Category Archives: debates

Why Does She Do That?

From Captain’s Quarters, where Ed Morrissey obviously paid closer attention to the Democratic debate today than I did, comes this bit of Hillary:

HC: We’ve got to enlist the American people the way we did in a previous generation for the Apollo program. As a little girl, I remember being thrilled about that, and feeling there was something I could do. [Shrugs] My fifth-grade teacher said it was to study math and science, but it gave me an idea of actually contributing to my country.

What a nice and inspirational anecdote. There’s only one problem with it, as Morrissey points out:

Hillary Clinton was born in 1947. Assuming she started the first grade as a six-year-old as most kids do, she would have been in the fifth grade in 1957-1958. The Mercury program didn’t start until 1961, and Apollo started in 1966. John Kennedy didn’t even make his speech about going to the moon until she was a teenager, not a “little girl”.

Why spew out a BS story like that when it’s so obviously a fib? Does she think nobody knows how old she is or when the Apollo program was going? Good grief. Maybe she thinks her audience consists of the people in this video. Keep in mind she’s done the same thing before when she claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, famous for climbing Mount Everest in 1953 when Hillary was 5 years old. You’d think she’d learn her lesson and stop doing that!

This reminds me of something Maureen Dowd did in her column the other day. There was a discussion of the piece at Ann Althouse’s place when I decided to look around to see what other people were saying about it. I found this over at Instapundit:

CAUGHT YOUTHENING: Maureen Dowd’s latest column begins:

When I was a kid, we used to drive on the Beltway past the big Mormon temple outside Washington. The spires rose up like a white Oz, and some wag had spray-painted the message on a bridge beneath: “Surrender Dorothy!”

But if you’re imagining Dowd as a pigtailed six-year-old in the back of the family station wagon, think again. The temple was finished in 1974. Maureen Dowd was born in 1952. So she was a “kid” who was old enough to vote and drink. (According to this source, the graffiti first appeared in 1973, when Dowd would have been 21.)

Granted, Maureen Dowd isn’t a politician running for office and some people might write it off as just a woman lying about her age, but come on – does she not realize people know how old she is?


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More Debate Reactions

As has been the case for most of the debates, most of the chatter is about how the event was handled instead of what we actually learned from the candidates. Dean Barnett at the Weekly Standard has a scathing column at the top of memeorandum:

HERE WE WERE on Wednesday, a nation of political junkies gathered around our televisions to watch the candidates debate each other one last time, and we had as a moderator one Carolyn Washburn, the editor of the Des Moines Register. I don’t mean to go all East-coast-elitist on you; I’m sure there are people in Iowa who could capably moderate a presidential debate. Unfortunately, and obviously, Carolyn Washburn is not one of them.

The bulk of the post-debate analysis will probably focus on how maladroit Washburn was at the job. She did the impossible–she moderated the last Iowa debate between the Republican candidates before caucuses and yet saw to it that none of the candidates engaged each other. In other words, the moderator ensured that the debate would be as lively as a 12 part PBS series on “How Grass Grows.” A personal aside to the Des Moines Register–“boring” is not synonymous with “serious.”

The problems went beyond Washburn’s lack of mad moderating skillz. From the outset, Washburn announced that the candidates would not be discussing either Iraq or immigration. Swell! It’s the biggest debate of the season, so let’s take the two biggest issues off the table. For what it’s worth, Washburn brought all the charm to her assignment of a latter-day Nurse Ratched.

Ouch, I sort of feel sorry for Ms Washburn because her performance has received nearly universal derision. Barnett goes on to give his opinion of who did best in the debate, such as it was. He thinks Fred Thompson came out the winner and he liked Romney’s performance, which is pretty much the consensus. However, I see that Rick Klein at ABC news is still pushing Huckabee: ANALYSIS: Huckabee Shines in Lackluster Debate

Well, that was … thoroughly uninteresting. And that is fantastic, spectacular news for new Republican front-runner Mike Huckabee, and a giant missed opportunity for Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and all the rest of the would-be Iowa contenders.



Mike Huckabee: Nothing happened to slow his momentum, and plenty happened to suggest that it will continue.

Ron Paul: Loved the focus on questions of national debt, the Constitution and an overreaching federal government.



Fred Thompson: Provided a highlight of the ho-hum debate by slapping down the debate moderator, refusing to raise his hand or answer a yes-or-no question. Guess he can kiss that Des Moines Register endorsement goodbye …

At least he agrees the format was awful, but honestly, how in the world can his take on the winners and losers be so off?

Oh, I should mention at least one reaction to the debate format, as well as the host, was positive. Moderator wins Iowa GOP debate:

Well, much to my surprise, I made it through the whole thing and found the format if not perfect, at least far improved from the circus atmosphere that usually has me reaching for the clicker. Since it’s customary to do so, I’m declaring the winner to be Carolyn Washburn who did a great job on the moderation. She was unobtrusive, but asked good serious questions and kept the time hoggers gently but firmly in line.


To the extent that any of them ‘won’, I’d say Huckabee came off as the most confident, no doubt due to his rising poll numbers and Ron Paul came off as sane and serious, rather than shrill, probably because he was treated with more respect by Washburn than is customary at these events and he wasn’t forced to compete for face time. This was a good format for him.

This was a good format period. It’s not that it was all that much more informative. Politicians being what they are, ignore the questions to make their preferred talking points and I imagine many will find it boring without the glitz. But for me, it beat the hell out of watching Chris Matthews preen for the cameras for the better part of two hours, while he decides who gets to talk.

I should note that comes from a blog that apparently just sees what righties are saying and immediately disagrees, but it’s interesting that there’s agreement with Rick Klein about who did the best in the debate.

Oh, I almost forgot! Watch the video of Charles Krauthammer at Hot Air. Excellent. “The worst debate in western history.”

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Oh, There Was Another Debate Today

Perhaps as an indication of the degree of debate fatigue I have, I wasn’t even aware that the Republicans were debating in Iowa today.

Here’s a cursory roundup of information I’ve been able to glean on short notice:

Michelle Malkin is liveblogging.

The Des Moines Register’s Carolyn Washburn (a.k.a. Schoolmarm) is the moderator of the debate. She’s no plant, but she sure is a stick in the mud. Her line of the debate so far: “A little snappier, gentlemen!” An hour into the debate, there’s no pile-on on Huckabee. There’s no time for one. Schoolmarm won’t allow it! She did, however, find time to show time-wasting videos of the candidates answering questions from Register reporters–even though the candidates are standing in front of her on the stage.

Congratulations, Schoolmarm: Washburn managed to suck all the life and color out of one of the most contested, exciting, unpredictable campaign fields in recent history. She stamped out any attempts between the candidates to engage each other. Not a single question on immigration.

I think, quite frankly, I preferred the plants!

Over at The Corner a consensus is developing that Romney and Thompson did well, but McCain and Giuliani didn’t get much in because Ron Paul and Alan Keyes were so disruptive.

Hot Air has video highlights, including Alan Keyes as his usual unhinged self.

The following video, from Hot Air, is great. I now wish I would have watched the whole thing.

Yikes. Malkin was right about the moderator, and BRAVO to Thompson for saying NO to yet another stupid “show of hands” question.

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