I won't claim an ounce credit -- certainly not for an idea stolen without a blush from Newt Gingrich -- but I was pleased to read in this morning's Washington Post an item by Perry Bacon Jr. Under the headline "Clinton Wants Debate Without Moderators," he reported that Hillary had challenged Barack at a rally on April 26 to a mano-a-mano, honest debate: "Just the two of us going for 90 minutes asking and answering questions. We'll set whatever rules seem fair."
That's what I had proposed for the fall campaign in one of my earlier posts ("How 2008 is Different from 1932," April 3 ). A one-on-one debate would be a splendid way to test the candidates' ability to sustain a train of thought, to persuade the audience of their substantive depth beyond a command of one-liners, and to convince Americans that they have the toughness and the smarts to defend our country's interests in dealing with foreign leaders. As Newt has argued, after a few such conversations, Americans would know who should get their vote.
Just as important, it would get the media off camera.
Americans would get what they need, and the media what they deserve. Come on, Barack, let's do it!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Hillary Gets It!
Labels: Presidential Elections
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It isn't clear what Hillary 'gets' beyond what is required to get elected. Based on what she's done, who she's been supported by and paid by, I'd be more ready to believe that Hillary is no more enlightened or prepared to act in the National Interest than any of the other power brokers - dipping generously into the river of other people's money without seeing how they are killing the goose that's laid the golden eggs.ReplyDelete
Contrary to the New York Times editorial of the day, Trade Policy IS THE problem.
I thought it was great that Hilary wants an unmoderated debate. The moderators have been the PITS this year; asking the most inane and useless questions. I felt real pity for the candidates at the You Tube debates.ReplyDelete
Hilary has done a nice job of knocking down Obama on personality issues like his association with generally disliked individuals (see Wright and Ayers). I think that her challenge to Obama is a bluff. She doesn't poll well after substantive debates because the two don't differ substantially. The challenge may just be another clever attack on Obama's character: "look, he's too scared to debate me mano-a-woman."ReplyDelete
I think that the anonymous poster is incorrect. Hilary may be serious about debating Obama in an unmoderated debate. It's a good chance for her to take the gloves off and pound her less-experienced colleague without moderators to numb it down. If she wants voters in Indiana to trust her with their vote, she needs to show them that she is a tough and serious contender who shouldn't have bowed out after Super Tuesday. Barak is on the defensive now; sounds like a good time for Hilary to push her advantage. It's not enough to let him flounder around in the Wright debacle.ReplyDelete
I disagree. Clinton doesn't look good at these debates. Her policies don't substantially differ from Barak's and thus the policy debates don't score her any points. Obama can stand toe to toe with Clinton and he looks better doing it. Clinton isn't serious about wanting to debate Obama without a moderator; she's too smart for that.ReplyDelete
I was responding to the first anonymous poster. I have to disagree with you. Hilary has to win Indiana to stay in the race and a hard-balled unmoderated debate gives her a real opportunity to shine. She has more chutzpah than Obama and if she can ask him the questions, she will ask him biting ones. If she is answering his unmoderated questions, it gives her a chance to push Obama around. Clinton is a tough debater and the challenge is most definitely not a bluff.ReplyDelete