Clinton Skirted Questions in Philly Debate
By Rogers Cadenhead
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 02:46 PM
I caught the last 90 minutes of the Democratic presidential debate at Drexel University Tuesday night, which told me that Hillary Clinton thinks she can win the nomination without telling anyone what she'll do if elected.Clinton had a commanding demeanor throughout the night, despite taking shots from every other candidate except for Bill Richardson, who appeared to be running for vice president with one of his answers. "I'm hearing this holier than thou attitude towards Senator Clinton, and it's bothering me because it's pretty close to personal attacks," he said, referring to comments portraying her as untrustworthy. "We need to be positive in this campaign. ... it's important that we save the ammunition for the Republicans."
The format treated Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama as the only candidates worthy of attention, which is a crying shame. Richardson, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd bring impressive credentials to the race and deserve equal time. (Dennis Kucinich's answer to the UFO question would have ended his political career if he had one.)
I'm trying to like Clinton, but all night long her answers were studiously vague. When asked whether she supports New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to issue driver's licenses to people here illegally, she supported it -- saying the plan "makes a lot of sense" -- before she opposed it -- saying "I did not say that it should be done." When asked whether she supports Rep. Charles Rangel's tax plan to replace the alternative minimum tax, Clinton had to be pressed by moderator Tim Russert before acknowledging that she didn't support it. Even then, she fell back on the hoariest excuse in politics -- claiming more information is needed before she can decide the right approach. Telling people you're going to have a solution is not a solution.
Obama didn't do anything last night to show he's capable of defeating Clinton or will ever aggressively make the case against her. His kinder, gentler approach to politics and soft platitudes about turning the page won't fly in the general election. The Republicans have a formidable spin machine ready to take down the Democratic nominee. Nothing I've seen thus far suggests that Obama can handle it.
In what little time they were given, Biden and Dodd impressed me the most. I'd vote for Biden if the Florida primary was held today, because he's intelligent, mindful of what government can and can't accomplish after 35 years of public life, and is a foreign-policy realist who could get us out of Iraq. He's also engaging as hell and loves the process of bringing the public to your side, a quality sorely lacking in the Decider. Peggy Noonan lamented earlier this month that Democrats don't seem to be taking Biden's campaign seriously. I second that emotion.
"I'm trying to like Clinton, but all night long her answers were studiously vague."
I feel your pain. I went from anti-Hillary earlier in the year to a Hillary supporter based on her previous debate performances, reading Carl Bernstein's book "A Woman in Charge," and reading Hillary's own book "Living History." I'm part of her improving poll numbers. But her evasions and equivocations make me wince and are so annoying. At times she did really well in last night's debate. But she also tripped up big time on several occasions. It will be interesting to see if her poll numbers now start to decline. Her spin machine has gone into full throttle to counteract last night's missteps.
I agree that Senator Dodd was quite impressive. If Senator Clinton is not careful I might just ship to another candidate and perhaps be part of her declining poll numbers.
A new poll shows Clinton would lose to Guiliani, Obama would win. Edwards would lose, too. I hope America is too smart to choose an unelectable Democrat again. Obama makes his distinctions clear, but does not stoop to draw blood from his democratic rival. This is statesmanlike, not weak. America needs to grow up and stop playing cowboys and indians in their eletion politics. We dont need John Wayne in the White House, we need reason, and truth, and sincerity
Sorry, that poll is at
I'll vote Silly Party first. Why?
Despite the PR, the hype, Hillary is owned by Big Pharma. Period.
Not just no, HELL NO.
Sure you aint thinking of Bubba there, Rogers?
Bill's the one into skirt chasing.
Hillary is resolutely dedicated to the notion of wearing pantsuits ferever kinda like Jughead Jones and that ridiculous hat.
Spud noted at the time of the debate that Hillary's position were not so much nuanced as they were indecipherable. Her too slick politicking that night made it all too apparent apparent that she was the nebulous candidate trying to be all things to all people and heavens forbid that she would say anything impolitic that might offend someone.
The differences between BushCo policies and ClintCo policies are more ones of style rather than substance. BushCo are out and out military aggresors; Neo-Cons dedicated to the notion of pursuing their corporate agenda (Big Oil) with hard power while ClintCo is more low key. She's a soft power advocate but still one dedicated to a hardcore corporate agenda (Big Pharma et al). Her version of Neo-lib policy adherence in the ME would stilll involve a military solution in a land where essentially there isn't one.
Biden? Granted his realpolitk approach that he's recently discovered comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise to Spud but the fact remains that Washington is broken and he's one of the fuckers who broke it.
Nice dismissal of Kucinich. Cos of the UFO question? Seriously?
In a nation of "true believers" like the US where a significant majority claim belief in some invisible guy in the clouds you'd think Americans would be more receptive to an idea that has about as much proof and is even more probable.
Weren't impressed by Kucinich's response that more people in the US believe in UFOs than in George Bush? Spud thought that one was a corker.
Biden and Dodd are part of the problem not part of the solution in Washington and regardless of capabilities will not perceived by the electorate as agents of change. Spud found Obama's approach that night to be neither overly aggresive nor overly passive. Spud thought he hit a nice balance maintaining dignity while arguing passsionately and compellingly for the need for change. Spud found Hillary to be vague as yer article points out but hardly "commanding". In fact Spud found Hil to be domineering and more than a little arrogant. Perception is a funny thing, no?
Hil, Biden and Dodd are all bought and sold.
They've been jumping through hoops in DC for so long they can no longer call their souls their own. Obama is the only Dem who can actually say that with a clear conscience and he's definitely the candidate for change. Balance him off with an Edwards or a Biden or a Dodd and you've got yerself a winning ticket.
So sez Spud.
PS: Obama makes his distinctions clear, but does not stoop to draw blood from his democratic rival. This is statesmanlike, not weak
Spud thought Katharine's take on the situation to be great!
Astute as Hell. Why do you think Hil is annointed by both the regular pro-corporate MSM and the reich wing shills at FOX?
Her un-electability quotient is massive even amongst Dems.
People will turn out to vote against her who might not have even show up at all otherwise.
Spud has a sharp point: Hillary, despite the support of Hollyweird and the beltway crowd is box-office poison to say the least. My associates, many of them staunch Rethugs warn me, and I pass it along: Hillary gets the nod, look for Rethug landslide. Moderates? No love there.
"Her un-electability quotient is massive even amongst Dems."
Spud wins the cookie. Maybe the liberal "in" crowd over at HuffPo think she's wonderful, meanwhile, the rest of America will vote otherwise.....a fact, not a threat, nor a promise, a damned _fact_.
I look forward to the primaries. It's going to be damned interesting to say the least.
Spud wins the cookie
Woo Hoo! Spud luffs cookies even more than the cookie monster.
"C is fer Cookie
That's good enuff fer me
You take a bite?
the cookie makes a 'C'!"
I look forward to the primaries. It's going to be damned interesting to say the least.
Agreed. A helluva toboggan ride it will be.
Did ya catch Carville making noises that they are thinking about running Jeb?
Great choices there, eh? A ClintCo dynasty or a BushCo die-nasty.
6 of one a half dozen of the other.
PS: Number 6? Fan of the "Prisoner" with Patrick MaGoohan perchance?
"In what little time they were given, Biden and Dodd impressed me the most. I'd vote for Biden if the Florida primary was held today, because he's intelligent, mindful of what government can and can't accomplish after 35 years of public life, and is a foreign-policy realist who could get us out of Iraq. He's also engaging as hell and loves the process of bringing the public to your side, a quality sorely lacking in the Decider. Peggy Noonan lamented earlier this month that Democrats don't seem to be taking Biden's campaign seriously. I second that emotion."
Agreed, and the sad part is that if the election is Guiliani vs. Billary, Guiliani would win hands down, because, as also stated above, the majority of this country would vote for anyone as long as it isn't Billary and Companies.
Biden went for the feudalistic bankruptcy debacle, he's not on my list whatsoever, another fascist ass, yes:
Jeb? Spud, please, pull not my leg. "Well, sorry, the older bro's a real dickhead, but, well, I'm not half as bad!"....that one? The one who stuck his nose into the affairs of a woman in a hospital bed? That one?
Honestly, it's like that old game show, "To Tell The Truth": Will the real Lord Vader stand up?
And so far, no Yoda. Damn. Damn. Damn.
Jeb? Spud, please, pull not my leg
Spud is largely imaginary 8 1/2 inch tall talking potato from Canada and even Spud couldn't make shit like that up.
The one who stuck his nose into the affairs of a woman in a hospital bed? That one?
Uh-huh THAT one. Well, ...with a technical assist by Dr Fristfugger himself you know the guy with the special ability to diagnose patient via video?
And so far, no Yoda
Ha! The farce is strong in this one thinks Spud!
PS: If you aint a fan of the Prisoner series
...are you related to 7 of 9?