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17 April 2008



Oh the horror! Journalists doing their jobs?

Obama is asked a few tough questions and he folds like a lawn chair. Maybe next time ABC News should clear their questions from Team Obama like they do at MSNBC.


oh, the horror! Two journalists who actually do their jobs and ask tough questions!

Maybe the producers at ABC News should follow the NBC/MSNBC format and clear their questions with Messrs Axelrod and Plouffe?


Obamabots need to rationalize BO's poor performance. They do so by projecting on to Hillary and ABC.

there is absolutely no reason he should not have been prepared for those questions.

Homo N Harlem

Last night's debate was painful. I actually thought your review was very charitable. Tough questioned have been asked of Hillary Clinton for months in these debates, and the whole campaign is "gotcha." Not one complaint from DKos, AmericaBlog or that self important Andrew Sullivan. Now, they want "more substance" and "less gotcha."

This is how Democrats lose.

Ryan Canty

I hate to say it, but McCain may have had this upcoming election handed to him on a silver platter...

the debates were horrible...i caught them this morning and was dissapointed in both candidates...

this foreshadows yet another meltdown and dissolution of the democratic party...they can't decide on a nominee and the "chosen one" they are all aligning with can't seem to "bring it" in debates...i hope Team Obama figures out that Barack MUST be "ON" and "ON POINT" all the time...

both hillary and obama faired poorly in the debate..but, given that hillary has been the brunt of these kinds of attacks, at least she sort of came out of this less scatched than he did...but not by much.

NOBama in the White House


Rod Mc

NObama, this is the second time this week your comments were deleted. Do not spread false rumors about Obama or Clinton. If this happens again, you will be banned.

rob a

Oh Rod, this is why I come here. You have kept it real from day one. Fair is fair, the same treatment for all the candidates.

You said long ago the media would turn on Obama and start pushing him. It shows that he can't handle the pressdure.

Maybe "He" will give a speech on the substyance and tone of the campaign.

Derrick from Philly

Yeah, but McCain puts people to sleep everytime he opens his mouth. He won't look great against Barack in the fall debates. Can Viagra drain your energy after a while? Grandpop McCain better lay off of it for the fall.


Funny. I thought the handling of the MSN debate was cringeworthy, but last night's A BC Debate was just embarrassing. Is this the "democracy" we are killing Iraqis to export?

And while I agree that Obama is not a strong debater, I completely disagree with your assertion that these journalist were doing their jobs. Did it really take almost an hour to start talking about a substantive issue? For the first half I wasn't clear if it was a Clinton vs. Obama debate or a Gibson/Stephanopoulos vs. Obama debate. Questions about whether Reverend Wright loves the country, flag lapel pins (when no one was stage was wearing one),and whether wealthy blacks would benefit from Affirmative Action isn't journalism. Did it really make sense to have Stephanopoulos who has a history working for the Clintons as a moderator? The set up would have been more credible if they presented the whole thing in claymation.

I think few give Obama credit for keeping his cool as he does (god forbid he should appear as an angry black man). During the debate, Hillary gleefully joined in on every attack while he took the high road and generously gave her a pass on sniper-gate (not to mention he didn't bring up Mark Penn, Columbia trade deals etc.) Perhaps he is hampered by his commitment to raising the discourse --he certainly made attempts to call them on it at points during the debate - but that telling difference in the two senator's approaches spoke volumes to me.

I've been a fan of your blog for sometime and while, I don't begrudge you being a Clinton supporter (I was once a huge fan of her myself), I'm amazed that you thought this anymore than tabloid TV.

just saying...

this is really unfortunate. 45 minutes of absolute DRIVEL, with george and charlie literally foaming at the mouth looking for the next salacious question. "do you love america?"

i mean REALLY!?

im sorry rod, but you're wrong on this. this was NOT a debate but a hack job, as the comments at abcnews' site from frustrated viewers echo. they even booed the moderators at the end.

it was a garbage parade of shoddy journalism--- and the best part was, after asking obama about his damn flag pin... charlie turns around at the very end of the debate and says:

"lets have a minute to talk about gas"

A MINUTE?! oh yes, because farrakhan, american flag pins, and rev wright are the important issues of the day.

and anyone who thinks that real voters care about that junk, and not the war and healthcare, are simply misguided and out of touch-- and rather elitist for reducing voters to that level.

disgusting, rod.

Erich H

Moss, I disagree. Rod never said Clinton "won." He said Obama's performance was poor, and it was. 20 something debates and he his performance hasn't changed.

Rev Wright, the bittergate and Bill Ayers are going to be huge issues in the fall. Why do people persist in pretending they will not be?

Obama has never faced tough questions. Clinton gets them all the timer and has for 16 years. Toughen it up, the road gets more and more rocky. Its very obvious one candidate gives a great speech and cant handle pressure.

Rod Mc

"Javier"/"Javal" etc: Cyber thugs are not allowed here, you are banned from this blog and your IP address reported to Typepad as spam. You will have problems posting at any Typepad blog.

"Moss": I never said Hillary won, I just said finally Obama was asked tough questions. He was finally asked the same type of gotcha questions ("Columbia, Mark Penn, etc") that have dominated the previous debates. Also, HRC fired georeg Steph, there are definitely not friends.

"I'm Just Saying": I'm sorry you and many others thought it was "tabloid." The Republicans are talking about Rev Wright, the bitterr controversy and Ayers every day. McCain just announced his campaign will bring it up every day.

If Obama is going to be the nominee, I want him to be tough enough to take on the Republicans. I don't want him hiding in a bubble.

This is crazy. I've talked about media bias and slant against Democrats for a whole year, no one cared. Now every cares.


I completely agree that the first hour was itch-worthy at best. It was repetitive and wasted such valuable time.

I don't know if Senator Obama's seemingly unpreparedness was a problem for me, more, less or as much as Senator Clinton's sense of one-liners and overpreparedness.

At the end of the day, for me, it was a wash and I'd really like to get to the business of campaigning AGAINST MCCAIN, because...SAY IT WITH ME:



Exactly, what do flag pens have to do with the econonmy. Questions to both candidates in the first hour were pointless and had nothing to do with the issues. Just as Rod and others have gotten on Obama supporters for recognizing unfair treatment of HRC, the same can be said in this case. And Rod, you know I love you, but I don't recall you ever calling the questioning of Hillary fair. In fact, you haven't failed in pointing out the harsher treatment that you have percieved she's gotten from the media.

The questioning in last night's debate was not balanced and issue free for most of the night. It wouldn't have been so bad if the questions did sound like tabloid journalism, and if they had been formed in a way to indicate how the candidates would respond to issues that they would face while in office.


Erich & Rod,

I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought you (Rod) said Clinton won, because I wasn't implying that. In fact I think McCain was the evening's true winner. But seeing Chelsea spotlighted misty-eyed and beaming in the audience along with General Wesley Clark - both there to support Hillary - and Stephanopoulos as one of the moderators was just a little too surreal. Whether he was fired by the Clintons or not, him being there did nothing to lend a sense of neutrality to the debate.

I have no problem with tough questions being put to Obama, but can we come up with something more edifying than questioning his patriotism? Wright, Bittergate, and flag pins have been run into the ground. And I don't quite get the fixation with having him denounce everyone he knows.

For what it's worth, I thought Hillary did well though nothing she did or said is last night is likely to change the publics perception of her as negative. Still I have always admired the way she carries herself generally.


Luther, I think if Obama is the nominee, which is surly will be, then the Democrats will see huge, better than expected gains in congress, regardless if Obama wins or loses. But if Hillary wins the nomination, then I agree that the gains will be negligible. of any.

And can someone explain to me how Hillary Clinton thinks she's more electable. First of all, the Republicans will run smear campaigns on whoever the nominee is. Secondly, Hillary has enough dirt and baggage on her to make anyone take pause. Lastly, republican voters who are angry with the direction of the country during the past few years, will be energized by her and turn out in force to make sure she doesn't get elected, and independents will never vote for her. This just screams of someone who believes that she is entitled. Let's not forget the fact that she keeps saying that she wants everyone to have a say in this election, but she is depending on super delegates to overturn people's votes. Or how she and her husband keep yelling about wanting to talk about the issues, but she is the main one bringing up Wright, distorting Obama's statements, and spreading the lie that Farrakhan endorsed Obama.


cadence truer words have never been spoken. she doesnt care about the people and she didnt care about florida and michigan until she found out she was losing. I just dont get how anyone can like Hilary as a person. Is Obama flawed yes but he seems to have decent morals [EDITED] Obama didnt seem prepared for the tough questions but I think he came out looking better than Clinton. Ive never seen someone so bitter in my life. The minute she had the chance to attack she looked like a kid in a candy store. This debate probably increased negative views of her and her campaign. I believe Obama will get the Democratic nomination and if he improve on his debating skill for the general election and whether the republican storm I believe he is very electable. The democrats need to push to idea that a vote for Mcain is a vote for Bush+

[Rick, your comments were edited. Do not repeat that particular right wing smear on this blog. That was shameful and worthy of Rush Limbaugh]

Rod Mc

Moss: You make some good points and no offense was taken. But did you read my latest post? The RNC is already fundraiing from BitterGate and so is one House candidate. This is their

Cadence: You're right. If Obama runs, local and congressional candidates could potentially see big gains. Clinton probably will not have coattails, but, both candidates could potentially win.

I disagree with you on the "smear campaign." The Republicans have run a smear campaign against Bill and Hillary for 16 years. There is nothing new and they know how to fight it, which is what I like about Hillary Clinton.

Last night's debate, and the huge meltdown, shows Obama and his supporters never saw this coming. Why? I've been talking about the cable news "elite" meme for a year, no one here has cared, and Fox has slammed Obama on Wright and Ayers for a year

I have absolutely no idea when or how the Obama campaign and its many blogegrs and suppporters plan to take on the right wing attack machine.


Rod, Yes the Republicans have been attacking Hillary for 16 years, but how does this make her more electable than Obama. They both have real flaws, and the Republicans will not be afraid of making-up issues to attack her on. So again, how is this news, and how does this make Hillary a better candidate.

Hillary's issues have made her a very unlikable pubic figure. Most people would agree that she has trust issues, she will say anything to get elected, and is a master at pandering.

Everybody knows how low the Republican party is willing to go,attacks on McCain, Harold Ford Jr., and Kerry come to mind but what does this have to do with the questions that were asked last night?


sorry rod. i didnt mean she would actualy do what i said. just trying to make a point. i just meant she would do any to get into office.

just saying...

i hear you rod... and sorry i wasnt around on the blog to see your multiple posts on the media's bias.

but that really just doesn't change the fact that last night was a hit job.

and mccain can bring it up until kingdom come. but the truth is in the numbers-- sure, the comments will rile folks up as they come up. its about having confidence that the comeback is stronger. last nights focus group numbers proved that people liked obama's message, in spite of the attacks and in response to them.

i just think we need to be a little more strategic and creative, and less terrified that republicans will bring stuff up. they're dirty and they will do whatever it takes-- so what.

its time we got a little less afraid and started to believe in people a bit more.


Just Saying, are you a new reader here? Rod has said for more than a year that the media and Republicans would smear Obama as "arrogant", "elite" and a chic radical? Many examples have been posted here, and as recently as last week an MSNBC anchor (Matthews?) again suggested this on the air.

He has also posted media bias on Clinton and John Edwards. It's really too bad people weren't paying attention, because they always do this to Democrats. No one here complained when MSNBC and NBC slammed Edwards and Clinton, and spent many minutes in debates demanding tax returns and White House schedules. In fact, many Obama supporters have been obsessed with these petty "gotchas."

If I may respond to Cadence, I'm a Hillary supporter but find both candidates very attractive and electable. I can sit here and recite Hillary;s strengths and weaknesses, what states she can win and her problems. But one problem I have with Obama supporters (not making any assumptions about you) is that many never, ever consider Obama's flaws. Rev. Wright and William Ayers are a gold mind for Republicans. Why didn't he get this out last year? Now its almost too late ...

Tyler G

Rick, I disagree with some of what you said, but, yes, framing McCain as "Bush 3" helps.

Obama was not prepared and never comes across strong in debates. Of course that is no reason to disqualify him. He can get nominated or elected. But he was not prepared for this questioning, he has never has press conferences, and gives "speeches."

This was the first debate after Bosnia, "clinging" and Rev. Wright. These are character issues. If he can't face George and Charlie, I'm not sure how he can face McCain or Ahmadenijad. And if Hillary is "ready on day one", why can't she get the first question?


Rod, I have to say that your stand on this doesn't make any sense. First you say the questions were fair, and then you say that you have called out the media for focusing on issues that don't have anything to do with the race. Can't you see that this is what people have a problem with. We aren't angry that they were tough on Obama, but we are angry that they didn't ask him tough questions about health care, the economy, Iraq, etc. Wouldn't you love to know the nuts and bolts of Hillary's and Obama's health care programs, and how they will impact middle and low income families.

And you seem to imply, and Bill Clinton said today that Hillary and her supporters haven't complained about the rough treatment she has recieved. But this isn't true of you, Hillary supporters, or the candidate herself. There have been cries of misogyny; there were even several groups that held rallies this past weekend accusing the media of surpressing the vote do to their sexist coverage. There have been many complaints out of the Clinton camp about the tone of media attacks on her, so why is it different when the Obama camp or Obama supporters do the same?

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