Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Clinton-Obama Last Stand
It wasn't quit the cat fight some were expecting, but there were some sparks in tonight's (last?) Democratic Presidential debate. Both performed well under the pressure, but I don't think Hillary scored a major knockout she needed to stop Obama. As with the last debate when she was booed for accusing Obama of "xeroxing" change, she made several sarcastic remarks that did not go over well. She again refered to the silly Saturday Night Live skit as "proof" that the media was biased in favor of Obama and complained about being asked the first question and asked if Obama needed a pillow. I though I heard some booing or sighs in the audience, but maybe it was me. She sounded shrill and, well, silly.
The 15 minute discussion of their healthcare plans bored me to death. I still don't understand either of their plans, and I don't think most people do. I don't know who is right about "mandates" etc... Both of their plans fall short of true "universal" health care. If they really want to FIGHT for the right of everyone to healthcare, they should be supporting the single-payer approach instead of trying to force everyone into private insurance plans.
Hillary accused Obama of wanting to bomb Pakistan, borrowing a line from John McCain, which is not true.
Obama was solid, and a little too laid back for me, I wish he would be more aggressive, but perhaps he looks more "presidential" by not being too aggressive. He certainly looked more presidential.
Tim Russert tried to "balance" his tough questions to both candidates, but the question about Louis Farrakhan was totally unfair. Obama does not have to "reject" anyone's statements about him. Farrakhan has offered nothing to the Obama campaign for him to reject. It was probably the dumbest part of the whole debate, and an obvious attempt to embarrass Obama and link him with Farrakhan. It is part of the right-wing race baiting of Obama, which I'm afraid will get worse.
Obama did go after Clinton on her vote for the Iraq War. Hillary did, finally, seem to take back her vote to authorize the Iraq war. But it is totally unbelievable that she was dooped by G.W. Bush. Most of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and many in the Senate, knew enough of the facts to vote against it. She voted for it for political reasons, knowing she was going to run for President. In my opinion, that vote disqualifies her from being president! No member of Congress who voted for the Iraq war should ever sit in the White House!
Hillary showed her ugly dark side a few times. Obama took the high road at the end of this debate when asked what Hillary had to do to show she was worthy of being President. Obama said she didn't have to prove she was worthy and made a great argument for why he thought he would be a better candidate against John McCain. I was waiting for Hillary to admit that Obama was also worthy, but I don't think she did...
Clintonites, this whole "the media is biased against Hillary" schick is getting old and ridiculous! The moderators were obviously trying to be "fair" tonight, and balanced their tough questions to both candidates. It would be irrational to accuse MSNBC of being biased in this debate, but you can bet that the hysterical TN Hillary Women will whine about how unfair they were to Hillary.
If the Clinton campaign were waging the nomination on this debate, they will be disappointed. Obama has moved ahead of HRC in Texas and is within a few points in Ohio. This debate will not stop Obama's momentum.
See also: Marc Cooper, Hilllary's Ignominious Finale Polls: Obama Surges Past Clinton Seen as most electable. Among Democrats, Obama now has a double-digit lead over Clinton (51% to 39%); In a general election match-up, Obama leads McCain by 4% (49% to 45%); McCain beats Clinton (49% to 47%).