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November 01, 2007

Clinton: WAAAH! Russert Was a Big Meanie!

The armor cracks to reveal a glass jaw.

While one supporter voiced his concern that the Clinton campaign is not devoting enough money and staff to Iowa, lagging behind Obama, most supporters who commented on the call expressed their displeasure with what they saw as the moderators’ focus on Clinton.

One caller from Oklahoma City said that “the questions … were designed to incite a brawl,” and that Russert’s and Brian Williams’s moderating was “an abdication of journalistic responsibility.”

Another said Russert “should be shot,” before quickly adding that she shouldn’t say that on a conference call.

Penn and Mantz said they were hearing a lot of the same sentiment from other supporters, but they do not plan to engage the media or the debate’s moderators.

“We’re not challenging the media on that, but the sentiment you’ve expressed is obviously one I’ve heard,” Penn said.

I didn't watch the debate, but from the video clips I've seen of the Clinton-Russert and Clinton-Williams exchanges, the questions asked were not particularly confrontational or out of bounds. They were fair - more fair than those asked of the Republicans by Chris Matthews.

The question of licenses for illegal immigrants, and Clinton's terrible answer, has revealed much more than her position on this issue. It's revealed the snippy, unpleasant Clinton that we all know and love from the 1990s. It's revealed Clinton is shifty with her positions, but not nearly as good at her husband at hiding it.

And now it's shown that the Clinton campaign in general has a sense of entitlement regarding treatment from the media. I think they're truly shocked by the fact that Russert had the audacity to ask them tough questions. This reaction to criticism and Clinton's inability to maintain her composure in that environment creates an opportunity for the GOP. When it comes time to negotiate the terms of the presidential debates next fall, the GOP should ask for questioners such as Tim Russert and Brit Hume. No Chris Matthews, no Jim "why do you hate puppies, President Bush" Lehrer and definitely no Keith Olbermann.

Keep the pressure on, and the veneer of invincibility goes away really fast. Let's hope the GOP has the good sense to realize that, and exploit it.


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posted by Slublog at 08:43 AM

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