Did Clinton derail the Obama express?

By many accounts, the answer is no. In fact, I read several places that said Clinton actually “lost” this debate. However, having watched the entire debate, it did seem to me at least that Russert and Williams had it out taking tougher questions to Hillary and making her follow up on them.

Here’s a CBS News video reporting on whether Clinton made some headway:

The bottom line is that it’s gotten tough at this point for Clinton to make some serious inroads.

What’s amazing though is how two people watch the same thing and get an entirely different perspective. For example, take the comment from Michael, one of our commentary writers and radio co-hosts:

Clinton clearly won the debate over health care– Obama made some stumbles here.

I actually felt otherwise only because Obama has been able to paint her plan as if it’s overreaching and is too stringent with “mandates” for care and fines if you don’t bu insurance. Whether that’s the case or not, Obama has been able to convey that.

Either way, it was overall a good debate and probably a good note to go out on heading into March 4th with Texas and Ohio coming up.

  • nzpudding

    I thought over all Hillary won the debate, but she could have really nailed it had she not gone nutty again.

  • Babs

    I caught a clip on the NBC nightly news of the press asking Hillary her opinion of the SNL skit as she was leaving an event, so I don’t think it was too out of line for her to comment on it at the debate. I think she could have done a better job of alluding to it, but again, the press started that one. If there weren’t undercurrents of it being an accurate assessment, I don’t think SNL would have bothered to do the skit.

    So much of Obama’s answers at the debate were to simply agree with what Hillary had just said or at least call her statements accurate assessments, I would have to swing the win to Hillary. At least she said it first.

  • No, she didnt but there were some good points on both sides.
    That was a solid body blow by Clinton on Obama not holding a single hearin gon Afghanistan despite that he talks about it being the front line on terrorism and that he chairs the subcommittee on Europe, which oversees NATO. While Obama’s explanation may be realistic — that he became chair at the beginning of his campaign — doesn’t it reinforce Hillary and Bill Clinton’s points that he is inexperienced, that he has only been in the Senate for a limited time and hasn’t cut his teeth yet. Doesn’t that play right into the inexperience narrative quite well?

  • Stalin

    Obama catches himself in his own web:

    Obama said in the debate on Tuesday that he would go back into Iraq if al Qaeda was there.

    McCain says he has news for Obama, al Qaeda is already there.

    Obama says al Qaeda is only there because Bush invaded.

    So Obama would fight al Qaeda if they were in Iraq, he admitted they are currently in Iraq, yet he wants to withdrawl our troops… is anyone else confused by this or is it just Obama that is confused about his own policies?

  • nzpudding

    I think Obama must be suffering from sleep deprivation or he’s borrowing Michelle’s foot to shove in his mouth.

    What would have made more sense was. Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq until America invaded it, but now that they are, America wouldn’t leave until Al Qaeda was gone.

    Unfortunately for America they’re in a bit of a pickle, as Al Qaeda are mainly in Iraq (they wasn’t but they are now) Afghanistan and Pakistan. If America was successful in defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan alone, (which’ll never happen) then there’s still the problem with Pakistan, where they’d still flourish.

  • Stalin


    I think your assessment is actually a good thing for America. According to you, we have been successful in relocating most of al Qaeda to Iraq. al Qaeda is enemy number one in the United States. How wonderful that they have all congregated in one place, making it easier to defeat them. I never really thought of it that way. Thanks nzp!

  • Frederick

    I’d just like to point out that the very thing that Hillary was complaining about happens to work in her favor quite often during the debates: getting the first question. Not only does she get the first question, but she often gets asked the tough questions first. In both cases though, she, in my opinion, usually gains two distinct advantages.

    First, it often comes across, especially in this last debate, as if she is being attacked by the media and ganged up on, which I would suppose evokes at least a feeling of sympathy. As an Obama supporter myself, I was pretty enraged with the role of the moderators in this last debate. It was like a referee in a prize fight that won’t just let the two fighters fight the fight. When it comes to moderators, ‘moderation’ is the key.

    Secondly, with one of the major criticisms of Obama being his lack of experience, by Clinton answering first on many issues it often serves to reinforce that notion. When Senator Clinton addresses a subject such as NAFTA with a fairly common sense approach it kind of sets Senator Obama up to appear as though he is just piggybacking off of her response, when in fact, he very likely would have had the same response. The problem is, whether or not he actually does think of the ‘correct’ response first, it is always going to appear that he is simply going along with Clinton when he answers second. But in many of these instances he is left in a situation where arguing against Clinton’s point would make absolutely no sense and agreeing with her reinforces his perceived lack of experience.

    To that point, I would just like to point out that Eli and the NY Giants certainly had less experience than the NE Patriots, but when the game was on the line, who got the job done?! (And just a note, I actually hate both teams.) My point is, experience doesn’t always win out, and sometimes someone with less experience will make the better decisions in critical moments. Both Clinton and McCain had more ‘experience’ when they chose to vote for the war, while an obviously less experienced Barack Obama had the foresight to oppose it.

  • Babs

    “Both Clinton and McCain had more ‘experience’ when they chose to vote for the war, while an obviously less experienced Barack Obama had the foresight to oppose it.”

    Frederick, perhaps before you hold onto that statement too strongly you should check Obama’s voting record. See below, taken from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23392577 titled “Ten Key Votes by Barack Obama:

    June 22, 2006
    Amendment to order President Bush to withdraw most United States troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only a minimal number of forces.

    Obama’s vote: No

    Yet this is what he’s promising now. To withdraw troops from Iraq leaving only a minimal number behind, although he voted not to do that less than 2 years ago. Where was his foresight then?

  • nzpudding

    Was Barack actually able to ‘vote’ for or against the war in the first place? It’s OK to say you were against something, but to say you actually voted against something when your vote meant nothing is kinda preposterous.

  • Babs

    Sorry, nzpudding, your response doesn’t make sense to me. Are you saying since he didn’t vote for the war to begin with it was ok for him to vote not to send the troops home? I’m not following what it is you think is preposterous.

  • nzpudding

    All the words are in the correct order, but I’ll juggle them around a little to make it simpler.

    Barack claims he voted against the Iraq war, while saying Hillary voted for the Iraq war, but Barack wasn’t even in the Senate at the time to vote for or against the war in the first place.

  • Babs

    Ah, I see now, nzpudding. So we just add insult to injury here – he never voted in the first place and he voted no to sending the troops home. But he’s against the war and will end it as soon as he takes office. Uh huh.