“When people make that choice, they take into account how candidates stand on the issues,” he said, but also are concerned with “experience, character [and] credibility.”
“You can’t find a presidential election where those issues didn’t come into play,” he said.
Stephanopoulos explained that since the candidates are not far apart policy-wise, the “core of the nomination fight” has been about these issues.
“They’ve been fighting it out on this turf,” he said, adding that these are things that “came up between this debate and the last one.”
But as Media Matters has pointed out more than once, the media really can't be relied upon to assess character with any accuracy.
One example was the case of Al Gore and Naomi Wolf. It was charged during the 2000 presidential election that Wolf was advising Gore to wear "earth tones." Well, Wolf was indeed working with Gore as a campaign adviser, but she wasn't hired to provide clothing advice. And if she had been doing so? Well, John McCain was heard to complain just a few months back that his campaign adviser instructed him to wear what he called "gay" sweaters, so it would hardly be a dramatic break with tradition for Wolf to have provided that advice.
In their attempt to assess Gore's character, the media messed up the Gore-Wolf story on two levels. One, it wasn't even true. Two, even if it were true, so what?
As to experience, G W Bush was an MBA, the CEO of several companies and Governor of Texas. We can see where all that experience got us.
The Obama-Clinton "debate" spent almost a full hour on such idiotic trivialities as to what Obama's pastor said during a sermon shortly after 9-11 (Obama says he wasn't there and nobody considered the speech significant enough to have told him about it, a quick look at Wright's biography shows that the attitude expressed in the speech was a very minor part of his life) and Obama's being on same board of directors with a former Weather Underground member who made a really stupid statement about 40 years ago (Obviously, if the fellow was serving on a board of directors, then he's apparently matured and is much less stupid these days). Clinton, to her discredit, chimed in to agree that Obama showed poor judgment in both cases.
Clinton claimed that she's faced the Republican Noise Machine in the past and so knows how to handle it. Well, I don't think it shows very good judgment to back up the other sides' talking points and attacks on your own side. Even if you agree that your ally showed poor judgment, it's a very, very bad idea to join up with the other side to attack your own side. As Allahpundit from the blog that Michelle Malkin sometimes contributes to, Hot Air, puts it: "Hillary: Why, yes, Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate campaign issue," followed by "Coming soon to a McCain campaign ad near you."
That was a major complaint about Joe Lieberman that cost him his membership in the Democratic Party. As the Jewish Daily Forward put it:
Andrew Sullivan was less than impressed with Clinton's performance:
The Swamp from Baltimore agrees:
Daily Kos was considerably less than kind to the two interrogators:
Very interestingly, a blogger from Hot Air was very supportive of Clinton:
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