THE BLOG
02/13/2008 12:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Details, Details, Details -- We Need More Debates

obama hillary twn.jpg

grinch Steve Clemons.jpgI am a Grinch when it comes to rallies. I don't like the noise, the spinwheels, the signs, and the illusion of joy. The high flying speeches and smiles, the ritual of orchestrated applause -- the happy screaming. I don't like hype. I want detail.

I want to know more about why Hillary did this or Obama did that. There are differences between them -- but even their campaign sites are thin on details and proposals.

I agree completely with this editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal that despite Hillary Clinton hoping a debate might help give her a push, more exposure to serious policy discussion is better, not worse, for the country -- and Obama should jump at the chance:

When a political candidate starts demanding more debates, it's usually because his or her campaign needs a lift.

In recent days, Hillary Clinton and some of her key Wisconsin supporters have tried to pressure Barack Obama into debating at Marquette University in Milwaukee before Wisconsin's big presidential primary Feb. 19.

Clinton and her political friends obviously favor a debate for more than civic reasons. Yet Obama should wholeheartedly accept the invitation anyway.

The Illinois senator is going to need Wisconsin -- both now and in November -- if he wants to become president. Our swing state deserves its own debate with questions focusing on Wisconsin, the Midwest and the economy.

Hillary Clinton's juggernaut got dealt a mighty blow by her team's failure to take the various caucuses seriously. Obama's team was out in those caucus states in force.

If Obama's team begins to think along similar lines as Patti Solis Doyle did -- that there are things we don't need to take seriously now (like debates!) -- then the Obama team could find itself vulnerable in new ways.

-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note