Local Politics

One Debate On, Another Off in Raleigh

Posted April 21, 2008

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— The two leading Democratic candidates for governor will debate Tuesday evening on WRAL-TV. Details for the meeting between State Treasurer Richard Moore and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue were still being formulated Monday afternoon.

A debate at the top of the ticket has fallen through, though. The proposed meeting in Raleigh between Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has been called off, state party officials said Monday.

Moore and Perdue had attended forums sponsored by different groups in recent months but haven't engaged in a head-to-head debate. Moore agreed weeks ago to take part in a one-hour debate broadcast by WRAL, but the campaigns couldn't agree on a location or format for a debate, and Perdue didn't commit to participating until Monday.

Clinton had agreed to a CBS-televised debate at the RBC Center, tentatively scheduled for Sunday. Obama, who had earlier committed to an April 19 debate, said repeatedly he wasn't sure whether he could fit next Sunday into his campaign schedule.

The North Carolina Democratic Party said in a statement Monday that the logistics of staging a national event on short notice, if Obama were to agree to the debate this week, were too daunting to try to pull everything together.

"Certainly, we're disappointed. We were looking forward to this chance for a debate here in North Carolina," said Jerry Meek, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "But we also know both campaigns are going to be in North Carolina on a regular basis between now and May 6."

David McLennan, a political science professor at Peace College, said he wasn't surprised the debate fell through.

"This is a reflection more of the Obama campaign feeling they don't have much to gain from a debate in North Carolina. (He has) a fairly substantial lead in the polls, (and) he got beat up in the last debate in Philadelphia," McLennan said.

Clinton and Obama have agreed to attend the state's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on May 2 in Raleigh.

The dinner will be four days before the May 6 primary, which is seen as critical in the tight race for the Democratic nomination.

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  • bullet656 Apr 22, 2008

    how come people attack obama for his association w/ people, but when other refer to stuff bill clinton has done, they say that he is not running for president. I don't think you can be closer to somebody than being their wife.

  • NC_VET Apr 22, 2008

    Wait Presidential Candidates Cancel and now we have to watch
    the whinning of Perdue and Moore????? OMG what is WRAL
    smoking? Who is his/her right mind would watch such dribble.
    I won't.

  • wolff Apr 22, 2008

    The last debate was the first one Obama was really challenged. I think those issues aren't trival but are about character. I am really unhappy that he won't be debating in NC too. I hope NC voters take this into account.

  • Just Ice Apr 22, 2008

    wildervb: "In fact, you would have to agree, that had Hillary had not been married to Bill she wouldn't even be a major candidate for President."

    On the contrary, I respectfully disagree with most of your viewpoints as they relate to the 2008 presidential primary.

    wildervb: "Jeremiah Wright? He never worked for the Obama campaign, not even related."

    MSNBC: Obama’s campaign announced that the minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., had left its spiritual advisory committee after videotapes of his sermons again ignited fierce debate in news accounts and political blogs.

    Obama did not clarify whether Wright volunteered to leave his African American Religious Leadership Committee, a loose group of supporters associated with the campaign, or whether the campaign asked him to leave.

  • wildervb Apr 22, 2008

    Samantha Power was a lower level worker for Obama, not leading his campaign, she spoke her own mind and was let go. She wasn't actually making money as a lobbyist working directly against the policies of the campaign as Mark Penn was doing. The fact that Clinton employed Mark Penn while he was lobbying for Columbia seems far, far worse.

    Jeremiah Wright? He never worked for the Obama campaign, not even related.

    In most cases of course I wouldn't put much weight on the opinions or words of a candidate's spouse. However, since Hillary bases all her "years of experience" on the fact that she was married to Bill makes this completely different. Obviously Bill is part of her campaign, he'll be a major part of her White House. In fact, you would have to agree, that had Hillary had not been married to Bill she wouldn't even be a major candidate for President.

  • Just Ice Apr 22, 2008

    wildervb: "If Hillary can't control her own staff, her own family, even her own campaign (which is in debt), how can she govern the country?"

    Here we go again. Does anyone remember Samantha Power and Jeremiah Wright? Both resigned from the Obama campaign in disgrace.

    wildervb: "Like why Bill Clinton was given $800,000 by Columbia, while Hillary claims she's against a free trade agreement with them."

    So, who do you think is running for president...Hillary or Bill?

    ABC News: Asked about her husband's different position on this issue yesterday outside of Pittsburgh, Sen. Clinton said, "I don’t think any married couple I know agrees on everything and we disagree on this. You know the Colombia free trade deal in my view is not appropriate because of the history of suppression and targeted killings of labor organizers in Colombia."

    wildervb: "Not to mention the head of her campaign lobbying on behalf of Columbia."

    Mark Penn apologized and resigned for that mistake.

  • wildervb Apr 22, 2008

    The "Gotcha" questions have nothing to do with how a President will lead the country, they are simply set up by TV commentators to create a stir, drive up ratings. Why should the future leader of the free world play this game with them?

    As I pointed out earlier, Obama's answered all these silly questions, why answer the same questions over and over.

    Maybe the last debate would have been more interesting if new ground was covered. Like why Bill Clinton was given $800,000 by Columbia, while Hillary claims she's against a free trade agreement with them. Isn't that a conflict of interest? Not to mention the head of her campaign lobbying on behalf of Columbia. If Hillary can't control her own staff, her own family, even her own campaign (which is in debt), how can she govern the country?

  • Just Ice Apr 22, 2008

    wildervb: "If the only types of questions that come out of the next debates are simply more "Gotcha" questions, then why bother?"

    Then, why bother running for president at all. If Obama can't handle those "Gotcha" questions, how's he going to handle a 2-front war, a recession, and an energy crisis?

    wildervb: "The Clinton's played the media very well. Even got SNL on their side."

    You're kidding about SNL...right?

  • wildervb Apr 22, 2008

    JustIce, Hillary's complaining lasted several months, she actually complained during the debate about being asked questions first, as if that's a disadvantage. The Clinton's played the media very well. Even got SNL on their side.

    Obama asked the silly questions asked of him, like why he doesn't wear a flag pin. (Which violates the flag code anyway). He answered the silly question as to wether his paster was patriotic or not, or if he was as patriotic as Obama.

    Hillary of course jumped right in on the attacks, which is her style, she calls it spirited debate, I call it politics of smear. There were literally thousands of complaints about the way ABC ran that debate, not just from Obama supporters but from the general public that wanted to hear real issues discussed.

    As for running scared? Obama and Hillary have already debated 21 times. If the only types of questions that come out of the next debates are simply more "Gotcha" questions, then why bother?

  • Just Ice Apr 22, 2008

    wildervb: "Isn't it funny, just a couple of months ago Hillary was openly whining, even during the debate, about how unfair the press was to her."

    It was so funny that Saturday Night Live did a parody of the media's preferential treatment of Barack Obama. Would you like a pillow sir? Remember that? It made the MSM sit up and take notice.

    But she still answered every tough question the media threw at her and answered them well. She didn't abruptly end a press conference and storm off the stage when she had to field tough questions or wilt like a lily during a national debate.

    wildervb: "Unbelievable that her team now attacks Obama for questioning the questions he was given."

    The Obama Team started whining about the questions immediately after the debate ended. They knew their candidate screwed up. So they're not taking any chances by debating in North Carolina.

    He’s running scared from Hillary...from Hillary Clinton. Your American Idol is no commander-in-chief.

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