Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Obama And Hillary Might Avoid Early Debate Circuit

The Politico is reporting that both mega star-powered Democratic Presidential candidates may not be making the early debate rounds, this time around.

What if they gave a debate and nobody came?

What if the media-political complex announced a presidential debate, hired a hall, sent out invitations, lined up 200 folding chairs for the press, and then the major candidates said: "Stick it in your ear. We're not coming."

That could happen this year for one good reason: Major candidates are complaining that too many states are planning too many debates too early.

There are a lot of ways to look at this. From a strategic standpoint, this is an advantage for Hillary more than Obama. Hillary is a household name and has been for years now. If he's not already there, Obama is headed that way, in a warp speed. And because the senator from New York is already on record with so many things, she stands to lose more than she can gain. She can continue to plug along, taking soft-ball interviews until someone ( Democratic or Republican) forces her to do otherwise. She is in the "driver's seat", Obama is the one that needs these things early to get some kind of bounce in the recognition department.

But, as is pointed out in this referenced article, Obama is possibly willing to skip the early part of the tour, as well. That alone, tells me some things.

1. Both are not having trouble with money. Both appear to be out in the fund-raising world, garnering support, making short stump speeches that the media can use in their short sound quips, for whatever their agenda they want to drive, at that moment in time.

Their fundraising efforts come first and foremost at this stage of the game. Plus, it is free publicity in a formal, but friendly setting. It's safe, because most people that you are encountering are paying money to hear them. Those that do not like them would never pay the $5000 a plate fee, to hear them say things that they know, they already do not like.

2. Both may be looking forward to combining their raised reserves in a Clinton-Obama ticket.

From what I am reading and hearing from Democrats right now is, they want this "dream team". I, personally, think that if Hillary wins the nomination (which she probably will), she would do better with Bayh, because of his ability to take a red state. But, it is more likely that she will be pressured to swing further to the left with Obama, thus creating less surety for her chances in 2008.

3. By avoiding the debates early, they have more control over the agenda and the direction their campaigns want to go, ideologically. They can act, not react. If they are fielding questions which are often tougher in a debate setting, they are on defense, not offense.

As I have said before in earlier postings, a lot can happen between now and the time the voting begins. World and national events often dictate reactions, even when the person running may want to be in control of the action. The less time spent under the microscope, the less chance there is to screw something up. So while they are able, they are content to go about their ways, taking donations, passing the political offering plate around, and soaking up all of the free and favorable publicity that is offered to them.

But at some time in the future, they will be called upon to justify their views and stances. At some point, they will have take their cases to the American people. They will have to answer tough questions, because the American people will expect and demand it. Half the nation will be ready for this so-called new direction, but the other half will not. If their goal is to get elected, they will have to react under pressure. They will have to persuade and convince. Then, and only then, will we all see just what kind of mettle, they are all made of.

Eyewash looks good. But, is it clean under the surface?


Mary Ellen said...

Wait a minute, LA....You're basing all this information and speculation on an article written around a "what if" scenario????

Which major candidates made these complaints and where are the quotes? A few facts would be nice before you and your Republican friends start speculating as to the "why" they are not debating when you don't even know that they aren't.

When did Obama say he was willing to skip the early part of the tour? You say that alone tells you something...but when did he say it?

I think it's funny that you guys are trying to read so much into this article that is written on pure speculation. How desperate is that??? :-D

Mary Ellen said...

This is even funnier! I just read through some of the comments from that article. The first one...

A few reasons why the Hilda-Beast is avoiding debates:

Whitewater Castle Grande-gate Travel-gate Nanny-gate "It takes More Than A Village" to get credit from Hillary for writing her book for her-gate Rosen Trial-gate Cattle-gate

And then there are the "peeps" she likes to hang with...

George Cabrera - drug dealer/smuggler Peter Paul - Convicted felon - cocaine possesion/swindler Johny Chung - Illegal contributions to Bill Clinton

Oh... and a few people uhhh "died mysteriously", after becoming involved in "Clinton's World" Vince Foster Jerry Parks Susan Coleman Larry Guerrin Kevin Ives and Don Henry Keith Coney Keith McKaskle Gregory Collins Jeff Rhodes James Milam Richard Winters Danny Casalaro Victor Raiser Ian Spiro, his wife and 3 children Ed Willey Jerry Luther Parks Stanley Heard Steven Dickson Paul Wilcher Sgt. Brian Haney Sgt.Tim Sabel Maj. William Barkley Capt. Scott Reynolds Steve Willis Robert Williams Todd McKeahan Conway LeBleu

My gosh! The everlasting conspiracy theorists! Ha! I can't stop laughing...yeah, this is a great source of information. :-D

Greg said...

M-E: those are hilariously funny quotes!

Seriously, I have heard a lot of Democrats talk about the "dream team" ticket. Think about it - they'd steal the black vote completely away from the Republicans! LOL - okay, that wasn't completely serious.

I still think the Dems are committing political suicide if they nominate either. They aren't electable. If I had to guess, however, I would say that neither will be there at the end of the first few primaries, b/c that's usually what happens to the early front-runners. Remember Bill Clinton in 1992? Hillary is the opposite of what he was then.

As for why they won't debate, I can't remember early debates in prior campaigns. In fact, I can't remember a previous debate among potential nominees for one party. Is there precedent for this? Anyway, what would the 2 frontrunners have to gain?

LASunsett said...


//You're basing all this information and speculation on an article written around a "what if" scenario????//

That's what op-eds are for. They express opinion and often times are mere speculation. It's what I do here.

But, before you discredit the piece based on that alone, you should check out the entire site. It's not partisan.

It's also not a good idea to try to discredit the article based on what some commenter says, either.

The larger point I am trying to make here is, this is a valid strategy at this point. And I outlined why I think it is. As one who has worked on campaigns before and understands the psychology behind them, I feel I am qualified to render an opinion on this, don't you?

Mary Ellen said...


As far as trying to determine who is electable and who isn't, think back...Republicans didn't think Bill Clinton was electable, and Democrats didn't think GWB was a threat.

I'm hearing a lot of disgust on the Republican side with who they have to choose from on the Republican ticket. Support for McCain is waning, for good reason, he can't seem to stick with his own message. He's flip flopping within mid-sentence. Now they are trying to grab hold of Rudy. The problem with that is, he thinks he can fix Iraq as if it is New York. That comes directly from his interviews and his camp. If he can't tell the difference between the problems of New York City and Iraq, then he should drop his bid for Presidency now, before he makes a total fool out of himself during the debates. Not to mention, he's got a hell of a lot of skeletons in those closets of his. Wait until some of his business dealings come to light, in addition to his personal life. The mud is going to fly!

I'm looking forward to this election. I'm not sure who I will vote for in the primary's yet, and my vote in Illinois probably won't count, but I'm sure that whoever we end up with will be a very viable candidate who can and WILL win in '08.

I have the feeling you are selling the chances of Obama and Hillary short and there is no team the Republicans are more afraid of than a Obama/Hillary team. The Dems already have the majority (large majority) of the black vote. Bush ruined the chances for Republicans to get them back again. He stuck it to the middle class and poor one time too many and what he did (or didn't do, I should say) in Louisiana will stick with the black community for a very long time.

LASunsett said...


You are a Democrat. You intend to vote for a Democrat mo matter who it is, you have made that clear. That's okay, it's your choice. I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican. But I haven't made a choice and there's millions more like me that haven't made a choice either.

We will wait for election day. Until then, there isn't a damned thing wrong with looking at two of the declared candidates and analyzing their candidacies, strategies, ideologies, and stances on specific issues. Like I said, it's what I do here.

(And as far as Guiliani is concerned, I will care nothing more about his personal life than Bill Clinton's, when I voted for him.)

I am not picking a winner or loser yet. Saying this person is going to have it tougher if they do this or do that, is NOT picking a winner. It's analyzing weakness. ALL candidates have them.

I feel I have been fair in my assessments, because I am not partisan. And before you say anything more about it, I will let you in on a little secret. I have voted one straight ticket in my life, and it was Democrat.

Mary Ellen said...

Here ya go, LA, an update on the speculation....

Hotline reports that, according to sources, Senator Hillary Clinton has accepted an invitation to attend the Nevada Democratic candidate forum scheduled for Feb. 21 in Carson City.

"Six other '08 Dems (Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, Tom Vilsack, Wes Clark and Chris Dodd) have already agreed to attend the AFSCME-sponsored event," John Mercurio reports. "No word from John Edwards and Barack Obama yet."

Mercurio adds that a spokesman for Obama "said they're still working out its schedule for that week."

Greg said...

As for the Republicans, since McCain and Giuliani are the front-runners early on, I would predict the same fate for them as for Hillary & "Osama-Obama". :)

Watch out for Mitt Romney...

Mary Ellen said...


Calling Obama, "Osama" is so Rush Limbaugh. I thought you had more class than that...Independent my ass! You just proved you are as right wing Republican as they come! C'mon, Greg...put the Kool-Aid down and clear your brain.

Greg said...

Mary-Ellen: I'm quoting staunch liberal and Democrat Ted Kennedy. He's the one who started it!


Soooooo funny....

Mary Ellen said...

Sorry Greg, I don't buy your excuses for telling everyone you're an Independent, while doing nothing but spewing out Limbaugh-like or Fox talking points and insults.

You're as right wing extremist as they come in your political views. I prefer to be honest with myself and others when discussing politics. But, I can take comfort in the fact that everything that I predicted would happen when Bush became President and the Republicans controlled Congress and Senate came true. The sad thing is, with all the damage to our country they have caused, you still support them....which begs me to ask...
Why do you hate America so much, Greg? Why do you hate our troops?

Greg said...

Mary-Ellen: it would be more accurate to call it a Kennedy talking point, wouldn't it? In which case, I would be an extremist, but not a right wing one, right?

Anyway, I didn't find your comment very funny, so what's with the smiley face? Don't get mad at me b/c Kennedy's an embarrassing idiot.

Greg said...

And who said I "support the Republicans"? If I did, I'd be campaigning for Hillary to get the nomination, and name "Osama bin Ladin Osama-Obama" as her running mate!

I'm trying to make it a decent race by suggesting that party-oriented people such as yourself work to nominate someone who can win it all. Help me help you....

Greg said...

Actually, Mary-Ellen, I'm intrigued by your last comment. Which of my political views do you find extreme (or better "as extreme as they come")?

Mary Ellen said...


You guys (Republicans) have been fearing Hillary from the start. You keep saying she is "unelectable". How naive you are!

The front runners for the Republican party is McCain/Rudy. Now, lets look at McCain...this is the guy who while running against Bush in the Repug primary was viciously attacked along with his adopted child. Hmmm...so what does this man of ethics do this year? He signs up with the guys who attacked him to do his dirty work. Now, let's see...family or politics, which is more important to McCain? Oh yeah...politics! Now, lets look at some of the things McCain said about Fawell in the past: 3/5/00

Govenor Bush swung far to the right and sought out the base support of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. These aren't the ideas that I think are good for the Republcan party.

and now he says....

...established a good relationship with the Rev. Jerry Falwell and have reached out to Rich Land.

Now, I would call that putting politcs before family and truth. It's called a "sell-out", Greg.

I can list a hundred more of his flip-flops. He'll sell his soul to become President and will stomp on his own kids back to get there.

Rudy....well, to keep this short, check out the article in the Chicago Tribune (a very Republican/Conservative paper) and see what a beacon of humanity that guy is! If he can't get the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune, he's screwed.

You say Mitt Romney is the guy? Well, it's too bad the Republican party isn't so keen on him. Why? Because he can't play to the Religious Right with his stand on abortion. If he can't get their endorsement, his chances of being elected in the primary's are slim to none.

Now....we'll see what happens, Greg. But if I were you, I would start acting like a real Independent and start looking up some facts before you start spewing right wing talking points and insults.

I've read quite a few right wing websites...they aren't too keen on their choices this year, in fact, they're embarrassed as hell. I can't blame them for that, it's a pretty pathetic group you're backing there, Greg.

Greg said...

Mary-Ellen, talk about getting your facts straight! I haven't decided who to vote for, so you can hardly say I'm "backing the Republicans." I even voted in a Democratic primary this very year! No, I really am independent. I'm an issue voter, not a party voter, so I vote for depends entirely on what comes out of their mouths on the issues that concern me.

And I still don't understand what "right-wing talking points" I have spewed. Are you again referring to my quote of Kennedy?

And what are my "extreme views"? I'd like to know.

Mary Ellen said...


Ok, which ideas of yours do I think are extreme? Let's try the comments you've made about your support for going into Iraq...they are all the same lame excuses that Bush had made and were found to be false. Yet, even though they have been proved false, you still support them. Yeah...the world is better off without Saddam. I feel so much safer now, Greg!

Every thing that you say are the same things that come out of such rags as Fox News, Drudge Report, Michele Malkin, etc. Where are your facts, Greg?

When Obama was accused of going to a school for terrorists, it was written on this blog as truth. I showed that it was a debunked...in fact it had been debunked for days, but still shows up on this blog. The reason? Because even though it had been debunked, Fox News and other right wing rags were running with the story. You guys don't deal in facts, but only propaganda dished out by this administration.

I see this stuff going on all the time, and those, like you Greg, who claim to be Independents prefer to run with the false stories that you hear from the Republican right wing crowd. You don't bother to look up the truth because you don't want to hear it.

If you were a true Independent, Greg, you would do more to look at both sides. I have yet to hear you say anything positive about the Democrats, save Lieberman, who is
not a real Democrat. He chose to run as an Independent and votes for anything that Bush lays out to him. After being voted down in the primary by the Democrats he took money and endorsements from the Republican party (the same party that wouldn't even support their own candidate) in order to defeat a real Democrat. He's not any more an Independent than you are, Greg. He's a right wing, Bush-backing

Greg said...

Let's try the comments you've made about your support for going into Iraq

Well, that would make, like 80% of the country extremist, wouldn't it? Very few people stood up before the war and said it was a bad idea. Perhaps my view was wrong, but it wasn't "extremist."

Every thing that you say are the same things that come out of such rags as Fox News, Drudge Report, Michele Malkin, etc. Where are your facts, Greg?

Everything I say? Now who's being extreme? I have never read Drudge. I have only been to Malkin's site once or twice. Couldn't I easily accuse you of taking all your information from Crooks & Liars or the Huffington Post?

When Obama was accused of going to a school for terrorists, it was written on this blog as truth

You realize this isn't my blog, right? If I remember right, what I had to say about the school he went to when he was six was "Who cares?"

As for "saying nice things about Democrats" and "seeing the other side", I was the only blogger who took part in LAS' attempt to have us identify people on the other side of the aisle we respect. Why don't you give it a whirl?

You keep telling me to get my facts straight, but I still don't know what you are referring to. You, on the other hand, appear to have pretty loose handle on facts concerning me.

What gives? Why are you attacking me today?

Mary Ellen said...

Also, to prove that I deal in facts, here is an article that proves my point when I say that the Republicans are running scared against Hillary. For those of you who say she is unelectable, read this...


Mary Ellen said...


I'm not attacking you, I'm attacking your views.

Everything I say? Now who's being extreme? I have never read Drudge. I have only been to Malkin's site once or twice. Couldn't I easily accuse you of taking all your information from Crooks & Liars or the Huffington Post?

Well, for one thing, I don't call myself an Independent and then spout only Democratic views while attacking Republican views. I also deal in facts as much as possible. When I look up information (I rarely take anything from Crooks and Liars, BTW, and very limited stuff from Huffington Post), I always look around to make sure I have quotes or context to back up what I say. I do look at right wing sites, but rarely find their information backed by fact, but mostly it is right wing talking points or propaganda from Bush.

Most of the stuff that comes out, like the Madrassa story, is splattered all over right wing sites.

It's rare that I will just take something at face value, I will always look for back-up, some type of document or quote that will make it clear that the information is correct. It doesn't matter what site it comes from, but the integrity of the information is important to me. This doesn't seem to be the case with the right wing sites.

Regarding your support for this war...I don't blame those who supported this war in the beginning because they were given false information by Bush in order to back up his reasons for a pre-emptive strike against a country that was no threat to us. Many Democratic and Republican Senators and Congressmen made the mistake of believing him. But how can you support his war now? After all the lies have been revealed, how do you justify supporting this war? If you don't, I can't remember you saying so, so forgive me if I'm wrong in assuming you do support this war.

Right now, the Republicans in the Senate, with the encouragement of this President is doing everything they can to keep debate about this war off the floor. Meanwhile, we've lost 5 US helicopters in Iraq in the last week or so. While they play politics, our soldiers are dying. Yet, who do you support? Those same Republicans(and Lieberman) who are twiddling their thumbs, IMO, are no better than Saddam...willing to kill or have their own killed in order to keep their power in government. BTW, I also do not condone or respect any Democrat that would stand in the way of stopping this escalation or continuing to send our troops into a civil war.

I am just pointing out to you that a true Independent would not be so supportive of this President and this Republican party unless they value the core belief's of this party.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the core values of the Democratic party. I have voted for a few Republicans in my life (very few) and I have refused to vote for a Democratic President (Dukakis, do you blame me?) but I will never call myself an Independent.

Sorry if you think I'm attacking you...that isn't my intention, but I get pretty fed up with those who are so willing to carry the propaganda of the Bush Administration and then claim they are Independent. Where is the outrage on this site about the money (cash) that was sent into Iraq and handed out to who knows who? We're talking about over a billion dollars, which may have found its way into the hands of insurgents or terrorists!

Perhaps there is a middle ground...a new group called "Republidents" or "Independicans".

Greg said...

Mary-Ellen: you're preaching to the choir when you criticize Bush's handling of the war, including all the missing money. See, I don't support Bush on "everything." I disagree with his stance on abortion and gay marriage. I was against the lopsided tax cuts and attempts to make them permanent. I'm sure there are plenty of other things I don't support him on, like sending loads of cash to the terrorist group Fatah, eg., or recognizing India's illegal nuclear program. And I can support Kennedy, as I did with his immigration reform proposal. I can see both sides because I am independent. You should indeed know these things about me by now....

Mary Ellen said...

OK Greg....if that is the case, maybe you can stop the stupid "Obama Osama" remarks. Do you think Obama is a terrorist or can be compared to Osama bin Laden?

It doesn't matter to me that Kennedy screwed up when speaking of him, and I can understand how someone can make a slip up like that because of the similarities to the two names. In Kennedy's case, it was an accident. What's your excuse? To repeat it on purpose, is disrespectful to the man himself. This is what people on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity do. Do you want to emulate them?

I may not support all of Barack Obama's views or decisions, but I sure as hell wouldn't compare him in any manner to the likes of Osama bin Laden. That's low....very, very low. I think the reason I got so upset with you is that I thought you were better than that. I hold you up to higher standards than most people because I respect your intelligence (and the fact that you hate the NYY).

So, in short, sorry if I jumped all over you. I just have a very low tolerance for remarks like that.

Greg said...

I'm not comparing Barak to bin Laden. I am making fun of Ted Kennedy!!!

Mary Ellen said...


The use of Osama's name in place of Barak Obama's name has been done over and over on Limbaugh's show, Fox News and many many right wing sites. Why do you think they went so crazy over that misleading story about Barak going to a Madrassa? Fox News also made many remarks trying to compare the two and trying to get the right wingers to associate the name of Obama and Osama as a terrorist. I'll also bet they continue to do this during the campaign.

Hopefully you won't continue to bring yourself down to their level.

Mary Ellen said...


This is why Mitt Romney is going to have trouble if he manages to win the Republican primary...


Like McCain, he's trying to appease the extreme religious right. Only those in the Republican base that are still backing Bush (28%) will fall for that stuff. The majority of the American people just are sick of the extreme religious right and their control over the party. These guys are going to lose the real conservatives and those Independents who fell for this stuff before.

LASunsett said...


//I'm not comparing Barak to bin Laden. I am making fun of Ted Kennedy!!!//

You have to laugh, or you'd cry.

Ted is such a sorry example to mankind, but you have to laugh at him, because is a sure source of humor and overall generalized jocularity, sometimes.

But in a way it's sad. He has lived a tortured life, knowing in his heart that he didn't do the right thing, one day, many years ago. It is my belief he has used the molecule ethanol, as a pain-killer. As a result, I think he has fried his brain too much to speak properly in all instances. Too much booze does that to a person.

LASunsett said...


//This is why Mitt Romney is going to have trouble if he manages to win the Republican primary...//

What's your stand on abortion?

I am against it, I don't like it. But, I fear the back alley butchers coming back, if it's outlawed completely.

For that reason I am pro-choice.

That is not to say that I want it. I certainly do not want any partial birth abortions, except to save the woman's life. But, I do believe the only way to stop it, is to do it from the demand side, rather than the supply side.

Mary Ellen said...


I pretty much have the same view on abortion as you do. I hate it, and wish no one would ever have one, but that isn't my decision to make. I believe in choice.

That said, I'm not Mitt Romney, who is running for President and will need the support of his party and their base. That base seems to have ties with or agrees with the religous right who will not support any candidate that believes in womens rights to choose.

If you're asking if I would vote for Mitt Romney...I doubt it, based on the fact that he is a Republican. The Republican platform doesn't appeal to me in any way, shape or form. The only time I would vote for a Republican is if he/she were running for anything other than Senator, Congress, or President. I did vote for a Republican Governor once....a very long time ago. This last election I voted for a Republican in a county office.

I was watching one of the cable stations last night...can't remember which one, but they were interviewing Tom DeLay. That guy makes my skin crawl, but I did watch the interview because he was warning Republicans that Hillary is a force to contend with. He also said he would not endorse Mitt Romney because of his stance on abortion and just because he is trying to change his stance now...the truth is, that wasn't his stance before. He also didn't seem to care at all for McCain or Guiliani. So, where does that leave you guys? Newt Gingrich? Good luck with that...main stream conservatives have a vivid memory of what Newt did to your party with his Contract "on" America.

Personally, I think the Republican party is really split these days. It's still a long way off, but they had better get a viable candidate before long, or somehow find some middle ground with the "real" conservatives in the party, the Regan conservatives, or else they are screwed, IMHO of course. ;-)

LASunsett said...


//If you're asking if I would vote for Mitt Romney...//

Nothing of the sort, sometimes a question is just a question, nothing more. I just know that in the theological realm, you are conservative and in the political, liberal. I was just interested in how you reconciled this issue to your faith, knowing how opposed the Roman Catholic Church is.

Thanks for answering.