January 7, 2008

Answer or evade?

From the New Hampshire Democratic debate:

GIBSON: Tell me one thing you've said in those debates that you wish you hadn't said. And it's your chance to take...


GIBSON: ... and it's your chance to take it back.

CLINTON: You know, I feel like they've been good exchanges among us. You know, there have been one or two moments that I would have taken back.

But what's really most important about these debates is that the Democratic Party stands in such contrast to the Republicans. . .

. . .And, beyond that, I will leave it to the pundits to decide what I might or might not have said at any one of the debates.

OBAMA: Well, I -- you know, there have been all kinds of aspects to my debate performance that I'd love to correct or sharpen.

But, overall, actually, here's an area where I agree with Hillary: that there has been a stark contrast, generally, between the four of us and those who aren't debating with us now but were previously. . .

. . . And I think the opportunity to bring the American people together and to push back those special interests, to actually deliver on meaningful differences in their lives, that's something -- that's a prospect that I think all Democrats should be excited about.

Both Governor Richardson and Senator Edwards used the moment for some self-deprecating humor. Clinton and Obama chose to avoid the question.

Media consultants like TJ Walker would say to stick to your main points, repeat them over and over, and don't get off track - and that's what Clinton and Obama did.

Here's my question: Would you rather have heard them address the question and be human for a moment? I would.

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5 comments. Please add yours! :

Unknown said...

I saw that in the debate. And I immediately thought that Hillary and Obama were both taking the easy way out. Instead of answering the question, they propped up the party and propped up themselves. Personally, I wanted them to answer the question. It's nothing new right? Politicians skirting the issues. And this question was not that complex or controversial.

Anonymous said...

I think the question itself has a lot of relevance for public speakers, but little for the election. It saddens me that this is how we choose presidents these days.

I don't need to be reminded that candidates are human. That much is self-evident.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"I don't need to be reminded that candidates are human".

Certain conspiracy theorists would disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

I wanted them to answer the question too. Bill Richardson gave a good answer...

BUT and it's a big BUT, if neither Clinton nor Obama had ever thought back to past debates goofs, it is VERY hard to come up with a good one on the spot as millions are looking on.

Plus, Richardson's and Edward's gaffes were well known. Especially to political junkies like me.

During this debate season Clinton and Obama have not really made any big-time flubs.

I was just happy Obama got the last word (or ad) of the debate :-)

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Good points. I avoid bringing up politics on this blog, except in the most peripheral way; not my style to get into political arguments online!

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