Do Or Die? The Pre-Debate Thread

Bumped by BTD.

By Big Tent Democrat

Funny how needing to hype your own debate makes it not so superfluous. After Keith Olbermann expressed a desire to see no more debates, today in the need to hype THEIR OWN DEBATE, NBC is singing a different tune:

In many ways, tonight is Sen. Hillary Clinton’s last stand. The pressure's off Sen. Barack Obama in Cleveland this evening, he just has to keep on keepin’ on.

But if Clinton can’t dramatically convince voter/viewers of her essential point – that Obama is dangerously vague and ill-prepared for a fall campaign, let alone for the presidency – then it is very hard to see how she can stop the Obama Express in March.

Tell us what you think about all this. Jeralyn and I will liveblog tonight starting at 9 EST.

< Corrections | Media Coverage of the Ohio Democratic Debate >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    it's the essence of hypocrisy, isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:39:00 PM EST

    hehehe. (none / 0) (#77)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:17:34 PM EST
    experience (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by wasabi on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:48:00 PM EST
    I'd like her to be more aggressive about the difference in their experience level w/o calling him too inexperienced to be president.  She held back in the last debate and I thought that was very considerate of her.  It shows how much she still values the party.

    Voters of Four States May Be Watching Closely (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:54:07 PM EST
    Ohio, Texas, Vermont and RI. There's a lot of delegates at stake. While we haven't written about VT and RI, it should be noted that Obama is way ahead in VT while Hillary maintains a strong lead in RI. VT has 15 delegates and RI 21.

    If she does really well tonight or if Obama makes a mistake, maybe she will win big in Ohio (where's she is still ahead) and small in TX and also win RI.

    That could make a difference.

    Latest Rhode Island Poll (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:57:53 PM EST
    is here, released yesterday.

    I'm not worried about what Clinton or Obama (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by kmblue on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:54:42 PM EST
    will do.
    I'm worried about what the moderators will do.
    (see previous thread)

    Hey, you never know... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Oje on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:52:28 PM EST
    The new MSNBC narrative is that Clinton is the unhinged challenger with no shot for the nomination. They might just want to get through the night without stoking a second Tweety effect.

    Ah, what I am saying. On MSNBC, it is no good to be the frontrunner when you are a Clinton... oops, wrong. I mean, the challangeer when you are a Clinton.... wait, that is not quite right. I know.  It is no good to be on MSNBC when you are a Clinton.


    yes. am very worried about this too. (none / 0) (#51)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:06:03 PM EST
    I am not going to watch (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Salt on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:01:45 PM EST
    Tim Russert and his inane sillyballs have no place in Presidential politics and his ridicules wrinkled forehead attacks on Senator Clinton all the while giving Obama a pass is just not entertaining, and the after show what a joke Tweety et al.
    Nope I will pass I'll read the blog for any highpoints, thanks for that.

    So nice to have Talkleft (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:08:20 PM EST
    Jeralyn and BTD really are the keepers of reality these days.  So nice to have them to buffer us from the MS-Crazyness.

    What would I do without them?  I shudder at the thought.


    Absolutely! (none / 0) (#29)
    by Chimster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:18:46 PM EST
    And TBD is an Obama supporter no less. That's why I love this blog!

    you said it, sister. thank you jeralyn and BTD! (none / 0) (#53)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:06:58 PM EST
    I could not (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by americanincanada on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:09:49 PM EST
    watch the debate on hardly any other blog...

    Since it is NBC I will give it a pass as well and (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:10:36 PM EST
    catch it on the blog....I hate the unfair and malicious treatment of her.....By the way, so will other people in Texas I believe too....

    Wolf on bias treatment to Hilary (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Saul on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:45:29 PM EST
    I can't believe what I just saw on CNN.  Wolf is doing a piece on allegations of media bias toward Hilary and how the have given Obama a pass.  The panel he is using to see if this is true is Gloria, Cafferty, and King.  That's like asking the chickens who are being guarded by the fox, what's your complaint against this fox, we don't understand.  Wolf probably doesn't know it yet be he just made the case in defense of Hilary.

    heh, good point. i like the analogy. (none / 0) (#61)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:26:08 PM EST
    i wouldn't put anything past the media at this point.  i remember right after gore's movie came out, cnn hosted a panel of scientific "experts" who, collectively, made it sound like global warming was either a figment of our imaginations or at best an overly exaggerated phenomenon.

    Hillary will 'win' (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Coldblue on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:41:10 PM EST
    the debate but she will ultimately lose ground. If she comes out as the soft Hillary or the fighting Hillary, it won't matter; the media (and the 'progressive' blogs) will spin it to Obama's favor.

    I have to say my expectations are lower than a snake's belly that she will be able to recapture the delegate lead at this point. I'm sad to have reached that conclusion.

    MSNBarack will ... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:11:25 PM EST
    spin this as another Obama masterstroke.

    But that doesn't really matter.  The debate will help her.  She will get lots of free media coverage nationally and in TX, OH, VT and RI.  And the underlying message (despite MSNBarack bloviating) is that this is still a race.

    Hillary isn't campaigning for pundit accolades.  In fact, she's speaking to a part of the electorate that is quite skeptical of these morons.

    I don't think the media has wreathed themselves in garlands this week for comparing Hillary Clinton to "Three Faces of Eve" or Sybil.  And I have a sense the public hasn't liked it either.  If they continue in that vein after the debate, it will help Clinton.


    I think she has two important points to make (none / 0) (#79)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:18:09 PM EST
    one is to clear up the NAFTA thing.  The news is still following Obama talking points on this (though I was glad to see that NBC included the fact that Obama has done a complete 180 on NAFTA and therefore has no room to talk)

    The second is that she really needs to push back on his spinning of her healthcare plan as taking food from the mouths of babes.

    I think if she doesn't stray from these two points--that he is factually incorrect on both mailers, that he has been corrected on these errors and still keeps sending them out--and pounds home that this is politics as usual if there ever was, then she'll have succeeding in what she needed to do.


    i agree with you on this. (none / 0) (#94)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:44:15 PM EST
    in a one-on-one setting, i've seen her deftly preempt interviewers from distorting or diverting her message before, like with russert on meet the press.  i just hope she can do it in this debate, where so many other factors come into play.

    According to SUSA (none / 0) (#71)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:07:26 PM EST
    a lot of voters will be watching this debate, so media spin might not matter as much. Performance is everything.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#74)
    by Coldblue on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:13:38 PM EST
    that is 'hope' I can get behind.

    hehe. :) (none / 0) (#99)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:51:00 PM EST
    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#84)
    by Coldblue on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:29:10 PM EST
    however it is late in the game and we will have Russert asking more gotcha questions tonight.

    Practically-- (none / 0) (#89)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:38:00 PM EST
    very good points one and all.  I think she has been framing this narrative during her stump speech, vis-a-vis saying that Obama wants unity but we need someone who will fight entrenched senators who don't want to budge.

    yes. (none / 0) (#101)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:53:43 PM EST
    the experience bit isn't nearly as compelling as the passionate, empathetic fighter; not by a long shot.

    Volunteer! (5.00 / 4) (#90)
    by kathlee on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:39:12 PM EST
    This is a cross post because I replied to another under a different topic. My apologies to BTD, Jeralyn, and everyone else here.I just wanted to encourage anyone that I can by relating my experience volunteering for the phonebanking at Clinton Headquarters in Burlington, VT. Tuesday is the primary here and there is still room for improvement.

    I just got off a shift at headquarters and made lots of calls and let me tell you there are still a lot of undecideds out there. For those of you with passion, get over to HillaryClinton.com and volunteer to make calls! I truly feel that in talking to these people you can make a difference! I spoke to many people who still weren't sure. I asked them about their issues to and made my own case for Hillary. Most of these calls ended very positively. One thing to note, the Clinton Campaign does not sanction any negative politicking....was chastised a bit for something I said....but at the same time applauded for my passion.

    By the way, they give you some talking points to get started...Give it a try... Even if you have already had your primary, you can help this way. We had neighboring states volunteers calling headquarters....This is the first time I have ever volunteered because I had to Do Something!!!!

    PS. I am holding a phonebanking party at my house on Thursday as well:)

    UGH (4.60 / 10) (#1)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:38:48 PM EST
    Can I go through another one again?  Can I see Clinton knock another one out of the park, then listen to the dribble from the talking heads about how Obama was on fire?  Like the last one where they somehow spun her ending statement into a "graceful swan song," failing to mention, of course, that she had not in fact dropped out.  It's like I'm living in some bizarro-debate world.

    If I am going to live in an alternative universe, at least the sex should be better.

    You may already be in bizarro world (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by JJE on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:40:49 PM EST
    If you think she knocked one out of the park.  It was basically a tie.

    Yes in Bizarro world (none / 0) (#21)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:58:14 PM EST

    I know Kathy. (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:47:01 PM EST
    Not sure if I'll be able to watch.

    I think we have to (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:52:27 PM EST
    just so we know the truth.  And Clinton is not giving up, so neither should we.

    Besides, what else is on?  Haha!


    Answer: American Idol! (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:58:23 PM EST
    So the two idols will be in a ratings war!

    Which will win?


    Whose bright idea was this schedule? (none / 0) (#37)
    by cymro on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:45:32 PM EST
    Surely there are better time slots available? Not that I've ever watched American Idol myself, but I've heard that many people do so.

    Breaking down the narratives... (none / 0) (#93)
    by freccia on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:44:01 PM EST
    I wonder whether I'm in "biazrro debate world" every time I watch one of these damn debates.  They're awful.  I long for the days of Bentsen v. Quayle.  Hell, I long for the days of Stockdale v. Quayle v. Gore!

    I don't really think it's anything nefarious though, more just an indication of path-dependent behavior.  Someone succeeds in setting the parameters of the story early on, and the mush-headed television reporters and news editors fall into line until November 4.  I think it's less bizarre than pathetic, really.

    Take the "Barack is the new JFK" meme.  That one was already circulating by virtue of his youth and optimism.  OK, that's understandable.  Then a few of Kennedy's relatives throw a routine political endorsement behind him and all of a sudden it's written in stone.  There was a column in today's Marin Independent Journal that actually argued that Hillary Clinton was the natural standard bearer of JFK's legacy and my jaw almost hit the floor.  Then I realized that the writer isn't part of the MSM, but a former political consultant with deep roots in activist politics.  You know, someone who might actually have an idea about this stuff.

    What about the idea of having an unmoderated, free-form debate between the candidates--no holds barred.  What would that look like?  They're both adults; I can't see them talking over one another or biting and hitting.  What do we have to do to make this happen?


    I would love to see a debate (none / 0) (#96)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:47:47 PM EST
    where there are no moderators, but I don't think any modern candidate would allow that.  There are so many machinations behind even accepting the debates, and the candidates' people try to control every single thing from lighting to micing to type of bottled water to who goes first and how long and...it's amazingly mundane and all basically posturing.  I cannot imagine one side giving in on this, and maybe for good reason.  Or maybe for egotistical reasons, which most times matter more.

    spot on. (none / 0) (#103)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:58:56 PM EST
    Don't think we can expect (none / 0) (#3)
    by JJE on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    the nicey-nicey "let's get along" routine that we had last week, if events of the weekend and yesterday are any indication.  My personal theory is that Hillary's statements about being proud to be there with Barack and how they'd be fine in the end were impromptu, but the media jumped on them as pseudo-concessions, and now she really wants to show that she's still fighting to win.

    How bad would Obama have to be? (none / 0) (#6)
    by magster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:42:54 PM EST
    Patricia Madrid brain-freeze?
    Dan Quaylesque walk into a trap?
    Gore-like strut over to the opponent when the opponent talking?
    George Bush41 watch glance?
    Obama's own "you're likeable enough"?

    None of the above (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Chimster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:47:19 PM EST
    or all of the above. If Obama were to make one or all of the mistakes you've listed, it still wouldn't stop the inevitable. I don't like it. I don't understand it. But that's just how it's going to be.

    I think the Obama bar is actually BELOW (4.33 / 6) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:55:16 PM EST
    the Bush 43 bar.  He has to show up, not be drunk, and they'll say he hit one out of the park.
    Boring = scholarly
    Rambling = thoughtful
    Non-answer = THOUGHTFULLY centrist

    Anything Hillary says will be deemed "shrill".

    This will be MSNBC's big ratings night.  It appears they've been sinking a bit lately, for some reason ;-).  This will help pick them up.

    I won't watch, except for live blogging.  


    hahahaha (3.00 / 2) (#54)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:09:39 PM EST
    totally agree with you.

    A drunk debate might be illuminating (none / 0) (#59)
    by magster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:22:07 PM EST
    I think you just wrote (none / 0) (#70)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:48:14 PM EST
    the next SNL skit!

    This debate means nothing (none / 0) (#9)
    by Chimster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:45:21 PM EST
    unless the hosts ask an out-of-left-field question that catches Barack in a "gotcha" moment. It's the same questions with the same answers. This is not a do or die for Hillary. Texas and Ohio is a do or die. Is there anything that Hillary can do at a debate (that she hasn't done already) that swill swing momentum her way? Sadly, no.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#15)
    by Paladin on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:52:19 PM EST
    At this point, there's probably a miniscule number of TX and OH voters tuning in who haven't already made their decision.

    I deleted an off-topic false attack (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 04:50:40 PM EST
    On Obama related to Rezko -- and the comments that went with it. The comment mischaracterized a news article.

    I'm not sure I can watch (none / 0) (#26)
    by vj on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:10:07 PM EST
    There aren't that many substantive differences, other than on health care, which we already know about.

    I guess it's not about the policy discussion; it's about watching the candidates demeanor.  I suppose that goes all the way back to Kennedy/Nixon in 1960.

    Anyone know if they'll be sitting?  Supposedly candidates tend to be less aggressive when sitting.

    I say make 'em stand.  

    Oh, good point. Maybe Obama will forget (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:19:55 PM EST
    to shave.

    Please don't flame me! (none / 0) (#28)
    by kevinaced on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:12:03 PM EST
    Sorry if this is off topic but it's something I want to express heading into this last week before the March 4th primaries. I am a Republican, a proud Republican, George W. Bush was the first president I ever voted for, and I do not for a second regret that vote. Through a school program this past Fall, I even interned for Senator John McCain in Washington DC. However I want to say I have been inspired by Hillary Clinton, I believe that she is one of the strongest, if not the strongest candidate for president currently running. I have never voted for a Democrat, but Hillary is someone I could consider voting for. I like to consider myself a moderate Republican, I like to think I can see the best in both sides of the political isle, and Hillary Clinton in particular I feel respects moderate politics. She is a human being of strong character and just overall toughness and tenacity that I can't help but be captivated by every time I see her. There is a lot that I disagree with, but a lot that I agree with as well. For me a Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain general election would be a great thing, these would be two fantastic candidates that America would be better off with either way. While I respect Senator Obama, I cannot say the same, but I don't want to get into that. Please don't give up, Hillary can, and god-willing will be successful on March 4th. Perhaps It's why she isn't doing well that she would appeal to someone like me, but this young Republican at least very much looks forward to being given the option to vote for her this Fall. :) I wish her well in the debate tonight, and will be anxiously following the coverage with you guys this evening.

    Kevin- nice (none / 0) (#30)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:29:45 PM EST
    to have a different view. He! He! I won't hold it against you for being a Repub..... but I may try to gently bring you to the left a little bit! Please stay around.

    I just looked out the window.. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Chimster on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:31:57 PM EST
    and I saw pigs flying. If you really are who you say you are.. you've made my night. Thanks.

    otoh.... (1.00 / 1) (#41)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:50:32 PM EST
    for those who say that issues matter (and that Obama's for the people who don't care about issues) . . . this post is pretty lacking in issues.

    I mean, think about it: how does someone who still thinks GWB was a good president decide he's going to vote for Hillary?  Aren't they on the opposite side of just about every issue: Iraq, Taxes, Abortion, Sup Ct Justices, FISA, Global Warming, Pollution, Health Care, Social Security, Drug Importation, Immigration . . .

    Because she has "tenacity"?  That's a reason to switch from Bush to Clinton?  Does the poster care about actual issues at all?


    DC-Wonk (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by kevinaced on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:36:40 PM EST
    Thanks guys! :) I have a midterm tonight, so I won't be able to watch the debate firsthand, but i'll be logging on the second I finish to hear what all you guys have to day. DC Wonk- The post was not about issues, as I mentioned there is a lot I disagree with Hillary Clinton on. What I said is that I feel she respects moderate politics and is someone of overall good character capable of good decision making and doing what is right regardless of political persuasion. Yes-I do not agree with her on universal healthcare, or on taxes, and to a degree Iraq. But for example; I believe she is well suited to responsibly end the Iraq war, regardless of her feelings about the decision now. I am far more in tune with the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama, as I strongly disagree with his world view. With regards to President Bush, there's a lot I disagree with him on as well, I consider myself more socially liberal and disagree with him on almost every social issue. But that doesn't mean I was about to defect to John Kerry in 2004. No one is going to agree with a candidate 100% and I find a lot of good qualities in Hillary Clinton on the issues that are a priority to me. I also didn't say I was switching sides, I said she is a democrat that I could consider voting for. I feel that her history as a politician is more conductive to moderate politics and thats something I respect.   I'm not here to bash anyone, I just wanted to say something nice about Hillary Clinton, it wasn't an attack on Obama.  

    Way to go (none / 0) (#49)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:01:26 PM EST
    that will SURELY convince this voter to change their way. This doe not work well.

    It IS the problem with zealous supporters.  


    otoh.... (none / 0) (#42)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    for those who say that issues matter (and that Obama's for the people who don't care about issues) . . . this post is pretty lacking in issues.

    I mean, think about it: how does someone who still thinks GWB was a good president decide he's going to vote for Hillary?  Aren't they on the opposite side of just about every issue: Iraq, Taxes, Abortion, Sup Ct Justices, FISA, Global Warming, Pollution, Health Care, Social Security, Drug Importation, Immigration . . .

    Because she has "tenacity"?  That's a reason to switch from Bush to Clinton?  Does the poster care about actual issues at all?


    Kevin, you can help Hillary win (none / 0) (#46)
    by cymro on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:56:58 PM EST
    This is very gratifying. And, sadly, all the more so for being such a rarity. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts.

    Now ... can you just go out and recruit (or even better, convert) a few hundred of your friends during the next week?! I'm sure your local Democratic Party office would LOVE to have you on their team.


    aw, i actually feel touched by your comment. (none / 0) (#56)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:13:57 PM EST
    thank you for that.  i come from a republican-leaning family, so i know not all republicans are evil; plenty of them are good-hearted people.  i think it's just their party's leadership that's morally bankrupt.

    p.s. thank you so much again for (none / 0) (#57)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:16:12 PM EST
    that wonderful comment.  you do your party a great service; they don't deserve you.  :)

    Thanks for being here (none / 0) (#64)
    by RalphB on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:31:17 PM EST
    I want Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic contest and John McCain to win the Republican contest.  I think it would be the first time in a generation or more that this country would see a presidential campaign based on the real issues.  It would give the people a stark contrast in positions and a chance to decide on a direction for the country.

    It might be a boring campaign, but I think it would be substantive, respectful, and fact based for maybe the first time in my life.  To me, as an Independent, that's what democracy should be all about.  Letting the people choose a clear direction and the leader to implement the policies.

    Maybe I'm a dumb idealist but I believe with those two candidates it could happen.


    i agree. (none / 0) (#65)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:34:15 PM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#31)
    by Stephen Green on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:30:30 PM EST
    I read Fineman's piece earlier today, and was shocked at just how in-the-bag he was for Obama.  Or rather, how willing he was to be obvious about it in what was ostensibly an analytical report, not an opinion column.

    While I think Hillary has waged an pretty inept campaign, I'd almost certainly prefer her over Obama as President.  That said, she certainly doesn't have many friends in the media.

    BTW, Jeralyn, I'll be drunkblogging the debate tonight, too.  You'll win on points, I'm sure -- but I'll win on cocktails.


    Drunkblogging seems not a terrible idea. . . (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    Winning CA, NY, NJ, FL, MA, AZ and MI isn't inept (none / 0) (#43)
    by goldberry on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    In any other year, Obama would have left the stage weeks ago.  He matched her delegate count with low hanging fruit.  
    Now, you can make an argument that her campaign should have covered all of their bases.  But you forget that Obama dumped a truckload of money in each of the states he lost, BIG STATES. And he was soundly defeated by 10 points in many of them.  
    So, say what you want about media treatment but while the media is hammering her, they are also doing it in front of all of the people in those states who voted for her in overwhelming numbers and we are not amused.  

    Hi Stephen, (none / 0) (#110)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:22:08 PM EST
    Great to see you here. Sorry I didn't see this last night.

    For readers, Stephen is a Colorado blogger who writes Vodkapundit. We don't share political views often but we are friends and have shared martinis at local blogger gatherings.


    Why Is She Behind? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Joike on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:35:36 PM EST
    A lot of Clinton supporters like to lay the blame on a media that is against her and in the tank for Obama.

    You can peruse the comments in this thread along with others and see the rationalizations.

    I just read a New York Observer interview of Leon Panetta, a long-time friend of the Clintons.


    From his perspective, the mistakes were made early on when Clinton and her advisers misread the pulse of the nation.

    Mr. Penn "comes from an old school, like Karl Rove--it's all about dividing people into smaller groups rather than taking the broader approach that was needed."

    One damning quote is "for the money they brought in" the Clinton campaign "should have done a much better job."

    Another is:

    "It seems to me like they rolled the dice on Super Tuesday, thinking that would end it," he said. "And when it didn't end it, they didn't have a plan. And when it came to the caucus states, they did have a plan--which was to ignore them. I think those were serious mistakes."

    It reminds me of the Bush invasion of Iraq.  Assume we win with no problems and then ignore anyone who warns of needing a contingency plan.

    In the face of an antagonistic MSM, Democrats were ready to vote for Clinton at the beginning of 2008.  Obama hasn't worked harder than Clinton, but his campaign has been a lot better than hers.

    Clinton won't win or lose the nomination in the debate tonight.  The impact of debates is largely a figment of the media's imagination.  Her current position is the result of strategic decisions made over the course of months and the misfortune to run against a candidate who has been smart enough or lucky enough to tap into our collective frustration.

    i think you have a point. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:19:16 PM EST
    but i also think you underestimate the power of the media to control our elections.

    Is she behind with FL & MI? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by katiebird on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:16:49 PM EST
    MyDD says she's up 100 delegate including them.

    If we're agreed that they will (eventually) be seated, why do we refuse to include those delegates in her total.

    Or is MyDD's count just way, way behind?


    Showing the colors (none / 0) (#67)
    by RalphB on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:37:23 PM EST
    Oh boy, a retired democratic politcal hack comes out from under his rock to criticize one of his own party's presidential campaigns.  It never fails to amaze me that democrats can't seem to keep their mouth shut when there's an opportunity to get a quote in the media.  Can't wait to start up the firing squad.

    Democrats should really try to learn from Republicans how to keep their mouths shut and win elections.


    so true. (none / 0) (#69)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:41:46 PM EST
    I wouldn't consider Paneta (none / 0) (#111)
    by Joike on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:20:56 PM EST
    a hack.  He clearly supports Sen. Clinton and wants her to win.

    Sometimes the only way supporters can be heard by candidates is through the media though his critique sounds more like a post-mortem than constructive criticism.


    Hey, this MSNBC (none / 0) (#35)
    by Oje on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:45:21 PM EST
    Obama received the questions in advance. He will get the last word tonight, so no doubt it is well-prepared script.

    We might even get to hear the celestial choirs!

    What is she? A pole vaulter? (none / 0) (#38)
    by goldberry on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:46:04 PM EST
    Well, she can clear 26 feet but can she clear 55?  Obama?  We're giving him a handicap.  Yeah, he can coast.  
    This is the only sport I know of where the bar is lowered for the male and raised for the female.  

    uneven bars.... (none / 0) (#44)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:52:21 PM EST
    it's always been that way in politics for women

    One other "sport" is called (none / 0) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:00:27 PM EST
    the corporate world.....

    Well, I just got back from buying a bottle of (none / 0) (#39)
    by NJDem on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:47:12 PM EST
    scotch--so I guess I'm not the only one who will be drunk-blogging tonight :)

    And I know a lot of us are nervous for HRC--with so much ridding on tonight and the expectations of supporters to nail him.  But I rather think she likes the fight and won't be nervous at all.

    Remember during the whole Walmart/Rezko scuffle when she said (with a smile) "We're just getting started."  I think she's ready and looking forward to it.  I on the other hand will be nursing a stiff drink :)

    And Kevin, if you are for real, thank you!  What a refreshing voice of reason.

    "Ofishal" drunk blogging (none / 0) (#47)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:59:08 PM EST
    Maybe some don't know, so I'm saying...there's an organization called DrinkLiberally.org.  The local Seattle area chapter is having a debatewatch tonight starting with the debate replay at 9:00pm PT.  No doubt other chapters will be having debatewatch parties too.  The link I've given will have more information about the org.

    (No, I won't be there.  I don't drink (for health reasons.))

    ooh, i like. thanks for that tip. (none / 0) (#62)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:28:48 PM EST
    i hope they have a chapter in my area.

    Fangs or playing nice? (none / 0) (#50)
    by 1jane on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:05:00 PM EST
    We're in for an evening of verbal jousting with some voters urging Clinton to bare her fangs tonight. Will her message get better if she plays nice? We political junkies are looking forward to the last of 20 debates. At last.

    "fangs"? (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:29:39 PM EST
    you people really tire me.

    A stone in a very large pond. (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 06:23:34 PM EST
    What happens at the debates seems to have absolutely no effect on how people vote.

    I am just happy that I am strong enough to (none / 0) (#72)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:10:40 PM EST
    resist the spinning of the media that is so disturbing....I refuse to be brainwashed....

    heh. yeah, (none / 0) (#105)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 08:06:21 PM EST
    sometimes i feel as i'm among a band of beleaguered refugees huddled together for truth.

    Personally (none / 0) (#78)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:17:34 PM EST
    Personally I will be so glad for this primary to be over ONE WAY OR THE OTHER

    So you agree with Sen. Dodd then? (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:24:22 PM EST
    Interesting number in CNN poll on debates (none / 0) (#83)
    by fuzzyone on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:28:50 PM EST
    Are they really good for Clinton?

    Clinton and Obama faced off last Thursday at a presidential debate in Austin, Texas, hosted by CNN and the Spanish-language network Univision. The poll suggests the debate gave Obama a boost.

    "Among the one-third of Texas Democratic primary voters who watched all or most of the debate, Obama leads Clinton by 20 points," said CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider.

    "Among the 42 percent who followed news about the debate, Clinton and Obama are neck and neck. And among the one-quarter of Texas Democrats who paid no attention to the debate, Clinton leads Obama by nearly 20 points.

    "Is this because Obama appeals to better-educated Democrats and they were more likely to watch the debate? No. Even among college-educated Democrats, the more attention you paid to the debate, the better Obama does."

    Full story here

    Schnieder's logic (none / 0) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:37:39 PM EST
    is obviously faulty.

    Can you possibly doubt that person who watched the debate are more likely to be candidate supporters than not?

    The preferences will be more pronounced.

    MORE meaningful would be a control group who state their preferences before the debate and after.

    Schneider is not the sharpest pencil in the box.


    Doesn't CNN do that (none / 0) (#91)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:40:59 PM EST
    with the control group, where folks spin the dial depending on what the candidates say?  

    I remember after the last debate, the commentators were talking about how the "change you an Xerox" line fell flat, then Wolf went to the dial-o-meters and saw that there was no negative impact and that was pretty much the last we heard about the control group.

    Of course, I turned it off shortly afterward, so maybe someone else who kept watching saw a resurgence?  


    oh brother. (none / 0) (#107)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 08:19:45 PM EST
    yeah, they do use those control groups, but never publicize the results when they're good for clinton.  in the first one-on-one they did, they found undecided dem voters in the control group (the dial people) went 60-40 overall for hillary.  but--surprise, surprise!--they didn't let this inconvenient fact get in the way.  what they emphasized (and what i heard repeatedly from media outlets) instead was iraq, the one issue with the control group where obama did better.

    Apparently Hillary = Cluster (none / 0) (#85)
    by NJDem on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:30:01 PM EST
    Who knew?  They way they are playing up the debate, we're bound to be disappointed regardless of what happens.

    I don't think it's going to start off hostile, but it will be funny if he goes to help her with her chair and she grabs it back and gives him a looks like, "Thanks, I can get my own chair %$&*@."  

    I think it would be great if she'd pull out his (none / 0) (#106)
    by derridog on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 08:14:18 PM EST
    chair first.

    hee. (none / 0) (#108)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 08:24:06 PM EST
    unfortunately i think america as a whole is not ready for such an enlightened scenario.

    Watching in Texas (none / 0) (#86)
    by Sunshine on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:32:08 PM EST
    Yea, I'll watch, I have already voted for Hillary and when they come on with the usual crap I'll wave at them....  

    Now that I think about it (none / 0) (#87)
    by NJDem on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:36:30 PM EST
    they'll probably have them standing, because it's easier to be confrontational when you're not sitting next to the person.  

    I also wish they allowed them to ask each other questions--I liked that part.

    KO says he hears from Clinton campaign (none / 0) (#92)
    by Teresa on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:42:38 PM EST
    that she will throw everthing but the kitchen sink at him. Did I hear that right?

    A particularly nasty (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by RalphB on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:51:53 PM EST
    mud pie straight in the kisser would be good for me.  :-)

    And (none / 0) (#97)
    by NJDem on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:48:42 PM EST
    Schneider kept showing off that he has a PhD in PolySci--ridiculous.

    I just remembered that the best "debate" I ever saw was just before the NY primary in 1992, I think it was late May or so, and Phil Donahue had on the only two remaining candidates, Jerry Brown, and BC.  

    At the beginning of the show, Donahue introduced them and said the floor is yours.  It was just an hour dailogue between the two of them--no one else.  Why can't we do that again and just leave the moderators out of it?

    He's Baaaack!! (none / 0) (#98)
    by BluestBlue on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:49:11 PM EST
    Remember Tweety?

    Remember his 'heartfelt apology'? for insulting Hillary Clinton on Hardball?  

    To refresh your memory, he said:

    If my heart has not always controlled my words, on those occasions when I have not taken the time to say things right, or have simply said the inappropriate thing, I'll try to be clearer, smarter, more obviously in support of the right of women -- of all people -- the full equality and respect for their ambitions. So, I get it.

    Does he really get it? It hasn't seemed so, and now we can be sure. No. He does NOT.

    In the LA Times Tweety said:
    "They created the storm; I had to deal with it," he said. "I think any observant person would say what I said was true. It might have been said better, more felicitously."

    Really? How would that sound? Remember what he said...How does one say this "more felicitously"??

    Matthews most egregious insult:
    Let's not forget -- and I'll be brutal -- the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it.

    She didn't win there on her merit. She won because everybody felt, "My God, this woman stood up under humiliation," right? That's what happened.

    Media matters has the whole ugly truth.

    Gee, I wonder wht that debate will be like on MSNBC tonight? ... fair and balanced anyone??

    Hate to admit it but I really do prefer Fox. (none / 0) (#102)
    by RalphB on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:56:02 PM EST
    Watched a bit of Fox this weekend and the reportage was straighter.  It may be slanted but I heard a lot less "motive" imparted for the candidates.  Basically, reported what was said without the excess editorializing.

    Beat the pants off MSNBC and what little I saw on CNN.


    i agree. just goes to show that (none / 0) (#109)
    by kangeroo on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 08:39:45 PM EST
    we need checks and balances with the media; more orgs like mediamatters.  with a better framework to ensure accountability, we could avoid altogether this game of trying to find out which network is fair in a given election season.

    They don't read e-mails (none / 0) (#104)
    by Sunshine on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 07:59:24 PM EST
    If they read their e-mail, they would know that there is plenty of support that the public says there is an unfairness in the media coverage..  When Wolfe had Borger, Cafferty and King on asking them if they knew of any bias, it looked like a continuation of SNL..  It would have been funny if they had not been so serious....