The “Gotcha” Debate

by lestro

For the 21st time this primary season, the Democratic party candidates gathered for another “debate,” this time in Philadelphia and in advance of next week’s Pennsylvania primary, another in a long line of firewall states for Hillary Clinton.

As Charlie Gibson put it, it was round 15 of a scheduled 10 round bout.

And really, it wasn’t much of a debate, as everything has already been covered and on policy matters and goals, there is very little difference between the two remaining democrats.

Instead, much of the debate, if it can really be called that, consisted of the moderators, one of whom owes his career to a Clinton, asking questions of questionable importance about non-issues and bullshit. It’s no wonder Obama labeled it the “Gotcha Debate.”

Part of the problem, of course, was that neither moderator really seemed up to the task and each had trouble coming up with anything new to ask – though Stephanopoulos did find a new attack on Obama, something about an Obama supporter who used to be a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic “terror” organization (for lack of better term) that died off soon after the end of the Vietnam War.

Even Gibson, who is usually very good, stumbled, and right off the bat. The first question was about the possibility of a joint ticket and Gibson quoted the Constitution, which says that the second-place finisher in the presidential election would be vice-president.

“If it was good enough in colonial times, why not in these times?” he asked.

Never mind the fact that the Constitution was amended to change that in 1804 because they realized how silly that was soon after the two-party system developed or that this is a primary, not a general election…

Both candidates performed as expected, with Clinton taking shot after shot at her Democratic opponent and Obama trying to remain above it while repeating his message of trying to change the whole politics as usual thing.

So the debate really became one of style with Hillary having the opportunity to show off her Wonky side, very effectively answering direct policy questions (most of which she answered first, leaving Obama, who agrees with her on many of them, trying to agree with her while saying something different) and Obama showing his vision and attempt to move past the politics as usual.

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