Obama by Unanimous Decision

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

It was like one of those Heavyweight fights that ends with a Decision, not a Knockout. The Feb. 26 Ohio MSNBC Debate, the 20th debate in the endless Primary season, saw Sen. Hillary Clinton give her best debate performance — and she still lost on points.

After Clinton lamenting (whining) about her being asked the first question all the time (hey, who has been claiming front runner status for months now?) couple with a very strange citing of a recent Saturday Night Live skit, even asking if Obama wanted another pillow, the debate started with a long, confusing, going-nowhere discussion of Health Care with no mention at all of Single Payer. Then it was on to NAFTA, where Sen. Barack Obama won hands down.

Hillary, the top student in the front row, could barely contain her glee and wait to jump at the chance to answer when Tim Russert was scarcely into his question about her "exuberant" promise during her 2000 Senate campaign to bring 200,000 new jobs to upstate New York, when the actual outcome is 30,000 jobs lost. And leap she did with a well-prepared answer noting that when she made the pledge, she "thought Al Gore was going to be president."

That was followed by Clinton’s dissembling about releasing her tax records, as the other candidates have already done. She’ll "get around to it" was the best she could come up with. Same thing with the 10,000 pages of records related to her schedule as First Lady. Said records have been released from the National Archives and HRC notes they will go before both presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush before she again gets around to letting the public see the basis for her "years of experience" claim.

Throughout the debate, Tim Russert was quite rude to Clinton. So much so, that I believe she could have upped her score by talking a couple whacks at him. She was far more civil in the face of his boorish badgering than I would have been. Russert treated Obama in this manner just once by my count.

But Obama rose up on a number of points. After enduring barrage after barrage of Clinton’s wildly thrown blows, he counterpunched each time with succinct devastating jabs. First off, he slam-dunked the war issue. After Clinton called his opposition to the Iraq invasion mere "speeches," Obama noted that he was running for the Senate when he came out with said speeches! Yep. That’s right, he’s one of the "three per-centers" who "knew then" what Hillary claims she knows now and he staked his entire Senate campaign on it. Not quite a TKO, but awfully close.

The decision was his when close to the final bell; he admitted that there is a "vanity and ambition" aspect to any political race. He acknowledged it and then went on to deal with the specifics of issues. Had Hillary Clinton been able to show the self-insight, much less publicly admit to her overarching ambition these past long months, she may well be the true front-runner as the campaign winds down. Instead, her incessant front row student "look at me I’m smart" persona has only emphasized that ambition, turned off millions and derailed her "inevitability."

Obama was hammered with the fact that Minister Louis Farrakahn came out with a recent Obama endorsement. He forcefully rejected Farrakahn and was forced to endless repeat it. Yet Clinton was never chastised for her supporters’ actual smears–like war-criminal Bob Kerrey’s recent HRC endorsement where he noted Obama’s middle name–red meat code for Muslim haters. Kerrey has also been flogging the "fact" that as a child Obama spent time in a "madrassa"–more red meat the GOP will undoubtedly use in the General Election should Obama be the nominee.

This sadly led to an inevitable "my Israel right or wrong" dick-measuring contest. Both candidates vied for the right to be called Israel’s "best friend" in the US Senate. This conflating of righteous support for Jewish civil rights and opposition to anti-Semitism with blind support for Israel (Obama referred to and embraced the "special relationship" Israel enjoys with the US) marked the low point of the debate, if not the campaign. A good referee would have separated the fighters from this death clinch.

In the end, both candidates showed how vastly superior they are to the Republican nominee. But HRC will go down in history as the great Joe Frazier has –surpassed by a once-in-a-lifetime foe.

MICHAEL DONNELLY probably won’t vote for either Dem, but he sure thinks that it really is "historic" what is going on within that usually self-defeating party this election. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com







 


 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 02, 2015
Paul Street
Strange Words From St. Bernard and the Sandernistas
Jose Martinez
Houston, We Have a Problem: False Equivalences on Police Violence
Henry Giroux
Global Capitalism and the Culture of Mad Violence
Ajamu Baraka
Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia
William Edstrom
Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry
David Altheide
The Media Syndrome Between a Glock and a GoPro
Ruth Fowler
Ask Not: Lost in the Crowd with Amanda Palmer
Yves Engler
Canada vs. Africa
Ron Jacobs
The League of Empire
Andrew Smolski
Democracy and Privatization in Neoliberal Mexico
Stephen Lendman
Gaza: a Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Norman Pollack
Obama, Flim-Flam Artist: Alaska Off-Shore Drilling
Kim Nicolini
Remembering Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises