Yep, another Democrat debate…and another Hillary Clinton Cackle Count; Update: Hillary denies knowledge of Obama African robe photo; Hillary whines, Obama keeps cool; Update: Obama questioned about Farrakhan/Pastor Jeremiah Wright; Update: Pop quiz! Name Putin's successor; Hillary: "I still intend to do everything I can to win"
Scroll down for updates…Cringeworthy video of Hillary’s whine and failed SNL reference here…“Maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow”…and vid of Hillary’s tax dodge here…
I’ve liveblogged so many of these debates, I can liveblog them in my sleep:
Hillary plays passive-aggressive, praising Obama’s message of unity while mocking the empty rhetoric of unity without EXPERIENCE.
Hillary attacks Obama’s lack of an individual mandate in his health care reform plan. Obama sighs, patiently explains why affordable health care will persuade people to buy health care on their own.
Hillary Bush-bashes. Obama Bush-bashes.
Hillary says she’s against the war. Obama says he was always against the war.
Hillary plugs her housing bailout plan. Obama plugs his housing bailout plan.
Obama recites his biography. Audience cheers. Obama remembers to pull out Hillary’s chair for her.
Debate ends. Hillary launches new, dirty attack.
Oops, I forgot the Hillary Clinton Cackle Count. I think she’ll toss in a few extra ones. I’m betting on eight cackles tonight. Your guess?
9:06pm Eastern. Williams starts right off contrasting video clips of Hillary “honored” soundbite from the last soundbite and her screechy “Meet me in Ohio” threat from the campaign trail.
She stiffly talks about their differences, whines about some Obama campaign flyer, and segues right into…her health care mandate attack. “We should have a good debate with accurate information…”
9:08pm Eastern. Williams asks about the African garb photo. Did it come from her camp?
“So far as I know, it did not. I know nothing about it. That’s not the kind of behavior that I condone or expect from the people working in my campaign.”
She looks bitter, tired, angry.
9:10pm Eastern. Obama defends his criticism of Hillarycare…Hillary attacks Obamacare.
Hey, did I call this or what? Not that it wasn’t as predictable as the sunrise or the sunset…
By the way: They look like they really, really HATE each other.
Individual mandate, children covered, not adults, blahblahblah.
9:20pm Eastern. Williams intervenes to talk about NAFTA.
Hillary’s whining about getting the first question all the time in debates.
9:22pm Eastern. She’s whining about wanting a real debate and wanting to get what the real issues are.
Obama says simply: “I think it is inaccurate for Hillary Clinton to say she’s always opposed NAFTA.”
9:25pm Eastern. Russert double-teams with Obama on Hillary
She starts snarling about how her record “has always been consistent.”
She wants America to be more like Germany.
9:33pm Eastern. Russert asks Hillary about her unfulfilled pledge to create 200,000 new jobs in depressed Buffalo.
Try not to glare, Hill, try not to glare.
9:37pm Eastern. Obama’s talking about Iraq. His judgement is sound.
Hillary gets to talk about EXPERIENCE now.
There’s still an hour left in the debate and they’ve covered all their key talking points. What’ll they do to fill the rest of the time?
Boy, am I off on the cackle count, though. Hillary’s got too much smoke coming out of her ears.
9:50pm Eastern. Yet another awkward moment as Hillary elbows into Obama’s Iraq discussion. She wants to get in a last word and Williams cuts her off for a commercial break.
Obama stands for Hillary. She’s not getting up.
Oooh, I can imagine the sniping going on right now on stage during the commercial break.
Maybe she won’t come back!
9:55pm Eastern. Williams asks Obama about Hillary’s celestial skies diss.
I think Hillary showed some good humor. I would give her points for delivery.
CACKLE!!! WE’VE STRUCK GOLD!!!
Obama segues into a stump speech on his record for CHANGE.
9:58pm Eastern. Hillary defends her “celestial skies” attack. “I was just trying to have fun. It’s hard to have fun on the campaign trail.
Agh, she’s so brittle, it pains me to watch.
10:00pm Eastern. Williams goes to a video of Obama attacking the Clinton co-presidency. Obama defends his criticism.
Hillary questioned on tax records.
10:10pm Eastern. Obama distances himself from Farrakhan. I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that I’m a good guy…I’ve consistently denounced it.
Russert cites Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor. Wright praised Farrakhan. What do you do to assure Jewish Americans that…you are consistent with issues regarding Israel?
“Tim, I have some of the strongest support from the Jewish community in my hometown of Chicago…I have been a stalwart friend of Israel…”
Hillary’s thinking: Is this a debate? I want a question! I want a question!
10:14pm Eastern. Hillary butts in to say she rejects anti-Semitism, too! “I wouldn’t be associated with people who said such thing…important to stand on principle and reject it.”
Russert: Are you suggesting Obama isn’t standing on principle?
Hillary wants Obama to be stronger: “There’s a difference between denouncing and rejecting.”
Obama: “I reject AND denounce!” if it makes Hillary happy.
10 more pitiful minutes left.
10:21pm Eastern. Williams cites National Journal rating of Obama as more liberal than Ted Kennedy. How can he win in a general election?
Obama calls the rating “silly.” He’s using up a lot of time. “Proof is in the pudding. We’ve been attracting more independents and Republicans than anyone else.” Hillary’s champing at the bit.
10:23pm Eastern. Russert asks Clinton about Putin’s successor. “He’s a hand-picked successor. Very little independence. So-called leading oppo figure spends most of his time praising Putin. Clever but transparent way of Putin holding on to power.
Clinton gets an “A” for preparedness. This would have been a better question to ask Obama.
Russert tries to stump her: Do you know his name?
Clinton: “Medvedev. Whatever.”
Russert to Obama: What do you know?
Obama: Same talking points.
Last question: Anything -words, votes – you would take back?
We’ve had this regret question before from Monsignor Russert. Yawn.
Hillary says her war vote.
Obama would have stood up and said something more about the Schiavo debate in Congress.
Obama then takes advantages of the remaining time to talk about past 20 debates and give his gentlemanly kiss-off to Hillary while reminding voters of the need to “change how business is done in Washington.”
Williams ends with last question to Obama first:
What’s the fundamental question Hillary must answer to convince voters she should be the nominee?
Obama: “She’s qualified, but I’m more qualified, otherwise I wouldn’t be running. She’d be better than McCain. I don’t think she has to answer a question about whether she’s capable. The reason I’m better is that I can bring this country together in a unique way–and that’s what’s going to be required to deliver. And I have a track record…I bring a unique bias in favor of opening up govt, pushing back special interests, making govt more accountable.”
“Well, Brian, there isn’t any doubt that both of us feel very strongly about our country…As I said, you know, it’s been an honor to campaign (so insincere!)…I still intend to do everything I can to win (very, very sincere!)…obviously, I’m thrilled to be running to be the first woman president (applause)…My question: Who can actually change the country?”
…And, as I wrote more than 90 minutes ago, we end with the obligatory Obama chivalry move–standing for Hillary, pulling out her chair, and patting her on the back.
It must have felt like patting an iceberg.
Remember her words, Barack:
I still intend to do everything I can to win.
Vote for Hillary and she’ll protect free speech — now here’s a list of words you can’t say about her
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