The Plank

Worst Debate Ever (so Far)

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Having already lost my bet to Barron on the outcome of the Michigan primary (three cheers for economic pandering, I guess), I've flipped over to the Democratic debate on MSNBC. Brian Williams and Tim Russert have selected possibly the most pointless, irrelevant set of questions possible to open the debate. First they asked all the candidates about the Clinton–Obama back-and-forth over race. Then they asked Clinton whether she regretted Robert Johnson's comments about Obama. Then they asked John Edwards whether he feels left out as a white man running for president. Then they asked Obama whether he regretted telling Clinton that she was "likable enough" during the New Hampshire debate. Then they asked Edwards whether he regretted "piling on" in his attacks on Clinton during the same debate. It took more than twenty minutes before they even asked a semi-substantive question ("What is your greatest strength and greatest weakness?"). At one point, some guy in the audience started shouting out something like, "Stop asking these race-focused questions!" It's unclear which kind of "race" he meant, but either criticism is valid. It will take a Frank Reich–like comeback for Russert to salvage this debate.

--Josh Patashnik

P.S.: Now they're asking Obama about the rumors that he's Muslim. This is unbelieveable! 

P.P.S.: Barron, people from Michigan are not called "Michiganites." They're called "Michiganders." 

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