What Others Are Saying

November 26, 2007

Members of the Commission on Presidential Debates continue to come up with preposterous excuses - some of them contradictory - as to why they snubbed New Orleans as a debate site. They claim that the city hasn't recovered from Hurricane Katrina, that the Convention Center wasn't high-tech enough, that the debate would burden taxpayers with the expense of police protection. But co-chair Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. could point to no specific criterion the city would be unable to meet. He said the commission's decision is not "an attack" on New Orleans' "ability to handle an event."

No wonder New Orleanians think the process was rigged.

Xavier University President Norman C. Francis suggested that the commission was embarrassed because of the federal government's failures in the city. "If the word was that New Orleans wasn't ready, that's not the issue. They weren't ready for us."

If that's the case, commissioners should admit it.

- New Orleans Times-Picayune

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois told New Hampshire high school students that when he was their age, he drank and smoked dope. This is not a revelation to readers of his book, Dreams from My Father, but to the students at Manchester Central High School, it may have been a startling admission.

What will they make of it? You have to hope they heed Mr. Obama's subsequent comment that these were "bad decisions" that "wasted a lot of time."

So far, this story has not made much of a ripple in the campaign, possibly because it was old news. Or possibly because the other candidates know they don't live in glass houses. Or possibly because Obama admits he inhaled, and so gets good marks not only for growing up but also for being honest about his wayward youth.

- The (Canton, Ohio) Repository

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