Friday, April 18, 2008

Obama Tries To Rise Above Farcical “Debate”

Wednesday night’s ABC News debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was laughable. The two hosts, George Stephanopoulis and Charlie Gibson, asked the worst questions that I have ever heard asked in a televised debate. Their questions seemed designed to draw the candidates into petty feuding. And while Hillary Clinton certainly seemed eager to roll in the muck, Barack Obama tried to rise above the circus act to talk about the issues.

Gibson and Stephanopoulis revisited every non-issue that the media has attempted to cook up in the past three weeks on either of the two candidates. They rehashed the Reverend Wright non-story, they rehashed the Bosnia tall-tale non-story, and they even revisited the bitter nation non-story. After this fiasco, hopefully Obama will see that it is not in his best interest to involve himself in any further debate with Clinton. It may serve Clinton’s interests and it certainly serves the media’s salacious interests, but it does not serve the best interest of the people, our country or the Democratic Party.

As the hosts repeatedly attempted to put Obama on the hot seat, Barack Obama, to his credit, firmly but politely put them on notice that these kinds of questions don’t serve any positive or productive purpose. He rightly pointed out that these manufactured “issues” serve only to distract the country from solving the real problems that confront us. He even gallantly side-stepped his opportunity to heap it on Clinton. And he did it without appearing defensive, though perhaps occasionally annoyed. And viewers could not fault him because they were getting annoyed too.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, joined the attempted attack on Obama with relish. She sounded like a broken record, repeating the same smug, tired lines about people choosing their Pastors and how out-of-touch Obama is with the “little people.” She took every opportunity to pile it on and then defended her actions by saying that Obama had to be prepared for the dirty tricks that the Republicans would throw at him. Well, with friends like this, who needs enemies, eh Hill?

Clinton also went on about how her daddy was raised in Scranton and tried real hard to feed into this whole Citizen Clinton shtick she has invented. How many times has she been to little Scranton, PA in, say, her whole, entire life? It's the same way that she pretends to have some connection to the state of New York. What is her connection, other than that she moved there to take a political seat in possibly the only district in the country that she thought she could win? So now she waxes poetic about Scranton.

Whatever Hillary! Sip another shot of whiskey and nurse that warm beer. I‘m not buying your good old gal crap. And neither are most people. You look ridiculous. And puh-leeze spare us the guns and ammo talk. When is the last time you went hunting? Do you own any guns? If so, do you even know where they are right now? Bet not.

This whole bit with her running around posing as a working-class citizen is political theatre at it’s most absurd and despicable. Working-class people have real jobs; they can’t pack up and move to another state to run for a Senate seat; they don’t have wealthy friends to finance their campaigns; and they can’t pull the funds from their private accounts when the campaign donations slow down. Not all working class people spend all their free time in church, or hunting, or throwing back boilermakers. And they are not stupid enough to believe that she knows what their lives are really like. Someone should tell Clinton that this posturing is more insulting than it is endearing to most of us working class citizens. And it reminds of a certain George W. Bush running for President as the guy you’d like to drink some beers with. Well, how well did that work for us, America?

Obama took a lot of crap off the hosts and Clinton at this debate. He handled it mostly by trying to politely put the rascals in their places. He declined to join in when the hosts confronted Clinton on some of the non-issues that they have tried to cook up. While gallantly side-stepping most of the opportunities the hosts gave him to Clinton-Bash (he even appeared to be defending her at one point), he DID get in one well-deserved dig when he said that Clinton had learned the wrong message from all of her years taking it on the chin from the likes of Karl Rove.

Obama showed that he possesses patience, intelligence, maturity, diplomacy, logical and analytical thinking skills, courtesy and tact. Now we just have to see if that is what the American people want in their leader or if they are going to go back to the same two-faced, manipulative, shallow leadership that they have fallen for in the last several elections.

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