I support Hillary Clinton, but every time I see Barack Obama, I feel he too would make a great president. Anyone who didn’t watch their debate in Cleveland today should visit the MSNBC website and see it now. You will see them answering each question clearly, cogently, without fumbling even once, which is remarkable, considering they had to face the cameras for more than 80 minutes. Save the transcript. Paraphrases cannot do justice to two such highly articulate people.
Who says Hillary is selfish, opportunistic? I saw a fighter who passionately cares for the people.
She was strongest when she spoke for universal health care. Mocking Obama’s plan which would require parents to buy insurance for their children but not for themselves, she said that "it would be as though Franklin Roosevelt said let’s make Social Security voluntary … or if President Johnson said let’s make Medicare voluntary."
She rightly pointed out Obama was not a US senator when he opposed the Iraq war in 2002. As she said:
Many people gave speeches against the war then, and the fair comparison is he didn’t have responsibility, he didn’t have to vote; by 2004 he was saying that he basically agreed with the way George Bush was conducting the war. And when he came to the Senate, he and I have voted exactly the same. We have voted for the money to fund the war until relatively recently. So the fair comparison was when we both had responsibility, when it wasn’t just a speech but it was actually action, where is the difference?
But while Hillary was feisty, Obama was calm and magisterial. He didn’t lose a single argument, nor did Hillary.
To his credit, Obama even had good words to say of Hillary and the Clinton administration. He said she would be a "worthy nominee" and praised Clinton’s multilateral foreign policy. Too bad, the video on the website does not show he patted Hillary on the back at the end of the live telecast. That’s how gracious he was.
The only loser was Tim Russert! The NBC News Washington bureau chief made a fool of himself when he asked first Obama and then Hillary if they would pull out of Iraq if the Iraqi government wanted them to do so — and re-invade Iraq if al Qaeda "resurges" (his words, not mine).
Hillary put him down: "You know, Tim, you ask a lot of hypotheticals."
She was right. He earlier asked them if they would opt out of Nafta in six months. As a veteran journalist, he should have known that was a silly question. Both said they would have to review it before making any decision.
What the debate showed was two great candidates — and the inadequacy of the media. Russert was childish with his stupid questions to paint Hillary and Obama into a corner. But Hillary baiters like Maureen Dowd hardly show any better judgment.