PHILADELPHIA — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton squared off last night in a debate to help Democrats choose their party’s nominee, but the big winner wasn’t either Democrat. It was Republican John McCain.
Both Clinton and Obama were rattled as ABC moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos grilled them on a number of issues that have not been brought into focus before.
Clinton came across as craven and dishonest, while the normally eloquent Obama buckled under tough questioning about his relationships with former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. When the debate moved to policy, both candidates contradicted themselves repeatedly and revealed the hollowness of their liberal positions.
Gibson reminded Obama that more than a year ago he asked Wright not to attend the announcement of his candidacy, reportedly telling his long-time pastor, “You can get kind of rough in sermons. So, what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.” Gibson then asked Obama why, knowing Wright was “rough in sermons,” it took him more than a year to distance himself from the remarks.
Obama responded unconvincingly, saying that even though he had a close relationship with Wright that spanned decades, it wasn’t until he read an article in Rolling Stone that he found out that the reverend had delivered inflammatory sermons, and that it wasn’t until he saw YouTube clips that he was aware of Wright’s even more explosive comments.
But in last month’s highly touted race speech, Obama said: “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.”
So which is it?
Meanwhile, Obama declared that because Wright served as a Marine, “I believe that he loves this country.” I’d wager that most Americans who listened to Wright shout, “God damn America” would come to a different conclusion.
When Obama was asked a question about his relationship with domestic terrorist Ayers, he made the outlandish parallel to his friendship with conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, who is a fierce opponent of abortion.
And Obama also had a telling response when asked about his uneasiness about wearing an American flag lapel pin.
“This is the kind of manufactured issue that our politics has become obsessed with and, once again, distracts us from what should be my job when I’m commander in chief, which is going to be figuring out how we get our troops out of Iraq and how we actually make our economy better for the American people,” Obama said.
It was quite indicative of how he views his job as commander in chief that he describes it only in terms of leaving Iraq rather than protecting America. Even if somebody believes that withdrawing from Iraq is a necessary precondition to securing our nation, it is certainly a bizarre way to define the role of leading the armed forces of the largest military of the world.
Clinton didn’t fare any better when, by video, a voter asked about her fantastical recreation of her visit to Bosnia in 1996.
“I can tell you that I may be a lot of things. But I’m not dumb,” Clinton said. “On a couple of occasions in the last weeks, I just said some things that weren’t in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book.”
Well there’s a word for when intelligent people say things that they know not to be true. It’s called: lying. I’m surprised she never learned this from her grandfather who worked in the lace mills in Scranton.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?