to act in the public interest. Obscene.

Posted by: PublicCitizenGuy | April 17, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

George Stephanoulos is a smart guy, so I don't see how he cannot spend the next month completely embarrassed by this dreadful "debate" . Chris, if you read this far, you should say something about why you apparently do not think this debate was dreadfully shallow.

Posted by: GK | April 17, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

One more person insulted by the foolishness perpetrated by the "moderators." And CC, is the press guild so incestuous that you won't denounce the travesty of last night? Kinda like bishops seeing and say no evil about predator priests? Is that part of being a "stand-up" Journalist?
Flag lapel pins? That poor woman was just shamefully used by the moderators.
Shame on them and on all other journalists, even Balz and CC who won't yell foul even when the foul stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Bernard Dauenhauer | April 17, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

As we noted earlier today, the L.A. Times/Bloomberg surveys showed that voters in Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina already believe she better understands a number of domestic issues than Obama and yet still opt for Illinois senator.

Now we wonder why in the hell we are in such sad shape.

2000 elected GW over Gore. Gore understood domestic and international issues but GW was likable so he won. Guess what happened.

2004 elected GW again over Kerry. War president didn't want change.

2008 Elect OB based on idealism. Morass continues.

Idealism is great for social work but doesn't solve problems, especially significant problems that requires understanding and pragmatism.

Idealism well suited in Academics and social theorists not fit for managing. Mind you, US Federal Government is the biggest enterprise in the world. Anyone thinking someone walk-in, hire few consultants (essentially cabinet posts are) and run the Federal Government is delusional.

Bankruptcy on the other hand is a distinct possibility.

Posted by: Independent | April 17, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Why does the number of clips available to use against Obama matter? (Of course it does NOT matter.)

Why are the press so fixated on the "destructiveness" of the Dems primary? The Republicans' was far more personal and bitter, with dozens of simply wonderful clips -- which we will never see, since ABC news will be so busy hammering Obama about a guy he met on an airplane once who knocked over a liquor store.

Posted by: Jim Pharo | April 17, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Instead of important issues like telecom immunity/FISA, US torture, and the financial/housing crisis, ABC gave us idiotic gotcha questions like bittergate, snipergate, and lapel pins. Instead of elevating the substance of the debate, ABC stuffed it down the drain.

Posted by: EL | April 17, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

You people embarrass me. Do not you realize that HRC is the minion of my arch enemy Lucifer? Barack, my other son, is taking licks for sure, but he will endure and become the 44th President of the United States.

Posted by: Your God | April 17, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama got crushed. Simple as that. Don't take my word for it:

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/16/905215.aspx

And for all you whiny Democrats complaining about the unfair questions from those toughie, meanie moderators; sack up or shut up. This is hardball politics, and people play mean.

We already have heard ad infinitum on the very minor differences in policy between the two. Enough of that. Time to see if they can take a punch.

Otherwise, if they crumble after getting their feelings hurt, what's going to happen when they have stand up to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? When they have to get the Chinese to back down from an invasion of Taiwan?

Anyway, Obama failed that test last night. Let's see if the elites running the party want to execute a little buyer's remorse now.

Posted by: JD | April 17, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Disclaimer (for those of you who do not visit this blog regularly): I am an avid Obama supporter.

I agree with all of those, of both allegiances, who say Obama had a bad night. No objective view could conclude otherwise.

Obama looked rattled and tired, and his up-to-now "crack" campaign team did not prepare him well enough, if at all, for this debate. He may have been taken aback by the intensity of the grilling by the two moderators, with HRC frequently (and a tad too gleefully, to my admittedly biased eye) piling on, he should not have been surprised by the questions themselves. Yes, I know he has answered most of these questions before, but he should not have allowed his annoyance show through so obviously at having to answer them yet again. As he has been whenever he has felt he was in a superior position in the campaign, he was a bit complacent and appeared to be "looking past" Hillary at the g.e. -- just a wee bit prematurely, IMHO. Although I support him, the debates are, plain and simple, not his best forum, and they have been Hillary's all through the campaign. Even when she allegedly stumbled in the last Philly debate on the driver's license question, she has not come off as badly as BHO did last night. He needs to shake it off and move on. The only silver lining I can hope for is that the viewers saw him as being unfairly ganged up on.

Now, to those HRC supporters who are gloating that it's about time Obama got a taste of what HRC has had to deal with, I have to say that I cannot recall another debate in which the moderators so relentlessly attacked her or any other candidate. Yes, she was asked tough questions by Russert in Cleveland, but to my mind, last night was way over the top.

E.g., they did zero follow-up after Hillary essentially said, referring to the Tusla story, "I lied." They just let it drop and quickly went back to pillorying Obama on things like this silly flag-pin crap. (BTW, I don't wear one either, for the same reason he gave. Besides, Bush and "So?" Cheney wear them all the time, and it hasn't had any magical powers to make them remember the Constitution and other patriotic institutions they've spent 8 years trashing.)

When they finally did get to substance -- more than 50 minutes in -- it felt rushed, as if they were just going through the motions.

Big loser: ABC, trying to show that they're major-league when they are, as they have been since Peter Jennings died, bush-league.

Big winner: McCain and the GOP attack machine.

It will be interesting to see what the chattering class focuses on. Will it be the red-herring Ayers story, or the much more important "massive retaliation" comment made by Hillary. Sadly, I think I know the answer.

Posted by: jac13 | April 17, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

It seems with debate that Clinton is going to say sorry to all the democrats and join republicans (her views and outlook in these days are very close to Karl Rove's charter). She is a perfect VP candidate for McCain.

Posted by: Ashri | April 17, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Obama should for the general debates insist on the sit-down-at-the-same-table format. These stand-up debates, for whatever reason, seem to invite antagonistic exchanges. Obama, given his style and his demeanor, does better when things are more civil.

And I really hope that, as someone else pointed out above, the fall debates are moderated by Jim Lehrer or someone of that stature. Charlie Gibson's store-bought gravitas borders on the self-parodic, and Stephy seemed more interested in creating news than in moderating a debate. I'll confess I don't watch much ABC News so I don't know if lasat night was a departure from their ordinary performance, but it was a wretched "debate." If I were an undecided voter, I wouldn't have any more information about the candidates' views on the substantive issues than I had going in.

Issues that I heard little or nothing about: the environment, the credit crunch, the dollar, trade, immigration, hunger, education, job creation. I'm sure others can add other important neglected issues. Instead we get what seemed like an hour of flag pins and Reverend Wright and Tuzla.

And even when important issues were raised, like Iraq, like taxes, like gas prices, the questions were generic enough that the candidates could simply trot out lines from their stump speech, and there were precious few follow-ups unless it involved a tax that might affect Charlie Gibson. Just an aggravating, demeaning (to both candidates) performance. I can't imagine Obama will be agreeing to a North Carolina debate now. There's absolutely nothing in it for him other than an opportunity to see if Katie Couric can be worse than her fellow ex-morning talker host.

Posted by: novamatt | April 17, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Awfull, Awfull One hour of NY Post headline coverage...George worked in the Clinton Administration and who knows what was up with Charlie..Wheres the BEEF???

Posted by: Scott | April 17, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

George and Charlie should formally apologize to Barack Obama for bringing sandbags rather than questions to the debate last night.

And, after her response to the question on the Middle East, could someone please give Hillary a copy of the Constitution?

Posted by: MARTIN EDWIN ANDERSEN | April 17, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Stephanopoulos, SOUNDS LIKE A FLESH EATING BACTERIA

THE MORON WORKED IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE


Gibson, THE FOOL IS JUST CNN Lou Dumbs STUNT DOUBLE, REALLY DIDN'T EXPECT BETTER FROM HIM

GIBSON AND THE BACTERIA STEPHA.....WHATEVER WHERE CLEARLY SHRILLARIES HITMEN. THE WOMAN HAS NO LIFE IN HER, NO BLOOD FLOWING EITHER


SHAME ON ABC!!!!! WORST DEBATE EVER!!!!

Posted by: Pope | April 17, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton is so far and above the better candidate - it is unfathomable that any objective observor could conclude that Obama "won" this debate. And Obama didn't even have to answer for the lies he told about Rezko/associates connections. He will not be able to win the general election and it is bizarre to imagine that his "explanations" about the bitter comments are believable. Remember, the comments were made in response to a question as to why the Pa. voters were NOT flocking to him. He dismissed them as bitter and clinging to those unenlightened things like religion or guns as to why they wouldn't vote for him. Now he says he disinvited Porsche-driving Wright due to a Rolling Stone article? Take a look at the article and see if you would cancel your pastor for that article ... doesn't ring true. If Obama gets the bid he won't win, period. But at the end - there's a woman to blame - in Obamaville.

Posted by: Travis | April 17, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Stephanopoulos, SOUNDS LIKE A FLESH EATING BACTERIA

THE MORON WORKED IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE


Gibson, THE FOOL IS JUST CNN Lou Dumbs STUNT DOUBLE, REALLY DIDN'T EXPECT BETTER FROM HIM

GIBSON AND THE BACTERIA STEPHA.....WHATEVER WHERE CLEAR SHRILLARIES HITMEN. THE WOMAN HAS NO LIFE IN HER, NO BLOOD FLOWING EITHER


SHAME ON ABC!!!!! WORST DEBATE EVER!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

That wacky media is just acting like an NBA ref once again. I wish I could say that they've come to their senses about the ridiculously easy ride they've given Obama throughout most of this race, but the truth is that they just want to keep the race as close as possible so they have something to write and talk about. A close race with lots of focus on stupid non-issues means more advertising dollars for everyone.

Too bad it also means we might get stuck with a charismatic, unqualified fraud for a president for the third time in a row.

Hillary is more than willing to talk about how she would work within the system as she's proven she can do, to push her platform. But showing policy knowledge is too boring. Americans don't care about who has shown that they can actually do the job well, they just want someone who has the best sounding promises. I wish real job interviews were this easy.

I also wish moderators would ask Obama how he plans to enact his extremely liberal platform (which is almost identical to Hillary's) while singlehandedly eliminating special interests and changing the culture of DC.

Being a great public speaker doesn't turn red into blue. How will Obama convince republicans (voters and congressional leaders) to go along with ideas that most have opposed their entire lives? Even more importantly, how will he accomplish anything at all in a capitalist society without the support of any special interests? The man is a dangerously unqualified fraud and he will run smack into a brick wall in DC if he's lucky enough to be elected.

Posted by: amanohyo | April 17, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

"McCainocrat" = "svreader"?

Posted by: jac13 | April 17, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

From ridiculous television shows like American Idol all the way to presidential elections, Americans have been showing for the past 8 years that they have no idea how to vote intelligently.

The blind passion for Obama and the refusal to acknowledge his many flaws and inadequacies is just further confirmation that most Americans simply don't deserve to vote.

The questions asked of Obama last night were asked because they are the questions that MANY Americans want answers to. Obama is not beloved by all, or by most of this country. That his ongoing, bitter and negative attacks on Clinton have borne this much fruit is just further truth that negative campaigning works.

Here's the reality of last night's debate. Obama rarely gave an actual answer to many of the questions that were asked. Rather he danced around the issues and refused to be pinned down. Yet, with almost every answer, he had something negative to say about Clinton.

The man is a liar, a hypocrite and - he is woefully unprepared to be president. His supporters clearly don't want to see him placed under scrutiny or asked hard questions. Small wonder as he can't handle it well. The real Obama, who we are slowly getting to see is neither likeable nor electable.

Posted by: Lynn | April 17, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama supporters aren't used to taking hits. Neither is their candidate. How would he fare in a General?

Several points to continue the thread from where LylePink and Bsimon discussed how is it possible that Obama's seemingly teflon coat has repelled any critisim of him? The polls continue to flatline despite issues that should send it into defib.


Hillary supporters are used to the bad press, the unfair treatment.

But when you see polls drop for her over Bosnia and his stay the same over lots of serious issues, you have to ask yourself, what's up.

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 17, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

This was a poorly conducted debate that featured the first hour or so focusing on the latest political gossip rather than the issue voters really need to know about. This truly was poorly done on ABC's part. Democrats should never again agree to debate with this company.

Posted by: Brian L.M. | April 17, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Did Hillary swallow after servicing George and Chuckles after the debate? Inquiring minds want to know! I hope both the Hillary supporting mods got something for their efforts.
If only she did the same for her hubbie there would have been no Monica Lewinsky scandal or impeachment.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

First thoughts:

*While debates are excellent at showcasing her extreme wonkieness, Hillary Clinton's answers were all focus-grouped to the maximum of human ability.

*However, an ever-growing number of voters can agree with everything she says and still not believe a single word of it.

*Hillary Clinton proved yet again that her gut instinct is to go for the jugular; she wouldn't be able to come across as gracious in a disagreement if Martha Stewart was coaching her through an ear-piece.

*Highlight for those who remember the Clinton administration: George Stephanapolous must have high hopes for a deal with CBS as he made a point of emphasizing how Hillary says one (vicious) thing in private and the exact opposite in public. (Seems the next Clinton WH position he was playing for has developed a decided tarnish to it.)

*On a more personal note: Mr. Gibson has just lost me as a fan - permanently. (NBC will be my exclusive home for broadcast news from last night on.)

Posted by: Carmen Cameron | April 17, 2008 6:11 AM | Report abuse

ABC should be boycotted. Those pathetic excuses for "journalists" Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos are probably mopping up the floor after the hit job they did on Obama.

But, despite being an Obama supporter, THAT IS NOT WHAT BOTHERED ME THE MOST. My chief complaint: it was a shallow, tabloid-style circus act of which the main purpose was to make news when, after 20 debates and countless controversies, there is none.

Those moderators are stupid, unprofessional, shallow and desperate for ratings.

ABC: Just send them to Disney. They can entertain the children. Obama will be all right, but your network will suffer if you keep those clowns and call them journalists.

Posted by: Lioness | April 17, 2008 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Wow you Obama supporters have unrealistic expectations for what is fair. Stephanopolous got Hillary Clinton to say "Yes, yes, yes" to whether she thought Obama was electable! And you guys accuse him of somehow being in the tank for Obama?
Let's get this straight - if you remember the NBC debate moderated by Russert and Williams you'll recall Hillary got grilled over and over. Why? Because there was meat on the bone at that point and they took a big bite.
Why did Obama get grilled last night? Simple. He is inches away from being the Democratic nominee, the Rev. Wright controversy has NEVER been addressed at a debate, the "bittergate" comments have not been addressed at a debate, and moderators are going to ask questions on issues that have not been addressed in this forum. Or are we just to listen to every candidate's stump speech as the final word on every matter?
Yes it's true! Obama got most of the tough questions today. Of course he did for all the issues raised above. They asked Clinton about the Bosnia thing too. And they asked about Iraq, taxes, Iran, and more.
I thought it was an excellent debate. With all due respect, I think you Obama supporters are just too used to seeing this guy worshipped on tv by everyone but the Clinton campaign that you don't know how to handle what was a pretty standard debate. Of course he got the tough questions - his minister was shown to be controversial and he called a whole class of people bitter and explained their religious faith as being related to their economic woes.
Get real! What did you expect?

Posted by: John | April 17, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

urban4,

I am not happy about having to support a Republican (there are many issues that I disagree with McCain on, most importantly the make up of our courts), but I can not support anyone who uses JFK's challenge of "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" as yet one more rhetorical punch line - and has no record of accomplishments or sacrifices to back it up.

I trust McCain - for all his flaws - because he has a record I can judge, and on balance, I approve of it.

There is very little record to judge on SnObama - and what there is - I strongly disapprove. He is perhaps the least qualified individual to ever seek the Presidency. I don't think he is qualified to lead a platoon, much less to be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. SnObama is fatally flawed because all he has is his relationships with others who vouch for him, and I don't like the company he keeps. I don't trust them, and I don't approve. And I will not be alone among the Democrats who abandon a party that has abandoned their constituents and their values.


Posted by: McCainocrat | April 17, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

If I ever needed any reminding of why I can't stand so much of the mainstream media political coverage, that first hour of the ABC "debate" between Obama and Clinton was more than enough.

The entire hour was wasted on the stupid crap we're all sick of. It was all Obama could do to try and steer the discourse to the issues that matter to us most: the economy and jobs, the Iraq war and occupation, health care, education, energy alternatives, the environment, corruption, the power of special interests, etc...

Instead, the focus was entirely on the media's obsessive sensationalizing of the horse race tit for tat that has been going on for the past month, with Hillary's disingenuous "I will do everything in my power to ensure Democrats win the White House", while doing everything she could to continue to raise questions about Obama, essentially doing the Republican Party's dirty work for them.

If you're going to waste a hour on covering the horse race, then at least make a point to mention that Clinton is trailing in states won, trailing in popular vote, trailing in delegate count, and hasn't got a hope in hell of winning unless she somehow finds a way to destroy Obama, and as a consequence, the Democratic Party as well.

Just a small issue of note you'd think would be brought up.

Pathetic stuff.

Posted by: Daniel K | April 17, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

That's right - a McCainocrat! My party has taken leave of its senses, so I have no other choice - I can live with a genuine American Hero, who has a long record of being a Maverick within his party and has worked across party lines to pass landmark legislation and values the input of men like Gen. Zinni, Gen. Shinseki, Gen. Newbold, and Gen. Petraeus - all of whom understand the military, its capabilities, its limitations, and have a working knowledge of places like Iraq because they have been on the ground for years.

It was civilians - Rumsfeld, Fieth, Wolfowitz, Bremer and a few other's, who were as arrogant and dismissive as the Harvard educated SnObama on creating a strategy that was destined to fail the Iraqi people and our troops - (who's lives were not WASTED as SnObama so disdainfully equated their sacrifice) - who failed us with inadequate planning and establishing a strategy in Iraq. It has been four painful years till McCain and others in our legislature finally convinced the civilian leadership to listen to the advice of our Generals to change the course in Iraq and establish a strategy that might, MIGHT, get us out of the mess created by another a Harvard grad who dismissed the concerns of the military and established the horrific failure of a 'strategy'.

I fail to understand the difference of SnObama and Bush - both have less-than-impressive records in a statehouse that they claim gives them the ability to restore honor to the Whitehouse and bridge the partisan divide that is ruining this nation. There is nothing in SnObama's record to justify his claims of being a change agent - he lives in, and has benefited from, the most corrupt and ethically challenged political cultures in the US - and he has done nothing - nothing - to change it.

I will not be alone. There are many McCainocrats out there - they may not blog - but they vote, and that is what matters.

But I actually do wish they had talked a bit more about the Bush/Cheney energy bill that SnObama voted for - and that both Clinton and McCain opposed. Even on the issues, SnObama will disappoint his poor, duped cult members.

Posted by: McCainocrat | April 17, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh please! That wasn't a debate, that was the early edition of The National Enquirer! ABC should be ashamed of themselves...I thought Charlie Gibson was better than this, Peter Jennings must be rolling over in his grave...

Posted by: luhog | April 17, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

your comment that Hillary was well prepared - hmmm... could it be that she was given the questions beforehand by Bill's boy George and was ready and poised.

The attacks on Obama were just too obvious and sad to say ABC has lost all credibility with this debate debacle. We as voters deserve better from our news sources. They tout being the referees for the American public and this is what they gave us?

My family will miss Boston Legal - but they are no longer welcome in our home.

Posted by: Lettie | April 17, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Why on Earth didn't ABC broadcast this live? On the West Coast, we got it on tape delay. Proof that ABC saw this as entertainment rather than news. Ignoring whether Clinton or Obama got the edge from the moderators (which I don'r believe either did), I'm more disappointed with the state of television journalism in this country.

I'm hoping print journalists from around the nation take ABC to task for this egregious series of events. We are talking about the likely next president of the United States, the next leader of the free world. And ABC decides to hold the live event until it matches Prime Time in each geography? WTF?

Posted by: P Diddy | April 17, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

I know you're sick and not firing on all cylinders, but you have a problem with one of your premises:

"she has been through the wringer that is national politics before and knows how to play the game."

Clearly not, as all the recent polls show. I'm not talking about the polls that predict votes, but the ones that ask about Americans' perceptions of her. Her negatives are higher than her positives. 60% of Americans don't trust her or think she is honest.

How does that equate to "knowing how to play the game?"

Isn't the object of the game to win?

Voters will elect an honest scoundrel, but not a self-deluded person they can't trust. She doesn't seem to realize that by working so hard to pull the levers and spin the knobs, she's called our attention to the curtain and we've seen behind it.

Sloppy thinking like your "analysis" is part of the problem. The only group to fare worse than Hillary on the credibility issue was the media and obsession with telling Americans what they just saw and heard, in case they were too stupid to figure it out for themselves.

Fluids, rest, and remember: the key to perspective is distance.

Posted by: irene | April 17, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

McCainocrat,
McCain is a fatally flawed candidate on issues that matter. Economy and Iraq. Who would have guessed early in the campaign that he will be consistently on both sides of each issue just like Romney was.
1. He is violating his own campaign reform law.
2. Once for amnesty now for fence.
3. Once for no mortgage bailaout now for bailout. etc, etc, etc...

You really have a smorgasbord of issues that he fails on. It will be a tough fight (perhaps not as tough as against Clinton), but Obama has a good chance of wiping the floor with McCain.

Posted by: urban4 | April 17, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

The election debate on ABC last evening was a disappointment.

Instead of providing the public service that they are granted a license by the people of America, the people are given vacuous talking points, innuendos, and ignoratio elenchi arguements.

This debate is below muckraking or sensational journalism since the material in the first hour of the debate was not new information; It was simply a rehash of old material in the genre of a Jerry Springer episode.

Barely existing in the depths of staff and funding cuts, news departments been neutered by their corporate parents making American journalism almost extinct. America can then outsource our press to communist China - whose media is about as diverse as the American media.

Posted by: JSMedia | April 17, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

This seemed like some kind of test of Obama. They hardly challenged Clinton at all. They hardly discussed any topics that really matter to voters, just tabloid stuff. I guess all in all, Obama came off looking pretty good just because he survived the onslaught. He did get off a pretty good one regarding Bill Clinton. If they want to condemn him with guilt by association then Hillary has zero credibility just being married to Bill. Here is a guy who sells influence, pardoned criminals after Hillary's brother took payoffs. Was even implicated in a murder as well as a documented rape. His list of offenses are despicable yet there she is, staying in a phony marriage of convenience.

Posted by: jim | April 17, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that based on current results, that Obama is the candidate that the Democracts want, but Hillary is the candidate the Democrats need! What a shame it would be if - once again - the party made a strategically poor choice of candidate at a time when the White House seems so close!

Posted by: Michael, Sydney Australia | April 17, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

.

The 44th President of the United States

President Barack Obama

.

Posted by: . | April 17, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

McCainocrat?

Really?

LOL!

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

The SnObama cult members are all over the blog whining about their Obamessiah being asked a few tough questions.

I thought that speech in Phili that he gave five weeks ago was the beginning of a conversation that was needed on race relations? How is his qualification of the 'typical white person' who is 'bitter' and 'clinging' to 'antipathy of those who aren't like them' not part of that conversation? How are those questions posed to him in the first 45 minutes not legitimate? He makes a big deal about the relationships the Clintons have, why aren't Obama's relationships open to same kind of scrutiny?

Perhaps they don't like the fact that bloom is off his rose - I hope they don't loose any sleep - he is still going to be the nominee and the Dems will have yet one more hopelessly flawed candidate who will loose the Whitehouse. If you think tonight was bad, wait till the press starts asking questions about SnObama's links to Rev. Meeks (an anti-gay state senator on the south side of Chicago) - or how SnObama uses his religious convictions as a wedge issue to justify his opposition to gay marriage - or better yet, when they get to the bottom of his attendance to a party at his political patron and federally indicted friend Rezko's house for Iraqi billionaire Messer Auchi.

Posted by: McCainocrat | April 17, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

my guess is that she's blowing her wad on Penn... and after she wins by a narrowed margine...she won't have the funds to really compete in the remaining state.

I think this is the death knell for Clinton

there's no where she can go, and Obama's polls just keep going up.

Posted by: Ralph | April 17, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

......and you could wonder about her money....when you compare those poll numbers; you must have a lot of Clinton supporters who, evidently, think that Obama is going to be the Nominee, and that he's best suited to win over McCain.

It's hard to imagine donating to what you consider to be a lost cause (even if you do prefer Clinton)

Don't you think?

Posted by: R | April 17, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you UM for laying out Obama's blatant lies regarding his so called high road campaign.

With the help for the largely Pro Obama media , he is able to slam Hillary on her Bosnia faux pas and then claim to be the one taking the high road.

Since the media rarely calls him on these lies the blogosphere needs to take up the slack.

Read my post about Obama's Bittergate Counterattack ad released in PA which reveals Obama lying by altering the soundtrack of Hillary and the supposed "jeers".

The sounds of protest at Hillary's words about Obama's indictment of PA's voters was altered to seem louder and include more protesters. On the actual sound tract, which I heard first on Monday, you could hear a FEW voices saying "no" and the person on MSNBC had to remind watchers that they were there.

Compare his ad to the original soundtrack please:

Fraudulent ad soundtrack

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0408/Obama_Represent.html


The original soundtrack of Hillary and the very few protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp6nHrfGbaY

Posted by: Truth Teller | April 17, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

the most telling number in today's poll was this:

Question # 11 (of Democrats)

"has the better chance of getting elected president in November"

Answer:

Obama: 62%
Clinton: 31%

these numbers are huge. even if there's a shift, it's such a large percentage of Democrats who now think Obama's the most likely to beat McCain. That, with all the other numbers, takes away any argument that the Clinton camp can make with Super Delegates. There's no argument left. Penn will play out, Ind and North Carolina.. and the results will be pretty much the same...Obama won: more delegates, more states, more popular votes, more Democrats who prefer him, and more Democrats who think he's the more likely to beat McCain.

What other argument is left? Seriously. The Clinton camp has run out of everything but money, it appears.

Obama won

Washington Post ABC News Poll

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_041408.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Ralph | April 17, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Just look at the Conservative
Jack-A$$es that have occupied
the White House over the past
28 years.


They didn't wind up there
without the Neo-Conservative
and highly manipulative media.


We all need to wake up and
BE THE CHANGE!

Speak with our parents, peers,
and grandparents in the remaining
States that have yet to vote in
the primaries.

We, also, need to hold out election process accountable!

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Liberally biased media my rear end. That whole debate was framed from the Republican wingnut perspective and the majority of the debate focused on "gotcha" empty issues. To me it seemed particularly bad toward Obama but I would argue that Clinton received her share of crap question too. It is so depressing that the media obsesses about "bitter" gate and bowling or "Tuzla" gate and cackling. It would still bother me but it might bother me less if they did similar personally hit jobs on the Republicans - but they never do. I guess it is only Republican men who we could possibly like well enough to have a beer with.

Posted by: birdman | April 17, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it strange how the
Neo~Cons like 'Comment'
vanish when the truth
becomes too much for
them to handle?

Get used to it
we are not
giving
up!

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Ralph,
I'm still not convinced. How about "Hillary the movie"? The material is ready to launch...

Anyway, our dispute is academic. Obama will likely deny republicans the chance to swiftboat Hillary - he will be a nominee.

Posted by: urban4 | April 17, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse


The unfavorables of 50% and 51% I saw in RCP just yesterday. Obviously WashPo's is much different than that, but I guess it's a matter of your poll against my poll thing.

urban, every Repub bi*ch point from the 90's was investigated with about $70 million worth of Ken Starr investigations, so it's a tired disproven chant, not fodder for swiftboaters.

The deals Bill made are not swiftboat material either. They're already reported and well known. Republicans have a hard time getting any traction in trying to swiftboat making money. That's their bag.

Hillary '08

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | April 17, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with skinsfan on ONE point: it's time to turn in.

But I have to take one final 'shot' at those who think Hillary~! is the savior (like skinsfan).

This is for those Democrats who just can't sleep without mentioning guns, the bible, and Hillary Clinton in the same sentence (not something I would have ever thought I'd say, btw):

EVER see the movie 'Stripes' with Bill Murray? Remember this line:

"This is my weapon, and this is my gun.
One if for fighting, and one is for fun."

Skinsfan: As one who has received a marksmanship medal (as well as several other more prestigious ones) from the U.S. military, there is a difference between a gun and a weapon. There is a difference between a book and a bible. And, there is a difference between 'massive retaliation' and 'measured response.'

Words matter. And the main word is 'trust.'

Although I did at one time, I now do not trust Ms. Clinton. She failed to provide my family with the universal health insurance she promised in the 1990s, she failed when not leaving her lying, cheating husband (who I proudly voted for, twice), and she has failed as a Democratic presidential candidate - saying the Republican candidate would be better than her Democratic opponent. What's up with that?!

Trust is not something easily given, nor should it be discarded carelessly. She has, and so I - for one - do NOT trust her.

And that speaks volumes.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

good one x

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

.ERR, IT'S NOT MCSHAME

it's McSame

and it's not Clinton

it's McClinton

.

Posted by: x | April 17, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

An unnamed participant who did not like my comment above about Hillary choosing Karl Rove or Richard Cheney as a running mate, if she somehow "won" the nomination, does not seem to understand political humor. However, the three are similar in conducting very negative, smear, guilt by association tactics against Barack.

David Gergen said tonight on CNN, Hillary and her supporters can no longer, without being hypocritical, privately tell superdelegates or others Barack is unelectable, since she publicly said he could win.


Posted by: An Independent | April 17, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Comment,

I will NEVER vote for Hillary!!!

Reason #2 to Hate Hillary:

Exhibit A. Hillary is a filthy rotten liar
when it comes to her recollection
of her college days.

- Hillary was the President of the
Young Repbublicans at Wellesley
College. She was such an impressive
conservative, Hillary was asked to
be the first ever Student of Wellesley to speak at a commencement graduating class...

- Hillary was a Goldwater-Girl when Barry Goldwater was furious
with LBJ for passing the Civil Rights Bill.

Thus Hillary is a RACIST - and she wouldn't have been upset when she states that she SLAMMED her bookbag in anger when she heard that MLK was shot and killed. It was more like she was excited with GLEE that MLK was killed.

She is a dirt-bag of the worst kind.

So, to answer your question, anyone other than Hillary!!! or McShame.

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Ralph,
I don't buy the argument that "Hillary's baggage has been rummaged through so much there's no surprises to swiftboat".

First of all a good chunk of the electorate was not of age during the Clinton presidency. Each and every scandal of the past is new for this group of voters.

Second, since the presidency, Mr. Clinton had plenty of shady deals. That will be open game for the republicans as well. Obama has really not taken advantage of any of this. It will be new fodder for the repub attack machine.

Posted by: urban4 | April 17, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse


FACT-CHECKER

"Unfavorables are about the same, 51% for Hillary and %50 for Obama"

LATEST POLL


Unfavorable:

Clinton: 54%

Obama: 39%

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_041408.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: pOLL% | April 17, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, and George was a chief strategist for Bill Clinton.'

George and the Clintons weren't speaking for years after they parted ways. It was only fairly recently that Hillary appeared on George's Sunday morning ABC show.

Of course that doesn't play as well as inside man for Hillary, so I understand why this obviously known information is ignored in the zeal to defend Obama and attack Hillary.

Hillary '08

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | April 17, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

"Do you want to win in November? Or do you want to lose?

It's as simple as that."

I agree, that's the question. Problem is, Obama is raw meat for swiftboaters. Hillary's baggage has been rummaged through so much there's no surprises to swiftboat.

Unfavorables are about the same, 51% for Hillary and %50 for Obama. Believability or whatever for Obama is higher, but still about %66 for Hillary.

Trust me, neither Hillary or Obama is going to get more than %66 in the GE against McCain.

Hillary '08

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | April 17, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

re: "He can handle every attack
and then go on to leave a good impression"

Obama won for that reason, tonight

Posted by: Ralph | April 17, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

What more can I say that hasn't be said. Nothing, but I will voice my outrage. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, the moderators (?) spent half the debate attacking Obama. They appeared to surrogates of the opposing candidate, Senator Clinton. Further, they framed the debate in republican terms offering smear rather than substantive policy or issue questions. Shame on you, Charles Gibson! Shame on you George Stephanopoulos!

The second half of the debate was fine I think although I was extremely angry by that time and missed parts of it discussing the first half with my husband.

ABC, you are the big loser in this debate. You lost at least two viewers of ABC News and This Week. You can no longer be trusted.

Posted by: claire | April 17, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

re: "George and Gibson went after Obama hard and fairly relentlessly. They just didn't stop"

Yeah, and George was a chief strategist for Bill Clinton.

...yeah, they tried to slime Obama...and he withstood it.

in reality, they did him a favor

He can handle every attack
and then go on to leave a good impression.

.

Posted by: goodnite | April 17, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

This is like when Reagan was running. He used to be a democrat,president of the screen actors guild, almost a communist, and nothing ever stuck.He was never hounded by the press.in later life he became a repub. He is almost a God to the repubs, and was worthless as a president. Obama keeps getting "vetted"over and over for things in his past. He is not a saint, and never said he was, he said he will tell us what we don't want to hear,but probably do and that he has misspoke, and probably will do so in the future. If you check Hillaries demographics, older white women I rest my case. People are "bitter" and they pine and try to cling to the past. The basic premis for going to church and religion is that you will have it better in the afterlife, cause this one sucks, how is that being condescending or elitist? I want my president to be an elitist, or I would vote for larry the cable guy. I grew up in a small town, and when I look at the shape our country is in, economy etc... I cling to my church and my gun, and I don't find it demeaning one iota. I have known some real lowlifes during my lifetime, but I don't hang out with them, or take counsel from them, hell I can't even remember all their names, get over it. It is kind of like the uncle everyone has, you can't disown them like everyone thinks you can, you just learn to deal with them. The worst nightmare for the republicans is "Obama",when it comes to debates, McCain won't have his puppet master lieberman to speak for him. Game over. I don't think that "O" will let himself get "swiftboated" like "kerry" did, and the money factor has McCain in a pantywad already. We need to end this charade, and get to getting this great county on the right track again for all of us,nuff said

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Boycott ABC. And actually turn off all the media.

These are the aholes that got us here.

And Chris, up yours. You are part of the craphole.

Feel free to ban me. If you watched that and didn't puke, you are braindead.

Posted by: Ken | April 17, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Question: Why is FOX 'News' pushing a Clinton v. McCain matchup in November?

Because Clinton will lose that fight.

It's not sexist or racist - it's not anything. It's just the plain and simple truth.

Who would you rather see coming into your home (via TV) every night telling you what their administration thinks?

Fact: It's not Hillary~!

For argument sake, let's say it comes down to McCain v. Clinton. Yes, there are major policy differences - but, American voters cast their ballots on whom they trust.

McCain wins in a landslide.

An Obama v. McCain matchup is different.

Why? Not because of sex or race. It's purely and simply trust. And most Americans, sadly, do not trust the Clintons. Really.

Do you want to win in November? Or do you want to lose?

It's as simple as that.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, let us watch now as we vote.

It could be, just maybe, that TV ceased to control the outcome.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 17, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to believe but I think Fox has been slightly slanted towards Hillary lately"

err, what's hard to believe

every neocon has come out of the woodwork to bash Obama...Kristol, Leiberman, you name it. No, there's nothing strange about this....they're happy with McClinton....but not with Barack.

It's the main reason I make donations to his campaign: if the neocons hate him, then I know he must be good

Posted by: FoxNews | April 17, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

"Most of those posting here are more aware of geo-politics than you assume."

then let it show in the posts, Captain John. I quoted two people who were horrified and whatever at the very concept. They are clueless, and attacking Hillary in theri ignorance.

If they asked a question, I would have answered nicely.

nice try with the elitist crap.

rd

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | April 17, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit that for Obama, this was ABC's version of the MSNBC ambush on Hillary Clinton a few months ago. I write about that on my blog.

http://jammerbirdi.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/the-msnbc-ambush-debate/

George and Gibson went after Obama hard and fairly relentlessly. They just didn't stop. I mean, fair is fair and I'm not going to twist what I saw to Hillary's advantage.

That said, I think given how hard and fast the questions have come at Clinton in the past and how softly they have been lobbed at Obama, it was about time. The media bias has become, as Ed Rendell has said, a "national joke."

Not funny.

On another note, I absolutely can not believe that after all the hay that was made on this paper after the Richardson endorsement of Obama, that the Post hasn't reported the fact that Bill Richardson DUPED President Clinton into coming to New Mexico to fundraise FOR Governor Richardson with Richardson's ASSURANCE that he was going to endorse, or support, Hillary. This is great stuff. Why hasn't America heard this story, WaPo?

Here I am TRYING to get this story out and noboby is jumping on it. This will paint Bill Richardson in a MUCH different, and very fitting, light than what he has been painted in so far. People think of him as a man of integrity. A good guy. He put the good of the country above loyalty to the Clintons.

Well, not really.

Listen to James Carville's wife TELL the real story of why the Clintons and her husband were so mad at Richardson, by way of mp3 audio, right HERE.

http://jammerbirdi.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/judas-mary-and-james/

Posted by: jammerbirdi | April 17, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Well it's time to clean my gun and read the bible before I go to sleep.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

People could like Hillary as a same old kind of politician...the kind that votes for a war, then cries at the Veterans' hospital, and crafts a campaign slogan to get out of the war that she helped start.

HILLARY VOTED FOR THE WAR

People could like Hillary as the same old kind of politician who will take lobby money and make any decisions purely on what's politically expedient.

People could like Hillary, if there weren't another candidate who seems intelligent and decent.

People could like Hillary, if there weren't an Obama

but there is

.

Posted by: answer | April 17, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

UTMark you are right, but no one seems to care. TV debates cease to matter as network TV is deceased now.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 17, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Jean, "To this end, this debate tonight, in my view, is already "tainted." I stopped watching "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos a while ago as I found the program to be staid, scripted, and biased."

I agree that we should not support news stations that favor one candidate over another. That is why I stopped watching MSNBC (National Barrack Channel). Matthews man crush on Obama gives new meaning to his show "Hardball" and Olbermann's love affair with Obama is sickening. CNN pretty much supports Obama as well but their are a few shows that are fair. It's hard to believe but I think Fox has been slightly slanted towards Hillary lately.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Why the People Hate Hillary,

Who are you voting for?

Just asking,

Posted by: Comment | April 17, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

re: "No amount of Obama-spin...etc."

buddy, read the polls; Obama's already won
LATEST POLL NUMBER


Question # 11 (of Democrats)

"has the better chance of getting elected president in November"

Answer:

Obama: 62%
Clinton: 31%

Washington Post ABC News Poll

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_041408.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Ralph | April 17, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I am a HC supporter who posted that Nader is a narcicist and the questioning of Obama was slanted and unfair so where do you get we are stupid enough to support Nader? huh

Posted by: Leichtman | April 17, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

ralphdaugherty:

Your 'umbrella' comment was condescending and - dare I say it - elitist.

Most of those posting here are more aware of geo-politics than you assume. Which makes an a$$ out of YOU.

Please don't talk down to us. Your 'elitism' for Hillary~! is showing.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Whyypeoplehatehillary,

No offense taken.

Posted by: Comment | April 17, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

.


The 44th President of the United States

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

.

Posted by: . | April 17, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

No amount of Obama-spin can change what happened tonight.

What is America going to believe, Obama-spin or their own eyes?

They're going to believe their own eyes.

Hillary EARNED the nomination.

Giving it to Obama would be purely sexist and racist.

He's totally clueless without his teleprompter.

Obama's clearly not Presidential material.

Thank God we didn't nominate him!!!!

Posted by: No anount of Obama spin can hide the truth. Hillary is 100x better than Obama is | April 17, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a liar..Other posts previously point out his fabrications and evations and here is another. Obamas counterattack ad about Bittergate:

The sounds of protest at Hillary's words about Obama's indictment of PA's voters was altered to seem louder and include more protesters. On the actual sound tract, which I heard first on Monday, you could hear a FEW voices saying "no" and the person on MSNBC had to remind watchers that they were there.

Compare his ad to the original soundtrack please:

Fraudulent ad soundtrack

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0408/Obama_Represent.html


The original soundtrack of Hillary and the very few protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp6nHrfGbaY

Posted by: Truth teller | April 17, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

This "debate" was horrible! This is why only Jim Lehrer and PBS are worth watching. Apparently TV journalism is dead, and it's rotting, stinking corpse looked like Charlie Gibson and George S! I used to respect you George, what in the world has happened to you? I was waiting for Charlie Gibson to ask the candidates what they thought about the OJ trial. Pathetic media efforts like this explain why we end up with pathetic presidents like George W. Bush. I hope ABC is ashamed, and George and Charlie are put on paid leave until an investigation can determine how aliens from Fox News and the National Enquirer have taken over their bodies. Their performance has left me with the taste of vomit in my mouth. They should apologize immediately. And what's going on Chris? The performance of the "debate moderators" wasn't worth a comment? Unbelievable.

Posted by: UTMark | April 17, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

1. I dont mind saying Obama could have done better tonight. He could have.
With that said...anyone saying he's been treated with kid gloves is fooling themselves.

1. He was criticized for not being Black Enough
2. Most Black leader and politicians didnt support him. He had to go through that
3. He has had to battle not only Hillary, But the Republicans and Bill Clinton (one of the most popular presidents ever) and some of the MSM. Tell me who else has had to do that?
4. He has had to answer about not being Muslin
5. He has had to answer about his Middle Name
6. He has had to answer the NAFTA issue
7. He has had to answer for Jeremiah Wirght
8. He has had to answer for the "bitter" issue
8. He has had to battle the experience issue


So dont tell me he hasnt been vetted. He's been vetted and vetted hard. I dont care if you support Clinton or McCain. give respect where respect is due.

L

Posted by: L-Mani | April 17, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

!ha, the anti-Obama folk (the neocons) are going hysterical. Obama will win this election. Now they're pushing Nader...ha, they must be getting desperate!

.

Posted by: GOOD ! | April 17, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people saw this "hit job" on Senator Obama coming last night. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos disgraced themselves and ABC News during the PA Debate. Gibson and Stephanopoulos disrespected the intelligence of the American people also. To this end, I telephoned ABC News and sent the following e-mail to their Headquarters at 3 p.m. on 4-16-08 (Tues.) as George Stephanopoulos went on Sean Hannity's radio program on Monday and was given questions to ask Senator Obama tonight during the debate. He also went on another conservative radio program in PA and received questions to ask. Below is a copy of my e-mail:
...........................................

Dear ABC News:

I was truly looking forward to the debate tonight between Senators Clinton and Obama, but now I am not due to George Stephanopoulos' getting talking points and questions for the debate tonight from Sean Hannity and conservative radio hosts who have shown racism and open hate and hostility toward Senator Obama. This is quite similar to what ABC News Contributor George Will did to President Jimmy Carter when he debated then Governor Ronald Reagan in 1980. It is well known that Will gave Reagan the debate questions before the debate to foster a win for him. I found Stephanopoulos' behavior yesterday on Hannity's radio program to be unfair and unprofessional, especially since he formerly worked for President Bill Clinton. Is Stephanopoulos trying to foster a win for Senator Clinton in tonight's debate? To this end, this debate tonight, in my view, is already "tainted." I stopped watching "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos a while ago as I found the program to be staid, scripted, and biased. There only appears to be one point of view offered (i.e., conservative) and seldom does this show offer diverse viewpoints from non-white contributors. Moreover, I found Stephanopoulos neither amusing nor entertaining when Hannity offered questions for him to ask Senator Obama tonight. Each night on Fox News, Hannity conducts an unfiltered and unchecked hatchet job on Senator Obama and many conservative talk show hosts do the same each day. To me, ABC news is attempting to destroy Obama's candidacy for some reason. Is it because he is a person of color? ABC news is acting like an arm of the RNC and of the Clinton campaign? I have begun to contact ABC's sponsors about my concerns. I suspect that Stephanopoulos' work tonight will closely resemble the hatchet job done each night on Senator Obama by Fox News. Why not provide the American people with a clean, fair, and balanced debate tonight if ABC is to indeed be a credible news organization whose information that can be trusted and respected? I really miss Peter Jennings as he would have never been associated with this type of behavior. ABC, your media bias is showing.

Posted by: Jean | April 17, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Dear Comment,

That's why people call you an idiot!

No offense intended, just stating a simple fact.

______________________________

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Anti Obama folk on these columns are reverting to lots of !!!!!!AND CAPITOL LETTERS!!!!!!!!

...guess it must be hard to keep screaming all this garbage....and no one's listening.

Obama's poll numbers just keep going up.
(and up)(and up)

.

Posted by: %%%%%%%% | April 17, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! wrote, "I did vote for the Clintons Both times...It was one of the biggest regrets of my life, having seen what they did in the second term in the White House."

Bill made the mistake of cheating and was crucified by the Republicans. Hillary could have piled on but she stood by his side. That took courage and showed her strength in the face of adversity. Something we need in a President. We also had a great economy and people had jobs. I believe everyone has the right to vote for their candidate and respect your decision even though I disagree with it.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

You got it, FINALLY...


Billary is a smug little JERK!


_____________________

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Nader is the real revolution candidate.

That's why the media, whom all the Obama supporters just pummeled tonight, completely IGNORE Nader.

Wake up people. If you're a real threat to the establishment, you get bounced at the door.

That being said, you don't go for the candidate you want, but what you have, that's why I vote Dem.

Posted by: Comment | April 17, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

quote: "The "umbrella" surprised and horrified me, too."

I know I'm wasting my time with you guys, but the umbrella over Mideast countries Hillary proposed was in exchange for those countries like Saudi Arabia to not get the nuclear bomb in an arms race with Iran, and of course use that to take pressure off Iran to pursue the bomb as well.

If you're not aware of the animosity between "Persian" Shias and the Arab Muslims, and the arms race that would result if any of them get the bomb, then I do understand why you'd be agog at sophisticated foreign policy initiatives that Hillary has laid out, policies to keep us out of war, as with NATO and pacts in the Far East with countries like Korea and Japan.

btw, Hillary did great in the debate. Looking forward to Pennsylvania voters having their say and beyond.

Hillary '08

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | April 17, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

'Anonymous,' just one more thing:

Come out from behind that curtain of yours.

Are you afraid to face the people? Are you scared you may find out that 'your' candidate is not qualified to LEAD this nation? Are you fearful of tomorrow? Yesterday? Psychotherapy yourself?

Posting anonymously is cowardice.

And, just so you know - my mother could have used that health plan the Clintons (especially Hillary) promised in the 1990s.

It was their lack of (dare I say it?) EXPERIENCE and political savvy that killed it. As well as many Americans - including some that were very, very close to me.

With that said, DO NOT ever 'preach' to me about how Hillary~! will save the planet, provide universal healthcare for everyone, be an incredible role-model for EVERYONE, and be the most wonderful president we've ever known.

It's not going to happen. That's the biggest fairy-tale I've ever heard.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Clinton really just comes off as a smug little jerk. I really could've seen myself voting for her in September but now I can't stand her at all.

Posted by: Chris | April 17, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

1) It was a dress rehearsal for what Senator Obama will face this Fall, swift boat lite, if you will.
2) Senator Clinton's 35 years of "experience" served her well tonight. As an ex high school debater, and an Obama supporter, I have to say she won tonight until her "massive retaliation" line. That was John McCain on steroids-Good Golly Miss Molly.
3) Senator Obama needs to address the crimes/guns issue. I live in Northeast Mpls. and am much more afraid of being maimed/killed in a drive by than I am of Osama Bin Laden. We lost over 3,000 precious American lives on 9/11, but have lost over 100,000 American lives to violent crime since. You be the judge.
4) Where is Ted Koppel when you need him?
5) This was the American Bandstand of debates. Flag pins?? I could give an American good goddamn about flag pins.
6) I will awake to a new day tomorrow. The majority of my family is Republican, and I will still love them. And I can only shake my head that this is what has become of discourse in the greatest country in the world?
7) God bless America, and may the best man win.

Posted by: metsa in mpls. | April 17, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The capital gains questions is far more complex than Gibson made it. Economists do not universally agree that this is the case. The trick is finding the marginal point at which the increased rate still offsets the amount it prevents by discouraging short-term investment. You could debate that for a lifetime. I think both candidates has it right - raise it, but not as much as it used to be (>20%).

I suspect that Gibson was more worried about his own portfolio. This is a guy, after all, who thinks that making $200,000 makes you middle class.

Posted by: Kev - Golden, CO | April 17, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

This was a shameful display of "journalism"! America deserves and needs better. (Maybe somebody should inform Charlie and George that real people are hurting.)

Posted by: Ann | April 17, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

analysis wrote, "oh, no matter...Obama had the last words...and they were good. He didn't lose any ground, and I suspect he picked up some support...he seemed thoughtful, and honest."

Obama has the majority of media in his camp, and so it must feel strange when people question your mesiah. Tuesday will determine who lost ground.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

idiots vote for the narcisist Nader

Posted by: Leichman | April 17, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Hillary most likely got her idea about being a hawk in the Mideast to a recent column by Charles Krauthaumer, quite conservative, who recently advocated an American president declaring what she apparently said in the "debate." Check out his column and compare her comments, they should be similar.

One can not expect many reporters to ask relevant questions to candidates. Playing "gotcha" to any candidate, whether Hillary, John or Barack is more important to them than helping to enlighten people about the important issues in this country. With their huge salaries, they do not need to worry about the major rise in gas or food prices.

With the Federal Reserve Board favoring big businesses and Wall Street investors, while increasing inflation, all of the candidates need to be queried as to how they would try to reduce inflation, which is not something presidents have much power over, but which is probably the greatest current concern to most Americans.

Posted by: An Independent | April 17, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I did vote for the Clintons Both times...

It was one of the biggest regrets of my life, having seen what they did in the second term in the White House.


They are Filthy Rotten Liars!!!

I, for one, will not forget. I and many other see the Clintons as the true NEO~CONS that they are.


Don't be fooled into voting for the Clintons, again. Don't be an IDIOT!

We will be voting for a third party!

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

.


LATEST POLL NUMBER


Question # 11 (of Democrats)

"has the better chance of getting elected president in November"

Answer:

Obama: 62%
Clinton: 31%

Washington Post ABC News Poll

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_041408.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: end-game | April 17, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Israel can defend itself but unlike you, I believe we have a sacred bond after the holocaust to defend Israel if there existance was ever in jepordy while obviously you would be ok if they were driven into the sea. Obviously by your comment that they are just a bunch of Europeans you show your igmorance about Israel.

Posted by: Leichtman | April 17, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

.

Did anyone else think it was strange that George Stephanopoulos was a moderator at the debates?

George Stephanopoulos

"Clinton administration
Stephanopoulos was, along with David Wilhelm and James Carville, a leading member of the 1992 Clinton campaign"

Wikipedia

Gee, that sounds fair
(and what's with all the pans of Chelsea and the rapt faces while Clinton was speaking?

oh, no matter...Obama had the last words...and they were good. He didn't lose any ground, and I suspect he picked up some support...he seemed thoughtful, and honest.

.


Posted by: analysis | April 17, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Sue!
Obama is brilliant! No matter what the media spins, we the public see right through it!
Hey you less than 60 year old guys in the press ,I know you have not seen a candidate with this appeal unless you watched Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy.
Don't be surprised if the press is really out of touch!
As you can see there is nothing you guys can spin that will stop Senator Obama.
Have a shot, a beer, a war and a nice night!

Posted by: bijig | April 17, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! wrote, "The cruelty of the Clintons has no conscience!!!"

Are you a Democrat and if so, did you vote for President Clinton both times?

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Thank God we didn't nominate Obama.

He's nothing without his teleprompter.

Hillary can hire David Axelrod and Obama's Speechwriter.

Obama can't grow a new brain.

Posted by: Thank god we didn't nominate Obama | April 17, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Reason to HATE Hillary #1:


1992
Hillary and Bill used the platform
of Universal Healthcare for all -
Did not deliver.

1996
Hillary and Bill ask America to
allow them to finish the job
they started with Universal
(Screw the People) Healthcare.

We trusted them...

They ran off with the Healthcareless Lobbyist Dollars, as hush money. Then they abruptly passed legislation called 'Welfare Reform'.

The cruelty of the Clintons has no conscience!!!

To cap it off, the Clintons signed off on legislation that crippled Medicare in 1998.


If that isn't ENOUGH to hate Hillary Clinton!!!

Posted by: Why We the People Hate Hillary!!! | April 17, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA WON

Obama won. To "win" he merely had to not lose....and he didn't.

....and by going last, and following Hillary's robotic closing statement

...Obama's closing statement left a good impression of him

(and it was the last impression of the evening)

(polls will go up for Obama)

.

Posted by: analysis | April 17, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

First Chuck Todd, now Chris. Why the hesitancy to take ABC News to task for a 50-minute attack fest on Barack Obama?

Posted by: natthedem | April 17, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

WAKE UP OBAMA-

Then I'm sure you know that the Oil companies and the "healthcare industry" have bundled large sums of money for Barak, as well as the banks responsible for the foreclosure mess. You see, influence is bought by bundling since McCain-Fiengold capped individual (PAC and lobbyist as well) donations at $2600. That more than $130 million Barak raised from bundlers comes from some interesting parties.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Until lately, Obama and his supporters have received the kid glove treatment and enjoyed watching Hillary being destroyed by the press. Many of you have called her many names including liar. Now, that the shoe is on your foot, a majority are acting like children.

In addition, Obama calls himself a Democrat, yet tonight when talking about working with past Presidents, Obama said he would seek advice from Bush senior because he liked his foriegn policy. He totally ignored mentioning President Clinton, who was one of the best Democratic Presidents elected. Instead, he trashed President Clinton. You folks that agree with Obama treatment of President Clinton are not Democrats, so you must be Republicans. You must be the republicans Obama brags about voting for him.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes Leichtman, I do have a problem with Hillary stating that as President she would go to war if Iran attacked Israel.

We as Americans have got our own problems with Iraq and Afghanistan. We can't be the police of the world.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is about land and power. Plain and simple. Most of Jewish people living in Israel are of European ancestry, i.e. moved there once the Western powers established Israel the country.

The Israelis and Palestinians should be working on a two-state plan.

Posted by: AJ | April 17, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

in the late summer of my years, time is a valuable commodity...to think i'll never retrieve the last hour and half is a crime...flagpins? bosnia? peripheral associations?...what a walk of shame for abc...an absolute waste of opportunity...hopes of hearing two hopefuls go head to head in the final push about some serious substance issues and we get prom king 2008?...pathetic...it would seem that this was tendered towards tempering obama's steel, but not in a supportive way...where was the balance? where was the debate? where were the issues?...you've two people of the same party and you nitpick on personal issues of one candidate?...they're doing a fine job of that on their own...why weren't serious issues addressed in the first 45 minutes?...i hope the republican party is paying abc a princely sum, because they've given them a fine outline of fodder for either candidate nominee...and what's with the cheesey constitutional intro after each break, followed by lame "segues" into really poor questioning?...abc you had a golden opportunity to host a proper match and you squandered it with a "highbrow" version of entertainment tonight.

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | April 17, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yo. Anonymous.

I don't have any 'hate' against women. And my mother died peacefully in my arms.

I'd suggest you try something other than your bitter anger.

And, btw, don't even think of mentioning my mother again, or your ill-perceived notion of who I am, without knowing the facts.

Really.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Worse than the hit-job on Obama was the fact that ABC's questions were about things that won't matter at all a year from now. Flag lapel pins. "Bitter." Reverend Wright. And, honestly, the Weather Underground???

Where were the questions about the economy, the war in Iraq (and how to get out of this massive waste of lives and resources), health care, gas prices and energy policy, Bush's admission that he knew about torture?

I can only look at this sham of a "debate" and conclude that it was a lost opportunity to find out where the candidates stand on these issues of major importance to our country.

And two quick observations: first, George Stephanopoulos, with his ties to the Clintons, should NEVER have been permitted to co-moderate, as it was a conflict of interest; second, my "bitter" and cynical bet is that, had John McCain been on the stage, he never would have been grilled about his gaffes on the economy, "bomb, bomb Iran," mixing up the Sunnis and the Shiites, or being in Iraq 100 years, in the same way Obama was over manufactured controversies.

This country is in a lot of trouble. Don't believe me? Just look at what passes for an independent press.

Posted by: tellthetruth | April 17, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh my God that debate sucked hard. ABC made me (and the Fix with a cold) waste an hour of my life listening to Obama tell me he's beyond gutter politics. The hosts then spendt the next hour snarkily softballing policy questions and refusing to broach issues people care about beyond some BS capital gains tax and whatever AIPAC twisted their arm to bring up. CBS sucks even harder than ABC does, but at least if they get their debate there's a chance I'll hear the two duke it out on climate change, education, unemployment, inflation, etc.

This isn't an anti-Clinton or Obama thing. It's more like a "Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos must cry themselves to sleep every night knowing that this is their life's work" sort of thing.

Posted by: Charles Taylor | April 17, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Surprising that you are the only person in the MSM who has insinuated the biased of the moderators - "He came under withering assault from the moderators (and Hillary Clinton)"..for 45 minutes.
This 'debate' was a setup and Charlie Gibson and Stephanoupolus and ABC NEws should be ashamed for depriving voters of an actual debate and conversation of the issues - The moderators were totally ill prepared and just copied things from Right wing attack groups and repeated them as fact as part of their assaults on the candidates (Especially on the 45 minute assault on Obama).
It's funny how Americans who are not white are always asked about their patriotism yet white Americans are not asked to express their patriotism and loyalty all the time - even whey they have associated with criminals and terrorists. This is just one of the biases pushed forth by Mr. Stephanoupolus.
The MSM tonight has avoided any criticism of the shameful way in which these 'personalities' and the network conducted this political hit job.
It was disgraceful and Shameful!

Posted by: Leo | April 17, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

i understand that there was a need to touch on some of the "scandals" that have come up since the last round of debates, but that first segment was painful and clearly biased. i particularly loved when gibson apologized to hillary for not being balanced than wanted to give her more time to respond to the moderators' questions of obama. why can't we ask her more about travelgate? or how she could actually make health care reform work this time around? or how having a loose-cannon, former-president husband running around will work to present a unified message from the white house when their campaign can't even contain him and his ego.

i agree that clinton came off better than obama. i know that there were questions to be asked of him. but did they have to be so blatantly biased? its not like there isn't a wealth of important, equally hard-hitting questions to ask clinton.

i am afraid all of this guarantees a mccain win in the fall. clinton will bring out the conservative base like no one else. and we know, it is the moderates and independents who are critical in presidential elections. in a contest between obama and mccain, both have some good inroads to make in that group. between clinton and mccain, i fear mccain will take the cake easily, and i would struggle over whether i could vote for either in good conscience.

Posted by: kate | April 17, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Captain John,

And Obama said pretty much the same thing about Israel. Next!

Why do you have so much hate in your heart for Hillary? Perhaps you should work out whatever unresolved issues you have with females. Psychotherapy can remove all that anger you have towards your mom.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

You need to 'SAY NO' to these
fascist media traps.

If and when you win the Dem.
nomination, you need to tell the
media, 'There will be NO MORE
of the media slander-sessions!'.

The Oil Companies and the Healthcareless Industry is paying the media to drive you out of the race, the way they had driven John Edwards out of the race.

Tell them the games are OVER!!!

The people will decide and we will
communicate your message from
the internet!!!

Posted by: WAKE UP OBAMA!!! | April 17, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

It is time that Obama faces the same medicine that everyone else including him and his camp have been throwing at Hillary from the beginning of this campaign!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | April 17, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

An Independent-

The VP comment is just dumb- HRC's policies are as or more progressive than Barak's and she will be able to drive them through.

The "umbrella" idea is about making alliances/treaties- since when did that become constitutionally illegal? The Obamopath contingent of the Obamites are willing to say just about anything. Perhaps they should read the constitution? Clinton's actual policies? Maybe even their own candidates position papers and books?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Why do Obama supporters keep playing the race card?

Because he's not playing with a full deck.

It would be nuts to nomiminate Obama.

The only reason to choose anybody but Hillary would be pure sexism and racism.

She's won every debate.

Obama's only quality is his race and sex.

Hillary's EARNED the nomination.

Posted by: Because Obama's not playing with a full deck! | April 17, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I have read all of the comments here and beg to differ about the first 45 minutes of this debate: both George and Charlie had the guts to ask the questions that Obama has not properly answered. Here we have this candidate thriugh this stage of this campaign and HE HAS NOT BEEN FULLY VETTED AND INVESTIGATED. Most of the MEDIA and TV channels are so enamored of this candidate thinking he can win this election that they are refusing to deal with reality.

The reality is that Obama has very little on his resume in terms of true accomplishments. There are too many issues that need further discussion and exploring to offer the public a better perspective of what this candidate represents.

1)Rev. Wright's connection still needs discussion as it deals with a longstanding relationship and how this could affect Obama in his judgement and policy decisions it is highly relevant.

2)The REZCO connection needs full investigation because it presents a relationship that could be highly problematic.

3)The William Ayers connection needs to be investigated because it presents many issues concerning a questionnable connection with a fringe individual that is seriously anti-american and what can we discover that could affect Obama?

4)Not much has been reported about the Muslim professor with ties in Iraq and we need to find out about his relationship to Rezco and Obama.

So, for anyone to support a candidate who has this many unresolved issues, I find it amazing in anyone risking voting for a candidate that could be fatal to the presidency of our country.

Obama tried to avoid answering the questions posed on the above issues and seemed quite annoyed and flustered. It gave the impression of him having expectations that we should not be delving into these issues and we should take him only at his word.

When contrasting both candidates, we see that we know Hillary and her track record and Obama is still an UNKNOWN character that needs further investigation. The voters have the right to question these issues until comprehensive answers are obtained.

So, thank you Charlie and George for doing what everyone else failed to do (exceptions are Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity and O'Reilly).

Hillary has been forced to raise the issues because the media and pundits would not do their job. She was well prepared and answered all questions in a much more knowledgeable fashion.

So, who is the better candidate? Are you going to throw this election by electing Obama? He will be shredded by the Republicans and once more we will lose an election!! So, its time to WAKE UP!!!

Posted by: Hispana | April 17, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"Clinton Calls For 'Massive Retaliation' if Israel is Attacked." - that should be the headline in today's paper.

I'll say it again for effect: "Clinton Calls for Massive Retaliation..."

Does she even understand what she just said?

Does anyone in the media understand how unconstitutional that is?

Will that be the headline in any major newspaper?

No. Maybe. No.

Why?

Because they're going to give Hillary~! a 'free ride' on this one. Massive retaliation for an attack - did anyone say 'wipe them off the map?' No.

Let's commit more troops, unconstitutionally I might add, to ANOTHER war not authorized by Congress.

WHAT IS SHE THINKING? Oh, yeah, that's it~! Eureka!!

I have to 'out-man' the Man. Whomever that may be.

Whatever.

This is truly pitiful. Massive retaliation? For what? An 'attack' on Israel. Was it a car bomb? Or a rocket fired from Gaza?

IT WAS A SOUND BITE.

And a very, very poor one at that.

And, yet, most of us won't even see it until about paragraph 7, buried somewhere in the 'massive attack' by Hillary~! and ABC (non-news) in Philadelphia.

Excuse me while I puke. And then I'm going to turn on some music - maybe Massive Attack.

Posted by: Captain John | April 17, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Maybe cnn, if they could "host" another debate between Hillary and Barack, could choose James Carville and Bill Clinton to be "impartial" persons to ask questions.

ABC has never been the same since Peter Jenning's death. He would have never stooped to or allowed such a demeaning, one-sided approach.

Posted by: An Independent | April 17, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

hey AJ you got a problem with that or are you just an antisemite?
"Hillary obvious attempt to pander to the Jewish vote. Hillary proposed something I would expect McCain or Bush to say, that an attack on Israel will be like attacking America "

Posted by: Leichtman | April 17, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Most people as good as I am would be conceited, but I'm not.
In fact I go out of my way to NOT make folks feel inferior to me, even though they are.
Some say Yes, and some say No and I have a tendency to agree with them.

Posted by: gcbfred | April 17, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Sue Filutze, " This wasn't a debate, it was an Obama lynching!"

Why do Obama supporters continue to play the race card.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen, skinsfan1978.

Posted by: Brian W. | April 17, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Here is the rationale for the first 45 minutes for supporters of Barak; welcome to our (HRC supporters) world- it sucks to be targeted by the media as the other candidate gets a relative pass- doesn't it? I don't think it should have happened to Obama this time- but it probably should have also been avoided in the last 21 debates for HRC.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

http://twocanpete.blogspot.com/
Go to my blog to see video link to absolutely shocking flag desecration video at the University of Maine. You have got to see it to belive it!

Posted by: twocanpete | April 17, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama lied tonight in front of millions of voters, when he said he did not write on his questionaire. Why does he feel the need to lie about supporting a ban on handguns? Oh yea, PA has a lot of gun owners and they vote Tuesday. So better to lie now and apologize after the election.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh, boo hoo hoo. Finally Obama gets some of the tough questions of the type that Hillary has been getting all along. Finally, some of the"gotcha" questions were aimed at someone else. And Obama supporters just can't take the fact that their saint actually got equal treatment.

For once, the news media didn't treat Obama like a precious little child. I've been saying for weeks that ABC News and the Washington Post were among the few unbiased news outlets. Both actually give reasonably balanced coverage to both candidates. I was thrilled to see this continue tonight.

Maybe they were tougher on Obama than on Clinton tonight, but that is making up for a long history of the reverse. Thank you, ABC.

P.S. Did you know Clinton picked up three undecided superdelegates in three days last week? Didn't think so -- I couldn't find it anywhere except on Clinton's website. But when Obama gets three superdelegates in three days, it's headline news.

Posted by: Brian W. | April 17, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

What a travesty. I think that HRC performed best, but really what a waste of time for the country. Flag pins? Rev Wright? Ayers? what about the recession, FISA, housing crisis, etc etc. I like George S because of his Sunday show until tonight. Idiot. Gibson is ridiculous.

Posted by: Obama Supporter | April 17, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

leo l. castillo....

I thought the most meaningful and new things I heard from this debate was from Hillary.

Hillary admitted emphatically that Obama is electable in the general election. If Hillary says in the future that Obama is not electable, she will be nailed as a hypocrite and liar.

Hillary obvious attempt to pander to the Jewish vote. Hillary proposed something I would expect McCain or Bush to say, that an attack on Israel will be like attacking America and she would almost "declare war on Iran". Then she threw in that America should fight for all our allies in the Middle East under a protection umbrella. She sounded more like GW Bush than Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: AJ | April 17, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

the flag pin question was deplorable. So if McCain didn't wear a flag pin Charlie he is unpatriotic? These should be called question and answer sessions b/c there was little or no interaction b/w the candidates like asking each other questions in a real debate.

And wasn't the Pope's speech awesome GOP? Can't believe he used language of a 10 year old to address the pope? Its amazing he is still at 28%.

Posted by: Leichtman | April 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA WON! AGAIN!

The ABC moderators were clearly biased against him. I'm concerned about real issues, not the gossip-mongering that went on for 45 minutes. I hope ABC never hosts another debate. They're not up to snuff.

Posted by: Louise | April 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama lied tonight in front of million of voters, when he said he did not write on his questionaire. Why does he feel the need to lie about supporting a ban on handguns? Oh yea, the PA vote is Tuesday. He lives by the value of lie now and only apologize when your caught.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama lied tonight in front of millions of voters, when he said he did not write on his questionaire. Why does he feel the need to lie about supporting a ban on handguns? Oh yea, PA has a lot of gun owners and they vote Tuesday. So better to lie now and and apologize after the election.

Posted by: skinsfan1978 | April 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

***
Martin is right, Obama's answer was legal, Hillary's "umbrella" is nuts and imperial.

No matter who you support, this debate was a travesty. We can talk about the worst moments during the first hour. But in the last half hour when Charles Gibson was berating Obama on the capital gains tax was probably the worst. And that is because Gibson was peddling a line that was untrue, as proven here in the Post's fact checker. How can the moderator berate a candidate over an untrue "fact". Totally nuts.

Posted by: Bubba | April 16, 2008 11:14 PM
***

Bubba, Agreed. The "umbrella" surprised and horrified me, too. Two wars are already too may. Gibson is a pathetic choice of ABC, he was using his profession to promote his personal political preference.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

This wasn't a debate, it was an Obama lynching! What are George and Charlie on the Clinton payroll?? They owe everyone an apology, mainly Senator Obama, and the American public. Never in my sixty years of voting have I seen such a horrible display of one sided sliming! Oh, yea they throw in the Bosnia crap, just to make it look fair, they deserved to be booed.
I mean gas prices out of sight, men and woman being killed in Iraq, our economy in the toilet, but oh no let's talk about some guy from how many years ago. Why didn't they ask Clinton about the $800,000. her husband took from the Colombian Govt. while she professes to be against CAFTA? I mean George was working for the Clintons, so we already know where his loyalty lies, but Charlie Gibson. Sorry Charlie but you've failed journalism 101.

Posted by: Sue Filutze | April 17, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

This wasn't a debate, it was an Obama lynching! What are George and Charlie on the Clinton payroll?? They owe everyone an apology, mainly Senator Obama, and the American public. Never in my sixty years of voting have I seen such a horrible display of one sided sliming! Oh, yea they throw in the Bosnia crap, just to make it look fair, they deserved to be booed.
I mean gas prices out of sight, men and woman being killed in Iraq, our economy in the toilet, but oh no let's talk about some guy from how many years ago. Why didn't they ask Clinton about the $800,000. her husband took from the Colombian Govt. while she professes to be against CAFTA? I mean George was working for the Clintons, so we already know where his loyalty lies, but Charlie Gibson. Sorry Charlie but you've failed journalism 101.

Posted by: Sue Filutze | April 17, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Pity poor America, sham government, sham media, sham debate. Please somebody muzzle Charlie and George for trivializing the most important election in decades.

Posted by: indieVoter in Calif | April 17, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know much the call GS got from Bill before GS "Moderated" this fiasco? Talk about calling in the chits!!

Posted by: Kent Smith | April 16, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Fact checker shows that Obama believes he can lie and get away with it.

There were, in fact, two versions of the questionnaire, filed under Obama's name in 1996 when he was running for the Illinois State Senate. One version has Obama's handwriting on it, one does not. Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor subsequently told Politico that the senator scribbled a few notes on the first page of the questionnaire, but did not read the response to the question about banning handguns, on a subsequent page.

Either way, it seems a rather lame explanation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Now I understand why Obama is not so keen on having more debates, because they are totally useless to the American public! ABC NEWS spent 50 minutes of the 80 minute "debate" talking about Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Flag Pins, the "bitter" statement, and Hillary's Bosnia lie.

Without a doubt ABC NEWS lost a lot of credibility tonight!

Posted by: AJ | April 16, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

A vvvvvvvvvvvvvv good debate. Finally, HRC admitted to her lies and affirmed the electability of OBAMA.
For her, that was a big admission -- that someone besides her could win. And when she was asked about the fact she is distrusted -- it was a terminal assault on her credibility. And it is a subtle argument -- by asking her about credibility, the dishonesty was affirmed. Back to the trailer parks for the clintons -- they should have stayed where they belong -- back in Arkansas.

Posted by: leo l. castillo | April 16, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I missed the debate but it sounds like it was a friggin' debacle. How they thought it would be wise to pick George (a former Clinton staffer) to host the debate is beyond me. What idiots.

Posted by: Brian | April 16, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I think you're being generous calling this a "debate". I'd call it an insult to the intelligence of all Americans. Flag pins? Is that a pertinent issue? For God sake, gas is $4 a gallon, the country is in a recession, there's the war in iraq - and they waste an hour on tabloid issues. ABC - Absolutely Bull Crap. ABC made a major contribution to the dumbing down of America. A 7 year old could have done a better job moderating - and I bet they would have asked more pertinent questions. I'll stick to NBC, ABC lost all credibilty.

Posted by: Julie | April 16, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

mjames1,

You are totally agreed here.

Posted by: pinepine | April 16, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

As an avid HC supporter I have to admit the questioning was extremely tough on Sen Obama, and he was rattled by it and tentative, just seemed upreprepared for the tough questioning. Do you think Rev Wright loves Amer, what about the flag? Those were idiot questions but the last question what would you say to superdelegates at the Convention was a decent question to close on. But yea the questioning was definitely stacked/slanted against Sen Obama and he just seemed unprepared and tired like he really didn't want to be there.

Posted by: Leichtman | April 16, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

But WHY was Obama relentlessly pressed by Gibson and Stephanopoulis, with nary a scintilla of journalistic diplomacy?

Because the inside word they are getting is that the superdelegate majority already has decided that fairly or unfairly, Obama cannot be the candidate.

There's no other way to explain their bare-knuckles treatment of Obama... or the "audacity" of the line of questioning (lapel pins?)

This does not mean Hillary takes it; I believe the party elders concluded some time ago that Hillary is unelectable.

Obama may be convinced after next Tuesday to "suspend" his presidential campaign, throw his delegates to Al Gore, but continue to campaign as Gore's presumptive VP -- even if he narrowly wins, or narrowly loses, PA and takes most of the remaining contests.

It's got to end. The only way Obama can prevail is to play kingmaker -- and party peacemaker. Not a bad legacy, with the VP slot as his not insubstantial consolation prize... and a shot for the top job in 2016, if Gore-Obama wins.

This campaign has given the GOP too much ammunition. The party cannot chance it with Obama OR Hillary in the top slot. The Dems know they must win; and with McCain already showing well in the polls, the handwriting is on the wall. Obama knows it. I think Hillary does, too. She really doesn't believe Obama can win. She had to say that tonight. But as much as she and Bill resent Gore, they know he can win. (He did win the popular vote in 2000 and arguably had it taken away from him.)

I believe it's possible the superdelegates already have told Obama to his face that this is his only viable option... go with Gore or risk losing it all.

Obama also must know that the American apparachnik is hardly sold on his candidacy, especially the military and the intelligence communities. He can't lead if he has to spend a lot of time looking over his shoulder. The power elite knows Gore -- there's a history there that's totally lacking with Obama.

The only MSM journalist who has offered this scenario is Joe Klein. The rest have been smitten by the dream.

As mentioned previously, check out the early '60s movie "The Best Man" with Henry Fonda for the precursor plotline.

Posted by: scrivener | April 16, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

to all the clinton people who think obama should get out of the kitchen if he can't stand the heat - do you really think that ending the war in Iraq, helping healthcare and education, improving the economy,etc, etc has ANYTHING to do with responding to ridiculous campaign slinging mud??!! That anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows is unimportant

Posted by: fixbone | April 16, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

How can Stephanopoulos and Gibson sleep at night?
Well, with millions safely in their bank accounts, of course.
This travesty of journalism should lay to rest the myth of the liberal media.

Posted by: BWD | April 16, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Hillary,

Please back off!!!

You are a criminal, your husband
is a criminal, almost everyone
that you associate yourself with
is a criminal!!!

The CRIMES MUST STOP!!!

Posted by: Begging for Our Democracy Back! | April 16, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

This should be the last debate ever staged on the MSM. Terrible performance by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanapolous, who couldn't manage to ask a substantive question FOR AN HOUR. For crying out loud, we're in the sixth year of a disastrous war, our economy is imploding, the housing market is collapsing, I paid $3.25 a gallon for gas today, after going to the grocery store where prices are 25% higher, there are food riots around the world, etc. And all those pathetic stooges cared to talk about was bittergate, snipergate, and American flag pins. I'd like to pin Gibby and Stephy to the wall with a big American flag pin and bring in a few real journalists who actually know something about the issues. let's see, Paul Krugman on the economy, Joe Galloway on the war, there are so many better choices than the two clowns we got tonight. ABC stands for Anything But Crucial! Gibson and Stephanapolous should apologize to American for this tripe.

Posted by: truth | April 16, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Hillary:

The party of change cannot be at the same time a party to corruption.

The American people do not think you are honest or a person of integrity.

It is time to withdraw, if there was anything sincere in your comment that you want a Democrat in the White House.

Don't force the Democratic Party to choke to death on your sour grapes.

Posted by: MARTIN EDWIN ANDERSEN | April 16, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

What about this blatant lie from Obama?

Obama said earlier his campaign had only mentioned Clinton's Tuzla story because it was asked.

Sen. Obama Falsely Claims His Campaign Only Talks About Bosnia When Asked
4/16/2008 9:27:24 PM

Senator Obama just said the only reason his campaign has raised Bosnia was because they were asked about it. That is not the case. The following are some examples of the proactive attacks they have launched:

Obama campaign memo: 'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady.' "'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy,' a scorching campaign memo said in one of the harshest broadsides to date." [New York Post, 3/27/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'Unfortunately, Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances where she has exaggerated her role as First Lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy.' [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia - and the footage disproving her account - have created quite a stir. And with good reason.' Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia--and the footage disproving her account--have created quite a stir. And with good reason. As the Associated press wrote yesterday: "What makes Clinton's situation unique--and the Bosnia embellishments so damaging--is the fact that the New York senator has built her candidacy on the illusion of experience. Any attack on her credentials is a potential Achilles heel." [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'The claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories.' "The refrain that Senator Clinton 'has the experience to lead on Day One' has been repeated endlessly since she entered the race. On closer inspection, the claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories. With the next primary less than a month away, it's time for Senator Clinton to finally face the 'vetting' she's so fond of discussing. Badly trailing in delegates, votes, and states won, she's going to need more than a new script to win the nomination. But if she wants to regain the trust of the American people, it would be a good place to start." [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama Press Release: '"Misspoke"? Clinton's Prepared Remarks on Bosnia Join Similar Stretches on FMLA, SCHIP, and NAFTA' [Obama Campaign Press Release, 3/24/08]

Posted by: . | April 16, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Another Obama lie regarding handwriting on the questionaire:

I'm not sure what Obama meant about his answer just now about a 1996
questionnaire, covered at length and linked here.

"My writing wasn't on that particular questionnaire - Charlie, as I said, I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns."

The questionnaire, whose answers supported strict gun control, including a handgun ban, has Obama's handwriting on the first page; the gun answer isn't itself handwritten.

A response to an earlier questionnaire from the same group has the same answer.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I was very disappointed with both Charlie Gibson and George Stephanoplolis. The questions they asked were at best inane and at worst biased. If I didn't check the channel number guide I would have guessed it was a Fox news hit job!

I still remember how several ABC affiliated stations REFUSED to allow several ABC affiliated stations to run the Nightline special honoring our fallen American soldiers several years ago. And I also remember how your organization DID ran the conservative biased special called "The Path to 9/11."

But despite the obvious bias I still tuned in occasionally to ABC news to get a pro-conservative perspective but the way they handled the Democratic candidates was infuriating and disrespectful. Most of it smacked of "gotcha questions" instead of dealing with the real issues.

Did they research those figures and facts they mentioned in the debate, because they did not seem factual?

I am sorry to say that your news division has "jumped the shark" as far as I am concerned and I will NOT watch ABC news anymore. I would only find myself of trying to understand how biased each of your news items are and I don't need the aggravation.

I now have to rank the ABC news bureau in the same category as Bush's propaganda extension, Fox news.

Thank God for the Internet.

Posted by: Thomas Guzman | April 16, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Read Campaign Diaries's debate analysis:

Will this debate trigger a backlash in favor of the candidate who was on the defensive, just as it did in NH, SC and OH? Or was it a replay of the previous Philadelphia debate, with reversed roles but the same narrative -- a front-runner is harassed and stumbles durably? A good case could be made for both scenarios: The questions were more one-sided than usual, yes, but Obama also looked much weaker than usual.

Read more: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/04/philadelphia-debate-obama-takes-many.html

Posted by: Dan | April 16, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Read this.
Makes Hillary's comments on Obama's 'bitterness' sound like farting
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/16/hillary-clinton-on-workin_n_97017.html

Posted by: Woot | April 16, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

What about this blatant lie from Obama?

Obama said earlier his campaign had only mentioned Clinton's Tuzla story because it was asked.

Sen. Obama Falsely Claims His Campaign Only Talks About Bosnia When Asked
4/16/2008 9:27:24 PM

Senator Obama just said the only reason his campaign has raised Bosnia was because they were asked about it. That is not the case. The following are some examples of the proactive attacks they have launched:

Obama campaign memo: 'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady.' "'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy,' a scorching campaign memo said in one of the harshest broadsides to date." [New York Post, 3/27/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'Unfortunately, Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances where she has exaggerated her role as First Lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy.' [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia - and the footage disproving her account - have created quite a stir. And with good reason.' Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia--and the footage disproving her account--have created quite a stir. And with good reason. As the Associated press wrote yesterday: "What makes Clinton's situation unique--and the Bosnia embellishments so damaging--is the fact that the New York senator has built her candidacy on the illusion of experience. Any attack on her credentials is a potential Achilles heel." [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama campaign memo: 'The claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories.' "The refrain that Senator Clinton 'has the experience to lead on Day One' has been repeated endlessly since she entered the race. On closer inspection, the claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories. With the next primary less than a month away, it's time for Senator Clinton to finally face the 'vetting' she's so fond of discussing. Badly trailing in delegates, votes, and states won, she's going to need more than a new script to win the nomination. But if she wants to regain the trust of the American people, it would be a good place to start." [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]

Obama Press Release: '"Misspoke"? Clinton's Prepared Remarks on Bosnia Join Similar Stretches on FMLA, SCHIP, and NAFTA' [Obama Campaign Press Release, 3/24/08]

Posted by: UM | April 16, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Clinton supporters probably consider George S. "loyal" for his one-sided, confrontational questions against Barack and for his easy questions to their candidate.

ABC is the big loser in the debate, as has been noted by many. They lost any credibility has being impartial and unbiased. Maybe they will offer Karl Rove and Richard Cheney to play their reporters, if they "host" any debates between Barack and John McCain.

Posted by: An Independent | April 16, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Bill, Hillary,

Better hope your supporters are ready to go to work, organizing working class people, screwed by the smarty pants/black racist/Kool Aid drinking/international coalition of really smart or really dumb people you can not understand.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 16, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Heard a lot of Obama especially when talking about energy policy, saying yea what she said.

And this was an interesting comment about Rev Wright and the race speech:

"Obama tanked at the end of his response to the Wright questions. Did you all hear the gaffe? He said we couldn't bring this topic up ever again because he has "disowned" his pastor.

George noticed. He almost gasped as he responded "DISOWNED?" incredulously.

Obama tried to recover by saying what he meant was that he had disowned some of the comments. Huh? I don't know if that is logically coherent, but the debate moved on. I'm curious if this will trickle into morning buzz, as it is a direct contradiction to the central thesis of his race speech: that he could not more disown Rev. Wright than he could disown the his Grandmother or the African American community.

Maybe he changed his mind."


Posted by: Leichtman | April 16, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The moderators were pathetic. Not 1 question on policy for the 1st 45 minutes of the debate. What a joke. ABC News should be embarrassed - they were the real losers tonight.

Posted by: JT | April 16, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I really hope it doesn't get to this, but there isn't a chance in this world that I, a committed Democrat, would vote for Obama. He's a product of the "sound bite" generation. He knows the right platitudes for the right moments, but doesn't have a shred of substance.

If you'd asked me 3 years ago if I'd ever vote for a Republican for president, I'd have emphatically said "no". But that was before this man of many words --- but no good actions --- came on the scene.

Posted by: Democrats for McCain | April 16, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

This should definitely be the last debate. The moderators were awful. George obviously got all of his questions from Sean Hannity.

Hillary was forced to admit that Obama could beat John McCain. Will she still able to tell the superdelegates otherwise?

Posted by: Mia | April 16, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Clinton would have massive retaliation against Iran if it attacked Saudi, much like what Clinton would do if Israel is attached.

Imperial presidency as well as Bushisque tactics.

Posted by: noone | April 16, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama was a total disaster.

What will people believe, Obama-spin or their own eyes?

Posted by: What are people going to belive, Obama-spinor their own eyes? | April 16, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

What a pathetic display by ABC. Right wing talking points, attacks on Obama for everything from stupid flag pins to his pastor. No substansive questions until later in the evening and even those they cut Obama off every time he tried to answer. Hatchet job from the word go. When Obama is president I hope he snubs ABC like they deserve.

Posted by: Babs | April 16, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Who won the ABC Democratic Debate in Philadelphia Pennsylvania?


http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=2137


.

Posted by: Frank, Austin | April 16, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I knew this "debate" by ABC NEWS would be poor, because George Stephanopolous would be one of the moderators. He was Sr. Political Advisor to Bill Clinton in 1992 and and later became Bill Clinton's communications director. He is an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton.

But Charlie Gibson rided Obama as well. That "debate" lasted 80 minutes in which the first 50 minutes was spent mostly on attacking Obama on social issues and/or personal issues. That was hands down the worst nationally moderated debate I've seen since October of 2007.

I almost felt ashamed in watching it. I posted the following questioning on other blogs over the past few days but find it worth mentioning again: Is it me or does the Democratic primary contest between Obama and Hillary look like a general election contest in which Obama is the Democrat and Hillary is the Republican and poor McCain is a third party candidate?

Obama in 08!

Posted by: AJ, IL | April 16, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching on the west coast right now. Hillary's response on her Bosnia "stories" was horrendous. She gave no reason for why she came up with a complete fabrication. She just said she made a mistake?? A mistake -- it was an outright lie. Get more sleep: she made the lies in the morning.... Come on, you can do better than this if you think you should be President.

Posted by: Joseph | April 16, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

No amount of Obama spin can change the truth.

Hillary was 100x better than Obama was.

Without his teleprompter he's nothing.

He's an actor.

She's a President.

Choosing anybody else but her now would be noting but pure sexism and pure racism.

Posted by: No anount of Obama spin can hide the truth. Hillary is 100x better than Obama is | April 16, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Once, during the dabate, the talking point focused on protection for Israel, to which Hillary rambled a somewhat vague proposal that included "massive retaliation" and "Mideast Security Umbrella Agreements," "Hey, this is not NATO territory we're talking about....No countries around that part of the world like Belgium, France, or England. Is she nuts or what???

Posted by: Concerned | April 16, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Put a fork in that rhymes with ditch.

Posted by: HillaryClintoncanKissMyA$$ | April 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Susan E. I think the backlash is likely to come. People are sick and tired of this and are ready for the end. People of Pennsylvania -- save us from more of this absurdity. Don't vote for Hillary and let's end this.

Posted by: Frank | April 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Apparently I'm the only one who thought it was tough but fair for both (Obama's the front runner now, you have to expect more scrutiny) but it was a draw.

Posted by: Jeremy | April 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

If you watched this and didn't decide to ignore the media, you are brainwashed.

ABC has decided to become Fox News.

The media, and that includes the Washington Post is a joke.

Analyze this, Chris. Why do you suck.

Posted by: Ken | April 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought the moderation was pitiful. Is that what ABC News considers to be the critical issues of the day? Just a rehash of artificially created non-issues? Shame - and remind me to not waste my time ever watching their programming.

Posted by: RBusch | April 16, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

It was the worst debate - I agree.

In the GE will these networks be sponsoring the debates or can we get back to the League of Women Voters and Jim Lehrer - finally.

It was unfair to FOX to make that comparison, mjames1. Brit Hume was much more substantive than either of these guys when he had a turn at this. And I do not recommend FOX as a news source to anyone.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | April 16, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I never thought much of Hillary, and was skeptical of Obama. Now I see what the hipe was all about. One less undecided, one more vote for Obama.

Posted by: BitterinPA | April 16, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse


the ABC team had very unimportant questions such as what the pastor said etc. it was an attempt to convect obama by association.

George worked for the Clinton white house...did he not?

waste of time the ABC effort.

Posted by: noone | April 16, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this what our country has
been reduced to?!!!!!!!!


Obvious, bullsh!t Carl Rovian
attack, attack, attack campaigns
against candidates such as
Barak Obama need to STOP!!!

We are allowing the media to
decide our leaders - or should
we start calling them Fascist
Heads of State?!!!

Posted by: Holy Crap Chris | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh quit crying and get used to it, Obamabots. It's about time the lack of experience and relevant ideas, as well as the pattern of misguided sentiments and poor judgment your puppy has shown is addressed.

If he can't handle this debate - and clearly, he couldn't - he'll never be able to handle the general election. His delusions that people will vote for him just because he's a Democrat will be thoroughly shattered. A LOT of Democrats will be "bitterly" disappointed if he's the candidate.

Posted by: Lynn | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Americans know better. This was a lynch job by ABC news in collusion with McBush and Hillary. Flag pins? WHat about energy policy? Health care? Iraq? National deficit? Environment?

Obama again shows his resolve and presidential character without succumbing to Rovian/Republican/Clinton slime politics.

Go Obama!

Posted by: poggy | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The Weather Underground? Is that a new SciFi channel?

If Clinton can't win the Democratic primary this year, she's going to take Obama down with her. Then she can run in 2012 against McCain and say "I told you!"

For now, however, she and her 'clan' (I won't use the word 'team' - as it's too good for them) seems to have forgotten they are Democrats first.

It would be nice to increase our margins in Congress - but Hillary~! will use ANY body blow to take Obama down.

If Ms. Clinton and her campaign think this is the way to win the primary, they may be right. But it's the way to lose the general election for the Democrats.

She's unelectable - her negatives are right up there with Bush and Cheney.

Go ahead, pull up 'the weather' - or WHATEVER - but if you keep pulling up crap instead of talking about the issues, this lifelong Democrat WILL vote for McCain, along with the slate of Democratic candidates for Congress. So much for your coat-tails.

If you continue on your very destructive path, you will have prevailed at one thing - splitting the Democratic Party.

Please don't.

Posted by: Captain John | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Hillary ought to hang it up. She's cooked: well done and getting burned. Time to put a fork in it and pull it out of the oven.

Posted by: Hillary just lost the election | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I loved seeing Charlie and George being heckled and booed by the audience as they went to the final break. I mean, when was the last ime THAT happened in a televised debate? I think the American public is near the tipping point with its self-appointed kingmakers in the media. Perhaps they should heed the warning that Hillary received in the polls today. Sometimes this thing called a backlash happens.

Posted by: Susan E. | April 16, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama won, no doubt about it. But I really have to laugh at the press, Chris.

You're like dumb little dogs being led around by these candidates. They toss out a bone and tell you to go fetch and what do you do? You go fetch and play with the bone until another candidate tosses out another bone and tells you to go fetch. And then you do the same thing over and over again. It's amazing, mind-boggling actually. Every time. You guys just cannot help yourselves.

But here's a clue, Chris. This is a race for the Presidency of the United States. There are big issues to be discussed. It used to be that the press understood that and reported when candidates had something to say about the big issues. But not anymore. For you guys it's just like any other sporting event. Who is up? Who is down? Report anything no matter how silly. Jeeze, and you guys wonder why no one is buying the paper anymore.

Posted by: gary | April 16, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Bleh. A pox on both your houses. I'm an independent and I came here hoping to get some discussion of the issues. But all I see is "DID!", "DID NOT!", "DID TOO!"

There was some good stuff in this debate. The nuclear umbrella question, the captial gains question, etc. Anyone want to comment on that stuff?

Posted by: MR | April 16, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama took the worst those meatballs had and deflected their crap with style and elan. He got the opportunity to show grace under pressure, while Hillary reinforced what a shrill harpy she is.

Another Independence Hall-sized can of whoop-ass opened up on the Clintons.

Posted by: bondjedi | April 16, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's performance was atrocious, because she said that if she becomes President, then protecting not just Israel but also "others of our allies in the area" from possible Iranian aggression would elicit from the U.S. "an all-out military response" (Or words to that effect -- the trascript isn't yet available as I write). As Rachel Madow and Pat Buchanan both pointed out on MSNBC, that was a huge flub, because a congressional declaration of war is needed before the President can invade a nation, and because the U.S. has no NATO treaty with Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, or any other of the Middle Eastern nations.

For Chris Cillizza to say the following is ridiculous: "Clinton, as usual, was incredibly well prepared from a policy standpoint. While she spent the first half of the evening watching Obama squirm under tough questioning, Clinton made clear her mastery of the major policy issues facing the country in the vesper half of the debate. But, will it matter?"

To the contrary: Hillary flubs time and again, in big ways. She flunked her bar exam after graduating Yale Law School, and is way out of her league up against Obama. The only reason she became a partner in the Rose Law Firm was to serve as the firm's rainmaker, because her husband was then the Governor. She is an incompentent, and yet she has gotten a free ride from the press all along. She has run an incompetent campaign against Obama, and that's why she can't win the nomination despite the enormous head-start in name recognition, money, and all the rest which she had at the start.

Chris -- just give up. Hillary is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.

Posted by: cettel | April 16, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Lots of sour grapes from the Obamatrons here. Sorry guys, your dude was way off his game tonight. His performance was worthy of a first debate. Clinton cleaned his clock!

Posted by: Obama Who? | April 16, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Rev. Wright loves America as much as you do? IS THIS RELEVANT TO THE CAMPAIGN. George S. is ridiculous.

Posted by: Herman | April 16, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Worst debate of the campaign. ABC should apologize for the absolutely horrendous set of questions. People want to understand policy from these debates not talk about flag pins... What a joke. ABC News has lost a number of notches with this one.

Posted by: John C | April 16, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

This was a sham, not a debate. It was both moderators and Hillary ganging up on Obama to smear him through the usual petty and trite. Not one question of substance and significance to how our nation is governed was asked. The National Enquier would have moderated a better debate.

Posted by: bastanow | April 16, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I like Obama better and think he has rightfully won the Democratic primary. That said, tonight Hillary looked and sounded great. Interesting that she admitted lying about the Tuzla incident; I don't recall a similar instance in politics.

Also, Obama totally blew the question on capital gains taxes; obviously you can't get increased revenue simply by lowering the capital gains tax rate - otherwise a 1% or 0% capital gains rate would increase revenue the most. It is a complex equation that depends on stock market performance, attractiveness of stocks as an investment, etc. Obama should have pointed out that it isn't so simple as "reducing the capital gains rate increases revenue." In other words, he got bamboozled by a misleading question.

Posted by: renu1 | April 16, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Hillary just won the election.

John McCain should just drop out now and save everyone a lot of wasted time and money.

She's brilliant.

He's a total idiot.

Hillary's going to be a great president.

Obama's got a great future as a male model.

Posted by: Hillary just won the election | April 16, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

ABC News was the big loser here. Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulis looked absurd. Their emphasis on "gotcha" questions -- Rev. Wright, flag lapel pins, bitter, landing in Bosnia -- demonstrated a critical lack of news judgment. ABC should can these clowns.

Posted by: Brian | April 16, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what Clinton's goal was tonight - as far as I can tell, it was to provide more Republican talking points. Months ago, I said that I could not vote for her, due to her dishonesty and blind ambition.

I have since disavowed that notion, worrying instead that McCain would put scarier people in the courts. I have never trusted her pledge to get us out of Iraq - after all it was not 2 years ago that she was booed for rejecting timetables. In total, she has a *more* militant voting record than McCain; at least he rejected torture without exception.

I may be back to where I was previously. I just respect her less all the the time. It's sad.

Posted by: Kev - Golden, CO | April 16, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The Chief sees it now. Everyone is out to get my man Obama. This is a sad day, but such treatment was not unexpected. You see, Americans - more particularly US citizens - are not too bright. They get lost easily in the waves of tabloid noise and miss the important issues.

Sen. Obama will ride this out. HRC may be on a crazy warpath, but the one with the special powers will prevail. He is, after all, an elitist and Elitists Rule! Sen. Obama will be the chosen one in January 09!

WowowowoWowowowoWowowowoWowowwo!!!

Posted by: Chief Two Dogs | April 16, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

It was a horrible debate. It focused on trivial issues and followed right wing talking points, with Hillary's encouragement, in an effort to put Obama on the defensive and paint a scary caricature of Obama. http://roadkillrefugee.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/abcs-horrible-obama-clinton-debate/

Posted by: Roadkill Refugee | April 16, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

what a hatchet job by abc- did hillary pay off the moderators or what? i'm disgusted with that debate.

Posted by: greg b | April 16, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton's main theme throughout her campaign has been her experience and her leadership, her ability to govern from "day one," yet when you look at the totality of her campaign what do you see? Huge poll leads and frontrunner status frittered away, constant shifts in staff, strategy, and message, and a willingness to go negative very quickly, plus the senseless Bosnia sniper fabrication. Contrast this with Obama. Yes, he has some odiferous friends- Rezko, Wright, etc., and some fuzzy policy positions, but he also has put together a campaign staff and strategy that has been effective and efficient, and he has gotten the endorsement of a number of former Clinton allies who undoubtedly know the Senator from New York pretty well and have chosen not to back her.

Posted by: crc | April 16, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Hillary knocked the ball out of the park.

Obama struck out on three pitches.

If this election is at all about who's more qualified, we've got to elect Hillary Clinton.

She's the best person for the job.

Any other decision would be both sexist and racist.

Posted by: Choosing anyone else but Hillary would be both sexist and racist | April 16, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Georgie's questions about William Ayers came directly from a right-wing radio host begging abc to ask the questions and was later
brought it up again while on with Sean Hannity. Nice job, George
drudge.

The American public is so sick of right-wing tabloid swifty stories that all they accomplished tonight was a chance for the public to see how those tactics and obama's handling of them, give him the boost in the polls and Hillary tumbles.

By the way, what is this "NATO" style plan she has for the mid-east. Pretty hawkish and dangerously unrealistiic

Posted by: truthbee | April 16, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

JoeCHI

The first half of the debate was really pointless, we have been talking about most of those topics for the last 6 weeks, there was nothing new. Stephanopoulos and Charlie are in the bag for Clinton, it was not a debate it was a gang up on Obama form. Clinton got NO hard questions, and only followed up on any moderate ones. Did you hear the audience boo at the end of the debate? It sucked, ABC does not deserve to hold debates that are so clearly bias toward one candidate. Clinton must of had the questions ahead of time, it would fit the theme of the night.

Posted by: Stephen | April 16, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

The perpetual minor leaguer newsman Gibson and the ever-green Clintonite Stephanopoulos tonight acted like they were Hillary hitmen.

Despite this, Obama kept his cool and his perspective, focusing on what the American people want to talk about.

Too bad he didn't bring up Hillary's brothers benefitting from Bill's pardon of a narcotics trafficker and another felon in response to the question about the Weather Underground nutball Ayres.

Obama's mention of Bill's pardon of two Weather Underground militants did put the hectoring by Charlie and George in necessary perspective.

Too bad Stephanopoulos and Gibson were leaning over so hard towards Hillary they didn't follow that up with a question for her on why her husband issued all these last minute pardons against the advice of the Justice Department.

A whale of a good question, no?

Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | April 16, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Gibson is OFF my list - Never will I watch anything that he has to offer - as it will not be worth it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Robert | April 16, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Worst. Debate. Ever.

How about some equal opportunity scandal attention?

Posted by: sjxylib | April 16, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW - I will take idealism in our Leader any day - we've all had enough of "pragmatic" politicians - at the end of the day - who pay back to those who keep them in power.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Just exactly what is the purpose of this column? It can't have anything to do with informing the public or providing an objective analysis of events related to the campaign. Obama an idealist because he refuses to live in the gutter? Clinton is pragmatic because she has not met the means she will not use to achieve her ends? Are you serious?

I expect much more of this newspaper, but I'm beginning to realize I may be in error in that.

Posted by: WTF | April 16, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

It's HILARIOUS that the media, both new and old, are in such an uproar over the debate. Clearly, they are all in shock over the fact that Obama received his first serious level of scrutiny in the entire campaign season.

Snap outta it!

Don't blame Clinton or ABC because Obama failed to perform well on a level playing field. Tonight is just a glimmer of what's ahead for any Democrat heading into the general with a media darling like McCain.

What did Obama think he was running for, anyway? Prom King?

Posted by: JoeCHI | April 16, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why the most confrontational questions were asked to Barack and not Hillary. This seems to be an instance of media bias. They should have played "highlights" of Joseph McCarthy, since one of the themes of the questions seemed straight out of McCarthyism, guilt by association.

Hillary should choose Karl Rove or Richard Cheney for her Vice-Presidential nominee, if she unfairly wins the nomination, since Joseph McCarthy, is not around. She clearly resents Barack as an upstart and really does not want Barack to become president, if he is the nominee.

Speaking of being bitter, the three most bitter persons in this country come January 21, next year could be Hillary, for obvious reasons, Bill, for not getting back in the White House to try somehow to redeem his legacy as a relatively mediocre president and Richard Cheney, if the United States has not invaded Iran.

Posted by: An Independent | April 16, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

That was a splendid debate and Clinton excelled in her answers.

Obama, as usual, spent more time bashing Hillary and dodging commitments than providing substantive, knowledgeable and workable answers.

Clinton nailed this one, hands down.

Hillary '08 - all the way

Posted by: Lynn | April 16, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

This "debate" was the WORST waste of time I can imagine. I would respect either candidate to REFUSE to a debate with ABC. The first 50 minutes totally ignored the REAL issues of our time (which BTW are the most significant of my 58 years). Mr. Gibson was wrong on the cap. gains - as if revenues are more important than fairness in taxes??? (see fact checker) When we are entering into a recession, is Sen Obama's relationship with Ayers so important? "Shame on" ABC.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

What a pathetic debate. Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous should be tarred, feathered and hanged. Gibson's claim that raising the capital gains tax lowers revenue has already been shown to be false on washingtonpost.com's fact checker. This goes along with his claim at ABC's last Democratic debate that a professor at St. Anselm College in NH would be affected by raising taxes on those making more than $250,000, when the average prof at that college makes $75,000. This is just another clear example of ABC News becoming the broadcast version of FOX!

Posted by: mjames1 | April 16, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

It was a fascist SMEAR Campaign!!!

Posted by: Seconds Pete's statement | April 16, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Martin is right, Obama's answer was legal, Hillary's "umbrella" is nuts and imperial.

No matter who you support, this debate was a travesty. We can talk about the worst moments during the first hour. But in the last half hour when Charles Gibson was berating Obama on the capital gains tax was probably the worst. And that is because Gibson was peddling a line that was untrue, as proven here in the Post's fact checker. How can the moderator berate a candidate over an untrue "fact". Totally nuts.

Posted by: Bubba | April 16, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Chris, that was NOT in ANY WAY a debate, and you know it.

Posted by: Pete | April 16, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I kept popping back in and out in the first part of the debate, but the questions were all ridiculous and aimed at Senator Obama. What the heck was Charlie Gibson's damage about the capitol gains tax???? I decided to watch a movie instead.

Posted by: Ann | April 16, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm picking the Mexicans in 20 years or the Chinese in 15.

Posted by: Maadas Niessuh | April 16, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The Propaganda FILTH the has Oozed from the Washington Post
over the past month wreaks
of fascism.


Please, tells us readers how you
feel about your part in all this.

Posted by: Holy Crap Chris | April 16, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The more aggressively Hillary goes on the attack, the worse she comes off.

Posted by: Patrick, Takoma Park MD | April 16, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Hillary "incredibly well prepared"?

Her answer on the Middle East shows that she does not oppose the Imperial Presidency, if she is on the throne.

Could someone please get her a copy of the Constitution?

Obama's answer was much more statesmanlike and--and this is important--legal.

Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | April 16, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Clinton did very, very well.

Posted by: JoeCHI | April 16, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone (particularly Clinton supporters) give a rationale for the tone of the first 45 minutes?

Posted by: crt12 | April 16, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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