Cleveland State University

Obama, Clinton Cleveland Debate Transcript

-- updated with Spinelli's recount of what it's like to be in the press room with the guys from the traditional media -- see comments

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Perks accorded to the media credentialed to cover the Democratic presidential debate held in Cleveland Tuesday evening included parking privileges, food, drink, restroom facilities, work space with electric hookups and free high-speed WIFI Internet access and select admittance to the spin room.

While the above list is impressive and well appreciated, maybe one of the most valuable of all media perks is receiving a complete transcript of the debate.

Reader warning: This transcript represents one and one-half hours of dialogue. If you're fatigued after reading three paragraphs of any story, this may not be your cup of tea. But for readers who want to match-up and fact check the candidate's real words with the post-debate analysis spin media pundits are putting on yesterday evening's debate, this easy-reading is for you.

If you want a break from all the words, and want to look at some pictures that give you a visual taste of what goes on behind the scenes, go here.

transcript begins below

Redfern Riled by Nader, Predicts Quarter Million Vote Margin in Ohio

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Chris Redfern, the boyish-faced leader of the Ohio Democratic Party who is the new kingmaker for Democratic candidates here, wasted no time blasting Ralph Nader as the man most responsible for putting George W. Bush in the White House in 2000.

Redfern was fielding groundballs from reporters in the filing room at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, after he and party officials completed their presentation on why they are better positioned and better equipped than the Republicans to take the presidency, congressional and state races in November.

REDFERN SAYS NADER NADIR FOR GORE

When asked by the ePlurubis Media OhioNews Bureau whether any of the 12 questions that appeared on Nader’s new campaign Website were issues that either Sens. Obama or Clinton had failed to address, Redfern proceeded to lambaste Nader for his role as the primary spoiler for then-Vice President Al Gore losing the White House because he garnered nearly 100,000 votes in the State of Florida, votes Redfern says would otherwise have gone to Gore.

Ohio Democratic Party Chief Says Perfect Storm Coming for Obama, Clinton

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Settled into my seat in the press filing room at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in downtown Cleveland, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) and two of his key party officials brief members of the media on the strengths of the ODP and why the Democratic candidate for president will turn our state blue later this year.

Chris Redfern, a sitting member of the Ohio House who took the reins of the ODP in 2005, said Ohio’s working familiesRedfernRedfern have been “hit hard by Washington’s unsound and unbalanced economic policies, job-killing trade agreements, soaring health insurance premiums, rising energy costs and unchecked predatory lenders.”

Notwithstanding these challenges, Redfern said Ohioans have good reason to be optimistic in 2008 because the party has two strong leaders to choose from, “both of whom will bring real change to our country.”