April 21, 2008

Obama refuses to debate Clinton in North Carolina.

Marc Ambinder says it's because his advisors "did not want to give Hillary Clinton any excuse to stay in the race beyond Tuesday, assuming she doesn't fare that well." I don't like it. He just did badly in a debate, so it looks like he's afraid to debate. He should be bold and show us how good he is, show us what a strong candidate he'll be in the fall. Otherwise, Clinton, who just bested him in debate, has reason to claim she's the stronger candidate.

The Clinton campaign should milk this like mad. Here's their first parry:
It is unfortunate that Senator Obama has chosen to brush off the people of North Carolina by flatly refusing to debate....

Hillary Clinton is committed to debating the issues facing the Tar Heel State. We hope Sen. Obama will make the same commitment
Flatly refusing.

They must be furiously brainstorming: What's the most apt way to plant in people's minds that he's chicken, that he's weakening, tiring, and he doesn't want to give people a chance to see it?

Howard Kurtz says:
In political terms, Obama had little incentive for another face-off. He's comfortably ahead in the Tarheel State, and after drawing most of the tough questions in last week's ABC debate in Pennsylvania, he undoubtedly wasn't looking forward to a sequel.
(Is it Tar Heel or Tarheel? It's Tar Heel.)

I disagree with Kurtz. 1. Even if Obama is ahead, he should try to defeat Clinton as impressively as possible. 2. His poor performance is the reason to come back with a solid performance. 3. It's not just about North Carolina; it's about proving to all of us and to the superdelegates that he's the better candidate. 4. He's handed her a fat, juicy issue, and she'll take advantage of it (which in itself will be a demonstration of her fighting strength as a candidate).

And speaking of weakness and evasiveness, the Obama quote of the day is "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

35 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

Mmmm, waffles.

al said...

Elitest coward

Beth said...

I'm not crazy about either of the Democrats, but I'm really sick of the Obamaniacs' repeated cries for Hillary to just leave, already. She's still in the race, and Obama is not being annointed. He has to win it.

Trooper York said...

What a waffler.

Balfegor said...

And speaking of weakness and evasiveness, the Obama quote of the day is "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Well, if he pauses to answer a question, one question will lead to another, and pretty soon, his waffle won't be hot anymore. It will also be soggy, soaked through with syrup. Unappetizing.

I know it sounds kind of like I am making fun of Obama here, but I'm really not. Candidates shouldn't be allowed to slink away eight measley questions from the jackals of the press without earning hoots and jeers, but they also shouldn't be hounded while they're eating breakfast. That's just ridiculous.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

See, I told you. "How can you have your pudding/waffles if you won't eat your meat."** He wants to skip to the dessert and not do the hard parts first.

**Ripped of from Another Brick in the Wall.

On the other hand, maybe he just wants to eat his waffles in peace and not be pestered by the press. Sigh....so many tedious chores and inconveniences to be President. Life just isn't fair. LOL

former law student said...

Way back in March, Obama accepted CBS's proposal for a NC debate April 19. Hillary hemmed and hawed. Now, she changed her mind -- a woman's prerogative to be sure.

http://www.debatescoop.org/

Did HRC answer any questions during her breakfast? What does she eat, any way? Egg McMuffins like Bill?

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Doesn't she end up with the upper hand if she won the final debate between them? It's kind of like giving the opponent the last word.

former law student said...

c-a-c: whether she won or not depends on the season series, not the last matchup. How would you score the 21 debates so far?

bill said...

From Stranger Than Fiction. I always remember this being about waffles.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.

Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don't want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Give him a break. He was just afraid of KatieCouric and the ever-so-tough questions she would have asked.

George said...

Waffle Wiffer!

So light! So crunchy!

Waffle! Waffle! Waffle!

Christy said...

Grownups eat waffles for breakfast?

Trooper York said...

Well isn't eating bacon against his religion or something?

Smilin' Jack said...

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Because that would be cannibalism.

Jennifer said...

I have seen a surprising number of Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts on soldiers and the military community here in NC. I even saw a pickup today driving around post with a giant "Had enough? Vote Democrat." poster in the back window.

None of us vote in NC and as you say this isn't just about NC, but it has been interesting around here. Quite anecdotal and unscientific of course.

Cedarford said...

And speaking of weakness and evasiveness, the Obama quote of the day is "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

I agree with both Balfegor - and the people calling Obamabots out on their worship of the right of their annointed Great Man to deign to answer questions or not - or his Nixonian strategy 1st employed in Watergate of dismissing trivial matters like a 2nd-rate burglary as "a distraction diverting both voters and Nixon from the real issues the Great Man must devote his full attention to."

While it is true that Axelrod and his handlers have kept Obama from press access or put such access under rigid controls and handlers at the ready to spin and stop a line of questioning - thus reporters lunge at a chance to get him spontaneous and unscripted - hounding a guy when he is just trying to eat and enjoy his breakfast is a bit much. Balfegor's cold soggy waffle concept.

The proper thing would be for Obama's henchmen to make him reasonably available (weeks have passed on occasion where Obama, no doubt thinking the deep matters that give him his legendary great judgment on all things foreign and domestic so that he really has no weaknesses requiring a more experienced VP - has been walled off from the press entourage). While at the same time, telling media to fuck off while the guy is trying to eat a waffle or pancake or cereal before the food gets soaked and soggy...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I got two emails today from Hillary's campaign. The first was to volunteer to make phone calls to Pennsylvania voters. The second was to invite me to see President Bill Clinton on Wednesday, April 23rd, for two hours in the evening at a small town nearby [Thomasville]. Apparently they don't think it's over on Tuesday.

If Obama and Clinton actually do debate in my [suddenly important] primary, I'll live-blog it for you. Maybe Simon can cover Indiana.

Just trying to live up to reader_iam's coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. [Was that only 4 months ago?]

Cedarford said...

Jennifer - I have seen a surprising number of Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts on soldiers and the military community here in NC. I even saw a pickup today driving around post with a giant "Had enough? Vote Democrat." poster in the back window.

Not surprising. Good anectdote, Jennifer. My own anecdote is my conservative nephew who got back from Iraq last July carrying shrapnel told me in this spring hunting season (turkey) he was for Obama because the Republicans stand for exporting the good jobs to China, tax cuts for the rich and billionaire hedge fund guys paying less taxes than he has taken out of his paycheck, high gas prices and ethanol to reward their fatcat donors.
He considers Bush an idiot of Carter-like magnitude. While in Iraq, the Iraqis were sarcastically referred to in Bush-speak as "noble, purple-fingered, freedom lovers" until senior officers told them to knock it off while avoiding saying what they really thought of Iraqis untrustworthy, corrupt, pathological liars AND backstabbers

Ft Carson Colorado has the same phenomenon. Guys proud they did a good job for a people unworthy of it, mildly contemptuous of an inept but well-meaning President they like but for his favoring the rich. Surrounded by 18-24 year old friends that are 90% Obama backers who they agree with that the country is headed in the wrong direction and that serious, radical change is needed.

George said...

Buried in a Charlotte Observer story on Sunday was this...

"Democratic candidates don't have to tiptoe around cultural and moral questions, such as gay rights, as they did in the past, [local] party operatives said."

Hmm.

The article also said that the state has changed so much neither candidate would have to talk about guns or tobacco.

Hmm.

The NC primary will be as ugly as UNC's loss in the Final Four—rural poverty in eastern NC, racial tensions and crime in the middle, weak housing, illegal immigrants everywhere. Tobacco, textiles, and furniture-making are on the way out. The transition to biotech, information technology, and banking is great for newcomers, but not so hot if you ran a knitting machine for 20 years.

Daryl said...

Sen. Obama is correct to refuse to debate, because he knows he would get crushed again.

Do you remember "Chicken George"?

How about "Chicken Barack"?

"Backawk Obama"?

vbspurs said...

Hey Elizabeth!

"She's still in the race, and Obama is not being annointed. He has to win it."

Well put.

This remark of his reminds me, in a way, of Emperor Ferdinand I's famous retort to his courtiers when one of them dared deny him his favourite meal.

"I AM THE EMPEROR! AND I WILL HAVE DUMPLINGS!"

Cheers,
Victoria

Mortimer Brezny said...

[H]ounding a guy when he is just trying to eat and enjoy his breakfast is a bit much.

The contempt toward Obama that Clinton has stoked in the media is astounding. It cannot be good for the Democratic Party.

1. Even if Obama is ahead, he should try to defeat Clinton as impressively as possible. 2. His poor performance is the reason to come back with a solid performance. 3. It's not just about North Carolina; it's about proving to all of us and to the superdelegates that he's the better candidate.

1. Obama is winning by every metric already.
2. The debate was trash.
3. If Clinton fails to win PA by double-digits, there's your proof.

"Backawk Obama"?

Petty, childish attacks like this are exactly why Hillary Clinton is losing.

[Politicians] shouldn't be hounded while they're eating breakfast. That's just ridiculous.

All the more reason for Pennsylvanians to vote Hillary out of the race. It is time to move on.

former law student said...

not so hot if you ran a knitting machine for 20 years.

North Carolina lured jobs from the north by being a "right-to-work" state, and by offering incentives to relocate, including tax holidays.

Unfortunately for them, in the race to the bottom the Asians win every time.

The story of furniture is the story of logging. After Maine was logged out, the pine loggers moved to Michigan. After Michigan was logged out of softwoods, loggers logged the hardwoods for furniture. When those were gone, the industry moved south. (On the good side: the lumber companies quit paying taxes on the logged-out land, so it eventually became parkland with second and third growth forests. Western Michigan still has some furniture makers like Herman Miller and Steelcase).

Lou Minatti said...

Many Obamanoids are former members of the Ron Paul cult. Debates where their candidates answer tough but reasonable questions are not real debates in their tiny pinhead world.

If Barry and his groomers are afraid of Hillary at this stage, imagine what's in store for Barry this fall once the meanies in the RNC start cranking out the attack ads.

Barry Obama = McGovern.

Sloanasaurus said...

but I'm really sick of the Obamaniacs' repeated cries for Hillary to just leave, already. She's still in the race, and Obama is not being annointed. He has to win it.

What is even more gross about this, is that the hillary get out of the race campaign is underscored by naked racial politics. If Obama were a white elitest candidate and was having trouble getting the blue collar vote, the super delegate race would be hotly contested. The super delegates were put in place to prevent a situation occurring where the pledged delegates picked a candidate who had a poor chance of winning. If Obama was white, that would be playing out today. The contest would be real, and Hillary would have a 50-50 shot at winning. However, the one situation where the super delegate system breaks down is where you have a black candidate who is getting 95% of the democrats most loyal constituency - black voters. that is the case today. It would be apparent suicide for the super delegates to ever pick Clinton even if they know and feel that Obama is going to lose in November. And it is all because of race. Clinton knows this too, and it makes her mad as hell.

jeff said...

"the Republicans stand for exporting the good jobs to China, tax cuts for the rich and billionaire hedge fund guys paying less taxes than he has taken out of his paycheck, high gas prices and ethanol to reward their fatcat donors."

Sorry to hear your nephew is an idiot. He might give some thought to taking a few econ classes, explain how that whole free trade thing, who actually generates the most tax income, how many times the income from those hedge fund managers gets taxed, and what drives gas prices. The ethanol, while I totally disagree the enthusiasm people have for it, has brightened the lives of a great many corn farmers I know in Nebraska. None of which are wealthy, all of whom farm as a second job.

Mark Daniels said...

I'd like to see an end put to all debates unless an entirely different approach is taken. No moderators. No questions. Just Candidate A speaks for five minutes, then Candidate B. Then Candidate A, then candidate B. An hour and a half like that and we might get beyond sound bites...or not. Whatever we got would probably be more informative.

Mark

Sloanasaurus said...

he was for Obama because the Republicans stand for exporting the good jobs to China, tax cuts for the rich and billionaire hedge fund guys paying less taxes than he has taken out of his paycheck, high gas prices and ethanol to reward their fatcat donors.

I can't believe how ridiculously false this is. Young people are for Obama because they are naive about his policies. They don't know what hard times are like. All they know is Bush, so they assume that life under Bush is horrible because that's what the media says. They are in for a rude awakening with an Obama presidency.

After Bush's tax cuts, the rich actually paid a larger share of the record federal revenues than before the bush tax cuts. Once the cuts expire, then the poor and middle class will move back to actually paying more than they do today.

it was Chuck Schumer, a democrat, who was largely responsible for killing the increase in taxes on hedge funds. And ethanol, which today gets bipartisan support was originally the baby of the environmental left.

And exporting "good jobs" to Chin? I am with you, lets put of tarrifs on rubber bins and stuffed animals. Bring those good jobs back.

Beth said...

Hey, Victoria!

It's really nice seeing you here again.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Cedarford's nephew and jeff would both not seem to be operating on all cylinders. Obama supports a Bush trade scheme that would ultimately result in cheap Chinese goods being "mainlined" right through the center of the U.S., coming up from Mexican ports and bypassing U.S. ports.

As for the billionaire hedge fund guys, I believe that would be the result of a loophole, but I'm not an expert on those matters. Perhaps jeff might consider that supporting loopholes isn't good policy.

As for Mark's debate idea, it wouldn't work; it would just be the equivalent of asking them to read what's on their websites.

What the candidates need to do is be confronted with real questioning about their policies by those who understand all the upsides and downsides of those policies.

I'm very familiar with immigration matters, and I can't count all the lies and misleading statements the candidates have made about that issue, none of which they're called on by the corrupt MSM.

A format as described at the link would result in real debates that would help us avoid the "Bush effect" where we only find out later on just how bad someone is going to be. Oddly enough, I'm the only one pushing that proposal, largely because something like that scares the heck out of partisan hacks because they know just how badly their side would fare.

Ralph said...

Unaffiliated voters can vote in either party's primary here in NC. I'd like to know how many Repubs changed their aff. before last week's cutoff date. Many may be holding their noses and voting for a Clinton for the first and only time.

sfletcher99 said...

Smilin' Jack-

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Because that would be cannibalism.


Thread-winner!

reader_iam said...

This is the mostest, wonderfulest effin thing to come out of it:

We hope your interest in the North Carolina Democratic Party will not end with the cancellation of the debate.

We will keep your e-mail addresses for a random drawing to attend a special event in the fall featuring the nominee.


Teh lottery/raffle as sop! Blecch.

Pity the poor lowly soul who after all of that, after everything, had to keystroke these words:

Your voice, your vote does make a difference.

I can only hope that the context in which he or she did so was such that a hearty, out-loud "my ass!" or the like would either be entirely un-overheard or whole-heartedly applauded, full stop.

What are the odds, do you think?

John Stodder said...

He should've just given the reporter the finger.