This post is not about baseball. It’s about softball.
The Pennsylvania primary is in one week and today the candidates were in Philadelphia. Barack Obama sat down with the editorial boards of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Hillary Clinton did an interview with drive-time sports radio talk show host Howard Eskin.
You may remember we discussed Eskin on this site last summer, after Phillies manager Charlie Manuel tore him a new one during a press conference.
Eskin fancies himself some kind of tough-talking truth seeker, the only guy in Philadelphia with a microphone who’s willing to ask the tough questions.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, in today’s paper, discribed Eskin thusly:
Although Eskin is known for being free with insults like “moron” and the sarcastic “genius,” he usually reserves these put-downs for callers. He’s generally gracious, even playful, with guests, although he’ll also ask tough questions.
Tough questions? Let’s take a look at the questions that Eskin asked Clinton tonight, and you can judge for yourself just how tough they were (I paraphrase a bit, for brevity’s sake).
1. “Am I permitted to call you ‘Hillary’?” (Right away, we know this is going to be a serious interview.)
2. “Last week Barack Obama said small town Pennsylvanians were bitter about their economic circumstances and cling to religion…what are you hearing in the state of Pennsylvania?” (Translation: “Your opponent is an elitist, wouldn’t you agree?”)
3. “I think Barack Obama has gotten a pass from other talk show hosts…How do you deal with unfairness in the coverage of this primary election?” (Note to Hillary: if you’re going to cry, this is your cue).
4. “What is the message that you want to send to the voters?” (Is there a wrong answer to this question?)
5. “You were First Lady while the best president of my lifetime was in the White House. How important was that experience?” (So. Freaking. Important. More important than gravity, which is very important.)
6. “Hillary, why would you have a better chance against John McCain than Barack Obama would?” (Follow-up question: where did you get those slacks? I absolutely ADORE those slacks!)
7. You’ve got the Yankees and the Mets, the Giants and the Jets — how do you pick a side? (This is not a hard question, but at least it’s defensible — this is a sports talk show, after all.)
8. Do you have a role model? (This is a throw-away question. It’s a given that Clinton is going to say her parents are her role models, and she does.)
After the interview, Howard then points out that he’s not a political reporter, so he’s free to throw his support to Hillary. And then he points out that the Yankees need more pitching. And then he tells Hillary to say hello to Bill, with whom he is apparently also on a first-name basis.
You can listen to the entire interview here. But you might want to give yourself some time in between eating and listening.