Ohio Democratic Debate Highlights

(Editor's Note: As the usual public service after the Democratic presidential candidate debates, this blog is providing video highlights of the key moments. The debate was sponsored by NBC News and was shown on MSNBC. This debate was held at Cleveland State University.)

by Rick Rockwell

The 20th debate of the Democratic campaign may have been the best. This third head-to-head meeting between Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) featured less of the canned responses of the campaign trail and more spontaneous remarks on a wide range of topics from healthcare to environmental policy. The debate also featured more discussion of foreign policy issues, including a special focus on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), than any of the previous debates this year. Frankly, the entire debate was engaging, so highlights may not give the sense of how serious and contentious this meeting was when compared to previous meetings between these candidates.

Clinton led off the debate on the offensive, taking on Obama's campaign tactics.

A centerpiece of the debate included a discussion of NAFTA.

Once a discussion of foreign policy began, the question of Obama's qualifications in that arena moved to center stage.

One of the journalistic techniques that sharpened the tone of this debate included the use of videotape from the candidates' speeches to hold them to account for what they are saying about one another while they stump for votes.

This is the last scheduled debate before Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island hold primaries on March 4.

For more background on the 2008 campaign, please see these archival posts:

(The photo shows Sen. Barack Obama campaigning at the University of Iowa in 2007; the photo is by Stephen Cummings of Iowa via Flickr, using a Creative Commons License.)

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John Charles Palazzo said...

Did anyone finally clarify how to pronounce that Russian guy's name?

Rick Rockwell said...

We didn't include that part of the debate in these highlights, but you can see it here.

It seems Tim Russert was going for a "gotcha" moment to see if Clinton knew the name of the leading Russian candidate. She did mispronounce it. (And her "whatever" when she flubbed it was such a telling moment: typical American arrogance that we shouldn't have to be accurate with such things.)

Just to note, his name is Dmitri A. Medvedev and in television we might write the pronunciation this way: (dim-EE-tree Mehd-vuh-dehv).

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