By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

It’s over

I thought Clinton sounded sad and subdued at the end, as though she knew that whatever she needed to do tonight she didn’t do. If she’s going to get back into the race, it won’t be because of this debate.

A further thought on the Louis Farrakhan reject/denounce exchange. Russert really let Obama off the hook by not forcing him to answer for things his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has said. Yes, Russert noted that Wright has praised Farrakhan, but then he let it pass. Obama “rejected and denounced” Farrakhan, but we never got back to Wright.

To be sure, Obama needn’t endorse everything Wright says to belong to his church. But it would have made for a more interesting conversation than simply beating up on an easy target like Farrakhan.

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Rejections and denunciations


William F. Buckley Jr., 1925-2008


  1. Anonymous

    Russert really annoyed me tonight. Just seemed overeager and more combative than usual, and just seemed to want to put words in the candidates mouths. I guess this is his general style, but he reallly seemed overboard tonight. Since I’m watching the wrapup on MSNBC, I know there will be no critique of the moderators there. Did he bug other more than usual?

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Russert bugged me about the same as he usually does.

  3. O-FISH-L

    Not to mention NBC’s Russert, a la Andy Hiller, forcing Clinton to name the obscure aparatchik who’s been hand-picked to succeed Vladimir Putin in Russia. To her credit, Hillary knew the name of the obscure Russian, but imagine if she didn’t?As Paul Begala, who I will credit with using the “obscure apartachik” term tonight on CNN said, that’s the type of question that should have gone to the less experienced Obama, but didn’t.

  4. David Appell

    Dan, I am really disappointed in you. I am disappointed in this whole damn scene. You’re making judgements about HC vs BO based on one or two questions in a debate, like you’re scoring a boxing match?. Come on. This election (like all elections) is far more important than who lands a right jab. The MSM is drastically and horribly failing this country, and by these last few posts you’ve indicated that that you’re just another part of the problem. Naturally, they gave you a teaching position to promulgate this attitude to future generations.It is the angry iconoclasts who more history forward. Yes, even angry iconoclastic journalists. You’re just playing the game, hoping it will be good for you. It is time to step aside.

  5. Anonymous

    david–if you were dan, what would you have written about last night’s debate?

  6. endangered coffee

    As your punishment, your next post should be a 50,000 word breakdown of the miniscule differences in health policy between the two candidates.

  7. Anonymous

    I think you should be forced to read the blogs of either “don, american” or “endangered coffee” as punishment. It’s easier if you think of them as Eloi rather than actual conservatives.

  8. endangered coffee

    anon 1:22If that made any sense, I might have been offended.

  9. Anonymous

    If somebody wants to get Obama to thoughtfully talk about Wright, I suggest coming up with a thoughtful question. One that comes from a planet where combative black people exist. –wellbasically

  10. Anonymous

    EC,I can’t speak for anon1:22, but think he’s calling you too stupid to even realize you’re cattle. To me your commentary falls into the category of a “bar blog” — the type of conversation you hear in a bar and move to avoid. Having the ever tedious “Suldog” as a regular doesn’t help.

  11. closets

    Let’s not forget that Clinton smashed Obama in numerous debates leading up to this one. So give her a break! Besides, sparring with Hillary is valuable job training experience for Obama. Maybe by the next presidential election he’ll actually be qualified for the job.

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