The opening statements in the Pennsylvania Democratic presidential primary debate... But first, a few questions. Why the fuck did ABC News choose to air the debate un-live on the West Coast? And why is there a commercial immediately following the opening statements?
OK, now to the first question from a moderator. Will they pledge to get bunk beds in the White House (i.e., be each other's running mate)? Jesus, what a terrible question. After some awkward stares, Barack Obama gives his pat answer about choosing the nominee first before the nominee chooses a running mate. And then, PIVOT, right into a discussion of the economy.
Will Hillary Clinton even bother to answer the running-mate question before she starts talking about the economy? (Oh, wait, Charlie Gibson forces the issue). Clinton wants the party to come together behind the nominee... and, yes, there it is: The Pain of the last 8 years under a Republican administration.
Now, the first real question. Who'd have guessed it would be about the "bitter" Pennsylvanians? "Not the first time I've said something that was mangled up," Obama concedes, then he clarifies that people turn to religion, guns and "hot-button issues" when frustrated by an economy that has left them behind.
Clinton reminds us she is the granddaughter of a Scranton man who went to church. She does not believe he or anyone else cling to religion when Washington fails them, or cling to guns, or cling to anything else. Cling free. She also understands why they'd be offended by what he said, even though they're super resilient.
Now here comes George Stephanopolous... Hillary, can Obama beat John McCain? A Democrat has to win, she says. He presses. Yes, yes, yes. But I think I can do a better job. (Much better answer).
Obama wants to go back to her bitter response to his bittergate statement. Sen. Clinton has taken one statement and beat it to death over the last few days, he says. Ooh, the double-reversal neck kick! He brings up a shitty thing said about her as an example of nasty politics and, in the process, gets to remind everyone of something very unflattering about Clinton while pretending to defend her. He's getting much better at these debates.