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Clinton Challenges Obama to Fox Debate, Will He Accept?

Barack Obama has a long-standing boycott against Fox (see this May 17, 2007 report and this January 8, 2008 update for background).

With Obama's long-standing avoidance of Fox News, Clinton has put him in the position of having to explain why "The Great Uniter" -- the man who says he's for every American red or blue -- is boycotting Fox, one of the most popular cable news channels and the one favored by the more conservative Americans.

If his dispute was with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad instead of Rupert Murdock, Barack would leap at the chance to demonstrate his ability to diplomatically resolve the issue -- why not do the same here?

Perhaps Obama is for all Americans so long as they don't watch television channels that aren't supportive of his candidacy. In all fairness, Fox News has been downright hostile to Obama, but that only underscores the opportunity Obama has to demonstrate how he can reach across a divide...

Or not... My guess is that he'll bow to the nutroots and continue the boycott, and to hell with healing America.

It's a great opportunity for Obama to shine. I hope he see it as that and rises to the ocassion.


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Comments (10)

Steve Crickmore:

Whatever he does he has to learn how to debate better. It's disappointing when he is such an superior orator as you said. He needs to be sharper, quicker make clearer contrasts with Hillary with less preamble. Use a little strategy and take Hillary where she isn't so comfortable, where has she made mistakes, since she rarely admits them.. What is her position on Executive pardons and question her about some of her recent staements on garnishing wages, deporting illegal immigrants who commit criminal acts without due process. Maybe take the debate where he is comfortable as a constitutional law professor. I don't know why Adrianna Huffington couldn't advise him since she was President of the Cambridge Union in 1971 and presided over many debates at Cambridge University.

Lee Ward:

I suspect Obama would do better in a debate against McCain then against Clinton. I think he has had difficulty drawing distinctions on issues where he and Hill differ, and would have an easier time skewering McCain's position on the Iraq War, tax cuts for the wealthy, etc.

Steve - you always seem to outline a strategy of attack, attack and attack -- why can't Obama explain his own positions? It's amazing that the Great Uniter is being coached by supporters like yourself to attack and attack his fellow Democrat. Hit his opponent where she's weak, etc....

Is it a situation where Obama can't win on his own credentials, so he has to knock down his opponent in order to win?

That seems to be your view of Obama - that he should attack his opponent's position rather than sell his own position and let Americans decide.

Aint' no hope for change in that... Same old attack dog politics - American versus American. I thought Obama was different?

Steve Crickmore:

Okay, point taken..Perhaps he has to be more explicit on developing what will be his changes...You are right the undecided or independents don't want to see negative attacks ..My idea is certainly not to attack gratuitously but when there are openings and there will be because it is now mano/mano he has to very subtle and make the best of his opportunities. It is no good waiting a day after to point out inconsistencies with Clinton's program as he did following the LA debate. The problem with each person just enumerating their policies and listing their advantages is there doesn't seem to be fact checking from either side. Clinton has a little edge because she speaks more quickly and is more experienced in this game and can be very convincing. This is why she wants more debates.

And in order to break away from the old politics Obama has to talk about the old politics just a little and draw in Clinton -there as well as be more explicit about his politics of change.

ke_future:

i have a question for you guys, what do you picture bi-partisan legislation looking like? what kinds of issues do you see Obama reaching across the aisle on and what kinds of compromises do you see him making?

i ask this because anytime i hear anyone on the extremes of either party talking about bipartisanship it usually means that they really just want their side to win by peeling off just enough of the opponents to give them cover.

that's not bipartisanship, and it's that kind of an attitude(from both sides) that has created the harsh bitterness in politics these days.

so step up and tell me, where do you see true bi-partisanship and compromise actually coming from?

Steve Crickmore:

I neglected to say in my comment is what Mark Kleiman addresses as the high awareness voter and the low awareness voter With all her positives, if I didn't know Hillary, I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this is why I give Obama the benefit of the doubt....But how to you bring up Hillary's negatives without being you know... negative.. A lot of voters I don't think have that awareness of her. I suppose you just trust in their judgement..I'm not sure whether they know this side of Hillary or are just willing to overlook it? So far the only scandal brought up by either candidate is the Retzo scandal. I think if the Dems do nominate Hillary many of her 'low awareness' voters are going to have their awareness uncomfortably increased when the GOP enters the fray.

Lee Ward:

S-Chip was a good example. Bush's Immigration Reform was also - both bipartisan examples that were shot down because of the angry fringe on the right.

I think the key is making an effort at bipartisan. I think Democrats will drive a progressive agenda, just as Republicans tried to drive a conservative one, and the bipartisanship comes form a good-faith effort at compromise.

I do not see "bipartisan" legislation as being legislation that makes everyone happy, as I don't think you will ever see meaningful Immigration Reform that makes both Tom Trancredo and Ted Kennedy both "happy".

The party in power is there to drive forward the party's agenda, not to compromise those principles merely for the "Kumbuya" moment of hands across the aisle.

The rich and the oil companies had their 8 years, it's the average guy's turn now. That's going to make some folks unhappy - so be it.

Lee Ward:

Kleinmann's analysis made my eyes cross.

I don't get how latinos equate to "low awareness" and that's why they voted for Clinton, if that's the point Kleimann is trying to make, and blacks are not regarded the same with respect to their strong support of Obama?

Seems to me like Obama is doing more to divide our country further - now it's not only red and blue - but within the blue side he's splitting black and brown, men and women...

All of this should be heal-able after we have a nominee - but it doesn't speak well, in my humblest of opinions, for Obama's abilities as great healer.

But then... he is missing a great opportunity to rise above all of this - but no one seems to notice or care. Seems like "business as usual" to me...

Steve Crickmore:

I was wondering about the blacks too unless they have suddenly become more educated than the other ethnic groups..

Hillary and Obama were both fairly bi-partisan in their elective careers.. But as far as immigration goes, Hillary over eggs the pudding or goes overboard to make her case. Hillary from a December 4th, 2007 talk radio inerview:

The best estimates I have is that it would take about $200 billion over five years to round up 12 to 14 million people. It would take tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of new law enforcement officials. It would take a convoy of 200,000 buses stretching 17,000 miles.
the straw man exaggerated argument that enrages the right ..Obama think it would be unrealistic to deport so many illegal aliens, (but many would leave on their own)... but he doesn't seem to ridicule their arguments the way Hillary does. I think you somehow have to speak the right's angst on this issue...Look at wizbang classic. It is the issue they are most passionate about. Obama might be able somehow to navigate among all the rocks, better than Hillary.
ke_future:

i definitly don't see bipartisanship=everyone happy. in fact, you might say that compromise is the art of making everyone equally unhappy. at least that is what i heard somewhere, and i like that way of saying it.

on s-chip, i don't really know enough to say whether there was an attempt at good faith compromise from one side or the other or not. almost everything i heard from both sides was pretty partisan.

on immigration, the opposition was not just on the far right. there was and is broad based opposition to granting effective amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants without making the attempt at securing our borders to stop the illegal immigration from occurring in the first place.

what i was really interested in was what future issues you think Obama or Hillary will try to work in a bi-partisan manner and what kinds of compromises you think they will be able to make in order to get movement on their issues.

****
* OT and in repsonse to Lee re: the way you ended your response.

you do realize that in the past 8 years, the middle class hasn't been doing that bad don't you? check out http://reason.tv/video/show/61.html

anecdotally, most of my friends were unemployed in 1999. most had been laid of from their jobs. since 2001, they are all employed, and at better jobs and salaries than they had previously. i know maybe 1 person who is doing worse now than in '99, and that is mostly because he is un-ambitious and makes poor life choices. i know that 'my friends' is a small, not very representative sample, but this is what i am seeing.

so exxon posted their numbers for 2007. they had record profits, and a record tax bill. did you know that this one company paid more in taxes than the bottom 50% of all taxpayers *combined*? that their profit margins are lower than most other industries? not to defend oil companies or anything their share of things that need criticizing , but i thought you might be interested.

speaking of taxes, you know that the only tax bracket that has actually seen the amount they pay in taxes go up under bush has been the top tax bracket? all the other brackets have seen an average decrease in their taxes.

BPG:

Sort of an aside here, but S-CHIP was voted down because the program should not have been EXPANDED. Republicans were willing to go with it in its current form, but when the bill raised the income limits and expanded coverage to other people not initially intended for it, that's what derailed that bill.

Same with with the stimulus package that just got stopped in the Senate. Everyone was happy with the House version, it seemed - and then people got greedy and started adding stuff to it. Pols on both sides need to accept some bills as they come - the U.S. should not be spending $3,000,000 to name a statue after Charlie Rangel or building a Bridge to Nowhere.

Whoever can stop that stuff will get my vote, regardless of which side they're on.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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