Head to head: Hillary vs. Obama; Update: Wolf Blitzer is a marked man; Update: Hillary's Mother of All Cackles; Update: Awwwww. Hug!
Scroll down for updates…Hillary plays identity card (We’re a woman and a black candidate!) against GOP (They’re white men): “Just by looking at us, you can tell, we will not be more of the same”…Obama plays the McCain card against conservatives…immigration Hispandermania…Hillary vows to clean the mess in the White House. Seriously…Obama plays the McCain card again: “I’ll be the most effective Democrat going up against John McCain”…Wolf disses Hillary on her war vote rationale: “So you were saying that you were naive in trusting President Bush?”…Hillary’s SUPER DUPER HUGETASTIC HILLARY CACKLE…And the nominees for best actor and actress in a fake embrace are…Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama…Final cackle count: Five plus the Mother of All Cackles…
With Silky put out to pasture, MSM expectations are high for tonight’s one-on-one Democrat debate in L.A. Show starts at 8pm Eastern. On CNN. Again. Stay tuned for liveblogging. There promises to be plenty of acting and emoting, so it’s fitting that the event will take place at the Kodak Theater–home of the Academy Awards. Look for identity card clobbering. And perhaps another Hillary eye spigot moment. Or a stiff hug.
And make sure to keep a Cackle Count.
Meantime, Obama’s awash in big bucks:
Barack Obama raised a staggering $32 million in January, cash aplenty to advertise all through the expensive Super Tuesday states and beyond. He was also running ads in more states than rival Hillary Rodham Clinton as the last two Democrats standing braced for Thursday night’s face-to-face debate in California.
Obama’s January haul was the most raised in one month by any candidate in the 2008 campaign.
The Illinois senator is advertising in 20 of the 22 states in play in the busiest day of the primary season – including California, the biggest delegate prize – and plans to begin running ads in seven more states that hold primaries or caucuses later in February. Clinton is advertising in 12 Super Tuesday states, including her home state of New York.
Update 8:03pm Eastern. CNN continues its weirdo “paparazzi moment” opening. Hillary is doing the fake-o, double-point, “Hey, I see you and you” gesture thing to the crowd.
LA Times Washington bureau chief Doyle McManus and a Politico reporter are the co-panelists.
8:06pm Eastern. Wolf Blitzer says there will be no rules. First Hillary cackle!
Obama makes an opening statement. Sucks up to John Edwards. “One of us wil make history because one of us will become the president…I was friends with Hillary before the race and we’ll be friends afterward…We’re running because we love this country.”
Told you there would be lots of acting tonight.
Obama continues: “It’s the past vs. future, we have to change that brings people together.”
Hillary has her fake warm gaze on.
Hillary’s turn: “Well on Jan 20, 2009, the next president of the US will be sworn in. I as a Democrat hope you are looking at the next president. Either I or Obama will walk into the White House and face a stack of problems…Iraq, health care, global warming…it is imperative that we have a president starting on day one that can begin to solve our problems, tackle these problems…sticks in a John Edwards suck-up line…we need a problem solver, who can roll up their sleeves…let’s have that conversation.”
McManus goes to Hillary: What do you consider the most important policy distinction between the two of you?
Hill: Repeats her talking point that the differences between Barack and I pale in comparison to the differences with the Republicans. Hillary crusades for universal health care, moratorium for foreclosures, freeze interest rates for five years, blahblah.
Foreign affairs: Start with realism.
Bottom line: There are basically no major policy distinctions between Left and Lefter.
Hill plays gender and race card against the GOP: “Just by looking at us, we are not more of the same.”
Translation: They’re white guys. We’re not!
Obama’s answer: Obama repeats his differences on health care with Hillary. We’ve heard this umpteenth times. Here.
Obama objects to mortgage interest rate freeze. Will result in higher interest rates.”Some of the people we’re trying to protect will end up being hurt.” That’s true. Obama switches to bashing Bush on special interest oversight.
Obama on the war: “I was opposed to Iraq from the start.” (Applause.)
Politico reporter goes to Obama on lack of health insurance mandate in his plan. This is an old discussion. And a sop to Hillary. She looks like she can’t wait to pounce.
“It’s a core Democratic value. I think it’s imperative that we as Democrats have to be willing to fight for universal health care…you have to bite this bullet. What I have designed makes it affordable…”
Obama: “Understand that number one, Hillary says she has enough subsidies. We priced out both our plan and Hillary’s plan and some of the subsidies are not going to be sufficient. I don’t just want to cap premiums. I want to lower premiums.”
Amazing to hear this entire discussion completely devoid of any reference to the free market.
Well, no. Scratch that. Not amazing. Par for the course.
Obama bashes drug companies. Complains about profiteering on the backs of senior citizens.
He’s channeling Hillary from 1993.
Huck and McCain would be nodding their heads.
The more things CHANGE, more things stay the same…
Hillary lobbies for S-CHIP Trojan Horse.
Hillary claims that taxpayers pay for pharma research. Never mind the billions that pharma pours into R&D and the intellectual capital that private enterprise–not Hillary–invests.
8:32pm Eastern. McManus asks about tax hikes. How will you counter “tax and spend liberal charge.” Obama says Republicans won’t be in a very good position to argue after spending billions. Obama takes on McCain’s Straight Talk Express and uses him as the best argument against conservative policies. Cites McCain’s vote against Bush tax cuts. (Applause).
And so it begins…the Dems using McCain to validate liberal policies.
Hillary lays out how she’ll Britain-ize our health care through “efficiencies.” Dr. Hillarycare will have electronic medical records. She cites Newt Gingrich, Bill Frist, and the RAND Corporation. See! She’s reaching across the aisle!
8:38pm Eastern. Obama: We have a “moral obligation” to tax wealthy people out the wazoo to provide more health insurance. Hillary will go back to pre-Bush tax levels.
8:39pm Eastern. Politico lady goes to immigration. “It’s a divisive issue for you all as for Republicans.” Cites reader question: “There’s been no acknowledgement of negative economic impact of immigration on African-American community. How will you address negative impact on wages of flood of illegal immigraiton?”
GOOD QUESTION. First good question in ages!
Obama goes first. He’s not answering the question. He’s denying that illegal immigration has anything to with it. It’s “scapegoating.” How can any sane person deny the reality of the impact on construction, janitorial, other blue-collar jobs once held by black Americans?
Obama panders to open borders lobby. “Create a pathway to citizenship.”
Hillary acknowledges that depressed wages from illegal immigration are a real problem. She talks about a black voter affected by it.
Her solution? Why, “comprehensive immigration reform,” of course!
McCain is nodding.
Hillary demonizes those who favor enforcement, deportation.
Obama defends his support of driver’s licenses for illegals: “It’s the right thing to do.”
Obama starts to stumble. Wants to clarify that wage depression in black community “is not primarily” due to immigration.
Obama panders again: Citing his DREAM Act support.
Obama is getting tangled. Now he doesn’t support driver’s licenses for illegals until AFTER we have comprehensive immigration reform. Tying himself into knots.
Hillary defends herself against Obama charge that she was AWOL on last year’s shamnesty. She snorts that she co-sponsored shamnesty in 2004. She condemns “demagoguery.” She brags about farmworkers’ endorsement. She’s hogging the stage. Obama loses this round.
She launches into her open-borders demagoguery, strawmen.
Clinton says she doesn’t support for driver’s licenses for illegals.
Obama points out that she gave six answers. “At this point, she’s got a clear position. But it took a while.”
“I bring this up to underscore that this is a difficult political issue.”
Obama says the Dems will have real differences with GOP on immigration.
8:57pm Eastern. Commercial break.
9:01pm Eastern. We’re back. It’s the who’s-a-bigger-do-gooder-bleeding-heart competition. Bleh.
Hillary helped old people, rescued children, poor people, championed Macedonia, took in lost puppies, teamed up with Lindsay Graham. She’s Mother Teresa and don’t you forget it!
Politico lady: Neither of you have run a business. Why should you be CEO of the government?
Hillary: US Government is not a business. It’s not out to make a PROFIT.
McCain is nodding.
Obama makes a crack about Romney’s investment in campaign not getting a good return. Laughter.
9:05pm Eastern. Second Hillary Cackle alert! McManus asks about Kennedy endorsements. She mentions Kathleen Kennedy Townsend endorsement of her.
Ding, ding ding. Hill plays the gender card again. “Would be proud to be the first woman president.”
Obama takes a pass on criticizing the Clinton years. Plays the generation card instead: “We’re bringing in a whole new generation of voters.”
Sorry, I’m starting to tune out. Check out my new post on the Berkeley backlash if you’re getting sick of this.
9:13pm Eastern. GAG. Hillary talks about how it took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and how it will take a second Clinton to clean up after the second Bush. (Longest applause of the night.)
She really shouldn’t be talking about having to clean up messes in the White House.
9:18pm Eastern. Back after a commercial break and the topic is Iraq. Hillary’s filibustering. She has hogged most of the time on stage tonight, which is bad for Obama. ”
The camera cuts away to America Ferrera. You remember her. She’s thinking right now: “My God, like, this is a woman running for president.”
Obama tries to demonstrate his command of global threats and foreign policy.
Obama: “I’ll be the most effective Democrat going up against John McCain as someone who provides a clear contrast.”
Blitzer: “Sen. Clinton, that’s a clear swipe at you.”
Hill: “Really? We were having such a wonderful time.”
Such an actress.
Obama: “I wouldn’t call it a swipe.”
After some applause and laughter, Hillary’s response to Obama’s line is to cite her support from…Maxine Waters.
Politico lady asks a reader question from leftie who challenges her failure to support the Levin amendment on Iraq war. This is good for Obama.
Obama asked about surge. “I welcome the progress…b–b-ut the notion that we have succeeded…means that we have set the bar so low it’s buried in the sand.” Strawman.
Blitzer presses Clinton to say that her war vote was a mistake. Imagine what she’s thinking in her head about Blitzer right now. Mwrrowwr. “What no one could have fully appreciated how obsessed this president was with this particular mission…unfortunately, those of who warned about need for diplomacy were talking to a brick wall…if she were president, she would have never been diverted from Afghanistan…Miss Know-it-all would have known what to do, except for the fact that she was duped by obsessive George W. Bush…switches topic to body armor…”
Wolf: “So you were saying that I was naive in trusting President Bush?”
Now this is enjoyable. “No, that’s not what I was saying.”
Hillary snarls: “Good try, Wolf. No.”
Boos. Hillary digs a hole for herself and tries to filibuster her way out of embarrassment. Obama gently pours salt in her wound.
She is not happy. Frozen smile. Blinking. Get the body language expert.
Obama: “It’s important to be right from day one.”
Obama is going to send a box of chocolates to Wolf.
Wolf better hire some bodyguards, though.
9:45pm Eastern. Coming back from commercial break, debate is underway. Topic is entertainment industry. Obama gently criticizes violence and sex in movies/TV.
Politico goes to Hillary on the issue of spouses. She puts on her frozen smile. Question is if she can’t control her husband now, how will she control him when she’s in the White House.
9:47pm Eastern. SUPER DUPER HUGETASTIC HILLARY CACKLE ALERT. She’s proud of her spouse. Her husband is passionate. So is Obama’s.
“It’s a lonely job in the White House.”
Blitzer: “When Dems look at the two of you together, they see a potential dream ticket.”
“Would you consider an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket?”
Obama: “Obviously, there’s a big difference between those two.”
FOURTH MAJOR HILLARY CACKLE ALERT.
Obama: “It’s premature and presumptuous” to talk VPs…wants Cabinet officials who will help Americans…”
Hillary agrees with everything Obama said. Slight cackle.
Hillary plugs her townhall and Hallmark Channel forum. Obama: “What about my website?”
Blitzer: “We do the plugs here.”
FINAL HILLARY CACKLE.
Obama gallantly stands for Hillary. Big hug and intimate whisper.
Love is in the air.
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