Time's Washington Bureau Chief Favors Hillary/Edwards Scheme To Limit Debate Participation
The MSM has been mostly silent on the scheming caught on video between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards as they plotted to purge the "lower tier" candidates from the Democrat debates. However, we now have Time Magazine's Washington Bureau Chief, Jay Carney, weighing in on the issue and he has come down firmly on the side of ridding the "lesser" candidates from the debates. In his July 13 Time blog post, Carney asks, "Are Crowded Debates Useless?" As you can see, Carney answers his own question in the affirmative:
Just about, I'd say. I'm all for underdog would-be presidents getting exposure, but there are simply too many candidates right now - in both parties - for the debates and forums that include all of them to yield much of anything of value to voters. So I'm sympathetic to the whispered co-conspiring between Senators Edwards and Clinton picked up by microphones at an NAACP forum in Detroit.
If you think Carney is for ridding some of the candidates from the debates for being too eccentric, such as Mike (Potted Plant) Gravel, you would be wrong:
The problem with the second-tier candidates in the Democratic Party (Biden, Dodd, Richardson) is that they're all running the kind of cautious campaigns you'd expect from a front-runner or real contender. No one's throwing bombs or stirring up the debates the way, say, Al Sharpton used to. Perhaps this is because they're all angling for VP or Secretary of State consideration and therefore don't dare antagonize any of the frontrunners.
So the problem for Jay Carney is that he finds the second-tier candidates to be too boring. He seems to prefer the more entertaining bomb throwers to the mere rock throwers such as Gravel who tossed a large rock into a pond in perhaps the most bizarre campaign video ever produced. Perhaps Dennis Kucinich could redirect some of his outrage at John Edwards for trying to deal him out of the debates towards Carney who specifically mentioned him as unworthy of being included in future debates:
Given how early the primary season begins and ends, is it crazy to want to see some debates, beginning in September if not before, featuring just the top tier candidates? Or at least, in the Democrats' case, limiting it to the first and second tier (i.e., minus Kucinich and Gravel)?
As could be expected, Carney's elitist remarks about wanting to limit the debates to only those candidates he deems worthy of belonging to the exclusive upper tier club has sparked a firestorm of outrage from readers of his blog. Here is a sampling of their comments:
You've got lots of chutzpah make such a rash statement. Perhaps you have a short attention span, Jay. It a chance for people to see what these folks have to offer. It's not your job to annoit and pontificate... it's your job to cover and report. If that is not challenging enough for you, or it's beneath you, that choose another profession like public relations.
It is not for you media types to determine what is of value and who is important to voters as they go about making their decisions.
My opinion of the headline and your first sentence was that you write in an arrogant manner.
If it were two republicans discussing the topic, all of you would be after their head. You would be demanding they withdraw from the race. Two sets of standards?
This plotting between Hillary and Edwards has also caused a great deal of consternation in the leftwing blogosphere. This is just the type of scheming they would expect from Hillary but not from their hero, Edwards. These comments from the Democratic Underground reflect that disappointment in Edwards:
I don't need HR Clinton or Edwards or anyone else deciding who is a "lower level" candidate and who is serious or not. That is up to us, the voters, the decide.
I finally looked at the video this morning. Edwards initiates the discussion of cutting out some candidates, going over to Clinton. She agrees and as they turn to leave, Clinton saying "our guys should talk," they both blow off Obama.
Kucinich has every right to be outraged. And all the others. Where do these two get away with trying to machinate the debates? Edwards gets the main boos here for bringing it up (more me time, please!); Clinton for agreeing and offering to sic her dogs on the issue.
I'm surprised at Edwards. So much for that "two Americas" stuff.
Don't know which is worse, Edwards pretense of inclusivity or the blatant undemocratic behavior that is Clinton's habit.
edwards is just his usual hypocrite...
You can read more of the leftwing disillusionment with these two "top tier" Democrat candidates at the DUmmie FUnnies.