Why Obama Need Not Debate.

Disclaimer: This is an honest opinion from an Obama supporter.

The hard cold truth?  It's politics, silly.  

Simply put, she needs it and he doesn't.  Obama already has an insurmountable lead over Hillary, so basically all he needs to do at this point is wait out the clock.  Engaging in this debate would only serve to give legitimacy to Hillary's floundering campaign.  It's much smarter for Obama to just let it atrophy on its own.

Beyond this, the debate could possibly damage him in the GE if Hillary turns it into a another superficial gutter fight, which - after the last sham of a debate - is more likely than not.    I certainly don't want to watch another hour of Hillary's Ayers/Wright red/race baiting.  It would make about as much sense for Obama to debate Hillary as would for McCain to debate Ron Paul.

Don't get me wrong.  I'd love to see an honest debate between McCain and Ron Paul, just as I'd love to see an honest debate between Obama and Hillary, just as I'd lurve to see an honest debate between Hillary and Ron Paul, just as I'd love to see an intelligent debate between Ron Paul and Barack Obama.  

In truth, I believe Hillary would be devastated without two sympathetic moderator surrogates at her side.  Who knows!?! maybe he will. After all, he has decided to slum it on FAUX, which seems to be a counterproductive move on many levels.

This debate is just a desperate 11th hour stab in the dark from a campaign on its death bed, and frankly, I think it's a smart move.  She has nothing to lose, so why not.  However, Obama has nothing strategically to gain from this debate, so I'm going to guess he won't.

PS: for anyone who objects to my "red/race baiting" comment, feel free to tell me how exactly Ayers/Wright are not examples of red/race baiting.  Hint: claiming the Republicans are going to eventually do it is not an answer.

Tags: barack, clinton, Debate, Democratic, Democrats, Hillary, obama, Primaries (all tags)

Comments

27 Comments

Flambé

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-26 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

I think it's risky for him to refuse to debate  because that brings him negative publicity.  It's sort of a lose-lose for him in that respect.  Which decision brings less potential damage:  to debate her (the brainy girl) or to refuse to debate her (looks like he's afraid of the brainy girl).  Tough call I imagine.

I am proud of Hillary's debate skills but more importantly I'm proud of her command of the issues and competency.

by TexasDarlin 2008-04-26 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

Tex,

Again, sorry to threadjack here, but you're very eloquent and well-spoken. Would you be willing to engage in a MyDD debate on behalf of Senator Clinton?

by ragekage 2008-04-26 05:37PM | 0 recs
Obama's complaints after the last debate...

was his way of trying to avoid discussing the issues any further. Don't let him get away with it. He will be torn apart in the GE on issues he does not clarify now.

One BIG reason the Democrats have NOT coalesced around his candidacy is that Obama has been SO VAGUE on SO MANY important ISSUES.

If you read the policy papers on his site, they leave a lot of important questions unanswered. And his public appearances are scripted and avoid the kind of encounters where he might be asked to answer them. Debates, then, are all we are left with.

We NEEDd more debates.

by architek 2008-04-26 05:49PM | 0 recs
This would be true w/o 21 prior debates.

All he has to say is this is what happens when people get to the end of their campaigns, are behind in delegates, and running a little short on money.

by Travis Stark 2008-04-26 05:59PM | 0 recs
But then she can say

that he won't debate her because he's afraid he will lose. She can say that he is a great public speaker, with a teleprompter in front of him, and an adoring crowd behind him. But side by side on the stage with her under the kleig lights, he wilts like a daisy. Which argument will sound more plausible to voters who don't follow every nuance of the campaigns? The news coverage has been all about how decisively she won Pennsylvania, and he's going to argue that he doesn't need to debate her because he's already won?

by georgiapeach 2008-04-27 07:25AM | 0 recs
Her arguments fell on deaf ears.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-05-03 03:49PM | 0 recs
Yeah, that argument was so effective...

... in Wisconsin.

The reality is that most people don't care whether there is a debate or not.

This demand for a debate is just a ploy by Hillary's campaign to provide her more free TV time to bash him, while he is constrained by his gentlemanly nature from doing the same.  It's the same game her Senate opponents played against her, and that she refused to play then, for all the same valid reasons.

At this point, it's best for Obama, best for the Democratic party, to pretty much ignore Hillary Clinton as much as possible, to turn our attention and our resources to McCain and the general election.

Hillary has already lost the nomination.  She just can't or won't admit it yet, even to herself.

That's okay.  All the states should hold their primaries, and all the voters who want to do so should vote.  Then the superdelegates can close the deal.

But we would not be doing Clinton, Obama, the party or the nation any favors by feeding her delusion at this point.

by tbetz 2008-04-26 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

Like in Wisconsin? She was after him to debate before Wisconsin but he wouldn't and he blew her out of the water. So no, it won't hurt him. She's very transparent to most people.

by Becky G 2008-04-26 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

41,000,000 reasons not to debate: she needs the exposure and is hoping for another biased photo op with corporate media.  She actually is not as "brainy" . . . policy wonks read papers before voting for wars.

And policy wonks figure out the consequences to their own nation before pushing NAFTA and insure the protection of their own constituents.

by URKnot 2008-04-26 07:33PM | 0 recs
Brilliant!

Excellent diary, kudos to you, sir. Besides the fact the Clinton supporters around here (some, anyway) are more than willing to ignore the fact Clinton was happy to engage in debate-ignoring when it benefited her (say, her Senate campaign in New York State); so railing against it is just hypocritical. Karma, perhaps, since it's the only way she can really get the message out to fight Obama with her money problems.

by ragekage 2008-04-26 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Brilliant!

Bottom Line: the difference between most other "front runners" and Obama is that they usually don't stop debating after a TERRIBLE debate performance (in fact undeniable his WORST).  That performance changes the traditional front runner dynamic - leaving a hole big enough for a chicken the size of a Mack truck to drive through.

Because of his performance the average American won't view his avoidance of further debates as the typical frontrunner political posture but rather as "He's not confident that he'd perform any better in another debate and he's trying to run out the clock."

by wasanyonehurt 2008-04-26 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Brilliant!

I doubt it. I don't think most Americans viewed the debate that way- but a lot of Clinton supporters did, obviously. I think the overwhelming response was "WTF is up with these questions?!?"

I'm more than happy to bring up all the Clinton-gotcha moments if you like, though.

by ragekage 2008-04-26 05:47PM | 0 recs
Obama is playing a delaying game.

Wasanyonehurt is right, he figures that if he can just avoid any more debates, that he is the annointed democratic candidate by default.

Its an ugly way to run a campaign. I think we really need to give people an opportunity to make a choice.

This refusal to debate is another example of Obama resorting to coercion.

by architek 2008-04-26 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Brilliant!

Do you read anything other than these political junkie sites?  If you did you'd know that virtually every objective media source said he got clobbered.  Yes, some said the moderators were unfair but they still couldn't deny that he did POORLY.

Bring 'em up if you're so inclined - more supercilious electrons floating around is great.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-04-26 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Brilliant!

Uhh... there were many political junkie sites, major publications, political cartoonists, news pundits, regular people, et all, who thought it was all bunk.

by ragekage 2008-04-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
Ya, well most presidential debates don't allow

the former employee of the candidate's husband, that husband having made the person's career to be moderator. Go figure. There's been 21 or so nationally televised debates. Obama is under no obligation to engage in another, especially when it's just a gimicky bid by Hillary to get free publicity, and especially when she's this desperate. Not sure what Obama should do, but I'd advise he refuse any further debates.

He's the presumptive nominee. His next debate should be with McCain.

by Travis Stark 2008-04-26 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Ya, well most presidential debates don't allow

The perception of the average American as fed by the MSM is that he's fearful of another debate due to his abysmal performance.

Will he still be the "presumptive nominee" after a LOSS in Indiana and a low single digit win in NC?  I don't believe so, the narrative by then will be it's all about "electability stupid".

by wasanyonehurt 2008-04-26 06:29PM | 0 recs
The supers know that at this point Hillary is

utterly unelectable in the general election, and Obama is not going to get any bad press for refusing another debate, much as you might wish it.

Hillary should focus on communicating with the remaining voters in the thankfully small amount of time she has left.

by Travis Stark 2008-04-26 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The supers know that at this point Hillary is

Had he made a better showing in PA, I'm sure the supers would have validated your opinion with a deluge to his side.  He didn't - so they didn't, proving they haven't made public your wishful belief that she is "utterly unelectable".

She's focussing on exactly what she needs to focus on to be our next president.

by wasanyonehurt 2008-04-26 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The supers know that at this point Hillary is

Um, maybe you missed it but the superdelegates have quietly and steadily been coming out for Obama for some time now.  Your candidate didn't exactly get a deluge of newly inspired superdelegates following her earthshattering, and somewhat inflated, victory in PA.  We've all read about Rush Limbaugh's efforts to sabotage the vote with your candidate's tacit cooperation and wink-wink.  She squeaked by with a nine point something win which the media very generously reported as double digit.  Funny, she started with an advantage of twenty-seven points as the odds on favourite, and the Limbaugh factor indicates that she actually lost even more voters to Obama than the count indicates.  Where have you been?  

A lot of folks are totally turned of by the knee-capping effort she appears to be making.  

by URKnot 2008-04-26 07:41PM | 0 recs
She has already lost.

It's time for you to stop feeding her sense of entitlement.  She can't win the nom, and would be destroyed in the GE.

She foolishly embraces the Republican frames of the 'War On Terror'.  Her phony attempts at toughness would be laughed at in November.  The Republicans only support her now because they know how easily they would defeat her in November.

Why not join a movement for genuine change.  Hillary and McCain sold their souls to corporate America years ago.  She doesn't stand for anything but herself.

Free yourself and get on board.  We could use your help against McCain.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-27 01:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

Any debate in which each candidate is asked the SAME policy question, and not given at least five minutes to answer, with a three minute rebuttal would be a waste of time.

As this will not happen..The Showtime All-Star "Debates" are over.

by nogo war 2008-04-26 05:37PM | 0 recs
15 minutes..

They can answer on the web.

We have all the time in the world.. we don't need to let TV sound bytes dictate our future..

by architek 2008-04-26 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

As a woman with a firm belief in Women's Reproductive Freedom I find your words "after the last abortion of a debate" incredibly offensive.

May I politely request that you change or delete that wording?

by twinmom 2008-04-26 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Obama Need Not Debate.

Change noted... many thanks.

by twinmom 2008-04-26 05:57PM | 0 recs
Done.

 

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-26 05:59PM | 0 recs

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