Final Face Off?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had what may be their final debate last night…

The Democrats had gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the MSNBC-sponsored event, which obviously must have been an exhausting endeavor. Obama must have been feeling the love, because he didn’t look at slovenly as last week’s exhibit, where we thought Clinton excelled. The tables were turned last night: Obama seemed cool and confident, while Clinton very nearly went nuclear a few times. We’re specifically referring to her comments on how the press treat Obama.

Well, could I just point out that, in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time. And I don’t mind. You know, I’ll be happy to field them, but I do find it curious. And if anybody saw “Saturday Night Live,” you know, maybe we should ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow.’

Whether or not Obama has been getting more favorable press hardly matters in this situation. What matters is that Clinton let herself go – the comment, we think, made her look petty, insecure and – worst of all – whiny. Things only got worse when the moderators attempted to switch from health care to other topics, which set Clinton into a flustered, “This is important” moment. With regard to health care, however, Mrs. Clinton dominated Obama and made her package seem far more clear than the Senator from Illinois’.

The former First Lady also excelled when discussing NAFTA, which will no doubt prove to be a key point for Ohio and Texas voters. Clinton’s come under fire for being too supportive of NAFTA, which her husband signed into law, but made clear last night where she stands:

…We will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate it. And we renegotiate it on terms that are favorable to all of America… There are lots of parts of New York that have benefited, just like there are lots of parts of Texas that have benefited. The problem is in places like upstate New York, places like Youngstown, Toledo and others throughout Ohio that have not benefited.

Clinton did well here, we think, and the fact that she was asked first may have helped, because Obama’s similar response came off a bit like a carbon copy. The same can be said for their replies on foreign policy, where Clinton seemed to know more about Putin’s successor than Obama.

Regardless of their individual performances and political points, we came away from last night’s debate sensing death’s hand on Clinton’s campaign. Her attitude was not congenial and she looked worried. Obama, on the other hand, seemed to be thinking, “I’ve got this in the bag”. Whether his confidence will turn off voters remains to be seen.

Overnight polling by Rasmussen suggests that Obama’s still got his momentum. Clinton, meanwhile, may be falling a bit:

On Wednesday morning, market data suggests that Clinton has a 50% chance of winning the Ohio Presidential Primary. That’s down eight points from 58% the day before. Roughly half the decline took place before the debate and half following the debate.

In Texas, Obama is favored to win (current prices: Obama 72.4% Clinton 27.9%. Those figures changed little yesterday.

Clinton is seen as having a 68.0% chance to win in Rhode Island. In Vermont, expectations for Obama to win are high: 98.5%.

Overall, Rasmussen Markets data now shows Obama’s prospects for winning the Democratic Presidential Nomination are at 84.4%. Expectations for a Clinton victory are at 15.6%.

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  • beefy

    seriously- you think that the negative press that clinton has been getting from the start- or that the positive press obama has been getting ‘hardly matters’?

    come on!!

  • ChristopherM

    Sorry Beefy, but you can’t call yourself the front-runner two years ahead of the election and not expect more scrutiny than your opponents. She was so sure she was going to win that she didn’t even have a plan past Super Tuesday. It is precisely that attitude that has drawn the negative press.

    I’d like to know why it is that every black politician in America gets asked to denounce Farrakahn. No one asks the white folks to denounce David Duke.

  • ChristopherM

    BTW, I think she’s right on some of the treatment of her lately. She does usually get the first question, and it is paternalistic (though it also gives her the chance to preempt any opportunity for Obama to sound more knowledgable). She could have scored some points on that last night, but instead she sounded like a whiny jerk. Whomever is advising her on this stuff needs to be fired.

  • todd

    She beats him on substance everytime. Kind of like Al Gore beat Bush. But he’s got more style and is more at ease. I think she will end up being the VP, and will never be president – which is fine by me.

  • Jesse

    Hillary Clinton thought she didn’t have to fight for the nomination.

    She is a broken record talking about her healthcare plan. She already had a shot at healthcare and she blew it along with a lot of taxpayer dollars.

    What I find unfortunate is that she appears to have a multiple personality disorder. One debate she is cordial, friendly and respectful. A week later, she’s screaming like a lunatic, sarcastically mocking Obama as if she’s doing a monologue for drama 101. It comes across as very inconsistent and two faced to act one way to his face an another on the campaign trail. What Obama has going for him is consistency. Unfortunately she has been floundering for a while and it’s just getting more desperate with each passing day.

    Referencing Saturday night live in the final most important debate of this race for the democratic nomination was both inappropriate for the forum and whiny.

  • beefy

    chris- i’d be inclined to agree, however, i think the place most of thescrutiny is coming from is from her being a woman.

    every time a powerful woman sticks to her guns and puts someone’s back against the wall, she’s called a bitch. she shows emotion and tears, she’s either called a faker or not strong enough to get the job done. it’s sickening.

    and yes, she does have a chance to answer first, and i agree that it can be seen as a good thing, however, it also doesn’t really give her much of a chance for rebuttal of obama’s ideas. she answers a question on healthcare, he rebutts, and when she wants to comment further on what he just said, it’s time to move on.

    listen- i like them both. this was her race to lose, and it’s closer than it should have been because of some cockiness early on, but also because of the negative press out there.

    i’m just sick of women being negatively represented in the media. we’re always bitches, whiny, etc. i’m so over it.

  • Peter Pan

    I am amazed at Americans. According to this:

    Hilary Clinton should be in JAIL! What’s WRONG with you Americans. Where are your MORALS! How dare she still run for ANYTHING, let alone president?

    From Europe!

  • me


    Suck it up. Hillary is a bitch and is justifiably portrayed as one by the media. Don’t go grasping for excuses for her downfall. It’s a scapegoat and you look pathetic.

  • Rick Allen

    Beefy, here’s the thing: I was a HUGE Hillary supporter and now I’m not. Guess why? Blackwater. The man running her campaign is also the guy who does PR for Blackwater. yes. the Blackwater that is accused of killing hundreds of civilians in Iraq. So who is the real Hillary?
    No one knows.
    On the one hand, she gets a far right-wing affiliated guy to run her campaign and on the other, she plays the poor liberal feminist under pressure from the big bad conservatives card.

    Second, yes, many of the attacks against her are based on sexism. But that still does not mean she is the right candidate for the Presidency. And it is sad and stupid that people still cannot see her flaws for what they are and leave it at that.

    Third, yes, women are negatively represented in the media. But, you know what? Make that WHITE women. What sort of representation do you see for Latino women? For Asian women? For Indian women? African women? Black American women? White women have it much harder than white men, but by God, do white women have it way way way easier than women of any other ethnicity.

    I think white feminists have a huge amount of soul-searching to do. And the fact is that white feminists have done diddly squat to build bridges with minority and immigrant women. I think that a lot of the whining that Hillary Clinton does over being a woman, backed by her ilk of feminist white educated white-collar professional women is actually turning off a lot of immigrant and minority women, who’re sick of death of hearing rich white women talk about how damn hard their lives are.

  • ChristopherM

    No. 8, that kind of thing isn’t necessary. Why do some gay men always want to pull out “bitch” and “cunt” over women they don’t like? It is no more than the misogynist version of “faggot.” I’m not a fan of Sen. Clinton by any stretch because I think she’s completely disingenuous, but I do think we can come up with better criticism of her candidacy than that she’s a bitch.

  • hells kitchen guy


  • hisurfer

    Beefy – I agree partially that there’s a lot of misogyny behind Hillary’s coverage. However, there is also a lot of anti-Clinton bias among the big media powers (FOX, MSNBC, and even CNN seems to try to ‘balance’ their coverage by catering to it). She gets hit from all sides.

    Still … I don’t know what happened to her campaign. She was handling it all so well until recently, and now sometimes she makes me cringe. Of all things, it was her pandering on NAFTA that finally turned me off her.

    Since I didn’t actually watch the full debate – did anyone mention us in it?

  • beefy

    #8- i never claimed the media was *fully* to blame, what i said was that, you can’t say it doesn’t matter!

    chris- thanks you know- straight guys go for this too, and even substitute the ‘bitch’ with ‘dyke’.

    rick- the lack of minority women in the media is blatantly obvious, but that doesn’t make the hoopla around clinton excusable. clinton did bridge a few gaps with minority women when she was first lady. and as a blue collar white lesbian, i think it’s a huge mistake for a poor minority to hold resentment towards clinton (a rich white white collar woman) because rich or poor, women face a lot of the same struggles!

  • Rick Allen

    Beefy, yes, rich and poor women face struggles related to sexism and homophobia.

    And your life as a lesbian woman would be way way easier if you were a white-collar professional woman and/or born into wealth.

    How does your life compare with Mary Cheney?

    How does your life compare with Chastity Bono? Or Ellen?

    Sure Ellen lost her job. Ten years ago. Today, she is loved and adored by millions, makes millions of bucks and lives a life of luxury. Sure, she has her struggles. But they don’t compare to yours.

    I think white feminists are doing a piss-poor job of supporting you and other women like you. They do purport to speak for you and women like you and represent all of you and fight for your rights. But they’re doing an absolutely incompetent job at it. I criticize white feminists the way a lot of gays criticize GLAAD and HRC. Just because those organizations are by gays and for gays, it does not mean that their strategies, tactics and attitudes are productive towards gay causes. It doesn’t make the critics homophobes. Quite the contrary.

    Similarly, criticizing white feminists is not just for conservatives. It is for all feminists, male and female. In fact there needs to be a lot more criticism before limousine liberal feminists wake up and realize how ineffective they have been. It doesn’t make one a sexist Neanderthal.
    It makes one a realist.

    Feminism , as it is, desperately needs an overhaul and they need to get rid of the hegemony of the rich white women who dominate it. You, and other blue-collar women don’t have enough of a voice in feminist circles, Beefy. If all of you did, Hillary would be the nominee. Because if she did indeed reach out adequately to marginalized women and make them feel welcomed and listened to, their votes would get her the nomination. She and other feminists are doing a shitty job of reaching out to minority and blue-collar women. While Obama is doing a much better job of making all people feel welcome.

  • qjersey

    there are so few differences between them, however I’m tired of BO’s “what she said” replies to questions. He has basically xeroxed her positions and the Democratic primary has turned into nothing more than a popularity contest, literally, as in who do you “like” better as a person.

    Yeah American voted for the guy they’d like to have a beer and shoot the shit with in 2000 and 2004 and look where that got us.

  • kablamo

    QJersey, to some extent you’re right that it is about personality, but this time people aren’t voting for a drinking buddy… they’re voting for the guy they want to to be their leader, orator, professor… I realized the other day that my admiration of Barack is the same kind of feelings I have for my favorite professor (American Political Theory) in college. If you’re voting on likability I think voting on your favorite professor is better than voting for the attack dog.

  • Dave

    In art, they say when function and price are equivalent in two products, the only thing that separates a buyer’s choice is the form and design. That’s kind of how I feel about the Democratic race at the moment. Do I prefer one over the over? Yes, I do, but whoever wins the nomination, I will happily vote for.

    Their positions are so similar on many of the issues that matter to me. I truly believe either candidate would make an awesome President, who would actually do something positive for the GLBT community while in office. While the Republican options are all so mired to their conservative, religious base, there’s no chance of anything positive coming out of that muck.

    Although, I must agree with “Beefy”. Hillary’s gotten a raw deal throughout the campaign. She did come out of the gates confident in her abilities… just like every other candidate. She’s the only Democrat that gets called a smarmy, overly ambitious bitch, though. Not just by the press or bloggers… Just a few weeks ago, someone at a McCain rally called her a bitch and everyone (including McCain – the GOP front runner for the most powerful position in the world) laughed about it with no apologies.

    Maybe what people are seeing in her now is that she’s tired and frustrated. Wouldn’t you be after months (years even) of work and effort, all the while dodging the relentless criticism, hatred and sexism?

  • Charley

    Historically, what is the strongest movement. Women’s rights, or Civil Rights……….Women control most of the money in the world………You figure it out.

  • Charley

    No one feels sorry for widows.

  • hisurfer

    OK, Charley, I give: which is the stronger movement?

    ‘Cause I can argue both sides on this. “Race” as a concept is only a few hundred years old, while we’ve known the difference between men and women since cave-man days. So taking a broad view of history: Women’s Rights is a stronger movement.

    But only looking at the past century? So many women are embarrassed to be called feminists – or worse, embrace and promote the misogyny of popular culture (see Hilton, Paris). I don’t know of any blacks who attack Civil Rights leaders in the same way that some women attack feminist leaders. So then, Civil Rights is a stronger movement.

    Or is it a trick question?

  • Jack Jett

    I am ready to get on the Obama bandwagon but not ready to defect from Hillary as of yet.

    If you get a chance check out my artilce over at

Comments are closed.