Second Best Debate Moment of the 2008 Season

There’s no question that the best moment in any of the debates so far in the 2008 season is Joe Biden’s quip that that every sentence of Rudy Giuliani’s includes “a noun, a verb, and 9/11.” However, I’d say that this is a very strong contender for the second best moment:

That was just pitch perfect, on your feet timing right there.

UPDATE (James Joyner): The text version for readers without the ability to hear the video:

MODERATOR: Senator Obama, you have Bill Clinton’s former National Security Adviser, State Department policy director and maybe secretary among others, advising you. With relatively little foreign policy experience of your own, how will you rely on so many Clinton advisers, and still deliver the kind of break from the past that you’re promising voters?


Obama: You know I am —

Hillary: (Laughing) I want to hear that.

Obama: Well, Hillary, I’m looking forward to you advising me as well. (Laughter)

An Andrew Sullivan reader* assesses the situation keenly:

[T]his was a grievous unforced error on Hillary’s part. In my eyes, her crowing reaction damages her as much as Obama’s comeback benefits him. All she needed to do was listen politely as Obama squirmed, and the moment was hers. Instead, she reacted like a comic book supervillain and handed a superhero moment to Obama.

*Sullivan gets at least two posts a day from emailers. You guys just aren’t trying hard enough!

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Humor, , , , , , , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Christopher says:

    Yea, real funny.

    Democrat prez candidates playing with national security. The muslim would stick his head in the sand, and the woman can’t make up her mind and changes it frequently to which way the political winds blow.

    The entire dem field: Sad.

  2. sam says:

    The muslim would stick his head in the sand, and the woman can’t make up her mind and changes it frequently to which way the political winds blow.

    What in the hell does that mean?

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    To decode from the original idiotese, “the muslims” is Barack Obama; “the woman” is Hillary Clinton. He’s saying that Barack Obama ignores the obvious and Hillary Clinton just follows the polls.

  4. LaurenceB says:

    The Biden quote was very funny, but was probably scripted, whereas the Muslim’s quote was completely off-the-cuff. I’d say that makes it the Best Quote of the Debate Season.

    For Worst Quote of the Debate Season, I’d like to nominate “double Guantanamo”.

    Oh… And I think everyone should refer to Obama as “The Muslim” from now on. 🙂

  5. sam says:

    Ah, I get it. Thanks, Dave.

    Ok, then, here’s a election scenario that will have them on their knees 7×24 in certain precincts:

    The Muslim vs. the Mormon

    Of course, that might take idiotese to new depths.
    (Not referring to you, Larry :))

  6. Alex Knapp says:

    Umm, folks, Barack Obama is a Christian. Unless “United Church of Christ” (the church he was baptized in and attends) is some sort of weird code for a mosque.

  7. sam says:

    Right, Alex. Thus, the “idiotese.”

  8. Christopher says:

    You believe that, Alex? I guess then that the “idiotese” would be you and every other dem voting him in as prez. What a thing that would be, a terrorist as prez. Just give him the keys.

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    Right, Alex. Thus, the “idiotese.”

    I understand that that is what you meant. However, it’s important to be clear and forthright in denouncing lies as lies. Given the way smears like this travel, if they’re not clearly denounced, they’re more likely to be believed.

  10. sam says:

    I guess then that the “idiotese” would be you and every other dem voting him in as prez.

    uh, maroon, ‘idiotese’ is not the plural of idiot.

  11. tlr says:

    Barack has been Christian since the eighties. Dozens of religious authorities vouch for him.

    As a youth however, I would best say that he was a skeptic and a student of all organized religions. His multicultural heritage and intellectually curious mother made him aware of an array of religious beliefs.

    But later, as a community organizer in Chicago, he visited many different churches in the black community to talk to people. One sermon he attended really touched him. The name of the sermon was called the “audacity of hope” and the Church was called the United Church of Christ. Ever since he has been christian and it is strength that he continually mentions and draws on.

  12. Uncle Pinky says:

    The hesitation almost got him, then he whips out the beatific smile. Hillary! really should have kept quiet on that one, but at least we got to see a textbook unforced error.

    I’m not an Obama fan, but he got a good solid bite there. If others were as quick on their feet as he I wouldn’t mind these interminable debates as much.

  13. Christopher says:

    sam, what is MAROON? I mean I know what the def is, but how r u using it here?

    Maybe you are just a moron! lol!

    Typical lib.

  14. Beldar says:

    Of all of Obama’s prevarications, this one (the suggestion that he would, in fact, value Hillary Clinton’s advice were he the president) is probably the single most forgivable.

  15. Beldar says:

    And the transcript of Obama’s stumbling start to the answer should be:

    “Well, the, uh — you know, I am –”

    (“You know I am” makes it read like he was affirmatively agreeing with the suggestion that he’s intentionally packed his advisers with ex-Clintonistas.)