A lot of Obama supporters were outraged that their man was asked in his last debate with Hillary Clintion about his associations with terrorist William Ayers and anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright. Complaints in the MSM and blogosphere were loud and numerous that the debates should be about issues and that the matters dwelt upon by ABC's debate moderators are just distractions.
I don't think so. Debates, to the extent they're useful, which isn't often, should only be about issues if there's a clear difference between the candidates' positions. In the case of Senators Clinton and Obama there's not a sliver of ideological daylight between them, and, besides, whatever differences may exist won't matter anyway when the winner moves into the White House. Very few presidents do what they said they would do during those debates, George Bush being an exception.
The purpose of a debate in a campaign such as we have today between the two Democrats aspiring to the presidency should be to show the party faithful something of the character of the candidates and which of the two is most electable. In that case questions about Obama's friendship with Ayers and Wright are very relevant.
After all, if it transpired that John McCain was found to have been friendly with an abortion clinic bomber and that he had had as his pastor for twenty years a man who consorted with known anti-semites, despised his country and held bigoted views toward blacks, I doubt that Obama supporters would think those associations to be mere distractions.RLC