The Post-Substantive Debate
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I didn't bother turning on the presidential debate held in Pennsylvania tonight; thank goodness I didn't. Based on the blow-by-blow, the majority of it involved ignoring actual issues -- oh, say Iraq, health care, the economy. Apparently ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos thought it would inform viewers more about where either candidate would take the country if they dredged up the various bloody political battles/scandals/bloopers of the campaign for deeper analysis.
For those who did watch, did they bring up the latest flap over Hillary's 1995 comments about lunch-bucket Dems (the demo she's cozying up to these days):
Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach.
"Screw 'em," she told her husband. "You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you; you don't have to do anything for them."
That surely would have given George and Charlie an on-air woody.
Think about this -- ABC News has millions of Americans watching, the economy is in the sh*tter, Iraq is a mess, healthcare is in shambles, and you have 2 hours to discuss the issues of the day with the candidates. Look at the selection of topics and framing of questions. This is journalism?
Dredging up the dumb running mate question...
GIBSON: There have already been many votes in many states, and you have each, as you analyze the vote, appealed disproportionately to different constituencies in the party, and that dismays many in the party. Governor Cuomo, an elder statesman in your party, has come forward with a suggestion. He has said, look, fight it to the end.
Let every vote be counted. You contest every delegate. Go at each other to the -- right till the end. Don't give an inch to one another. But pledge now that whichever one of you wins this contest, you'll take the other as your running mate, and that the other will agree if they lose, to take second place on the ticket.
So I put the question to both of you: Why not?