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Ohio Dem Debate: A Scrappy Senator Clinton Knocks Herself Out

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While I was out and about early voting today, Bill and Barack were down the block. Well not exactly. Bill was on the stump for Clinton in downtown Fort Worth, while Barack’s people were opening headquarters within walking distance, in a tiny space that shouted economy as you approached it. After signing up for volunteer work on Wednesday prior to Obama's rally (first one) in Fort Worth Thursday, I went home and watched the (last) debate between these two opponents.

They Began by Talking Health

It was the first 16 minutes of the debate about something that has not yet materialized: UHC, or universal health care, or whatever acronym will evolve from the next administration, that some have criticized. Why go on about fighting for the people over something they have not yet won FOR the people?

Tim Played the Wright Card

Tim Russert hosting alongside Brian Williams (MSNBC) asked about the connection between Obama’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Minister Farrakhan. He said that he has denounced Farrakhan in the past strongly and did not invite nor accept his help or endorsement. He went so far as to say that one cannot censor another person and keep them from saying that "you're a great guy." Censor is a dirty word among liberals no doubt. But come on people, domestically we have bigger fish to fry than whose church one attends.

To make the situation worse, Clinton chimes in with her two cents even though nobody asked her. She quickly began to recount her experience in New York with a party that was strongly Anti-Semitic in of all places New York. This interjection brought out the “look at me” side of Hillary. She said that she roundly rejected them and their position. She indicated that rejection was stronger than denouncing. Obama deflected this arrow by agreeing and then said that if rejection is stronger than denouncing (laughter from audience) then he will both “reject and denounce” Minister Farrakhan’s stance on Judaism. There was applause for this agreement.

Question posed: Who circulated the “dressed” photo of Obama wearing traditional Kenyan garb? Clinton disavowed any knowledge of the photo and Obama took her word for it. But haven’t we all done this when visiting foreign countries? I know I have. Religious arguments will get us all in trouble rather than together. People will be quick to use the h-word and no one will get anywhere when pejoratives such as heretic, atheist, and Muslim (as dirty word) are thrown around. If I were a practicing Muslim I would be not be happy with that characterization.

Did Clinton Talk Herself Out of the VP Slot?

That was the question that I went in wanting to know. And if you don’t have what I call “high cable” access, then you were unable to watch this debate and get your own questions answered. She may not have talked away the VP slot but she may have walked away from the VP slot. Why? Because she said that she is a fighter, over and over again. Thus I found my title for this piece. The Democrats don’t need “Scrappy” Senator Clinton fighting their Obama “Hope” President.

There are, to be sure, many issues and questions that yet remained unanswered. The biggest ones are domestic: economy, manufacturing jobs, schools, energy and immigration readily come to mind. Many advocate charter schools. I have the credentials to open my own charter school. But they have not proven to be more effective than lousy regular public schools. Why? Mostly because they have a hell of a lot less money to work with. The students who populate these schools are typically more at risk than those in public schools. There are really no easy answers to these and to immigration issues.

Hillary is Neither a Bitch nor a Witch

Hillary has said that she has no crystal ball, and does not make predictions when asked in an interview. I think that has been her problem, clearly, as I like to say, clearly Clinton’s problem. She did not see the Iraq quagmire “bus-in-the-ditch” war coming, nor did she see a Kennedy-style political machine rolling down the road equipped to bulldoze the competition into the ditch, to borrow a phrase from Obama.

She only invoked Bill’s name once. But NAFTA has finally become an issue on the debate table. The Clintons need to answer for it. And someone needs to kill NAFTA and the ethanol cow, while they’re at it, before both consume the consumers.

Will She Step Aside in the Near Future?

Maybe Hillary needs help on this one from her campaign advisors. Hopefully, one of them has more vision than their fearless leader. Why? Because she has already stated that she does not have the capacity for looking down the road, for making predictions. That is what success in modern life is all about, I believe. This is what Obama has banked on when taking the pulse of the people and bringing them back to believing in hope and change. The Aquarian Age represents change brought about by its symbol of two wires which have connected the whole world at the speed of light and sound. It is no coincidence that Obama is a Leo (opposite) — the sign of leadership and vision. Information in this age is transmitted over long distances in an instant means power to see the past and present, and to make informed decisions about the future.

Showdown or Backdown?

Obama was sitting on the same side of the round table that Clinton sat on when she offered heart-felt conciliatory words and sincere tone to close Austin’s debate. Tonight was Obama's turn. He rose to the occasion and paid Clinton a fair compliment. Clinton went to the gender “sea change” argument and won applause on that line. But Obama did not go there in terms of race. He did not and should not say that he would be more historic or represent greater change as the first black president. Rather he argued that he could create coalitions (transcend, if you will) race, gender, age, classes in his presidency.

Niceties aside, Obama did not parse words when it came to clarifying his strong stance on Iraq and his specific warnings about U.S. involvement there. He was taking direct aim at McCain while sitting next to Clinton. He seemed to be speaking to her, rebutting her, but resolving the audience that we were watching the nominee. He drove home the point that to “equate experience with longevity” has not worked in foreign policy in the Bush administration. And when Senator Dodd endorsed Senator Obama today he humbly mentioned that very thing, he said something to the effect: "look where touting experience got me: 1% polling." Good man, good endorsement.

Who Won the Debate?

I think that this last fork in the road was carefully managed by both candidates. The sky did not open up, there were no celestial choirs cheering at the end of this debate, but it ended just the same. Clinton from the first debate established herself as a debating fool, the one to beat. Obama has, at this last debate, grown in the role of debater (he’ll need it against McCain) and in the eyes of voters as the one to vote for. With conservative talking heads and GOP regulars goading undecided voters and regular Democrats into choosing Clinton, Obama still needs to win the next four state primaries.

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About Heloise

  • Propagandist

    Hope you don’t mind if we take your ‘unbiased’ reporting on the debate with a huge grain of salt.
    After all an Obama volunteer is hardly objective.

    In any case,
    I thought Clinton knocked Obama on the NATO sub-committee thing. That was a good hit.

    Obama also stumbled and was very uncomfortable about the Farrahkhan question by Tim Russert. You could sense he did not want the debate to go there.
    (And yes that is a completely valid questiont to ask.)

    Obama was in total discomfort – that is – until an over zealous Clinton gave him a way out by making the question about renouncing/denouncing/rejecting and what not. That was a very stupid thing to do.

    If I were her, I’d have said nothing and brought it up on the campaign trail (preferably in front of a Jewish group) where Obama cannot respond right away and diffuse it. She could have scored more points that way and put Obama on the defensive.

    Besides these two instances, the debate was like watching water freeze (like all of ‘em have been).
    Obama is not even close in his confidence and eloquence in debates (I guess it is because there are no tele-prompters to read).

    Oh and who can forget healthcare!
    It is amazing how Democrats continue to discuss universal health care (for the past 50 years) as if it has been in place for decades and just needs to be enhanced and tweaked like Social Security.
    The debate on healthcare yesterday (like before) was so far out in the weeds, it was pathetic and hilarious at the same time.
    It was like discussing the size of toilet bowls in the houses on colonized moon.
    It was so abstract, esoteric and useless I could barely stay awake..and didn’t.

  • Heloise

    Thank you.
    H

  • http://www.bizarrepolitics.com/nafta-muy-malo Ray Tapajna

    The debate about NAFTA was a spin. It did not tell the real story. NAFTA is not something new. It’s origin dates back to 1956. Most of the heavy manufacturing jobs were already lost in the 1980s prior to NAFTA- most likely about a million jobs related to the steel and auto industry were lost.

    In the 1990s millions lost their jobs in the computer and high tech industries. In 1998 alone about 250,000 jobs were lost in high tech while President Clinton and Alan Greenspan were declaring prosperity. In his book, The Age of Turbulence, Greenspan said billions of dollars were spent on fixing the Y2K problems. The Y2K problems were caused my the massive lost of jobs in the computer industry during the previous decade due to outsourcing and Free Trade. Greenspan does not talk about this and neither did President Clinton tell us that the billions poured into fixing the problems acted as a artificial economic stimulus. The Dot Coms were trailing this artificially too. We all know what happened when the Y2K crisis was suddenly over. The Dot Coms went down the drain and the stock market crashed causing many to lose their savings. President Bush was no better in running the economy and used a pre-emptive war to hide our economic woes. War pays.
    Greenspan was a master at manipulating things but now we face a real economic storm with the new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke practicing Free Trade heresy in saying the American consumer now needs to buy “domestically made” goods made in the USA. However, it is now difficult to find these goods with our economy shredded into pieces.

    How did this all come about? Let’s go back to 1956. Our U.S. Federal Government sponsored the moving of factories outside of the USA in 1956. It was supposed to be just a temporary program to help the Mexican and Central America economies while supplying the American consumer with cheaper goods. It was just supposed to last until the Mexican unemployment problem went away and America returned to manufacturing at home. It never ended. The definition of trade and Free Trade changed from trading products to moving production from place to place for the sake of cheaper and cheaper labor. Workers became the real commodities being traded or should I say betrayed. The program also allowed many manufacturers to escape U.S. pollution standards. Many reports surfaced over the years about the Maquiladoras causing health problems and birth defects on both sides of the border. The problem still exists but the reports do not.
    At first the program evolved slowly. In 1970 there were 120 Maquiladora factories. Ten years later there were nearly 400. By 1992 prior to the passing of NAFTA, there were more than 2000 U.S.factories moved to Mexico. None of the pollution problems and jobs losses stopped President Clinton from orchestrating a media blitz to get NAFTA passed. He even brought Congress back to pass GATT in a lame duck session of Congress although the Republicans won control in 1993. In the end, history will show it was a Democrat President and a Democrat controlled Congress that stole the American Dream away for millions of Americans.
    Soon after NAFTA was passed, the number of factories moved to Mexico doubled quickly to more than 4000. In Mexico a bloody revolt took place with many innocent Mexicans losing their lives. President Clinton then rushed billions of dollars to Mexico to save the peso. None of this infusion of industry and money stopped the tide of Mexican workers flowing to the USA in search of economic survival. They would not take the wage slave jobs available in Mexico. Now many of these jobs are on the move again to places like China where workers will take these jobs.

    Obama and Hillary have the gall to talk about making Americans competitive with this losing proposition. The pool of cheap labor in the world is endless. It does not matter if everyone in the world receives an education or a high tech skill if they all have to compete with one another for the same jobs.
    Hillary and Obama in debate just continued the spin and do not tell the real story behind the fall of the U.S. economy which has been shredded into pieces. The question ask is this. Who said we had to compete like this in a global economy? It is obvious that Globalization and Free Trade have not evovled in any natural economic fashion and have been driven by powerful forces outside the will of the people.
    In Mexico, ten bishops have come forth signing a statement censuring NAFTA. A bishop from Central America did the same in front of our Congress. Hillary was there. Obaman was there. Even “green” Gore was there when the Maquiladoras were polluting the earth and bishops were pleading for an end to wage slavery.

    Explore the lost worlds in the Globalist Flat World. Pass on this site and the links to all who want to restore the American Dream for not only this country but for all in the world. Do not get caught in the spins.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Just watching The Daily Show‘s dismembering of last night’s debate, and something struck me.

    Has anyone else noticed how much – from certain angles and in certain lights – Barack Obama looks like Herman Munster?

  • Clavos

    “Pass on this site and the links to all who want to restore the American Dream for not only this country but for all in the world”

    But most of all, pass it on to promote Ray Tapajna…

  • David Ingraham

    February 27, 2008:

    Two candidates have surged to the lead for our nations’ highest office. Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barrack Obama. We have heard them both on the air ways. Mr. Obama is easy to listen too. We here about a lot of change, but details of change are sketchy and not clear from his speech and when he does present an idea it is an echo of Hillary’s leadership idea. The other thing is that Mr. Obama has not shown the skills, capability, nor the experience to be commander in chief of the worlds greatest military force. To over come his evident lack of experience he blames the broken government of the status quo in Washington, which has been dominated by Republicans. Any changes to by The Democrats has been stopped by the Republicans. So his candidacy for change is not a unique goal to him, but for all democrats who want to bring our nation back to a time of shared prosperity as Mrs. Clinton likes to advocate.

    Mr. Obama is in his first term of the Senate. Some people think that is all the experience one person needs to be president. I believe this to be inadequate and a dangerous opportunity for change that will lead to leadership that could threaten our security, our economy, and our liberty. Mr. Obama would probably say he would never do that, but how can we be sure that he would have the wisdom not to do that. This is also the reason why experience is important as it is the evidence of capability to have the wisdom.

    Mrs. Hillary Clinton has shared the experience of Commander in Chief and was with her President during our nations success in the battle over Kosovo. She has been in the breech of national conflict and knows national defense. Mr. Obama has not.

    We don’t want a rookie to lead our nation. We do want a great lady with a history of success and wisdom to lead our nation.

    Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person of our nation to be president and will help us to be better off than we have been, to end the war, and get the price of gas to a state that is once more affordable for all. Or make it obsolete as the energy of choice.

    Let us allow a lady to have a chance. To repeat the events of our greatest national economic growth in our history. I remember when the Dow Jones Industrial Average had never passed 1000 points, then the Clintons came to the White House and in 8 short years The Dow Surged past 10,000 points. Never in our history has our nation enjoyed such economic growth. Our nation must again repeat this history and Hillary Clinton is best to do so for our nation.

    Thank You

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Two candidates have surged to the lead for our nations’ highest office. Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barrack Obama.

    Actually, right now the only one with a clear lock on a nomination is John McCain.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Am I the only one who sees the Herman Munster thing?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    Yes, on Herman Munster.

    I know my views were entirely out of line with what the media reported in the aftermath of this debate, but here are my thoughts on this exchange for those who might be interested:

    – I thought obama was incredibly rude during the begining of the debate. Did anyone notice that Obama kept talking over Clinton during the first 15 minutes or so? What kind of man disrespects a woman like that. I disagree with both candidates, but I’d never talk over them out of respect. For shame Obama.

    – Absolutely right on the NATO subcommittee. The media whitewashed that pretty quickly, but the fact is, most Americans don’t view running for higher office as an excuse not to do your job.

    – On the Farakan point, as a Jew, I thought this exchange by Obama was reprehensible. Clinton rejected support by an anti jewish group. This is not the same as renouncing the beliefs of someone who is supporting you.

    For Obama to play a word game on this issue is purely disgusting to me. He simply did not have the sac to reject the support of Farakan because he loves his chances to become president more than standing up for what is right. Clinton should have pushed this more. Reverse the roles, if one white candidate accepted the support of the KKK but “renounced” their views, would that be the same as another white candidate that rejected the support outright?

    SHAME ON OBAMA FOR TRYING TO CLAIM THAT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!!!

    He was uncomfortable, he insulted fast food workers earning 7 dollars an hour, and his NAFTA spiel is just that considering he’s supported it in the past. What a joke. If we do elect him, a distinct possibility given the kid glove media treatment, it will be a sad day for America, at least the America I know and love.

  • The Obnoxious American

    OBAMA: Tim, I have to say I don’t see a difference between denouncing and rejecting. There’s no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it. But if the word “reject” Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word “denounce,” then I’m happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce.

    Yes there is – he is supporting you Obama. You may have denounced his views on jews, but your pastor is his friend, and you’ve accepted his support. Just FYI, this statement:

    “There’s no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it. ”

    Is a flat lie. Are we pretending that Farrakan does not have followers, who are going to vote as he wishes? Why not reject the support entirely? Because he values higher office over standing up for what is right, and even doing his job (nato subcommittee)

    Here is another exchange I thought was priceless:

    MR. RUSSERT: Let me talk about the future — let me talk the future about Iraq, because this is important, I think, to Democratic voters particularly. You both have pledged the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. You both have said you’d keep a residual force there to protect our embassy, to seek out al Qaeda, to neutralize Iran. If the Iraqi government said, President Clinton or President Obama, you’re pulling out your troops this quickly?

    You’re going to be gone in a year, but you’re going to leave a residual force behind? No. Get out. Get out now. If you don’t want to stay and protect us, we’re a sovereign nation. Go home now.” Will you leave?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, if the Iraqi government says that we should be there, then we cannot be there. This is a sovereign government, as George Bush continually reminds us.

    Wow, was Obama smoking reefer during the first part of the theoretical? Tim’s question posed a scenario where the Iraqis clearly want us to stay, and would be angered by the idea of us leaving. His response, to ignore that they want us to stay and take their offer to leave ASAP. This is priceless. I don’t expect Obama supporters to get what I am talking about here. But hello?

  • REMF

    “Is a flat lie. Are we pretending that Farrakan does not have followers, who are going to vote as he wishes? Why not reject the support entirely?”
    – Obnoxious American

    And this is worse than GW Bush lying about his desertion from the Guards during the 2000 GOP primary?

  • Anon

    Yes it is way worse.

    By the way its funny to see all these spineless, opportunistic super delegates with the memory of a fly jump ship to obama.
    All the hypocrisy of the Democrat party is coming out.

  • The Obnoxious American

    REMF,

    Oh, was Bush at the debate too? Funny, I thought it was just Clinton and Obama debating.

  • http://www.intersportswire.com alessandro

    “Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person of our nation to be president and will help us to be better off than we have been, to end the war, and get the price of gas to a state that is once more affordable for all. Or make it obsolete as the energy of choice.”

    I’m not American but I see political garbage when I read it and this is pure rubbish.

    If this sort of talk passes for “change” God help the United States – and North America for that matter.

  • Clavos

    To all of you who insist on dangling Obama’s “lack of experience” as a reason not to elect him:

    We have had at least one President who assumed the job with virtually no experience whatever, during a period when the nation faced challenges at least as perilous (likely more so) as it faces today:

    George Washington.

  • Heloise

    Mighty funny the pundits agree with Heloise’s analysis…They read me then go on TV.

    Heloise