The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton looked to increase the pressure on the Barack Obama campaign to hold more debates by releasing a letter Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams wrote to Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
The letter stated the false premise that people want more debates, “The American people are choosing a direction for their children and families. They have a right to hear from those who want to be their leaders. Our Democratic primaries reflect the keen interest of the American citizenry in this election. Our primaries have brought millions of new people into the political process and invigorated a national conversation about the best solutions to meet our challenges.”
The letter tried to give the impression that Obama is ducking Clinton, “Senator Obama has declined the invitation from CBS and the North Carolina Democratic Party to appear for a debate at North Carolina State University tomorrow evening. Senator Obama has apparently declined the invitation of the Indiana Debate Commission to appear for a debate in Indiana next week. Senator Obama has not responded to Senator Clinton’s challenge to debate in Oregon. Will there be no debates in other upcoming states?”
Williams pointed out that although there have been over 20 debates, Clinton and Obama have only gone head to head four times, “I understand that Senator Obama has raised the point that there have already been more than 20 debates this election cycle. However, only four of those have been between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. We can all agree that many important issues have received scant attention during previous debates, including such important topics as education and the energy crisis.”
Here are the details of Clinton’s Lincoln-Douglas proposal, “Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will participate in a 90-minute debate in an open public forum. Just the two of them — no questioners, no panelists, no video clips. One candidate would speak for two minutes, then the other, alternating back and forth all the way through the debate. Their discussion – not any pre-set rules – would determine how long they spend on one subject before moving on to another.”
The problem for Clinton is that two separate polls have shown that the American people are getting tired of this primary. Clinton NEEDS to drag this out, but Obama has little to gain by engaging in more debates, and the American people have little to gain by watching more debates.
These two have had more head to head debates than most fall general election campaigns. When Clinton had the momentum in this race, she didn’t want to debate either. Frontrunners rarely do. Clinton needs to understand that her options are very limited. She can either win the remaining contests, or quit.