BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
« Previous | Main | Next »

Debate: Take Two

Justin Webb | 19:53 UK time, Thursday, 17 April 2008

Not everyone was delighted by last night's debate (or my reaction to it, I see from the comments!) and here, for the record, is a telling hit on Obama.

A rumour I hear is that the "Bittergate" tape has mention of Boise, Idaho, on it and much chortling from the audience at the thought of this and other heartland locations. Could this be true?

ABC meanwhile have every reason to disregard the criticism - this from their press office:

"Last night's Democratic presidential debate hosted by ABC News, the National Constitution Center, and WPVI-TV was easily the most-watched of the 2008 presidential cycle. The debate averaged 10.7 million Total Viewers, a 3.5/9 among Adults 25-54, and a 2.7/7 among Adults 18-49.

"For the 8-10 p.m. time period, this marks ABC's best Total Viewing audience since 11/28/07, its largest Adult 18-49 rating since 2/27/08, and its best Adult 25-54 rating since 1/9/08.

"The first hour of Wednesday's debate ranked first in its time period among Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54. Up against Fox's "American Idol" and an original episode of CBS' "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m., the debate retained 96% of it Total Viewing audience, retained 100% of its Adults 25-54 audience, and grew 4% among Adults 18-49 from the first hour to the second hour.

"Additionally, the debate beat "American Idol" program-to-program in four markets: Philadelphia, Orlando, San Antonio, Albuquerque, according to Household ratings."

Fascinating - fancy so many serious minded people living in Orlando...

I am told, meanwhile, by a British Embassy source that the Obama/Gordon Brown meeting went well - Obama told Brown he had been to 10 Downing St on a visit years ago, sat on Churchill's chair and was tempted to order a brandy.

Sadly other than the smalltalk we have no detail - unless anyone present cares to spill the beans...

UPDATE:

I see finally that Mrs Clinton is being accused of changing her tune on the subject of white working class voters. Where is the tape?

Comments

  • 1. At 9:17pm on 17 Apr 2008, bite-me-u-freaks wrote:

    It was the best one to have watched, so it's valuable to have been the most watched as well.

    Clinton's clearly got no easy road, but increasingly you get the sense of a fighter - in Pennsylvania, where I grew up, they appreciate this, especially in a woman.

    Obama continued to show the "glass jaw" he's demonstrated already this week - also not unnoticed by Penn voters.

    Remains to be seen if the nutty fantasy left can keep the fan dance going for Obama - they did so for Kerry until the Bush K/O. Swiftboating Obama is even easier. Then another 4 years of left recriminations.

    America would be a lot better if we could get the nutty right and the nutty left together ... at least somewhere else.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 9:17pm on 17 Apr 2008, Jabberwonk wrote:

    watch the unwatchable! full debate video with transcript:

    http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cliid=1br7z7

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 9:38pm on 17 Apr 2008, nobleFloridian wrote:

    I thought the press conference today went well, with both President Bush and Prime Minister Brown handling those trick questions that the members of the liberal media love to ask in order to embarrass. In particular I liked both their answers to the Brit correspondent who questioned whether Bush and Brown have as close a relationship as Bush had with Blair.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 10:55pm on 17 Apr 2008, jaded-idealist wrote:

    Hey wait a minute, Justin, there are many of us serious-minded people here in Orlando... we do not exist merely for your brainless Micky Mouse enjoyment. On that matter, we wisely capitalize by relieving you of your hard-earned British pounds, pal.

    The two Democrat candidates' only chance of ever winning over McCain for the presidency hinges on them running together, with Obama picking Clinton as his vice-president. That would unite the Democrats like nothing ever will in this election year, and would present a formidable front against the Republicans. Obama's lofty and professorial rhetoric, as once again displayed on this last debate, places him as better suited for the presidential role. Clinton's past advisory First Lady experience, however, and her mastery of goverment policy, make her ideal for the active-veep post.

    Enough with these primary debates. The nation is tired of all this petty bickering. Let's get on with the main presidential contest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 11:06pm on 17 Apr 2008, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    "Obama told Brown he had been to 10 Downing St on a visit
    years ago, sat on Churchill's chair and was tempted to order a brandy."

    Wow! If he wins the presidency and they continue talking like this, then the already majority portion of the UK public who already think that the only purpose of British foreign policy is to slaveishly follow the US will be increased to the whole of the UK public!!

    Personally, if I were president, I would tred very, very carefully with respect of US-UK relations. I would of course mention the obvious-'"We have shared values, interests, ideals etc", but aside from that, I would never go on and on about it as I think Bush and Brown did somewhat today, and Bush and Blair certainly did when Blair was prime minister, unless I could be absolutely 100% sure that my comments/actions would not in the slightest bit hinder or affect the UK prime minister's reputation, and the people around him/her's decision makeing in a negative fashion at all!!I would never want them to either decide, or not decide to do something because of what I might think/do!! I would encourage them to do whatever they wanted, and I would work around that.

    With our two nations's international reputations being in a pressure cooker and scrutinised under a microscope all the time, the last thing we need for the US to be accused of is of bossing other nations around, and the UK to be accused of being subserviant to the US, or any other nation!!!

    Long live the special relationship, but only so long as it is popular in public opinion!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 11:40pm on 17 Apr 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    "fancy so many serious minded people living in Orlando..." Now that's elitist since there's nothing there that might denote a smile or joke. Justin's preference for one candidate over another is further exposed by only reporting on the Brown-Obama meeting - perhaps he could tell us how the Brown-Clinton meeting went? Surely the same British Embassy source could have provided the information, but then anything which makes Mrs Clinton look good is difficult to find on the Beeb.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 00:42am on 18 Apr 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    Kudos to ABC to at least question Obama instead of fawning over him like he is the next Messiah.

    It's no wonder that Obama is too cowardly to go on Fox where he would have to answer real questions.

    I believe the snake oil salesman has been exposed

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 02:37am on 18 Apr 2008, claydiggs wrote:

    Sitting here in Wild Wonderful Wyoming I have come to the conclusion that all three candidates are idiots and will support none of them. Hillary is pure evil, narcissistic, power hungry, and generally disdainful. Obama runs around the country like a drunken sailor on shore leave repeating his inane mantra of "change, change, change, and more change" He has nothing and offers nothing. Mcain, meanwhile, panders to everybody and pleases no one. This is the most disappointing group of candidates that I can recall. America and the world deserves better than any one of these 3 have to offer. I am not one of these American "horn-tootters" necessarily but I do know how much an American president affects world affairs. That is just the nature of the beast until it changes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 03:55am on 18 Apr 2008, stealintomorrow wrote:

    First of all, I don't really understand the comment about people from Orlando... why wouldn't they be serious-minded?

    Second, I doubt Fox would ask "real questions," they'd just rehash all the "scandals" surrounding Obama because they are biased and just out to get ratings (it's all about the DRAMA, who cares about policies?). Not that any news media in the US is trustworthy, but Fox is pretty much the worst of the lot. They don't care about news, they care about "stories".

    Third, I'd like to respond to the statement that "this is the most disappointing group of candidates" that can be recalled. What about the last presidential election? Kerry was a total bust, and never had much momentum behind him to begin with. Considering the fact that so many people were already fed up with Bush before he got re-elected, Kerry's inability to get people to the polls was disgraceful. With Hillary and Obama there has been some of the highest voter turnout in years (especially amongst young people), and we're only in the primaries. As to the claim that Obama has nothing to offer... have you looked at his website? He has plenty of ideas. AND he has charisma. One of the most important things the people of the US need right now is motivation to care, and a belief that the govenment can actually do something and that the people of the US can actually do something. Most Americans have been disenchanted with their government for a long time and have been ready to give up on it (hence low voter turn-out). If a president that can actually stimulate public interest and involvement in the government gets elected I think that would be a very big step in the right direction.

    Just as a last sort of question, whom do people in the UK support as the best candidate? Has there been any poll about it at all?

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 04:01am on 18 Apr 2008, bourgeoislefty wrote:

    Justin,

    Here's a reasonable summary of (what one presumes) are the actual conversations that took place during Gordon Brown's meetings with the candidates:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/18/gordonbrown.foreignpolicy


    Mr. Obama's comments about the 'Churchill chair' are given a more serious context than implied by your source at the embassy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 04:10am on 18 Apr 2008, furrlessgerbil wrote:

    It is a shame that debate got good ratings. I read the text of it rather than watched it. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulus did a terrible job. Where were the questions about energy security, foreign affairs (where the canidates have serious differences?), healthcare access (another field where they have different plans), doing something about our budget deficit? The only two serious questions were about capital gains taxes (which Charles lied about, they have not always increased revenue), and social security payroll cap (which was a farce about people making 100,000-250,000$ all of a sudden qualifying as middle class). As a blue collar worker who is also a dedicated follower of politicians, I am seriously disappointed in the quality of the debate,. Neither of our canidates would last for an hour in British Parliment

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 04:10am on 18 Apr 2008, andrew_ross wrote:

    "ABC meanwhile have every reason to disregard the criticism"

    Au contraire, mon ami: they have *one* reason to disregard the criticism: they made lots of money out of the broadcast.

    All we can deduce from the ABC statement is that a lot of Americans were interested in seeing the debate. One can't infer any level of satisfaction about what they saw.

    It will be interesting to see what impact this debacle has on their Nielsen ratings for the remainder of the campaign.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 04:33am on 18 Apr 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    NoRashDecisions writes "the last thing we need for the US to be accused of is of bossing other nations around, and the UK to be accused of being subserviant to the US" - I rather think that's how much of the world sees both countries. Who started the adventure in Iraq - and who assisted from the very beginning?

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 10:39am on 18 Apr 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    I watched a little bit of the debate, but when it turned out to be more of the same warmed over manure, I changed the channel.
    I'm sure that some Floridians felt the same way, despite television networks boasting about their ratings.
    By meeting with Obama and Clinton, Gordon Brown appears to prefer a Democrat as President. He should have waited until after the November Election to meet with the President Elect.
    If Briton cared so much about what the rest of the world thinks about them they wouldn't be our ally in Iraq and Afganistan.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 12:59pm on 18 Apr 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    Justin, In my daily dealings with news and comments I come accross many items of interest. Please note this is only sort of on topic, no rephrase that it is on topic. It's the real United States and who the president is needs to reflect this.

    "The other day I was reading Newsweek
    magazine and came across some poll
    data I found rather hard to believe. It
    must be true, given the source, right?

    The Newsweek poll alleges that 67
    percent of Americans are unhappy with
    the direction the country is headed, and
    69 percent of the country is unhappy with
    the performance of the President. In
    essence, 2/3's of the citizenry just ain't
    happy and want a change.

    So being the knuckle dragger I am, I
    started thinking, ''What are we so
    unhappy about?'' Is it that we have
    electricity and running water 24 hours a
    day, 7 days a week?

    Is our unhappiness the result of having
    air conditioning in the summer and
    heating in the winter?

    Could it be that 95.4 percent of these
    unhappy folks have a job?

    Maybe it is the ability to walk into a
    grocery store at any time, and see more
    food in moments than Darfur has seen in
    the last year?

    Maybe it is the ability to drive from the
    Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean
    without having to present identification
    papers as we move through each state?

    Or possibly the hundreds of clean and
    safe motels we would find along the way
    that can provide temporary shelter?

    I guess having thousands of restaurants
    with varying cuisine from around the
    world is just not good enough.

    Or could it be that when we wreck our
    car, emergency workers show up and
    provide services to help all, and even
    send a helicopter to take you to the
    hospital.

    Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of
    Americans who own a home. You may be
    upset with knowing that in the
    unfortunate case of a fire, a group of
    trained firefig hters will appear in
    moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you,
    your family and your belongings.

    Or if, while at home watching one of
    your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or
    prowler intrudes, an officer equipped
    with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will
    come to defend you and your family
    against attack or loss.

    This all in the backdrop of a
    neighborhood free of bombs or militias
    raping and pillaging the residents.
    Neighborhoods where 90 percent of
    teenagers own cell phones and
    computers.

    How about the complete religious, social
    and political freedoms we enjoy that are
    the envy of everyone in the world?
    Maybe that is what has 67 percent of
    you folks unhappy.

    Fact is we are the largest group of
    ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has
    ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for i ts
    citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we
    don't have, and what we hate about the
    country instead of thanking the good
    Lord we live here.

    I know, I know. What about the
    President who took us into war and has
    no plan to get us out? The President who
    has a measly 31 percent approval rating?
    Is this the same President who guided
    the nation in the dark days after 9/11?

    The President that cut taxes to bring an
    economy out of recession? Could this be
    the same guy who has been called every
    name in the book for succeeding in
    keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats
    safe from terrorist attacks?

    The Commander-In Chief of an all-
    volunteer army that is out there
    defending you and me? Did you hear
    how bad the President is on the news or
    talk show? Did this news affect you so
    much, make you so unhappy you couldn't
    take a look around for yourself and see
    all the good things and be glad?

    Think about it...are you upset at the
    President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the
    "Media" told yo u he was failing to kiss
    your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

    Make no mistake about it. The troops in
    Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered
    to serve, and in many cases may have
    died for your freedom. There is currently
    no draft in this country. They didn't have
    to go.

    They are able to refuse to go and end up
    with either a ''general'' discharge, an
    ''other than honorable'' discharge or,
    worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable''
    discharge after a few days in the brig.

    So why then the flat-out discontentment
    in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?
    Say what you want, but I blame it on
    the media. If it bleeds, it leads; and they
    specialize in bad news. Everybody will
    watch a car crash with blood and guts.
    How many will watch kids selling
    lemonade at the corner? The media
    knows this and media outlets are for-
    profit corporations. They offer what
    sells, and when criticized, try to defend
    their actions by "justifying" them in one
    way or another. Just ask why they tried
    to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to
    write a book about "how he didn't kill
    his wife, but if he did he would have done
    it this way"...Insane!

    Stop buying the negativism you are fed
    everyday by the media. Shut off the TV,
    burn Newsweek, and use the New York
    Times for the bottom of your bird cage.
    Then start being grateful for all we have
    as a country. There is exponentially more
    good than bad.

    We are among the most blessed people on Earth, and should thank God several
    times a day or at least be thankful and
    appreciative.

    "With hurricane s, tornados, fires out of
    control, mud slides, flooding, severe
    thunderstorms tearing up the country
    from one end to another, and with the
    threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,
    "Are we sure this is a good time to take
    God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

    Writtten by the Great American commentator, Jay Leno

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:02pm on 18 Apr 2008, DrCahil wrote:

    I am a psychologist and criminologist, an expert in body language. Something caught my attention during the debate, which led me to study Senator Hillary Clinton and her mannerisms during all the past presidential debates. It was the way her retort was very quick on the draw, and the way she was jittery whenever Senator Obama was talking - like one would be when you really want to interrupt another, because you already know beforehand what you want/need to say.

    In her previous debates, she was focused and slower on the draw. She would even draft down pointers to her response before speaking out - and indeed some of her responses were very witty and excellent. This time round, her body language (very shifty) and more importantly her eyes gave a lot away. For example, when she said "I respect Senator Obama", she never even turned to face his direction, her eyes rolled over, her head swayed from one side to the next - typical indicators that someone is being dishonest.

    Anyway, to keep this short, I am more than convinced that Senator Clinton knew the debate questions beforehand, and had practised her responses well before the debate!

    It makes a mockery of the Presidential Debate system, and puts ABC in the spot, specifically one of the moderators!

    This needs to be investigated further - and if anyone needs my observatory notes, I am more than happy to give them.

    There is no need now for Senator Obama to go on any more debates with Senator Clinton, for the latter is being dishonest and is now playing the system's weaknesses.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:19pm on 18 Apr 2008, gtkovacs wrote:

    to reuben33g (comment 14): Mr Brown also met Senator McCain!

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 3:10pm on 18 Apr 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Well done on spotting the white working class update. The longer Clinton drags this out, the more it benefits Obama. As Lincoln pointed out "... you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 4:01pm on 18 Apr 2008, jonnyrobb wrote:

    Justin, apprently you enjoyed the controversy that your bias towards Obama created the other day and you want to stir it up all over again.

    The debate was clearly won by Mrs Clinton. But you're so 'in the can' for Obama that you don't want to admit it.

    His whole campaign is "Nothing but a fairytale" as Bill Clinton pointed out. It was a fairytale that some man thinks that he can come from only two years in the senate and no other experience and he thinks he can be the president.

    The Obama campaign spun it and said "Fairytale?... because he's black?" and thus the Obama Campaign found it's strategy.

    That was the turning point in the campaign where no-one was allowed to criticise or question Obama without being called a racist.

    Okay so Obama was asked a few tough questions in a debate and then yesterday he's on T.V. whining and complaining about it being unfair...

    If this Man can't take that questions in the primaries, I very much doubt he'll be able to take what the Republicans can throw at him in the General...

    He's not fit to be president.

    And Justin.. you work for the BBC... there's a level of prestige and responsibility that comes with such a position.. if you're gonna be so biased, then perhaps the BBC should reconsider its' recruitment policies. I come to the BBC for unbiased news.. perhaps you've been in America too long.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 6:08pm on 18 Apr 2008, NoRashDecisions wrote:

    furrlessgerbil (#11): On the contrary, I think Obama would do quite well in the British parlament!! Just look at the way in which he responded to the (yes I agree with you) rediculous questions on his "bitter" comments/precher issue etc!! I agree that the moderators didn't ask nearly enough harsh questions of the candidates for the majority of the debate, but keep in mind that it is the members of parlament job to ask the prime minister all tose harsh questions-people who's job it is to know about the ills of the nation and intaragate their leader on them. The moderator of a debate I am willing to bet generally doesn't know about these kinds of things in such detail, as they aren't a member of congress, and who's main job is-well-to host shows and moderate "all" debates. If the moderators who moderated the debate on Wednesday were members of congress, you can bet that their questions would've resembled something similar to those asked in parlament during Question Time!!

    Reuben 33g (#14): Britain? What? The same doesn't hold true for America as well? I think that it goes both ways. If we cared about what the world thought about us then we wouldnt've gone into Iraq!! Afghanistan is is a different story. I feel at least, that since we were atacked by people from there, and that since the (whole!) world supported us at the time, that with the world's support, it was OK, and justifyed to go in. But your statement I think applys to the US on Iraq as well-not just the UK!!! We have a reputation to worry about as well you know!

    David Cunard (#13): Yes that was precisely my point!! Even if Blair really did honestly believe that going into Iraq was "the right thing to do", and even if his decision to accompany us on that little "adventure" was not impacted whatsoever by Bush, it doesn't matter!! Everyone (both in countries around the world and our own, but particularly the UK) thought that the UK was being supserviant to the US, and therefore that the US was bullying, or bossing the UK around!! Believe me!! It is just as damageing, if not more, for the US to be accused of bullying or bossing other countries around because of the simple, yet unplesent reason that the US is the world's last remaining hejomonic super power, and therefore has the most and enough influence in the world as it is without the added complication of the accusation of bossing other countries around, as it is for the UK to be accused of not having a back bone!!!! And that is the point I was makeing in my previous post!! That if I were president, I would encourage the British prime minister to do what ever they felt was right for the world-as if the US didn't even exist, and I would work around that, so as to ensure that these types of accusations would never be levyed against us again, and I would encourage all future presidents to take the same approach!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 6:25pm on 18 Apr 2008, Justianus wrote:

    "ABC meanwhile has every reason to disregard the criticism (...)"

    Not so sure about that. Have a look here:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080505/open_letter

    It links to an open letter, signed by various journalists and aimed at ABC, which starts off with:

    "We, the undersigned, deplore the conduct of ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson at the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16."

    If ratings are simply the measurement of the number of people watching, the debate was a success. If ratings are taken to mean how people rate the quality of a programme, it's a different story.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 6:34pm on 18 Apr 2008, rupertornelius wrote:

    Any word on the ambassador's television set, Justinho?

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 7:01pm on 18 Apr 2008, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    While we Americans (and most Europeans for that matter, and many others in developed nations) are blessed by Providence with a multitude of things we should be thankful for every day, that doesn't mean we can't do better.

    The poll results about being unhappy with our country are not about the things we have but the actions we take. Asking us to be happy with material plenty and stop whining about our wondeful government ignores the spiritual or moral aspects of life. At it's worst an emphasis on our material plenty in response to dissent is an imperial 'bread and circuses' approach

    The 'love her or leave her' tone of the post I'm referring to reminds me of how most people forget the aspiration "America, may she always be in the right..." that preceded the declaration "...but she is my country, right or wrong!" famously spoken by Stephen Decatur while he entertained visting British officers he was soon fighting at sea.

    Many people do want our country to be in the right more than we have been lately, and seek a change.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 7:23pm on 18 Apr 2008, paulcanning wrote:

    Trust you to be rushing to ABC's defence - how predictable.

    Here's 'Important Questions For George Stephanopoulos To Ask John McCain This Sunday' http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cliff-schecter/important-questions-for-g_b_97421.html

    None of which will happen due to the big 'ole msm mancrush on mccain

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 10:04pm on 18 Apr 2008, mary gravitt wrote:

    The Philly Debate was a waste of air time and space. George Stopplnopolis was embarassed at the sophomore questions he had to ask Obama. Clinton did not answer the question of why Bill pardon the 2 Weather Underground members. She passed and it was never followed up. One thing that is being left out of this discussion is the Race Baiting that the Clintons always embark on. Clinton and McCain are using the old dodge and code that the Dixiecrats like Storm Thurmand and Bilbo used to keep Negro and Poor Whites seperated politically in the Southern US: The argument is, No matter how a white person suffers, he/she is still now a negro. And since being white is everything, what more can be desired. This keep both races poor and ignorant. If they united they could through out the crook and both proper. But race baiting always works somehow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 10:36pm on 18 Apr 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Dear Justin,
    I do not envy you. Months ago you were regarded by most posters as a closet Clinton supporter. The last few days the attacks appear that you are now promoting Obama.
    We would all like to know when the battle is over, who in fact your candidate is [ or was].
    Just for our own piece of mind.
    You will have noticed, as we all have, that many media pundits and possibly some media programmes could suffer because of their bias in reporting the run of events. Dismissal of the parrots or even info channels folding, to be replaced by the new face and slot on the network.
    With your good looks, bright smile, unbiased on the fence approach, I for one would not be surprised if you become headhunted to join a visual news outlet, who offer you that job at the top.
    Somebody who brings that balance, english wit, and that unrestricted view of the world from all sides, for all.
    If the big corporations come calling please remember,: its a dangerous job as window washer on the 23rd floor.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 10:59pm on 18 Apr 2008, nativeoregonian wrote:

    The reason the ABC debate at first got a high viewer rating is because of the CANDIDATES and it being an EXCITING primary that has garnered more interest than any in recent memory.

    ABC managed to squander the time on trivial stupid questions about lapel pins and the like and many viewers gave up on it being a useful exercise...and in fact many viewers were outraged ...at the ABC "moderators". Regardless of who one supports in the primary, I believe most of the viewers were disgusted and felt it was the worst job of any moderators of debates EVER and ABC is the loser...

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 11:38pm on 18 Apr 2008, AndreainNY wrote:

    While many criticize the questions asked by ABC, those questions are on many people's minds. In fact, the issues raised during the debate are the same ones that super delegates will have to contend with when they consider electability.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 02:09am on 19 Apr 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    An endless commercial interrupted by political posturing. No discussion of the serious issues facing the United States and the world to be heard. Is this what YOU think is a good debate Mr. Webb? I'm not surprised. Your own network's shoddy excuse for real journalism speaks volumes about a once proud radio station the entire world looked up to, now merely a shadow of its former self living on its no longer deserved reputation alone. Many serious major American media blasted this miserable effort of a so called debate. I'm listening to Bill Moyers right now, not that I usually ever agree with him but this is one time he got it dead nuts as we say here or spot on as you would say where you are from. A sorry disgrace, a despicable excuse for a debate. More like two unconnected press conferences that had nothing to do with reality. Remind you of anyone else big in the media you know?

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 03:07am on 19 Apr 2008, Anniesland wrote:

    It's that old thing about the flag. Elitists look down on those ("bitter people who cling to religion")who, while recognising it as a symbol, do know that it represents the country they love. When Obama said he hadn't refused to wear a flag pin he obviously forgot his media interview in Iowa a year ago when he said, just after 9/11, that he would never wear a flag pin because of its (false) connotations with patriotism.

    A lot of Americans do think it is important that when they vote for a president they do know something about who the candidates are, particulary any clues they can glean about their characters. So, here we have (at least) one public lie. Obama's 20-year association with his "black liberation" pastor who "preached" about how the US government infected the black population with AIDS and who came up with the notorious comment "God damn America" and his friendship with the the Weatherman domestic terrorist Bill Ayers could lead people to doubt his judgement.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 10:38am on 20 Apr 2008, MagicKirin wrote:


    It links to an open letter, signed by various journalists and aimed at ABC, which starts off with:

    "We, the undersigned, deplore the conduct of ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson at the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16."

    **

    All that means is the Obama supporters in the Media, those that work for NBC, NYT or George Soros and are in the tank for Obama are outraged that their messiah is being attacked

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 11:26am on 21 Apr 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    It's worth noting that neither of the "moderators/journalists" controlling the debate nor Senator Clinton were wearing a flag pin.

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    Namaste -ed

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 5:48pm on 22 Apr 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    To gtkovac: Gordon Brown’s meeting with McCain didn’t get much coverage in the United States, so the media has made it appear that Mr. Brown shares their bias.

    To NoRashDecisions: You have a good point. The US and UK did go into this together.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 6:43pm on 22 Apr 2008, Nathan_Sachair wrote:

    Mr Webb--
    In ironic defense of ABC, those debates highlight the emptiness of the Democratic candidates. Mr. Obama was

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 6:58pm on 22 Apr 2008, Nathan_Sachair wrote:

    Mr. Webb--
    In ironic defense of ABC, what this debate really did was highlight the emptiness of these democratic candidates, esp. Mr. Obama. He was, before this campaign, notorious for his lack of action in the Senate. This complacency, of course, is of help to him now, since he didn't make enemies, by not taking any real stands. His fame mostly comes from his good looks and books, not from his political action. What questions can the press ask such a person? As a quick reminder to those who believe that he is the next Kennedy, JFK actually spent 16 years in Congress (Senate+House combined) and took a firm position on most issues.
    As for Mrs. Clinton, she really would do well to get rid of her "experience as first lady" tagline, as even a remotely objective examination of the Clinton years would show that Pres. Bush's current contested policies (in foreign affairs especially) are in fact a logical continuation of Pres. Clinton's. In fact, I don't remember that administration being so revered a few years ago, and with good reason. But here again, though Mrs. Clinton's Senate record far outshines Mr. Obama's, there really is little to go by, if only because of the lenght of her tenure.
    Thus, there really is little to go by for debate mediators, aside from what was asked. Sen. McCain, whatever his faults and hypocrisies, has a lot more "meat"--I don't know whether that will help him in the end.

    Sincerely

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 6:59pm on 22 Apr 2008, Nathan_Sachair wrote:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/09/america/09obama.php

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.