The Instigator
Jthongme
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
the-mad-ones
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Senator Barack Obama is a better pick for President then Senator Hillary Clinton.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 993 times Debate No: 4103
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (7)

 

Jthongme

Pro

This year has been a historical year for the Democrats. The two frontrunners are minorities. One a well known woman and former first lady. The other a black, relatively unknown man. Though they both represent the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate Barack Obama of Illinois is a better Presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton because the Republicans have less baggage to attack him for, he has won more states, he has more superdelegates, he has more pledged delegates, he is more bipartisan, represents change in an election all about it after 8 years of failed policies, and using the count without Florida and Michigan the popular vote. These and many more are the reasons why the Democrats should pick Senator Barack Obama as their Presidential nominee for 2008.
the-mad-ones

Con

"This year has been a historical year for the Democrats. The two frontrunners are minorities. One a well known woman and former first lady."
>> Meaningless

"The other a black, relatively unknown man. "
>>Untrue. Obama was not unknown. He was the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I'll assume my opponent meant that Obama;s private life is less exposed than Clinton's.

"Though they both represent the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate Barack Obama of Illinois is a better Presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton"
>>Topic of debate

"because the Republicans have less baggage to attack him for"
>> Two responses here.
1) Lower likelihood of attack simply implies greater chance of being elected. It does not imply that one is necessarily a better candidate.
2) The fact that the Republicans have not attacked Obama as much as they have attacked Clinton over the course of their respective political careers does not imply that they do not have attack-worthy material. The Democratic primaries have not yet concluded. Considering this, it does not benefit the Republican party, or affiliated groups, to attack Obama yet. Most strategists would agree that it would be best to wait until the general election to unleash any personal (or baggage-related) attacks on Obama...or whoever the Democratic candidate may be. Surprising an opponent at the time of greatest importance typically results in a much costlier situation for that opponent.

"he has won more states"
>> True. What does this have to do with him being the better candidate? Many publicly-perceived poor presidents and presidential candidates have won more states in general elections and primaries. This doesn't change the fact that they may have been worse candidates in hindsight.

"he has more superdelegates"
>>Not necessarily true. Considering that not all of the super-delegates are pledged, no one knows for sure who has the most super-delegates. In addition, even if he did have more super-delegates, this would not necessarily mean that he is the better candidate.

"he is more bipartisan"
>> Not necessarily true. Obama is one of the most liberal senators in the Democratic party. In fact, according to most media publications focused on voting records, Obama may be THE most liberal senator in the Democratic party. Clinton is in the bottom half of the top 20.

"represents change in an election all about it after 8 years of failed policies"
>>This is a claim that Obama and his supporters have made. There is no legitimate backing to this statement. There is also no legitimate backing to the idea that "representing change" makes one a better candidate for president.

"and using the count without Florida and Michigan the popular vote"
>> Totally arbitrary. Who wins if all of the states Obama won are not counted? And once again, how does this determine who the better candidate is?

Conclusion:
My opponent uses baseless statements, meaningless facts, and propaganda in an attempt to prove that Obama is a better presidential candidate than Clinton. In addition, my opponent failed to define the term "better". Obama may (arguably) be more electable in the primaries, but this does not necessarily mean that he will perform better on the job, support better policy/legislation, or have a better cabinet surrounding him. It also does not indicate that Obama will perform better in the general election. Not only could Clinton potentially perform better in the general election, but she could perform better as a president. If she were to be able to do either, then she could arguably be the better candidate. My opponent has not proven that she would be unable to accomplish either.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 1
Jthongme

Pro

My opponent has offered nocunter arguments other than all of my claims are baseless. I will now move to prove him wrong.

1. Yes, Senator Obama did have some public image due to his keynote address in 2004. However, he wasn't a household name and his vting record was unknown as ashis personal history. Hillary Clinton on the other hand was on the public stage for 8 years as First Lady and then again when she ran for Senate in 2000. Her election recieve national attention. Senator Obama's election recieved local attention.

2. Yes, the Republicans will wait until the general election to attack the Democratic nominee, however, the othe candidates in the primary have to attack now, such as in the case of Willie Horton brought up by Al Gore in 1988. Nothing substntve has been brought up against Senator Obama. Also since the point of running for political office is to win, I think less baggage gives less for people to attack therefore a better candidate.

3. Yes,hindsight is always 20-20 but we aren't debating past Presidents we're debating better Democratic nominees in 2008. Winning more states means you have a wider base of support meaning in a general election you have more peopl to work to get you elected. Winning more states makes you a better candidate.

4. As of right now Senator Obama has the most superdelegates and probably will continue short of a major disaster. Superdelegates are party officials who's only criterion to vote is for who they think will make the strongest nominee. If you have a majority of superdelegates, that means that you are viewed as the strongest candidate.

5. Senator Obama is more bipartisan. If you look at his Illinois and U.S. Senate careers you will see he offered a umer of bills with support and actuall being cosigned by Republicans. Many of these bill ended corruption in campaign financing, put thousands of kids on healthcare insurance, and reformed the death penalty.

6. Senator Obama has shown change. He wants to end the War in Iraq and focus on the larger War on Terror. He wants to conduct diplomacy with both our friends and enemies. He wants to give a tax cut to the middle class and end it for the richest 1%. He wants to offer programs to make college more affordable. None of these things have been done in the last 8 years. So yes he does want to bring about change from the last 8 years.

7. Also I was wrong in the popular vote. Even if you count Florida, Michigan, all the other primaries and the caucuses Senator Obama is abou 400,000 votes ahead. Why is this important? Because it shows he has popular support among tos in the primaries which translates into votes in the general election.

Conclusion: Obviously these all prove that Senator Obama is the better candidate. I have a few questions of my own. How can Senator Clinton be the better candidate with fewer states won,by saying that caucus states don't count, by at the beginning of the campaign agreeing Florida nd Michigan don't count then flip flopping later on when it suited her, by being in the hole in campaign finance, by losing the popular vote, and not having the majority of the pledged delegates.
the-mad-ones

Con

It is not my responsibility to prove that Senator Clinton is the better candidate, but rather to prove that Obama is not necessarily the better candidate. If I prove that one of the following is possible, then I win this debate:

1) That it is not possible to know for sure;
2) That the candidates are equal;
3) That Clinton is better;

1) My opponent has now changed his stance from 'Obama is relatively unknown' to 'Obama is relatively unknown amongst the politically uninformed'. The Democratic national convention is one of the most visible stages for a Democratic politician. The large majority of people who pay attention to politics follow the happenings of the DNC. In addition, my opponent's comment that 'his vting record was unknown' is also not completely true. Voting records are publicly available. Everyone has access to them. The only points here are that Obama has not yet been the focus of vicious political attacks by his opponents, and that he has much less experience in national politics relative to his opponents. Neither of these points lend credence to the argument that he is a 'better' candidate.

2) Al Gore never brought up Willie Horton. This is a false claim. The Bush campaign brought up Willie Horton during the GENERAL ELECTION (aka 'not the primaries'). Al Gore simply opposed a furlough program that Dukakis supported in his own state. Big difference. Opposition on policy does not equal vicious political attacks. And it definitely does not equal political attacks based on personal lives. In addition, it does not benefit Clinton to attack excessively on a personal level, as this, strategically speaking, could be detrimental to the Democratic party's and her own progress. Either way, none of this proves that Obama has no issues in his private or political lives that cannot be used against him. 'The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.'

3) My point was never to discuss past candidates, but rather to show that candidates who win states do not necessarily perform better on the job, or perform better in the general election than in the primary (this is impossible to know). Winning states does not necessarily make you a better candidate. My opponent failed to define the term 'better' in the Topic or in his initial argument, and now chooses to attempt to define it here. Winning states MAY make you a more popular candidate (although even this can be argued, as we operate in a representative system). Popularity does not directly translate into skill, vision, foresight, intelligence, staying power, etc, all of which could be argued as making someone a better candidate.

4) Until superdelegates endorse or pledge themselves to a candidate, the actual number for each candidate is unknown. My opponent is likely using estimates from a media publication. Once again, even if he does have more superdelegates, this does not mean he is a better candidate. Refer to my point (3).

5) My opponent states that Obama is 'more bipartisan', yet only discusses Obama's political actions, and no opposing actions by his opponent (Clinton). It has been well-documented that Obama's US Senate politics (as have Clinton's) have been more liberal than the large majority of senators. And once again, how does being 'more bipartisan' translate into 'better'? And lastly, Campaign finance is still a prevalent issue in politics, and corruption is difficult to quantify. Obama has not 'ended corruption in campaign finance'. Another false claim. Regarding the death penalty on a national level, Clinton has actually sponsored more bills and taken part in more reform for capital punishment than has Obama. Another false claim.

6) My opponent has simply summarized portions of Obama's various stump speeches in an attempt to reflect how Obama 'represents change'. Propaganda does not represent change, it merely insinuates it. Obama has not shown beyond a doubt, through his past political actions or otherwise, that he represents any real 'change' or paradigm shift, aside from the ideal that he utilizes to broaden his support. Whether he will actually 'represent change' remains to be seen. It may or may not happen.

My opponent's main argument relies equating popularity with 'better'. My opponent has failed to prove how being more popular makes one better. He has also failed to prove how Obama is any more competent, intelligent, visionary, experienced, or qualified than Clinton. As such, the only possible conclusions from this debate thus far are that either we don't know who is better, or that the two candidates are equal.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 2
Jthongme

Pro

Better in this case means which ever candidate is more likely to win in the general election against Senator McCain.
The point of the Debate is either o prove Senator Clinton is a better Candidate or Senator Obama is a worse candidate for the Democrats. It is not the point to not prove anything.
Senator Obama has shown foresight and intelligence.
1. He spoke out against the Iraq war at a time when the politically correct thing to do was endorse it which Senator Clinton did when she voted to approve the war.
2. Senator Obama spoke out against the gas tax which basic economics says it a dumb idea because when demand goes up(which it will with lowered prices) and supply stays the same(which it most likely will do) then prices will skyrocket. Senator Clinton was pandering o the lowest common denominator.
3. Senator Clinton was obviously race baiting in Mississippi when she said Senator Obama won only because of a strong African American heritage, and President Clinton said that, "Well you know Al Sharpton won South Carolina." after Senator Obama won SOuth Carolina.
4. Senator Clinton actively called Senator Obama's religion into question when she said she thought he was Christian when she has been to several Capitol Hill prayer breakfasts with him.
5. Senator Clinton lied to the American people about what really happened in Bosnia.
6.Senator Clinton didn't fire Mark Penn even though her own campaign told her to and she said she did.
7. As of right now Senator Clinton is $20 million debt for her campiagn even after earning $21 million in April and loaning herself money. How can someone who is an equal or better candidate be that much in the hole?
8. Since whendoes being liberal end your ability to be bipartisan?
9. Just because Senator Clinton sponsored bill in the U.S. Senate Senator Obama in the Illinois legislature actually passed a bill that reformed the death penalty something Senator Clinton hasn't done.
10. Senator Obama in the Illinois Senat with Republican help pssed the Earned Income Tax Credi which provided over 3 years $100 million dollars in tax cuts to working class families.
11. In the U.S. Senate Senators Obama (D-IL) and Coburn (R-OK) passed a bill that allows American tax payers to go on the web and see where their tax dollars are being spent.
12. With Republican Dick Lugar Senator Obama went to Eastern Europe to begin talks on next generation nonproliferation treaties.
These alone show that Senator Clinton is by far a worse candidate and Senator Obama is a better candidate.
the-mad-ones

Con

As I mentioned, my opponent began attempting to define the term 'better' in the middle of the debate. The fact is that the definition of the term itself could be argued. If a definition is not provided as a given at the beginning of the argument, then it is arguable. This is such a situation.

As for the point of the debate, that also was not specified. My opponent stated 'Senator Barack Obama is a better pick for President then Senator Hillary Clinton' and decided to be Pro. Since I have chosen Con, my responsibility is to prove either that 'Senator Barack Obama is NOT a better pick for President then Senator Hillary Clinton' or that 'It is not possible for my opponent to prove that Senator Barack Obama is a better pick for President then Senator Hillary Clinton'.

So my argument rests on a few points/items:

1) 'Better' refers to the ability to provide the greatest possible value to the nation as President of the US during one's term.

2) 'Better', as defined in (1), relies on competence, intelligence, leadership, cabinet selection and management, willpower, and many other qualities that are not easily quantifiable.

3) The future is difficult to predict.

4) Using the definitions in (1) and (2), there is no absolute proof (from my opponent) that Obama is a better candidate than Clinton.

My opponent is now promoting actions taken by Obama without indicating whether those actions were better.
Whether or not agreeing/disagreeing with the war was politically correct, there is no evidence that entering Iraq was a poor decision for the US. It is very possible that the whole endeavor was planned, managed, and executed poorly. But Clinton is not necessarily accountable for these failures.

I won't spend more time or space covering the remaining points by my opponent, simply because they rely heavily on opinion and accusations. My opponent chooses to use words such as economics in order to imply that he understands economics, yet he does not utilize any information or logic to prove his point. Supply and Demand does not adequately encompass economics, or politics. Terms such as pandering, lying, and 'by far' indicate a strong opinionated bias against Senator Clinton.

My opponent misused the term bipartisan from the beginning of the debate. I took his usage of it to mean 'impartial'. Bipartisan relates to a group or legislation including members of typically opposing parties. More importantly, taking part in bipartisan groups/legislation does not indicate the production of greater value for the US or it's citizens.

The earned income tax credit existed long before Obama...he, like Clinton, proposes the expansion of said credit. False claim on my opponent's part.

Not much more to say...
My opponent essentially used this debate as a platform to regurgitate popular rhetoric promoting Obama and attacking Clinton. He frequently used false claims, hyperbole, opinion, and popularity metrics in order to attempt to make his point.
My point stands, per the first few paragraphs in this argument. We do not know who is better, or who will perform better on the job. We do know that their respective stated policy stances are relatively similar, that both are academically and intellectually gifted, and that both have accomplished a great deal politically.
Vote Con
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by the-mad-ones 8 years ago
the-mad-ones
This debate was not intended to speculate on who was to win, but rather to determine whether Obama was better (or whether it was possible to know).

In addition, I frequently debate for things I don't believe in...so yes, for purposes of this debate, it really doesn't matter what I think.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
It doesn't matter what con thinks, Barack won.

:D
Posted by KingYosef 8 years ago
KingYosef
the-mad-ones,I love your first round haha

DOMINATION
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
He probably meant that minorities and women get treated like second class citizens :P
Posted by ghegeman 8 years ago
ghegeman
no what he meant is that women are a minority in presidential nominees
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
but you forget that she is a part of the cyborg space aliens from the outer rim of the Milky Way who has been a part of a plot to take over earth... they are minorities!
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Pro, women are not minorities - they are the majority. Further, most of your R1 contains reasons as to why Obama will be chosen as the Democratic nominee, not why he SHOULD be chosen as the Democratic nominee. Focus more on how he is superior to Hillary in terms of policies - not current delegates, which can change at any time. Good luck.
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