Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tap Dancing in Philadelphia
Tonight, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went at it for the 21st? time in Philadelphia. Can it really be possible that Democratic voters are still undecided between these two? A few observations.
Most of the really pointed questions were directed at Obama-and why not? He carried a lot of new baggage into Philly. First, he was asked pointedly by moderator Charles Gibson why it took him a year to disavow Jeremiah Wright's comments-especially in light of his dis-invitation to Wright to speak at his announcement to run for president. Obama did his by now rehearsed "explanation" about not having heard the most controversial comments. Not well-handled. Hillary responded by adding her own criticisms adding that she would have walked out of her church after such a sermon. (What church?)
Obama also tap-danced around the statements he made in San Francisco about Pennsylvania small-town folks. Again, Mrs Clinton threw in her two cents worth to rub it in.
Most significantly, however, moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with former Weather Underground fugitive William Ayers, possibly thrusting this relationship into the national spotlight. (Thank you, George!) Once again, Obama danced around the issue trying to shift attention onto other issues. Hillary again jumped in realizing that this has the potential to become another Jeremiah Wright-type issue. She pointed out that Ayres had made his statement to the New York Times about not regretting his past Weather Underground bombings in the wake of 9-11.
All in all, Obama did not acquit himself well in dealing with these recent issues.
While most of the hard questions were directed at Obama, Hillary also did her own tap-dance trying to find multiple ways of describing her "misstatement" about Bosnia other than conceding it was an outright lie. She actually apologized-then said she would "try to get more sleep".
When questioned about the 2nd Amendment, both tap-danced in trying to cut the baby in half in an effort to please everyone.
Hillary may have made a major error when she replied to the question of whether Obama was electable.
"Yes, yes, yes", she replied.
Isn't this in contrast to what she is telling the Superdelegates? Isn't this in contrast to what she told Bill Richardson? If so, this may all come back to haunt Hillary when others report back on her "unelectable" arguments in private against Obama.
I also happened to catch the post-debate analysis on Countdown between Keith Olbermann, Air America host Rachel Maddow and Pat Buchanan. It was interesting that Buchanan was not very knowledgeable about William Ayres until it was brought out in the debate. He seemed rather shocked at the "revelation". (Maybe he should have been listening to Sean Hannity.) Olbermann and Maddow, as is their wont, poo-pooed the issue, with Maddow describing Ayres as "some guy in Chicago that he (Obama) hardly knows".
At any rate, I hope all you "undecided" Democrats in Pennsylvania got something out of this debate and have finally decided which of these two phonies you want to be president.