In sharp contrast to the Clinton campaign, which is showering Wolf Blitzer with praise this morning for his performance moderating last night’s debate, David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s senior advisor, thinks he failed to ask the hard questions.
“I thought it was odd that the moderator didn’t follow up,” Axelrod said.
Referring to Blitzer’s decision not to press Hillary on her “no” response to a question surveying the candidates on whether they did or did not support the controversial and politically troublesome subject of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, he said, “She gave an answer that was diametrically opposed to the one she gave two weeks ago. Where I come from, they call that news. But it didn’t get asked and the subject moved on and it was hard to come back to.”
“A lot of this is in the hand of the moderator,” said Axelrod.
Obama was surprisingly vague and wordy when asked for his position. That was unexpected given all the heat Clinton took for in the last debate for saying that she thought it was a good idea but didn’t necessarily support it.
“I understand that Wolf pressed him for an answer,” said Axelrod. “And he gave an answer.”
The Clinton campaign was having a field day with Obama’s convoluted answer.
“He was inexplicably unable to answer the question in a yes or no fashion,” said Clinton’s top media consultant, Mandy Grunwald, who was working the spin room a few feet away. “After the last two weeks we’ve all lived through, it’s just bizarre.
When told about Grunwald’s comment, Axelrod offered this.
“If I were Mandy this would be the last thing I would be accusing other people of doing,” he said. “I don’t know if it is the mark of forthrightness to give six answers in two weeks to the same question.”