Obama Drops Fox News/CBC Institute Debate
by Matt Stoller, Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 12:09:38 PM EDT
Barack Obama has chosen not to attend September's Democratic presidential primary debate co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Fox News, an aide said, effectively dooming the event.
Obama is the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus running for President, and his decision allows other candidates to skip the debate without facing criticism that they are turning their backs on a leading black institution.
Friday, John Edwards was the first candidate to announce he'd skip the debate. The CBC Institute is hosting one other debate, with CNN in January, in which all candidates are expected to participate.
"CNN seemed like a more appropriate venue," the aide said, adding that Obama himself had not called CBC leadership or Fox executives to deliver the news. "It was handled at a staff level."
The aide said that Obama will participate in the six officially-sanctioned Democratic National Committee debates, whose existence provided candidates a measure of cover to drop out of the Fox-sponsored debate.
Now we're waiting on Senator Clinton (and Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich, etc). Both Edwards and Obama were aware of this for some time, and it took courage for them to repudiate Fox News. And I like the staff level dig.