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The Two Chuck Todds

There’s Hillary’s Chuck Todd (from Hillary’s blog):

NBC News’ Chuck Todd – Hillary ‘had a couple of very good moments on health care and the economy.’ “Did she potentially win this debate on points; I think so; it was close but she had a couple of VERY good moments on health care and the economy that probably scored well in the various focus groups of undecided voters watching this debate.” [MSNBC First Read, 2/21/08]

And then there’s the other Chuck Todd (from First Read):

But Clinton needed a game-changing moment and she didn’t get one tonight. And this is how this debate will be judged. Frankly, she seemed reluctant to totally go for the jugular. Take, for instance, the question to her asking whether she believed Obama was NOT qualified to be Commander in Chief. As The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder noted to me, she wouldn’t answer that question; instead, she made a positive case for herself but didn’t make the case against him. Why? Is it too soon to go that negative against Obama and she’ll wait until next week or does she realize it’s possible she won’t be the nominee and she doesn’t want the blame for giving McCain his best talking point in a matchup with Obama. Imagine, frankly, had she said, Obama’s not ready for the job. McCain would probably repeat that line every day between now and November. Meanwhile, Obama doesn’t shy away from basically making the case that she can’t bring the country together.

Clinton ended the debate on a VERY conciliatory note and for the first time sounded like a candidate who realized she might not win. It must be an odd position for her but the confidence she exuded for just about the entire debate disappeared there at the end. I wonder if showing some vulnerability might actually help her with some undecided voters.

Maybe tomorrow Howard Wolfson will accuse Chuck Todd of flip-flopping…


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