Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Live-blogging the Ohio debate

Pizza’s on the way...

6:12 p.m. (Pacific Time) – More hair-splitting on their health-care plans. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

But Obama interestingly accused the Clinton campaign of a barrage of negative attacks throughout the campaign. “We haven’t whined about it,” he said, “because that’s the nature of these campaigns.” Implying that Hillary has been “whining” the past couple of days.

Hillary didn’t rise to this bait. ...

6:20 p.m. – Oh shit, here’s news! Brian Williams asks Hillary about NAFTA. And Hillary starts out complaining about getting the first question all the time!

Then she brought up “Saturday Night Live” – oh yes she did! – and said, “Maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow.”


6:43 p.m. – Hillary threw a left jab on foreign policy: “Last summer, he basically threatened to bomb Pakistan.” Obama responded with a half-snicker.

We’re hearing a lot of what we’ve heard before – on NAFTA, on Iraq. None of this is going to change the game any. And Obama seems sharp and unflappable. ...

6:51 p.m. – Clinton finally landed a clean punch. She said Obama talks about the U.S. needing to do more in Afghanistan... but on the subcommittee he chairs within the Foreign Relations Committee, Obama has held no oversight hearings on Afghanistan.

Obama had to admit that that’s true. The reason? Because he’s been running for president for the past 15 months. Not the most impressive reply. ...

7:19 p.m. – Well... more news. Russert brought up Minister Louis Farrakhan’s recent words of praise for Obama. Russert asked Obama flat-out: “Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?”

In the minutes that followed, Obama was more uncomfortable than I’ve seen him in recent debats. “I have been very clear in my denunciations of [Farrakhan] and his past statements,” Obama said. And he declared his support for Israel, and boasted of the Jewish support he has in this campaign.

Then Hillary said that Obama should go farther and “reject” Farrakhan’s support. “There’s a difference between denouncing and rejecting,” Clinton said. Obama smiled weirdly. And then Obama meandered to a point of saying, basically, if the word “reject” is so important to Hillary, “then I denounce and reject.”

I can’t wait to see this hashed out during the post-game analysis, because Obama was clearly off-balance during this exchange. ...

7:46 p.m. – We’re into the analysis now. NBC White House correspondent David Gregory says that Obama actually “defused the issue” of Farrakhan, and avoided a trap set by Hillary with her insistence that he “reject” Farrakhan’s support.

I don’t know about that. We will see. ...

7:59 p.m. – Oowee, Jesse Jackson’s gonna be on in the next hour. Can’t wait to hear what he has to say about the Farrakhan moment, being that he got tangled up with that “tar baby” 24 years ago. ...

8:22 p.m. – Well, Bro. Jesse can thank Bill O’Reilly for giving him the “Get Out of Jail Free” card vis-à-vis Farrakhan. Because as soon as Chris Matthews brought up Farrakhan, Jackson slammed O’Reilly for his “lynching party” remark about Michelle Obama... and for how those words created an “atmosphere of danger.”

On the night overall, Jackson gave Hillary points for foreign-affairs expertise, gave Obama points for his rhetoric on trade, and spanked them both for not mentioning the home-foreclosure crisis.

Matthews also asked Jackson: “Who’s the better speaker, you or Obama?” Jackson smiled and said, “Barack.”

8:57 p.m. – I’m done. Good night, all.


Mes Deux Cents said...


I'll be checking out your live blogging. I don't have cable!

Thanks in advance.

Undercover Black Man said...

Welcome, MDC!

cuz said...

I don't have cable either. I'm getting ever 2nd and 3rd word from the Live streaming on msnbc. I think I heard a booo! on yet another flubbed punch line from Senator Clinton - Saturday Night Live ref. I'll be checking back and forth on this site between buffs (that's buffering).

teresa said...

hey... it's teresa from your old gig... posting for the first time. i didn't want to watch this debate--too nerve-wracking. but my husband is making me watch it, so i thought i'd check in here. hilary is driving me nuts. is it just me? or does she sound like she's losing it?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Health care: a draw. But not a draw in the good sense. Neither plan is as good a single-payer health care. The insurance companies probably love Clinton's plan because mo' money, mo' money, mo' money.

I don't like either person's health care plan. They suck.

Now, Nader and Kucinich advocate single-payer health care, which is where it's at. I think if you told the American people that "universal" health care doesn't equal "single-payer" health care they might feel the way I do.

For clarification, mandated health care is similar to what we have now with auto insurance. You gotta have it. Which means you gotta pay for it. Barack did a very good job isolating the fact that mandatory health care raises questions of fundage for people who can't afford it, and enforcement penalties for people who can't afford it.

Bottom-line: both plans are a fuckery because you're forcing people to buy something they may not be able to afford. Real reform is providing it to everyone, no questions asked.

Dougfp said...

Barack says Hillary is whining and Hillary promptly whines about always getting the first question. Is this even true? She looks ridiculous making this point.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

NAFTA: another draw even though Hillary came out a little shrill and trivial before she even started answering the question.

NAFTA - a treaty, isn't that a novel concept under the current Administration?

Perot was correct about NAFTA -"that giant sucking sound."

The questioners actually won the round cuz they scored a knockdown. 2-point round.

NAFTA is fucked up. It directly resulted in the "immigration problem" folks whine about.

NAFTA helped only the multinationals. It fucked people on both sides of the borders.

Dougfp said...

Is Tim Russert the biggest idiot in news or what? Hillary's right. He's always asking for definitive answers to compound hypothetical questions, then acting like this is the height of tough journalism.

Malcolm said...

you could play a drinking game, doing a shot everytime Hillary tries to turn a question into a comment about obama.

Short of her accidently dropping the "n word", I can't see her doing any worse.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Job creation: Hillary wasn't bad on this question. Obama didn't get a chance to answer it.

But again, no specifics.

I would've to heard Kucinich or Nader take that question on.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Foreign policy experience: First home run of the night.

Advantage Obama so far.

I feel like Harold Lederman during an HBO boxing match.

"Jim, I got Obama slightly ahead. He's danced around the ring up to this point. But in this round, he used his jab effectively. 10-9, Obama. And Jim, I think he's starting to loosen up in this fight."

DeAngelo Starnes said...

War in Iraq: "Jim, knockdown, Barack! She led with her chin! Big mistake. Barack looked like he was ready for it. He got back on his back and then leaned on his front and hit her with a perfect shot to the chin. Clean shot, Jim!"

"Judge Russert came back with a shot of his own though. Barack was a little more cautious in his approach."

"This is confusing to me, Jim! Who is boxing?"

"I have Barack ahead by three points. Hillary is losing steam early, Jim!"

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Did you fall asleep during Hillary's response to the war?

Dougfp said...

The idea that candidates should release their tax returns is more Russert idiocy.

And why does Obama talk of giving away his huge financial advantage over McCain? I'd like him to be a little less Boy Scout on this.

Russert just brought up Farrakan! What a putz.

teresa said...

russert is baiting him with this farrakhan mess. i like barack's response, though.

teresa said...

"there's a difference between rejecting and denouncing." aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Would someone tell me what Obama said about Farrakhan?

Kismet said...

I'm tuning in UBM! Keep on truckin!

Mes Deux Cents said...



cuz said...

Even though I got probably 40% of the Farrakhan exchange on the stream, Barry did appear uncomfortalbe in that moment. Apparently he got his toe caught in that trap.
But here's an interesting link from Daily Kos about the candidates' activities in the Senate in 2007

DeAngelo Starnes said...

If you're into boxing, you know that there are certain opponents that just are bad for you. Ali beat Foreman, but Foreman killed Frazier. Frazier was a tough opponent for Ali. Brought out the best in him.

Barack is that opponent for Clinton. She's not a bad candidate when you see her present herself. Barack is just better.

"Jim, Barack has taken control of this fight. He's just too poised. While he's not scoring knockdowns at this point. He's controlling the tempo. Hillary is flailing at him. She keeps missing while Obama sits back blocks her shots and hits her with tough shots. It's almost as if he feels sorry for her. Right now, Obama has pitched a shut-out since the opening rounds."

Dougfp said...

Obama on points. Hillary didn't "change the dynamic" as Russert might pontificate.

It's over on March 4th. Hillary loses Texas AND Ohio.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Fuck! I just fucked up my TiVo! Missed the response to Farrakhan.

Up to that point, Barack was coasting to a victory.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Based on the commentators' opinions, Barack refuted Farrakhan. Just lost my vote until I see the video.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi All,

If Min. Farrakhan really wanted to help Sen. Obama he should have endorsed Hillary.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Heh-heh...

Undercover Black Man said...

Based on the commentators' opinions, Barack refuted Farrakhan. Just lost my vote until I see the video.

Lost your vote? You weren't voting for him anyway, was you, DeAng??

Edshugeo The GodMoor said...

I was a bit disturbed by them bringing up Farrakhan. Brought back memories of Stuttering John (I think) from the Howard Stern show asking Don Cornelius to denounce the minister a few years ago.

And then Clinton acting like she took a risk standing against anti-semitism while running for office in NEW YORK.
By the way, I think some of those "anti-semites" in the Independence party are Jewish, if I remember correctly.

Michael Fisher said...

Man, I was soooo pissed at the Minister when he did that shyt. He knew exactly what these white folks would do with his "endorsement". It's not like Obama needs the Minister to get the black vote out, ya know?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, I'm probably going to vote for Barack. Lets' not get it twisted. I'm a Nader man, but, unfortunately, I gotta make sure that McCain ain't in there.

But that's my problem with the process. Only left with two viable choices. Our election system isn't one where there's real choice. Hold your nose and vote. That's bullshit.

Now, I'm gonna have to TiVo the rerun of the debate. But if he dissed Farrakhan, that was an overt effort to assimilate. And I don't respect overt efforts to assimiliate. We call that "Tomming."

Bring on the hatemail.


susie said...

At the end of the day I could hang all night with Obama (although I might start to mock the finger pointing and gesturing after a couple glasses of wine) and I would fake a death in the family to get away from Hillary.

I know that has nothing to do with their ability to lead or run the country, but on some level it does affect how people vote.

Michael Fisher said...

"But if he dissed Farrakhan, that was an overt effort to assimilate. And I don't respect overt efforts to assimiliate. We call that "Tomming."

Naw. It's called politics, D. Besides he didn't diss Farrakhan, he said that he rejected and denounced Farrakhan's endorsement.

That Farrakhan question was a trap they set for Obama anyhow.

Undercover Black Man said...

At the end of the day I could hang all night with Obama ... and I would fake a death in the family to get away from Hillary.

You crack me up, Suze!

Watching this debate, after Hillary got past her early peevishness, I was struck by how impressive she is overall as a stateswoman and an intellect.

And I can understand the frustration of her supporters who think she's entitled to be president.

But there's one big thing that a president needs... and that's for people to vote for them to be president. And on the stump, where it counts, she simply has not made that sale to the majority of voters.

It's impossible to even argue any more, isn't it, that she's the best choice to beat McCain? She is not a great campaign, plain and simple.

Keep rockin' the Senate, though, Hillary.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Not a great campaigner, I meant to say.

Undercover Black Man said...

hilary is driving me nuts. is it just me? or does she sound like she's losing it?

Teresa, thanks for hanging out and commenting.

Hillary settled down, thank goodness. Well, thank goodness for her. It would've been a much more entertaining evening if she had kept on with her off-the-wall side comments.

dez said...

Hillary's not good when it comes to joking. She should leave that to Tina Fey :-)

A friend of mine almost had me convinced that an Obama/Clinton ticket would be good for the country. Or even Obama/Richardson. I'm still thinking it over.

Jorge Vega said...

Thanks for the play-by-play, UBM. Was putting the little ones to bed last night and fell asleep myself...

Lolo said...

"Senator Clinton, will you "reject" the nutjob who equated a debate with a gang rape?


She's a piece of work, doing the whole brave of rejection of anti=semitic support of the Independence Party (hello, did you know that Lenora Fulani is BLACK??) in New York call out. I just knew she was going somewhere with that and sure enough ... however, the folks in Ohio and the after spin totally seems to have missed it so we'll see.

Honestly, I don't think this debate really changed anyone's mind who hasn't decided yet but I do like to imagine that the Clinton camp is going to eat itself in the months to come. Because, that is the one thing I'm sure of, this is going to grind on for months. Ickes has indicated as much, that they're now commiting to arm twisting in regards to the super delegates.

I think I'm going to just tune out to some other planet where they have good music for a while because all the hating of the hating haters who love to hate is just too exhausting for me.

Malcolm said...

For those who don't have time to watch the whole hour and a half debate, I've summarized it down to a little over two minutes...


GenevaGirl said...

i finally got to watch the debate online. If MSNBC showed it in the eastern hemisphere, it was in the middle of the night.

Obama needs to take a page from Edwards' book and take debate day off and relax. He looked tired and annoyed. He'd have been quicker on the uptake, for example, on the initial Farrakan question. The answer should have been an immediate, "Reject!" We shouldn't have had to endure five minutes of a semantics argument.

I can't believe that Hillary had the balls to tell Russert that, "You don't have all the records" Puhlease! This is a man who'll go back to your third grade civics report to catch you in a lie.

Speaking of lies, what's up with her tax return. How did they have the $5 million to lend the campaign. Who's pocket is Bill in?

I hate to admit it, but she did come off as much more knowledgeable with solid facts. She couldn't wait to show that knowledge off, but then again everybody hates the class showoff.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Okay, I finally watched the TiVo of what I missed.

The Farrakhan question. First, of all, I can't stand when people deliberately mispronounce someone's name. It's disrespectful. And if you're going to posit yourself as someone who has integrity and wholesomeness, then do so correctly. Calling people by the name they wish to be called and pronouncing it correctly boosts your credibility when you attack. And Russert's question was an attack. And why people find it necessary to attack a person whose peak achievement is gathering a million black men on the Mall TWELVE AND A HALF MONTHS AGO is tired.

Now to the answer, why is it significant for Barack to repudiate Farrakhan? And the silliness of "reject" versus "denounce" is stupid.

After all, how does Farrakhan's endorsement of Barack advance the argument as to who is the best qualified candidate for the office?

The question was bullshit. Barack walked the tightrope in answering it. But trust me, he didn't tom out like I thought.

But you don't even answer some stupid shit like that. And what I advocate, and I'm sure Nader would've done, is to tell the questioner the question was silly. The question has nothing to do with steering the country out of a depression.

Because anybody that tells that we aren't in a recession and haven't been in one since BEFORE 9-11 is full of shit!

dez said...

I hate to admit it, but she did come off as much more knowledgeable with solid facts. She couldn't wait to show that knowledge off, but then again everybody hates the class showoff.

God forbid we elect a president who is knowledgeable and armed with solid facts.

The biggest problem I have with Obama right now is his sanctification by his most ardent supporters. I don't want a saint; I want a president.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

"Jim, Obama closed strong. His concession that Clinton was a worthy opponent and that they both advocate change in business as usual was a classy move. I have it Obama 4 to 3 with three draws. Obama by a slim margin. I think he's on his way to be the nominee. Clinton should discuss with her people how she's gonna get the Senate Majority leadership and grant Nader a Karl Rove-type role to whoever is the next president. That's my card and I'm sticking to it, Jim!"

Undercover Black Man said...

The biggest problem I have with Obama right now is his sanctification by his most ardent supporters. I don't want a saint; I want a president.

I feel you, dez. This is a problem for Obama as well. Because there is no way Obama can live up to this. He cannot live up to people's sanctified memory of JFK and RFK.

He cannot heal the world.

Undercover Black Man said...

DeAngelo: What did the Million Man March accomplish?

I think it's time to call Minister Farrakhan what he is: the leader of a mind-control cult.

Maybe we can hash this out in a Stakes Be High?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Aw shit, Dave. Called a brotha out on Nader and now the MMM. Couple jabs got through. Knees didn't buckle though.

Stakes Be High like a muthafucka! You pose the question.

And I got the time the next few days. So let's do it.


DeAngelo Starnes said...

Just read Newsweek's assessment of last night's debate. Does Howard Fineman read this blog? Otherwise, I don't want to believe we think alike.

GenevaGirl said...

Des, I have to agree with you. We DO need a knowledgeable president and Hillary is, and capable too. For foreign policy matters, Richardson and Biden were considerably more knowledgeable. The others who dropped out (save Edwards) were more knowledgeable - and experienced - than Hillary or Barack on a whole host of issues.

My remark was more a commentary on Americans seeming fear of intelligence. (What else can explain Bubba Bush being elected twice?)

Personally, I couldn't bear four years of listening to Hillary: her whining, her - and her husband's scandals, her being so conniving, her constantly willingness "to fight" (vs. negotiate), etc.

Admittedly, Obama is a tad too Kumbaya for me. Alas, my support of him is only an ABC: any body but Clinton.

Anonymous said...

You're too hard on Obama re: the Farrakhan thing. Russert's question was basically "When did you stop beating your wife?" but I thought the O man handled it fairly well considering.

I'd like to pound Russert in that big moon face of his.

Hillary on the hand was just pathetic.