RUSSERT: BUT HILLARY REFUSED TO DEBATE MCMAHON & TASINI
MR. RUSSERT: I always enjoy debates over debates, because there's history to these things. I remember back in 2000, when Hillary Clinton first ran for the U.S. Senate, and this is what we found.
"Mark McMahon, a 39-year-old orthopedic surgeon, managed to force [Hillary] Clinton into a [Senate] primary by collecting""40,000" signatures from"Democrats." She wanted the debate her. She's"greeted like a celebrity at most stops.""`We're focused on the real debate in this race'" between--"`one between Mrs. Clinton and'" the"`[Republican] Mr. Lazio,'" said Howard Wolfson. He was doing it back then as well.
And then in 2006,"During the [2006 Senate] Democratic primary season, Mrs. Clinton refused to debate her antiwar challenger, Jonathan Tasini, all but ignoring his candidacy and sidestepping his attacks on her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq." Politicians pick and choose when they debate, David.
Honest Broder tried to correct him though rather more gently than he deserved.
MR. BRODER: Of course. And there's--perfectly natural that they would. But, at this moment, I think Mrs. Clinton is probably representing the views of most of the Democratic voters because, just as Gwen said, those folks are still looking for answers about the questions that really affect their lives, and they're not getting that. They didn't get it in that last debate in Pennsylvania, and they would like to get it now. So I think she's on a very strong, popular picket--wicket with this appeal for a new debate.
As Bill Kristol argues: Hillary Gets No Respect. She certainly does not get any from Tim Russert who has the chutzpah to compare her to McMahon and Tasini. But, then, perhaps he has learned his comparisons from Obama who compares God to guns, Wright to his grandmother, Ayers to Coburn etc., etc . . .
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E. Simon - 4/28/2008
Of course, the best way to get the respect of the media is to lie as effortlessly and thoughtlessly as Clinton is prone to doing, right? When even Sinbad had a front-row seat from which to dispute your fabled war heroics, you're in trouble. But the press always knew this about her.
So what's the point in debating with an out-and-out liar who never answers a question directly and "shows her strength" by always cutting you off? Obama would have to be an idiot to do that. If he were to cut her off, of course, her professional victimology chorus would never let anyone hear the end of it. Better to let her burn herself off and let the mud she flings stay closer to her than to him. There is a substantial portion of the electorate as interested in clarity as much as it is in closure, you know.