Town Halls have no Teleprompters - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Town Halls have no Teleprompters

CHANGE #10: Barack Obama Said He Would Debate "Anywhere, Anytime" But Has Rejected Joint Town Hall Meetings

Barack Obama Says He Would Debate John McCain "Anywhere, Anytime." OBAMA: "I am happy to have a debate with John McCain and George Bush about foreign policy. If John McCain wants to meet me anywhere, anytime, to have a debate about our respective policies in Iraq, Iran, the Middle East or around the world, that is a conversation I am happy to have. Because I believe that there is no separation between John McCain and George Bush when it comes to our Middle East policy and I think their policy has failed." (Barack Obama, Media Availability, Watertown, SD, 5/16/08)

However, Barack Obama Has Rejected Joint Town Hall Meetings. "Avoiding town hall meetings and rejecting public campaign financing may be predictable strategies for minimizing one of McCain's greatest strengths and exploiting one of his key weaknesses. But they pull Obama down into the cynical political calculations he pledged to rise above." (Editorial, "Obama's Big Words Ring Hollow," St. Petersburg Times, 6/20/08)
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 12:52 PM
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Good one!

I saw this in this morning's WSJ:

Obama The Blur

July 11, 2008; Page A14

At his current pace, Barack Obama is going to give Bill Clinton a run for his reputation as a political shape-shifter. Witness his performance this week in the Senate on foreign intelligence surveillance. He voted to gut the bill before he voted to pass it.

For two weeks, Mr. Obama has been taking flak from his left flank for declaring his support for executive branch eavesdropping on terrorists overseas. During the primaries, Mr. Obama had promised to join a filibuster to kill it. But, lo, as the general election beckoned, he saw the light of Presidential power shine upon him and decided not to give John McCain an opening to call him soft on national security.

But this week's Senate debate also featured three amendments that would have weakened or gutted the bipartisan compromise. Mr. Obama voted for all three. The worst, sponsored by Chris Dodd, would have gone so far as to strip immunity for the telecom companies that assisted the government after 9/11. Without immunity, the companies won't cooperate lest they get sued by the ACLU ad infinitum, putting U.S. security seriously at risk. Yet Mr. Obama was one of only 32 Senators who voted for this killer amendment.

Mr. Obama did vote for final passage, which prevailed 69-28, though no thanks to the Illinois Senator who will benefit most from the legislation if he wins in November. This is one more gift from President Bush to his successor, who won't have to spend political capital beating off the anti-antiterror left to protect this war-fighting ability.

Mr. Obama's both for-it and against-it pose raises the issue of what he really believes. Perhaps in voting for the killer amendments, he was trying to appease the left while knowing he'd pay no political price because the amendments would fail. But this hyper-triangulation hardly inspires confidence in a potential President, who doesn't have the luxury of being on both sides of every issue.

Most Presidential campaigns put a candidate in sharper focus as they unfold. Since he's locked down the nomination, Mr. Obama has become the candidate who blurs.

Obama The Blur -

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 01:02 PM
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No teleprompters is a good thing. I am not sure McCain will enjoy a one-on-one debate.

I am not a fan of the town hall type debate. They tend to be less focused, provide the least real information and end up with either ringers or goofs in the audience much of the time. Do we really need another "boxers or briefs" question?

Bill Clinton was the master of that type of debate. He was able to grab the crowd and roll with it and I think Obama would rule that type of debate.

I am much more interested in a series of very focused debates that theme on the major six subject areas that are most important to how this country is run. Foreign Policy, Economy, Health Care/Social Issues, Security, Environment, Energy. Those subjects are what are going to drive the next decade of this Nation and we need focused questions and focused answers.

Town Hall debates tend to diffuse that focus as they bounce around too much, lacking continuity.


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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