February 24, 2004
I didn't get a chance to hear the debate last night, but from the excerpts Zorn has published it sounds like it was a wild night. I can't find a transcript or audio recording yet but will give the link if I do. Here's a highlight of Obama rhetorically toying with Hull on the war issue:
HULL: (The Iraq) war was a big mistake. I was an outspoken opponent of this war…..
OBAMA: One thing I have to say: You know, Blair mentioned that he was an outspoken opponent of this war. But the fact of the matter is, Blair, that you were silent when these decisions were being made. And you didn't end up being outspoken about it until well after the war had been completed, to the extent that it's been completed. I mean, we looked at your Web site. We called specifically and asked for a statement, a position on this. And now you're sending out mailings saying you were a strong opponent of the war. You were AWOL on this issue. And that's important, not because we can undo the decisions that George Bush made. It's important because Illinois voters deserve to know whether or not their U.S. Senator is going to duck issues or whether he's going to be up front on issues
HULL: First of all, there were a number of people, of my colleagues right here -- Joyce Washington, Nancy Skinner --- that stood up against the war before it occurred. So I'd like to first clarify that.
OBAMA: I was asking about you, Blair, because, because---
HULL: As did Gery Chico. Um, the next, um, um…
OBAMA: No, but I'm asking a question Blair. When did you bring the debate about this war? At what stage did you make a statement suggesting you were opposed to it? On your Web site there was no mention of it. We made a joint appearance in front of the Champaign County Democrats in which you didn't utter a peep about it. I give credit to people like Dan Hynes and Maria, who were consistent in saying they were supportive of it. I think that makes sense. I disagree with them on the issue. But I admire the fact that they did take a consistent position on it.
If this is how Hull handles being the frontrunner under fire, I think we all have to start thinking very seriously whether we want to send this guy up against Jack Ryan. "Um, the next, um, um…" is not going to cut it in a general election. Forget about handing the Republicans a candidate who is an alleged domestic abuser, I think we should start worrying about sending them someone who can't stand up for themselves during a debate.
Here's a list of articles on the debate:
Hull is target in Illinois Senate debate
Domestic Incident Takes Center Stage At Dem Senate Debate
Abuse accusation against Hull takes center stage in debate
Democrats press Hull for details
Hull was late opposing war in Iraq, Obama says
Abuse accusation against Hull takes center stage
Opponents take aim at Hull on his divorce, other issues