We really do have two very good candidates

Both candidates acquitted themselves remarkably well tonight, despite their having to deal with the astonishing inanity of MSNBC’s equivalent of Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  The candidates generally declined the moderators’ breathless invitations to pummel each other; they basically answered Russert’s doofy “gotcha” attempts without giving them more than their due; and on the rare occasions when the moderators let them talk about real issues, the discussions were relatively substantive.

I don’t think this debate will dramatically shift the campaign.  But anyone who was looking for confirmation of the way they were already leaning probably found it.

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10 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. It was more subdued

    than I expected it to be, considering the stakes.

    Up until now, I'd (privately) scoffed at the idea of a shared ticket, but after that closing where they were tossing niceties back and forth, I'm not so sure.

    After 7 plus years of living hell, I'll gladly pull the lever for either one, or both.

  2. Agreed

    Russert thinks that he's so smart and "gotcha", but his questions are inane and irrelevant. Who cares what Farrakhan thinks? And Russert makes it seem that Clinton's non-release of her tax return is somehow obfuscating where the money for her campaign in coming from, though obviously she's complied with the FEC so I fail to see his point.

    Anyway, I've had a very difficult time figuring out to support, and I admit I'm voting for Obama (I vote in RI) not because I dislike Clinton but because I think the Democrats are better off with a nominee soon then this dragging out until the convention (and Obama is the one that can deliver a knockout punch at this point). I've always been amazed (at least at other progressive sites!) at the level of anger that Obama supporters dish out at Clinton supporters and vice-versa. Hopefully we'll all realize that whoever is the nominee s/he is far better than McCain and we can move on to making sure the White House turns blue.

  3. The NYT's $quot;selling newspapers$quot; spin

    What has happened to this newspaper? What debate were they watching? Evidently not the one we watched.

    Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton set aside their cordiality Tuesday evening and clashed over their plans to overhaul the nation's health care system in a contentious debate ...

    I mean, are they even trying to be a newspaper that provides information anymore, or just to gin up whatever controversy they think they can find?

    • Wow, that's a really horrible article

      Check this out --

      The first half-hour of the debate focused heavily on campaign tactics, with Mrs. Clinton on the defensive. For instance, she said she did not believe that her campaign was responsible for distributing a photograph of Mr. Obama wearing a robe and a white turban on a 2006 trip to Africa. The image surfaced Monday on The Drudge Report. "I certainly know nothing about it," Mrs. Clinton said. "That's not the kind of behavior that I condone."

      Yeah, it's really "defensive" to be saying that Matt Drudge is making shit up.  Come on, Jeff Zeleny, do your job.

      • It is parroted in the Boston Globe coverage....

        .....Replete with the slightly unflattering picture of HRC  above the fold so that reviews buried deeper in the paper can refer to her haggard and desperate countenance.

        My take is the

        He-Man Woman Haters Club

        is still alive and well at MSNBC, CNN, FOX NEWS................

        Also you could edit the diary to read "Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber" and use that for most of the talking heads (whose networks are listed above)

    • They are mad because

      Hillary Clinton criticized the media for being unfair and then apparently she interrupted two newsmen.  Oh my!  The media hates to be criticized and interrupted. The following has to be one of the stupidest paragraphs of the article (although not as inane as some of the stuff Tim Russert did last night):

      Questions about which approach Mrs. Clinton would take to sway voters were quickly answered as she immediately confronted Mr. Obama, and she was relentless throughout the meeting. She insisted on responding to virtually every point that he made - often interrupting the debate moderators, Brian Williams and Tim Russert of NBC, as they tried to move on.

      Does the NYT not get it was supposed to be a debate?  

  4. Two Excellent Candidates

    I remain comforted that both our candidates are smart, thoughtful, decent individuals who were more respectful of each other and of the office they seek than could be seen in the two questioners.  

    My favorite moment was when Timmah angrily insisted that his hypothetical question about the Iraqi government was, in fact, not a hypothetical but a "reality."  I guess if Russert believes it to be so, it must be so, damn the rest of the conscious world.  

    • yes

      a hypothetical reality or a real hypothetical. He should have made it even more realistic with the introduction of the appropriate interrogation techniques to be used on a high profile Iraqi captive who has intimate knowledge of a nuclear device that is to be detonated within 24 hours in the Green Zone.  

      • Yes, that was particularly hilarious.

        The hypothetical that the Iraqi government insists that the U.S. withdraw all its forces, followed by the hypothetical that, thereafter, Al Qaeda resurges in Iraq and starts building Afghanistan-style bases.  Yet that is "reality"?

        Someone get that man a new pumpkin.

    • Russert is such a jerk

      Tim Russert is a wannabe hitman.  His whole purpose is to be so irritating and obnoxious that his unfavored interviewees go ballistic and he has a news clip to show off his trophy "gotcha".  On the other hand, if he is interviewing Cheney or Rice or any other member of the Bush administration, he can barely speak because his lips are pressed so firmly to their derrieres.

      After the debate last night, his little toady Chris "Spittle" Matthews was giggling like a schoolgirl about Tim's "reeling in" Hillary Clinton on her Iraq vote.  The cameras caught Russert's aw-shucks smirk as he listened to Matthews' adulation.  Barf-o-rama!!!

      Who are these men?  I do not support Hillary Clinton but these creeps prevent any substantive debate from taking place with their blood sport.  Last night, Russert set as many traps for Obama as he did for Clinton, but it is truly exasperating to watch these self-serving little games.

      I have seen most of these so-called debates and have nearly always come away feeling like an idiot for wasting my time.  All I've heard were superficial answers constrained by arbitrary time limits in response to lightweight and often downright stupid questions. Could this be why so many people complain about the candidates' lack of depth and detail on the issues?

      I want Bill Moyers to moderate at least one of the remaining debates.  I believe that he would ask tough questions that are substantive and intelligent and he would ask follow-up questions that are more about gaining information than pressing for a gotcha moment.  Maybe he could show the boys on the networks how it's really done.  Not that they would care.      


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Sun 26 Feb 2:08 PM