Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Upping the pressure or grapsing at straws?

CNN's Political Ticker reports that Hillary is applying pressure to Obama to have yet another debate:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has increased its efforts to pressure Barack Obama to agree to more debates.

On Wednesday, they sent reporters a press release titled “Debate Watch: Day 1,” as part of their continuing effort to focus attention on Obama’s reluctance to schedule more primary season showdowns.

During a rally in Hillsborough, North Carolina Wednesday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton, standing on the back of a pick-up truck, told voters: “I think I know the answer to why one candidate wants to debate, ‘cuz I saw the debate in Pennsylvania. And afterwards, 41 percent of the voters saw it. And by 55 to 22, they said Hillary won.”

Earlier this week, a proposed North Carolina debate was cancelled after Obama’s team said the Illinois senator would not be able to find time in his schedule.

“It's not clear that another debate is going to be the best use of our time,” Obama told CNN’s Roland Martin Wednesday.

The Obama campaign says that the candidates have met in more than 20 primary season debates. But the Clinton camp counters that only four of those meetings have been one-on-one.

“Hoosiers are going to be disappointed if [the debate] doesn’t happen,” said Sen. Evan Bayh, a Clinton supporter. Clinton herself told an Indiana crowd that "some people" think the voters are tired of debates but she disagrees.

Hillary Clinton was widely viewed as having a stronger performance at last week’s debate than Obama, which her campaign said contributed to her success with late-deciding voters.

I think she has a valid point. They have only had four one-on-one debates, and her performance in the debate may very well have helped contribute to her victory in Pennsylvania. We also chalk up her win to:

1) The Obama "bitter" comments. Coming that soon before the PA primaries wasn't a good thing.

2) The hard questions Obama refused to answer. Voters perceived Obama as dancing around the Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers associations. While not focused on heavily during the first 45 minutes of that debate, information trickling out of the Rezko trial aren't exactly helping him. These three issues call attention to Obama's character, and they're helping paint a picture of a same-old, same-old DC-style politician.

3) The demographics. A county-by-county breakdown of PA shows that he took the urban areas, but didn't fare well anywhere else. This goes to the "bitter" comment as much as it does that he key demographics weren't in play in the rural areas.

In our opinion, we believe the number one reason why he says "no mas" to anymore debates is because he now knows that the press isn't as friendly as they appeared to be, and that if they go easy on him in the next debate (thanks to the whiny, cry-baby reaction to tough questions), the voters won't believe what they're seeing or hearing from him. Barack Obama simply can't answer tough question from an electorate that is moving beyond the flowery rhetoric and want some solid answers to tough questions; regardless of the subject itself.

On the other hand, we can see his point. All of these previous debates (except for the head-to-head match-ups) were pre-scheduled. But this has now turned into a two person race, and not everyone in the remaining states and/or territories has seen enough to make an educated decision. (All right, stop the snickering in the back row there. Not every Democrat is a moron.) So he should seriously consider taking her up on the offer.

If he doesn't agree to it, Hillary can easily launch a line of attack that could very well be devastating to his campaign: "My opponent is afraid to debate me." He had kept the press at bay after his pitiful performance in the last debate, and has just recently started making statements to the press. So, in essence, it looked like he was hiding.

Is this an exercise in futility for Hillary? Is this her screaming for attention? No to both questions. She has a valid point for requesting another debate, and pushing the issue. We don't really look at this as her demanding attention. She has enough of it today with her 10 point win over Obama last night. We think this goes more towards the fact that voters, despite moaning about how many debates have been held, are still looking for that special something in either candidate. Neither one has really "broken out," though Obama-bots will claim that their guy has.

No, he hasn't. Any savvy political junkie still realizes that this race could go either way, and that the contest will be decided by the superdelegates. And with Hillary's win last night (which we predicted would happen, with her winning by 9 to 12 points) some wind has been taken out of his sails. There's a distinct possibility that another debate might be finagled at the last moment, or close to it. Will it really help Indiana and North Carolina voters? Who knows? But Obama is giving a lot of people the impression that he's afraid to face off with her in another debate.

Publius II


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