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Democratic Debate in Ohio

Debate Rebate: Putting the Oh! in the Ohio Faceoff

So yes, last night was the big 2-0. The 20th Democratic debate of this election. And though there were, shall we say, instant replays of answers and sound bites we've seen before, Liberty and I have ransacked the transcript looking for those two exchanges that made us sit up and say "oh!" Here's mine; Liberty's is coming soon!

Citizen: I'm going to call it the "first lady question that launched a Russert naildown of NAFTA positions." During the "potentially embarrassing videos" portion of the evening, Obama's video showed him criticizing Clinton of claiming a "co-presidency" during her years as first lady. When asked to respond, Obama made me sit up and take note. He said,

I have not in any way said that experience is not relevant, and I don't begrudge her claiming that as experience. What I've said, and what I would continue to maintain, is you can't take credit for all the good things that happened but then, when it comes to issues like NAFTA, you say, well, I — behind the scenes, I was disagreeing. That doesn't work. So you have to, I think, take both responsibility as well as credit.

This idea sparked a little discussion in the comments last night. I think it highlights a prickly position for both, especially as the concept of "experience" is hotly contested. While I think the fact that Barack brought it up at all does give credence to the notion that perhaps first lady doesn't count as experience (despite his actual position), it puts Hillary in a tough position. To see if "first lady" should make Hillary's resume,


Of course she wants to claim her time in the White House — she was arguably one of the most involved first ladies of modern history. But in doing so she is saddled with policy that she really didn't get to shape, like NAFTA. Russert jumped on this opportunity to nail down both on their future plans for the trade agreement, and both finally said they would use the threat of withdrawal as a means to reform. (Though if a threat is labeled as such, I daresay it's no longer a threat.)

So does Hillary's first ladyship count? Are you with Obama, she has to claim it all — or should Hillary be able to give voice to just her opinions from that time?


Join The Conversation
Go Hillary!!!! I want a candidate with experience. Obama hasn't even fully served his sit in the Senate. Honestly I don't trust him and I am so happy to be a Hillary supporter. I know Hillary will do an excellent job. The media has run an negative spin against her for months. This is a woman devoted to politics and thats what I want in office.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Ga, i could hardly watch because of her, I mean she actually said "whatever" in an answer! And she is just so petty it makes me cringe, like i have said before her experiance being "first" lady (because we all know bill doesnt put her in that catagory) isnt enough to be president. SHe isnt presidential in her mannerisms, could you imagine on the world stage her saying "whatever" or crying, or being petty over words like denounce and reject? ridiculous.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I was a Hillary supporter too, so it's not that I hated the idea of her. But she has done everything to turn me off, and then some, so now it would be really hard to swallow if she became the nominee. I don't think that is going to happen though, I think he is on his way to win this thing, if it is next week or next month. Either way I hope it is soon, I do feel tired of fighting back and forth on minute differences in plans and vast differences in character.
Linny Linny 9 years
I agree that she can not cherry pick what to call her achievements and failures. Where's her date-book thing from those eight years? Let's see what she was up to back then and then decide what is hers to claim as experience. I also was a Clinton supporter in the beginning. Lately I've been really turned off by her campaign tatics- the accusations of plagiarism and the photo leak. I can't trust someone that has to turn to those methods to get results. I think it's backfiring for her, big time. If she had any hope of being Obama's running mate that's gone now by the way she has handled her campaign.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Thank you mymellowman! Your opinion is very valuable to me, and very insightful! ;)
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I think it's important in a democracy to have AT LEAST two ruling families from which to choose.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Always a pleasure to chat with you all on the left, especially you Jillness. :)
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I agree .. far more productive then the recent debates ;)
saucymegstar saucymegstar 9 years
Funny...about the "wedge" because so many Republicans are disenchanted with their party (I'm registered independant)as well. This might speak to the fact that the two party system needs review. Which will not happen from within.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"It was what I was feeling from the outside looking in, but was intrigued to see what the intern thoughts were." That is one of the reasons I love this site! It is so good for Americans to hear what the "other side" REALLY thinks. I think that political pundits on both sides of the spectrum tend to exaggerate and manipulate the other party's take on issues. Discussion is so much more productive when we have the opportunity to listen to a different perspective.
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
well for me, i hate this experience debate that hillary is running... last time i checked- just because my husband did something, doesnt mean im all that good at it either. yes, she may have insight into how a white house is run, but thats a clinton whitehouse, not necessarily what we need today.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Hey all, thanks for the input on the "wedge" situation. It was what I was feeling from the outside looking in, but was intrigued to see what the intern thoughts were. I think the stabbing the other day is what really pushed my thoughts on the matter.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I agree Jill .. to many personalities. Which do we buy into. NONE.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
If there is one thing she should have learned it is to behave according to position as First Lady. Her rant about the mailers, where she was screaming and shaking as if a part of an exorcism ritual saying; "shame on you, Barack Obama!". It was not Presidential, and wouldn't be if she was a man or black or likable. That was one personality I hope I never see again. Maybe she should take a refresh course with Laura Bush. Lesson 1. Don't scream. Lesson 2. Engage with the public. Lesson 3. Be polite. Lesson 4. Don't scream.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I used to like Hillary when the race first started. Her actions on the campaign trail have made me not trust her, though. She will lie to voters to get what she wants, and that really disappointed me.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
Exactly you cant Cherry pick .. good point StPat.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
It may not count for much, but it still does count. In regards to a wedge I see it every day with people that speak to, its is happening. How could it not when you support a such a Flighty candidate as Hill. She is so up and down and wishy washy. I know several people including myself who once supported her and now because of recent events are walking away. From before she decided to run I was participating support campaigns, I even made a donation. It was set in my mind that she should run and that I was going to vote for her. I along with many of my friends and are now feeling quite different. That doesnt mean we are voting for Obama .. so there is your wedge .. what now.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think she gained a unique perspective being the first lady. How could you not? But if she's claiming Bill's victories as "hers", and Bill's failures as "not hers" that doesn't seem fair. However, I don't know if she's really doing this. I don't have any quotes on file.
StPat-Jack StPat-Jack 9 years
In responce to Citizen, I will say she definately can and should claim those years as first Lady. But, I agree with Obama, you can not cherry pick which parts you want to take credit for, especially when you are on the record praising an issue/platform/law/etc. in the past. To mymellowman, I truly believe that the continuous debates and longer primary, with the convention looking to be the end, have weakend the Democratic party, and created a very nasty and mean spirited dialogue btwn the supporters of BHO and HRC. In the beginning, I believed a Democrat would win but with all this infighting,charges of racism and sexism,etc I think there enough supporters of one or the other who will stay home or vote Nader or McCain b/c of this campaign season.
Curlywhirl Curlywhirl 9 years
mymellow I don't think it's driving a wedge yet... I think that if someone doesn't concede soon (MARCH 5th!!!)it could potentially drive a deep wedge. If it ends soon, there's still time to bring the party together. If it goes all the way to the convention, we can say hello to President John McCain!
Curlywhirl Curlywhirl 9 years
As far as Hilary's experience from being first lady goes, I don't think it really counts for much. She wasn't at the front lines of policy making, and when she visited other countries she wasn't negotiating anything. So what does it count for? The one thing she did have a lot to do with, healthcare reform, failed. So if she can name one thing that she did as far as policy goes, while she was First Lady, I will give her the experience label.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
Mymellow from what I can see it is definitely creating a wedge. Most Dems I know are at the point where they are either no going to vote or vote Repub. Sad.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
As much as I hate to do this, I am going to go out on a limb and be with Hillary on this one. She should claim her "First Ladyship" as experience and use it to further promote why she (feels) she is the better candidate in regards to experience. While she fell short on some of her programs including NAFTA, she was NOT the president at that time her influence could only be so strong. I still think she had a positive impact in other areas as First Lady and as Senator to NY. In short is does count as experience ... all political involvement does just his accomplishments at each level does.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I must admit I havent watched any Democratic debates since the last one which John Edwards was in, but I have been pondering the following: Do these continuous debates between Hillary and Obama really help the Democratic Party and the voters or is it driving a bigger wedge between the supporters of each candidate?
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