Democratic Debate XX: The Steamer in Cleveland

It begins at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC, and it will be one of two things: the start of Hillary Clinton's historic comeback or her final debate as a candidate for national office. Expectations, for the first time, are higher for Obama. For all the hubbub about Clinton's attacks and graceful exit line in the Texas debate, polls showed that voters think she lost it, badly: Texas voters who watched it swung hard against her. Clinton spent the weekend bashing Obama in Ohio, but today she backed off and her campaign pushed the argument that the media was rooting for her to lose. The goal, I'd guess is to stoke up some anti-Obama questioning from the Russert-Williams moderator tag team.

Conservo-blogging from Jim Geraghty here; liberalblogging from Sasha Belenky here. The Economist blogs it here.

9:06: Obama softly, so softly shivs Clinton on health care and her critique of his plan: "I dispute it. I think it is inaccurate."

9:08: Man, this is taking a while.

9:10: All this wonking on health care can't be good for Clinton: She has hit this argument in state after state, in (as Obama said) negative mail and robocalls, and the vote of Democrats who care about this has shifted to Obama anyway. She is convinced that her crushing defeat on this issue in 1994 gave her credibility for life. Voters: Less convinced.

9:14: Clinton defends her plan and its mandates: "Imagine if FDR made Social Security voluntary. Imagine if LBJ made Medicare voluntary." Yes, what a terrifying vison of a dystopian Earth-2 she crafts.

9:18: Clinton brings the funny: "If anyone saw Saturday Night Live, maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and if he needs another pillow." The crowd is so amused that it stays stone silent. (Does she really want people to wash a show where the guest host recommended Ohio votes for her because "bitches get things done?")

9:20: Woo-whee, here comes the trade restrictionist one-upping! Clinton has "always" been critical of NAFTA (remember when she strapped herself to her husband's desk and refused to let him sign the treaty?) and wants a trade pause.

9:21: Obama awkwardly unleashes some oppo: "When she was... running for the Senate, she said... NAFTA had been... on balance, good for New York and good for America. I disagree."

9:29: Good for Russert, citing trade facts to both candidates and trying to get them admit they're pandering to economic ignorance. Obama turns down the bait.

9:31: If I were Russert I'd hire a bodyguard. He smacks Hillary over the head with her 2000 pledge to create jobs in New York. Clinton responds that she thought Al Gore would win the presidency and create jobs with the force of will and a sword drawn from a stone.

9:34: There is no way, in these Democratic debates, to pin down Obama on his lack of experience. He pivots right to Iraq and fires at Clinton's kneecaps. And he's gotten better at doing so since John Edwards and his "Ahhhhhh was wraaahhng" schtick left the picture, taking up valuable contrasting space.

9:38: Clinton's tightened up her own answer, denying the "he's not ready to be commander-in-chief" soundbite, then kitchen-sinking Obama with everything she's been attacking him on vis-a-vis foreign policy.

9:40: "She was ready to give Bush the authority on day one." There's your soundbite. Goodnight, folks. (Not really. I'll be here for a while.)

9:42: "You can't have a debate with John McCain when you had basically the same position as him... until you started running for president." Hmmm...

9:43: Would Clinton skedaddle from Iraq if the people asked her to? "Absolutely." She makes another unheard-thus-far oppo attack, that Obama hasn't held Afghanistan oversight hearings.

9:45: There's probably not space in a debate to tease out Clinton's real foreign policy differences with Obama. She has the White House's ear; he doesn't. She was extremely Janus-faced about the surge. But she comes off as well as she possibly could talking about her specific (and forgotten) Senate initiatives.

9:54: Any time that video is shown is a bad time for Clinton. Sweet Buddah she sounds awful there. Dean-in-Iowa awful.

10:01: A little probing into Obama's campaign finance doubletalk: "You'll break your word," Russert says, and Obama doesn't disagree. He's right to stay out of the system but he absolutely shifted his position over the past year.

10:04: OK, if I was Russert I'd give Clinton a chance to bat around the public financing ball. Instead he piledrives her on tax returns.

10:08: Huh. Notice how Obama keeps looking away from Russert after each of this "what do you think of this asshole who supports you? When's the last time you shaved your head and drove your car into a bris?" questions.

10:11: I don't think these questions were good for Obama, but Russert packaged them in a friendly way, to let Obama explain his connections away. And he doesn't interrupt them.

10:15: That was surreal, Clinton's attempt to re-link Obama and Farrakhan by pointing out, hey, she's rejected anti-Semites full-out. I can't decide if Obama defused it by making it sound like she was parsing.

10:25: Obama loses the paleolibertarian vote, praising the Clinton administration's Eastern Europe policy, saying he'd handle Putin and his allies the same way.

10:26: Why. In the name of God. Would Clinton bring up Iraq in her closing answer? It's the third or fourth issue on the minds of Ohio voters. It's the issue that Obama owns her own. It's like she threw in the towel, walked into the ring, grabbed it, and threw it again.

10:29: And this is just weird: Obama is taking the long leash the moderates have given him and doing his own version of Clinton's closing answer from the Texas debate.

10:33: He closes weakly. I think he needs occasional bursts of applause to keep his solar panels charged.

MY TAKE: America loses. Obama waffled and swerved and sounded worse than I think he usually sounds. He was saved on the Farrakhan issue only when Clinton went overboard. He was saved on his closing only when Williams asked for another closing. Clinton sounded about the same as she did in Texas. (She hardly challenged him on "his tactics," the focus of her weird Saturday challenge for him to "meet me in Ohio.") Geraghty thinks the moderators sowed doubts among swing voters by asking about things Obama is never asked about. I'm inclined to agree but only if Clinton uses some of those revelations on the trail.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Lev Strauss||

    The Steamer in Cleveland? I really think it describes the substance of the upcoming debate rather well.

  • ||

    Hillary better go nuclear or its over for her.

  • Lev Strauss||

    Whenever they start talking about health care I get PIL's song "The Body" stuck in my head.

  • ||

    oh, Healthcare!

    Maybe Obama will mention his praise for Daschle's "Federal Reserve for Healthcare" bullshit?

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312383010/reasonmagazineA/

    Daschle proposes creating a Federal Health Board, similar to the Federal Reserve System, whose structure, functions and enforcement capability would be largely insulated from the politics and passion of the moment, in addition to a merging of employers' plans, Medicaid and Medicare with an expanded FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefits Program) that would cover everyone.

    "The American health-care system is in crisis, and workable solutions have been blocked for years by deeply entrenched ideological divisions. Sen. Daschle brings fresh thinking to this problem, and his Federal Reserve for Health concept holds great promise for bridging this intellectual chasm and, at long last, giving this nation the health care it deserves." -Senator Barack Obama (IL)

  • ||

    Four minutes in and I already want them to go fuck themselves.

  • icl||

    So far this sounds like a re-run of the Texas debate.

  • ||

    Hillary starts with her mailer complaint?

    Thud.

  • ||

    wtf. The headline wins the thread before anyone even posts? How is that fair?

  • ||

    Come on, libertarians, Clinton would force a mandate and Obama would make it voluntary.

    Anything?

  • ||

    Obama just trashed RomneyCare.

  • ||

    Come on, libertarians, Clinton would force a mandate and Obama would make it voluntary.



    Obama's plan is better. I'd also rather be given lethal injection than get the electric chair.

  • ||

    RomneyCare sucks. You've got people who can't afford health insurance AND are getting fined up here.

    Blow it up. Single payer.

  • ||

    Socialist A: I want to redistribute your income using method X.

    Socialist B: I want to redistribute your income too, but I want to use method Y.

  • ||

    I've been listening to you people too long.

    "If we don't get into universal health care, we'll never get into prevention."

    I know what that means, Hillary. Yikes.

  • ||

    If you think RomneyCare sucks because theres a mandate backed by force, you've taken your first step into a larger world joe.

    Now, if you would only want SS and Medicare to be voluntary as well...

  • ||

    Soma for all.

  • Ali||

    Did she just screw up? Did she just quote SNL!!!

  • ||

    It's a mandate backed by force that doesn't even get health care for poor people, Cesar. Social Security and Medicare do. Get it?

  • ||

    Hillary bashes the media. *yawn* I thought that was the domain of the GOP.

  • ||

    Hillary gets booed for feeling sorry for herself.

  • ||

    WTF is a "trade timeout?"

    I don't want a "trade timeout."

    I want labor and environmental standards in the deals, but what if she wants to fine me for not being able to afford health insurance during a trade timeout?

    Yikes, Hillary!

  • ||

    So joe, under Obama's plan, I wouldn't have to buy health insurance if I didn't want to right?

    But under Hillary's plan (RomneyCare federalized) I'd have to or be forced by the state right?

  • ||

    NAFTA is broken? whatever. Some of us prefer our mexican grown taco bell lettuce fertilized in good ol' human feces.

  • ||

    Re: Cesar's comment - Hillary referenced this at the last debate, quoting John Edwards as saying, "If SocSec and Medicare were voluntary, no one would use them" (that's right - because they suck). Perhaps she's taking steps into a larger world too.
    On another note, drinking every time Hillary says "Let's have a debate where..." is a bad idea.

  • ||

    Obama: I support labor and environmental standards, but my labor and environmental standards, unlike my esteemed opponent, have style.

    *Yay! Yay! Barack! Barack! Touch my baby!"

  • ||

    Third world countries can't afford to have labor and environmental standards, asshats.

    Thats like asking 1870s America to have year 2008 labor and environmental standards. We would have never industrialized.

    America and other first world countries have all kinds of advantages over developing countries. Wages aren't the only factor corporations consider.

  • Eric Dondero||

    There's yet another Obama photo that has just surfaced, ironically from the AP. This one is clearly more "Islamic" in nature than the first photo of Obama dressed in white robes. The first one could be written off as "American politician wearing silly clothes to appease the locals."

    This second one seems more serious.

    Little Green Footballs has it up on their site.

  • ||

    Eric, go away. The adults are talking.

  • Lev Strauss||

    Barack is going to walk the tight rope. He seems to be fixated on the living standards of people overseas than Ohio. Wait til we get to the part where Obama starts talking about foreign aid.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Driving around south Houston today, I saw a brand new Ron Paul sign, 2x4. It's white background, with red and blue lettering. The caption reads:

    Ron Paul for President
    HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRY

    Golly gee, wonder where he got that theme from?

  • ||

    Honestly, Cesar, I'm not a health care policy wonk anymore. As I understand it, Obama's plan would put you into the federal system if you don't buy health insurance and the taxpayers end up saving your sorry ass in an emergency room.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Cesar, go away, the real libertarians are talking.

  • ||

    Come on, libertarians, Clinton would force a mandate and Obama would make it voluntary.



    Somehow, since hes a quasi-protectionist, I find that very hard to believe.

    NAFTA has been a boon to Mexico and a boon to states here who don't rely on outdated industries.

  • ||

    Little Green Bigots can go fuck themselves. Except when they are working with "Cosmolibertarians" and the Daily KOS to smear people that frighten them.

  • Lev Strauss||

    Is Peden getting the "Dondero bump" that Rudy and Romney got?

  • ||

    Cesar,

    No one is proposing that trade deals with third-world countries include the labor and environmental standards in 2008 America.

    Where did you get that idea?

    In 2004, at one of the primary debates, John Kerry was asked, "Do you mean, we should ask them to adopt the American minimum wage?"

    He answered, "Well, we could ask." The audience laughed. "They'd say no."

    The idea that labor and environmental standards should be those of 21st century America is literally laughed at by Democratic primary debate audiences.

    Where DID you get that idea?

  • Dave Weigel||

    This one is clearly more "Islamic" in nature than the first photo of Obama dressed in white robes.

    No, it isn't. Obama is wearing a dashiki and a kufi hat. Charles Johnson is making an ass out of himself with this stuff.

  • ||

    Eric, I have many many differences on policy with Obama. However, anyone (like you) who buys into OMG OBAMA IS THE MANCHRIAN CANDIDATE!!!!!1`11 horseshit must have an IQ less than a bag of hammers. You don't deserve to be taken seriously anymore.

    Go away.

  • ||

    America and other first world countries have all kinds of advantages over developing countries. Wages aren't the only factor corporations consider.

    That was Al Gore's big point against Ross Perot. Remember the "Mexican telephone system" bit?

  • ||

    zOmG Obama should be killing brown people, not dressing like them!!11!11!!! What are we going to use our Depleted Uranium on now GUYZ!!??!? DA GAIZ!??!

  • ||

    Yes I do joe, and I liked Al Gore best for the way he crushed that insane 1920s-style protectionist in 1993. Its probably the only time in my life I cheered Al Gore.

  • ||

    No, it isn't. Obama is wearing a dashiki and a kufi hat.

    ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

    I don't think I've ever typed that before.

    I almost fell out of my chair! A freaking dashiki!

    We're not laughing WITH you, Eric.

  • ||

    Lets legislate some jobs

  • ||

    Pardon me but I resent that comment. I've done better to flatter myself. Now where is Dumbdero? I'm hungry.

  • ||

    Seriously, didn't Bush wear a skull cap in Israel? And didn't he wear Imperial Chinese robes in China?

    But no one thinks hes a secret Orthodox Jew or secret ChiCom.

  • ||

    Obama is good at turning criticism against the criticizer. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

  • ||

    If I don't convince America that the war in Iraq should go on for 100 years, I'm going to lose this election.

    Wait, can we do another take?

  • ||

    You know what I think about the war vote?

    I think George Bush lied even more in classified reports to Congress than he lied in public, and Hillary can't talk about it.

    Which pretty much f*cks her. Like NIxon in 60, when Kennedy attacked him on something China-related, and Nixon had to keep his mouth shut.

  • Chris||

    Hey there is another picture up on LGF of obama posing with none other than DON BLACK. Jamie kirchick is set to release a story in the next couple of days about Obama's bigotry, and then his supporters are going to act all shocked and shit even though if they had done ten minutes of reading or gone to a true believer leftist website, they would have already known about all of it when the frothing true believers bombard them with it. Hard to believe that they will be taken by surprise...

  • ||

    Oh wow. Obama just punched her in the gut.

    Unfortunately, it was just metaphorically.

  • ||

    You know what? Obama is hated by all the right people.

  • sine||

    Hillary just tried to make the argument that we don't know what Obama what have done if he was in the Senate during the run up to Iraq war. Sure, that argument appeals to a cynical libertarian like me, but probably turns off a lot of her, uh, actual constituents.

  • Chris||

    "But no one thinks hes a secret Orthodox Jew"

    Not so fast. This is the Internets. He could be a pagan reptillian zionist freemason sasquatch from 2012 neribu.

  • Lev Strauss||

    Joe,

    The polls had more influence than the "classified reports".

  • ||

    joe, I think you mean that Bush's lies about Iraq were the same as Bill Clinton's...thats why she can't talk about it.

  • Chris||

    Translation:

    The Military bases aren't going anywhere.

  • ||

    Lev Strauss,

    I believe that about a lot of Senators. John Kerry, to his eternal shame.

    But not Hillary. She believed in this shit.

    Cab, that doesn't even make sense.

  • ||

    My response if I were asked about Al Qaeda in Iraq:

    "I'd bomb the shit out of them, kill them all and send them to hell. But I wouldn't be involved in nation building. Basically "mission accomplished, don't make us return"".

  • sine||

    Russert with the "Iraq is going to disintegrate when we withdraw" nonsense. You know, this doomsday scenario that people always bring up sounds a lot like what was happening there during 2006 and 2007 when there were over 100,000 American troops there.

  • ||

    Kitchen sink was an understatement. Committee hearings? Really?

  • ||

    Translation:

    The Military bases aren't going anywhere.


    Hillary herself sponsored - not voted for, sponsored - the bill forbidding the administration from spending tax dollars on permanent bases.

    I don't think that's a fair charge.

  • ||

    From Sophie to Hillary, Worst video endorsement of the year.

    That song is now forever ruined.

  • ||

    Obama does a good job arguing for the policies of a non-imperialist Iraq policy. And he says "I want to change the mindset that got us into this war," so it seems pretty obvious that he has an operational worldview here.

    But he doesn't articulate it as a philosophy, as an alternative way of understanding what foreign affairs are about and how we should operate to the neo-conservative vision.

    Maybe he just doesn't have to yet, against Hillary, but he's going to have to against McCain.

  • ||

    She can't blame classified reports from Bush for her decision because those reports didn't change all that much from Bill's administration to Bush's.

  • Lev Strauss||

    joe,

    No way. That is just wishful thinking. That was all about Hillary getting National Security street cred. It was very clear back then what was happening. It was supposed to be Win win. If it ended up being Gulf War I she looks good, if not she has wiggle room. At the time there wasn't a prayer for any potential '08 antiwar democrat. Barack didn't come along until later. It was mere positioning.

  • chris||

    lol. But aren't terrorists "scary" and stuff?

    I'll believe that bases will start closing when I see it. So 3 down, 750+ to go? Or we will just rename them? How about "Happy Democracy (that's the brand) Humanitarian Fun Houses (for use in Africa)"?

  • ||

    Chris Potter, I'm glad you're here.

    On Sunday, in the Friday political thread, you mentioned that Doris Kearns Goodwin was on This Week with George Snuffaluphagus, answering questions about, of all things, the plagiarism charges.

    I answered that I couldn't believe Timmeh would have he on to talk about that, and you corrected me that she was on "Georgeh."

    Actually, she was on both. Yes, really.

    The two biggest political chat-show Sunday hosts both invited Doris Kearns Goodwin on to get her Very Serious Opinion about plagiarism. With her backstory.

    WTF?

  • ||

    I'm certainly not a Hillary supporter, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this debate has a pro-Obama leaning. A probama leaning, if you will.

    I don't like her whining about it, but she is right.

  • ||

    Cab | February 26, 2008, 9:51pm | #

    She can't blame classified reports from Bush for her decision because those reports didn't change all that much from Bill's administration to Bush's.


    Uh huh, what are you, Select Intel Committe staff?

    Their public pronouncements sure changed.

  • ||

    It will be interesting to see, in a month, who the media favors more--McCain or Obama?

    Two media favorites going head-to-head. Should be interesting.

  • ||

    those reports didn't change all that much from Bill's administration to Bush's.

    That would certainly be a problem if it was true, because the actual situation with Saddam Hussein's WMD programs - the ones that existed during most of the Clinton administration, and didn't exist by the time George Bush was sworn in - changed quite a bit.

  • ||

    I think George Bush lied even more in classified reports to Congress than he lied in public

    You and me together, evidently. Unless you have better information than I do, of course.

  • ||

    With all the hullabaloo about NAFTA, has either candidate ever voted against a free trade provision? Ever?

  • ||

    Lev Strauss,

    If it's wishful thinking, what's my angle?

    If you go back through the record from the run-up to the AUMF vote, Hillary Clinton was making the case for attacking Iraq in a principled, articulate manner that people like John Kerry were not.

    Go back and compare their speeches the day before the vote. One of these people believes in the war, and one of them doesn't.

  • ||

    OK, Cab.

    My ass is done talking to your ass.

    :-)

  • sine||

    I think they are both lifting lines directly from John Edwards.

  • ||

    Wow, Obama finally came up with a comeback to "You need a fighter, not a dreamer."

    "Hillary, when you fight with people...it's off-putting. Maybe that's why you failed."

    BAM!

  • ||

    No, Barack Obama did not promise to accept public financing.

    He promised to seek an agreement with the Republican. He did not promise to unilaterally disarm.

  • ||

    I'm glad you understood that post...I accidentally deleted a portion of a sentence while rearranging it. I figured you'd still get it.

  • ||

    So, Hillary is simultaneously arguing that she should get credit for her 35 years of experience in politics, but you can't hold any of her screwups during that time against her 'cause maybe Obama would have screwed up too.

    I'd like to say she can't have it both ways, but I've seen it done before.

    Oh yeah, joe, I got back to you on that already. Unbelievable, I agree.

  • ||

    We're simpatico in our mutual scorn, Cab. It's a beautiful thing.

  • ||

    Ew, why is she shilling her website. That's tacky.

  • Ali||

    My ass is done talking to your ass.

    Never mention the word "ass" in a thread involving HRC. Certainly not twice in the same sentence.

  • ||

    RE: that UFC-ish clip:

    Fuuuuuuuck!

  • Ali||

    Damn you Russert. He's doing the same thing on Obama as he did with Paul.

  • ||

    Barack, are you a scary black man?

    Tim, you suck.

  • Ali||

    Screw you russert. screw you!

  • ||

    Seriously, Barack, do you go to one of those scary black churches? America needs to know.

  • ||

    Russert: You are a scary black Muslim and you hate Jews. What assurances do we have that you won't nuke Israel?

  • ||

    Please tell us about the fact that you don't hate Jews

  • ||

    Don't pussy-foot around, Barack. Go right at Timmeh. Tell him his question sucks.

    Hillary plinked Wold Blitzer two debates ago.

  • Lev Strauss||

    "Go back and compare their speeches the day before the vote. One of these people believes in the war, and one of them doesn't."

    Go back and read our previous posts. One of these people believe in the political rhetoric of a politician, and one of them doesn't.

  • ||

    Hillary to Obama's defense?

  • ||

    You tell us you like Jewish people, but someone who doesn't like Jewish people, likes you.

    Does this mean you are a Musselman?

  • ||

    Don't like Tim Russert much joe?

  • ||

    Or not.

  • ||

    There's a difference between denouncing and rejecting.

    Seriously, you probably didn't know that. But it's really fucking important.

  • ||

    Timmeh!

  • ||

    This is stupid.

  • Ali||

    He did well. He did well.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    There's a difference between denouncing and rejecting.

    Seriously, you probably didn't know that. But it's really fucking important.


    Even if there is, whats more important is that Hillary looked bad by pointing it out. She should have kept her mouth shut.

  • Ali||

    Obama is supported by Farakhan so he must be a Muslim, Jew hating, antisemitic person.

    Oh, wait, by that logic, Hillary must be a woman since she's supported by so any women. Who would have thought?

  • Bar||

    Where'd Eric Dondero go? C'mon Eric, say something stupid again! Yer funny!

  • Lev Strauss||

    There going to do the same thing to Obama that they did to Ron Paul in the general with this supporter stuff. Every time Farakhan or some Nation of Islam supporter says something you will hear about it. Then you have the stuff about his religion. Then next you know those Black Israelis you find preaching in city streets will be supporting Obama. Rejection doesn't mean much to the people that will change their vote over this kind of stuff. Not really issue oriented voters we are talking about, they see both parties and try to figure out which crowd they fit in.

  • ||

    From Jim Geraghty:

    Obama is saying all the right things, but I wonder how many voters are wondering, "If Farrakhan likes him, what don't I know about Obama that may have spurred that support?"

    More than there would have been without your racist magazine, jerk.

  • ||

    Oh, wait, by that logic, Hillary must be a woman since she's supported by so any women. Who would have thought?

    That's sexist and offensive and I denounce and reject it.

  • ||

    I denounce it, but do not explicitly reject it.

    Wait, switch that.

  • Ali||

    Adamness, huh?

  • Mad Toothfish||

    "There going to do the same thing to Obama that they did to Ron Paul in the general with this supporter stuff."

    Crap! What's in HIS newsletters?????

  • ||

    Adamness, huh?

    I denounce and reject that question.

  • Ali||

    Adamness, oh, I get your joke now (duh). I really did think I crossed a line that I would morally not stand up for.

    I, too, reject and denounce sexism.

  • ||

    I reject the question, but retain the option of denouncing it or not.

  • ||

    Jes' kiddin'! I totally denounce it.

  • ||

    That NOI question was pretty tough for Obama.

  • Ali||

    Which one is it? Does have nuclear ambitions, or not?

  • Ali||

    insert "iran" where you see fit (in the sentence that is!)

  • ||

    Oooh, the two of them sound like I did when I had to do a report on a book I didn't read.

  • ||

    That NOI question was pretty tough for Obama.

    The McCain campaign is polling different racist lines of attack to see which ones would and would not spark blowback. So, Timmeh with the assist.

  • ||

    I doubt either of them know much about Russia

  • ||

    I doubt either of them know much about Russia

    Yeah, but in fairness, how many of us know about those small countries in South America?

  • ||

    Ahaha Obama is trying to do a moment like Hillary did. That takes balls.

  • Lev Strauss||

    If you want to know Obama's foreign policy read up on Zbiniew Brzezinski's stuff. His new book "Second Chance" is a great place to start and on that very topic. That is who will be making decisions on the matter.

  • Vice President Clinton||

    See, Obama sings my praises!

  • racist||

    does Obama smoke menthols?
    is joe drinking malt liqour?

  • yoshi||

    @lev strauss

    The difference is that Ron Paul didn't have a chance before the newsletter issue came up.

  • Biff||

    yoshi,

    Northside?

  • ||

    joe,

    I thought a McCain-Obama race was going to be ultra-clean?

  • ||

    Well those small countries in South America don't have a whole pile of nuclear weapons. Though to be fair, I don't know much about Russia.

  • ||

    Sooo, did this push Obama ahead in Texas and/or Ohio?

  • ||

    When asked to talk about Clinton, Obama pivoted to talk about McCain.

    Hillary isn't going to be so demure. Just watch.

  • Lev Strauss||

    yoshi,

    I was not talking about chances, I was talking about tactics, but I don't see how the tactics discussed could ever make the target's chances greater than before the charges have been made.

  • WJC||

    "Sooo, did this push Obama ahead in Texas and/or Ohio?"

    Sadly, yes.

  • ||

    Chris,

    No, just relatively.

    "The cleanest campaign in 20 years" - my words - isn't setting the bar very high.

  • ||

    So you admit McCain won't run a clean campaign joe? I thought you said it was going to be the cleanest in the last generation!

  • ||

    Eric Dondero,

    It shouldn't matter if Obama wore Muslim attire or even if he was or is a Muslim. Other than his fine stance on the war and perhaps a couple of civil liberties issues, his positions suck. No, not as bad as Clinton's suck on some of em but still, they suck. These are legitimate things to attack him on. Even the politically unscrupulous don't need to resort to religious bigotry.

  • ||

    Ha, prebuttal. Love those.

  • Cutler||

    "I thought you said it was going to be the cleanest in the last generation!"

    As any sociologist will tell you, these days, a generation is about three months.

  • ||

    "Now it's time for the audience to respond."

    Cue.

    "Woo-hoo! Woo!"

  • ||

    Nope, Hillary didn't take the bait, either.

  • ||

    I kinda feel sorry for Hillary. I assume this is her last debate.

  • ||

    Nice kickboxing video.

  • ||

    joe:

    The McCain campaign is polling different racist lines of attack to see which ones would and would not spark blowback.

    That's a joke-right?

  • Lev Strauss||

    McCain will seem to run a clean campaign. All the nasty stuff will be coming out through surrogates not connected to the official campaign. McCain can reject anything other people say, but this has the potential to get very bad. It doesn't matter if McCain explicitly rejects it, it made it in print, radio, internet, and television.

  • Andrew Revard||

    Hearing Clinton and Obama talk about Medvedev and Kosovo was painstaking. Are these not the candidates who crucify Bush for not obeying the UN? Kosovo's independence violates UN Resolution 1244. I believe the ineptidtude of both candidates (McCain also) on foreign policy makes them unqualified to be president. On top of that, do not get me started on them discussing NAFTA.

  • ||

    It's a joke, Rick. I don't know if the campaign is doing that or not. There are polling outfits that are doing that.

    There are a lot of ambitious self-starters out there.

  • Cindi||

    "McCain will seem to run a clean campaign. All the nasty stuff will be coming out through surrogates not connected to the official campaign."

    You don't think they don't see that strategy didn't work for Clinton???

  • ||

    "Who won the debate? Text your question"

    Ron Paul.

  • ||

    *answer

  • ||

    Are these not the candidates who crucify Bush for not obeying the UN

    No, they're the candidates who crucify Bush for handling it poorly. The UN isn't divine. But it's there.

    I won't get you started on NAFTA. Promise.

  • Chris Matthews||

    I am a human laxative!

  • ||

    "Imagine if FDR made Social Security voluntary"

    Jesus Haploid Christ.

    Does that blithering twat actually think that's an argument for HER side?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Joe do you really think Obama is ready for the Swift Boat people?

  • ||

    "read up on Zbiniew Brzezinski's stuff"

    Wasn't he the genius who told Carter to go ahead and let the Shah into the USA for cancer treatments?

    -jcr

  • Clean||

    "Joe do you really think Obama is ready for the Swift Boat people?"

    I had no idea obama served in vietnam. e must have been like nine. Goddamn I hated that war.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Rick, are you aware that Obama is a big supporter of murderous dictator Raila Odinga in Kenya? Probably not, since the liberal MSM has completely covered up the story of his 2006 visit to Northeast Africa. Obama rallied for Odinga, and proudly supported his Party. Odinga, a hardcore Marxist and radical Islamic supporter, is largely credited with the recents ethnic cleansing and the murders of thousands of Christians of the Kikuya tribe. And Obama campaigned for the guy.

    Taken alone, Obama wearing North African Muslim garb seems harmless. But you need to understand this in context. It was on his "Unity Tour of Africa in 2006" to support Odinga.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Full story on Obama's ties to Raila Odinga, and his trip to Kenya in 2006 at www.worldwideliberty.blogspot.com

    Note - the NY Post covered this story two weeks ago, (linked at Worldwide Liberty). So, we're not just talking Blogosphere rumors here.

  • Avenue D||

    "Note - the NY Post covered this story two weeks ago, (linked at Worldwide Liberty). So, we're not just talking Blogosphere rumors here."

    Ah yes, the New York Post.

  • Lev Strauss||

    "You don't think they don't see that strategy didn't work for Clinton???"

    This is a Democratic Primary. Smaller pool of voters and smaller pool of things that you can go after. They play the supporters game through the surrogates and they attack him on a whole list of issues through both. With primaries you're fighting with one hand behind your back.

    McCain can fight for Latinos, get the Dems that "can't" vote for Obama. You might even pick up the city suburbs if you take Lieberman on the road. Obama can be easily defeated, this primary has been a joke. He hasn't been vetted...yet.

    That being said I must add the disclaimer that I think McCain would be a horrible President, especially because of his Teddy Roosevelt fetish. He has no regard for jurisdiction.

  • ||

    Full story on Obama's ties to Raila Odinga, and his trip to Kenya in 2006 at

    Aren't they cousins or something?

    "Never take sides against the family!"

  • Andrew Revard||

    McCain is already using dirty tactics on Obama. Do you think he was unaware of Cunningham's use of those terms to describe Obama? Maybe I am too cynical--please do not preach to me Obama--, but I am certain McCain knew something would happen. I am not upset about it, but McCain knew.

    Not only is Brzezinski the genius who let Shah Pahlavi in the US, he was also the genius behind arming the mujaheddin and relinquishing control over the Panama Canal.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Cesar, I don't think Obama is the Manchurian candidate. He's an out-in-the-open Radical Islamist. Do you know anything about Raila Odinga? He's Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Idi Ammin all roled up into one. This is the guy responsible for jamming hundreds of Christian worshipers into a church, and then lighting it on fire, killing every one of them. And those who tried to escape out of the windows were promptly machete'd by his henchmen.

    This occured only weeks ago. The drive by media gave it about one day of coverage.

    And Obama campaigned for this guy to be President of Kenya in 2006.

    Obama's older brother in Kenya is one of the leaders in the Radical Islamic movement in Northeast Africa aligned with Odinga.

    And Obama just two days ago, got the enthusiastic backing of Nation of Islam leader Lous Farrakhan.

    Obama's "Church" pastor is a follower of Farrakhan's and just praised him last Sunday in his sermon.

    There's nothing "Manchurian" about Obama's ties to Radical Islam. He is an openly Radical Islamist.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Full story on Obama's ties to Raila Odinga, and his trip to Kenya in 2006 at www.worldwideliberty.blogspot.com

    Note - the NY Post covered this story two weeks ago, (linked at Worldwide Liberty). So, we're not just talking Blogosphere rumors here.


    Hey guys, to prove Obama is bad, here is a link to a site where every article is written by yours truly.

  • ||

    There's nothing "Manchurian" about Obama's ties to Radical Islam. He is an openly Radical Islamist.

    lulz

  • Eric Dondero||

    Adamness, sort of. Odinga claims to be a second cousin of Obama's. Obama has not denied it, but some of his other relatives brushed it off recently saying that in villages in Kenya, "everybody is a cousin by blood in one way or another."

    Basically, they were conceding the point, that Odinga was indeed a cousin of Obama, and that he wasn't lying. But at the same time, trying to make light of it.

  • tarran||

    Initially, social security was essentially voluntary. Initially, half the U.S. workfroce was exempt from participating. It wasn't made mandatory until the 1950's as the list of exempted professions was whittled down to nothing.

    The Amish managed to win an exemption by pointing out their religion forbid them from purchasing insurance.

  • Usama Bin Laden||

    I officially support Barack Obama for POTUS.

  • ||

    She hardly challenged him on "his tactics," the focus of her weird Saturday challenge for him to "meet me in Ohio."

    You're right, she didn't go after him on that at all.

    Geraghty thinks the moderators sowed doubts among swing voters by asking about things Obama is never asked about. Yes, there's Jews. And, um, Muslims. Jim Geraghty probably thinks Obama's really screwed now.

    Cesar, yes, Obama should be able to dispatch that kind of attack pretty easily.

  • ||

    "Imagine if FDR made Social Security voluntary"

    Jesus Haploid Christ.

    Does that blithering twat actually think that's an argument for HER side?



    She probably figures that she is preaching to the choir, ie. a bunch of left-wing, socialist Democrats. To them it likely is an argument for her side.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

  • ||

    OK, the loonies have officially turned their attention to Barack Obama.

  • ||

    Click 'n' Learn,

    Yeah, that's pretty scary. I'm totally against security AND prosperity. Way to go, you've convinced me.

  • ||

    Dondero, is there anything or anybody you don't hate?

  • Eric Dondero||

    Your mom!

  • ||

    Andrew R.,

    McCain is already using dirty tactics on Obama. Do you think he was unaware of Cunningham's use of those terms to describe Obama?

    I think he knew there would be right-wing lunacy, but there's an odd tolerance for a great deal of right-wing lunacy. The GOPers seem to be operating blind when it comes to figuring out what's acceptable and what's doing to be trouble.

  • ||

    That's a pretty good mom joke.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Cesar:

    Joe do you really think Obama is ready for the Swift Boat people?



    joe:

    Cesar, yes, Obama should be able to dispatch that kind of attack pretty easily.



    Obama, so far, has kind of deflected every attack easily. I'm not sure if it's just that the attacks haven't been that good, or that he's good at what he does (at least this seems like its true), or maybe that his likability prevents anything from sticking to him. Maybe it's something else...it certainly seems true that the Republicans (and the Clintons) don't seem to have found something that really works against him.

    What was it that they called Reagan again?

  • srsly?||

    "Rick, are you aware that Obama is a big supporter of murderous dictator Raila Odinga in Kenya? Probably not, since the liberal MSM has completely covered up the story of his 2006 visit to Northeast Africa. Obama rallied for Odinga, and proudly supported his Party. Odinga, a hardcore Marxist and radical Islamic supporter, is largely credited with the recents ethnic cleansing and the murders of thousands of Christians of the Kikuya tribe. And Obama campaigned for the guy."

    Can we find what's wrong with this?

    1) You can't be a dictator when you don't run the country. Odinga lost the recent presidential election.

    2) Odinga is not a Muslim.

    3) Odinga is accused of inciting the tribal killings by the government he opposes, but he hasn't been convicted, so I'd hold off on making any judgements. Unless of course you don't believe in the American concept of innocent until proven guilty. Proven being the key word there.

  • ||

    "The drive by media gave it about one day of coverage."

    Awesome. Dondero is now stealing catch phrases from Rush Limbaugh. You're a true libertarian, Dondero! Mega dittos, you shit-brained waste of flesh!

  • Andrew Revard||

    I agree. I know McCain wants to win over the talk radio hosts, but Cunningham is neither influential nor prominent. The only thing I am certain of is my tepid support of McCain is diminishing by the second.

  • ||

    Wow, I've never really looked at these "North American Union" conspiracy sites before. What a laugh riot! Seriously, has there been a single speech by any president, ever, that DIDN'T include the words "security" and "prosperity!?"

    What an ingenious conspiracy. Their code phrase is something that they WOULD HAVE SAID ANYWAY, even if they weren't in on the conspiracy! Brilliant! Man, it's a good thing we have these amazing decoder theorists to come in and point out what we would have missed.

  • Nephilium||

    Ah... and to think, I passed up a chance to buy tickets to this debate...

    Of course at $2,000 I didn't think it would be worth it...

    Nephilium

  • Andrew Revard||

    This debate was more entertaining than Klitscho vs Ibragimov; talk about a waste of time and money.

  • Jennifer||

    Watching Dondero try to make a point is like watching an incontinent dog try to mark its territory.

  • ||

    Again, Dondero, one thing going for Obama is that he is hated by all the right people. Let that roll around in your small, pea-sized brain for a while.

  • ||

    9:14: Clinton defends her plan and its mandates: "Imagine if FDR made Social Security voluntary. Imagine if LBJ made Medicare voluntary."

    So, in the coming election, we're going to have a choice between the Bush administration on steroids, and an out and out socialist (Obama isn't sounding any better than Clinton, either).

    We are so doomed.

    At this point, I'd welcome Bill Clinton back with open arms....

  • Andrew Revard||

    The thing that makes me timorous about supporting Obama is the fact he is more to the left than Bernie Sanders. If McCain hammers this home during the general, he may have a pugilist's chance.

  • ||

    The thing that makes me timorous about supporting Obama is the fact he is more to the left than Bernie Sanders. If McCain hammers this home during the general, he may have a pugilist's chance.



    My friend, I'll hammer on this. My friend I promise you. I will, my friend.

  • Kolohe||

    Watching this on the replay and their's already a factual error

    Ohio is not the leader in # of presidents, virginia is. (Va - 8 Oh - 7) Are Wiki and the Commonwealth's public school system failing me?

    Unless they're cheating by claiming the first five born before Va became a state.

  • Kolohe||

    I blame my theirthey'rethere problem on my grammar. She was passed away peacefully a few years ago so she can't help me anymore

  • *||

    have any of you reason dipshits ever heard of Ron Paul? oh yeah, the newsletters. oh well, down we go.

  • ||

    Kolohe-

    Virginia has the greatest number of Presidents born in this great Commonwealth.

    But Ohio has the greatest number of Presidents who lived there at the time of their election.

  • ||

    unfortunately for Eazy E's sake, his strat depends on American paleolibs giving three quarters of a fuck about Kenya. Me, I'm betting on hard eight before that

  • Kolohe||

    Ah, mahalo Jules

  • ||

    Cleveland Steamers... sounds like a good name for pretty much any of Cleveland's teams.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

    Brian24 (bmmcmahon *at* yahoo.com) is obviously trying to mislead above. The issue isn't that Obama used the words "security" and "prosperity". The issue is that he used them twice together and in the same article in which he referenced - just not by name - meetings involving the "security" and "prosperity" group. One would have to be an absolute fool not to realize he was sending a message.

  • Dwayne Mayor||

    "Hillary Rodham Clinton, ready on day one...for George Bush's disastrous war." - Presidential Nominee Mr. Senator Barack Obama

  • GG||

    9:14: Clinton defends her plan and its mandates: "Imagine if FDR made Social Security voluntary. Imagine if LBJ made Medicare voluntary." Yes, what a terrifying vision of a dystopian Earth-2 she crafts.

    Imagine if "Harry Truman" wanted to make his proposed national health insurance plan voluntary.

    Oh wait...

  • Kolohe||

    This is the someteenth debate in a row where 'there have been no rules'

    I think the medium would do better with restoring a little more structure. It would have definitely helped Clinton. Because without rules, the timing is entirely up to the mods arbitrary decisions. And they did seem biased against Clinton tonight.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    MY TAKE: America loses.

    Drink!

    And I think David Enchilada is the next American Idol.

  • ||

    Brian24 (bmmcmahon *at* yahoo.com) is obviously trying to mislead above. The issue isn't that Obama used the words "security" and "prosperity". The issue is that he used them twice together and in the same article in which he referenced - just not by name - meetings involving the "security" and "prosperity" group. One would have to be an absolute fool not to realize he was sending a message.

    Well, I guess that makes me an absolute fool. Not the first time, won't be the last.

    These websites are also claiming, of course, that Bush is pushing for the same North American Union. Now, near as I can tell, Bush has been in office for 7 years now. This is one slow goddamn conspiracy, wouldn't you say? When is their target date for completion? Did they mention that in their coded speeches?

  • ||

    He's an out-in-the-open Radical Islamist.

    That's a lie, and you know it, don't you?

    There's plenty to knock Obama for without making shit up.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The Amish managed to win an exemption by pointing out their religion forbid them from purchasing insurance.

    I want to know how to go about asserting that exemption. If the Amish are able to opt-out, then we all can, because the establishment clause makes it unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of religion.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Hillary herself sponsored - not voted for, sponsored - the bill forbidding the administration from spending tax dollars on permanent bases.

    Here is the unintended consequence of that bill: US soldiers in Iraq live in tents that are dirty, hot in summer/cold in winter, and completely vulnerable to mortars, rockets, BB guns and anything else the bad guys want to use against them.

    By the way, I assume the consequences were unintended by Hillary.

  • ||

    Intrade says Obama won that debate.

    Also, when Donderooooo calls himself a 'real libertarian' it makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Hey Donderoooo, does this sound familiar? "Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

  • tarran||

    John C Randolph,

    I got bad news for you, babe.

    Only a handful of religions that were around at the time the law was amended were permitted to opt out. For some reason the Feds were really specific that no "new" religion would be permitted to opt out.

    Also, there was some language making it difficult for converts to the religion from gaining the exemption.

    The exemption was hard won too: The Feds made a disastrous propaganda mistake that triggerred the original court case and a hostile jury: the Amish guy who they decided to make an example of had no bank account to garnish, so the Feds raided his farm and confiscated his plow-horses. So in essence, to force him to pay for insurance against the event that he was no longer able to support himself, they essentially took away his ability to earn a living. Had the feds not acted so outrageously, there probably would be no exemption today.

  • ||

    This is the best thing I have ever seen! http://www.spymac.com/details/?2347210

  • Firmalar||

    Obama just trashed RomneyCare...

  • ||

    Sign me up for "absolute fool."

    He said "security and prosperity" in a debate? And then he said it again? What more could a person need?

    Those crafty Kenyan Islamists, always with the North American Union!

  • ||

    Here is the unintended consequence of that bill: US soldiers in Iraq live in tents that are dirty, hot in summer/cold in winter, and completely vulnerable to mortars, rockets, BB guns and anything else the bad guys want to use against them.

    See, and here I was, thinking that was the INTENDED consequence of not ending the war.

    You know where they could stay that would be totally safe from mortars, rockets, BB guns, and anything else? The United States. You know, like the withdrawal bill Clinton voted for?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I didn't watch the debate (the WW2 in the Pacific week programs on the Military channel are much more interesting than listening to two socialist twits), but I happened to hear one of the commenters after the debate mention that Clinton has said that she thinks health care is a Constitutonal right.

    Does anyone know if she actually said that?

  • some dude||

    I'm looking forward to tomorrow's debate.

  • ||

    "but I happened to hear one of the commenters after the debate mention that Clinton has said that she thinks health care is a Constitutonal right."

    It is such a right that under Thunder Thigh's plan, we are forced to have it whether we want it or not.

  • Robert Johnson||

    2/27/08

    Hillary needs to THROW one more thing.

    Her support to Barack Obama.

    Would be nice if she actually answered the questions instead of : I'm going to do what I want and talk about healthcare.

  • ||

    I don't know, some of those questions deserve to be ignored.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

    Clearly, both Brian24 (bmmcmahon *at* yahoo.com) and joe are intellectually dishonest. As for joe, my link above doesn't involve a debate, it involves an opinion piece the candidate wrote. It also involves him - as I stated above - using those two words together twice in the same article in which he referenced - just not by name - meetings involving the "security" and "prosperity" group. Just read that over until you understand it.

    As for the "conspiracy theory" side of things, I highly recommend this video, and it's not even one of mine. It juxtaposes our leaders mocking conspiracy theorists with a Canadian government official hyping the supposed conspiracy.

    Just watch that video and do your research, and then you won't trust people like joe or brian24 again.

  • ||

    That's such a tacky headline. Even by the benighted standards of Reason.com.

    It demonstrates nothing so much as David Weigel's incomprehensible douchebaggery. Thanks, but a overview of how frat-boys watch candidate debates isn't really worth much.

  • ||

    I don't think my question deserves to go unanswered: Why are Obama and Clinton racing to say NAFTA sucks when neither has voted against a free trade agreement? Oh, Ohio and unions.

  • ||

    Believe it or not, LoneWacko, I wasn't talking about your dumb-ass questions. I was talking about the dumb-ass questions coming out of Timmeh's mouth last night.

    Timmeh!

  • ||

    You want our oil?

    Better not mess with NAFTA

    Free trade is good for everyone

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement