Worst. Debate. Ever.

Over the last year or so, we've seen debates that were pretty bad. We've seen a few that were embarrassingly bad. But at least in this cycle, I'm not sure if we've seen anything quite as train-wreck, cover-your-eyes bad as the spectacle on ABC last night.

What may prove to be the last Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wasn't just awful on its face, it was hard not to watch wondering if moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were actually undermining the public discourse with their inanity. It marked a new low for the media freak-show. I was conflicted emotionally between anger at ABC for this travesty and pity for the network for having sunk so low.

It was evident very early on that we were in for a long night. The candidates, for some inexplicable reason, were given an opportunity to make opening statements -- in previous debates, hosts generally want to get right into questions, not hear mini-speeches -- which was followed by an immediate commercial break. Four minutes after getting started, it was time to hear a word from our sponsors.

When the returned, the first question pressed Clinton and Obama on whether they'd commit to taking the other as a running mate. The second was about the "bitter" flap. The third was about whether Clinton thought Obama was electable, and vice versa.


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