Hillary! You got some splainin’ to do!

Last night I read a post by The Chief Source’s Kyle Kutuchief. He asks a great question: “Why Won’t Hillary Debate in Cleveland?”. He has a hunch:

It is my opinion that Hillary Clinton and her campaign are afraid of Cuyahoga County. Hillary is going to have to approach Ohio like a Republican and try to win the rural parts of the state in order to try and win. It is going to be interesting to see what location will be acceptable for Clinton to debate Obama in Ohio.

This morning I see that Jerid at BSB may have the definitive answer and catches Hillary in a blatant lie. As I read it I stood and applauded video capture technology. Maybe she thought we bloggers wouldn’t see two different NBC affiliate broadcasts. She forgot about dee Interwebs though! Doh!

Um. Busted! But why?

Jerid confirms Kyle’s suspicions and puts a nice bow on it all:

It’s about African American turnout, baby.

If there’s a debate, the resulting excitement, attention, and visit by Obama at Cleveland State University (in Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ 11th CD which is over 50% African American) will help shoot black turnout through the roof, much to Hillary’s detriment. If there’s a debate in Youngstown, which is a smaller city with far fewer African American voters, whatever black turnout bump occurs doesn’t hurt Hillary as much.

The numbers don’t lie. In 1992, when there was no black candidate on the presidential primary ballot in Ohio, the turnout in what is now the 11th Congressional District – where CSU sits – was just over 58,000. In 1988, when there was a black candidate on the ballot, 112,000 people voted in the district that is now the 11th, about double the ’92 showing. It’s likely the turnout in the 11th CD will be similarly higher in 2008, if not bigger. And if there is a debate in the 11th CD the week before the election, it will only go higher still. It’s the equivalent of Hillary going into the hornet’s nest and smacking it with a baseball bat, screaming “catch me if you can.”

This is going to be hugely embarrassing to Team Billary – and not just in Ohio. I’m getting flooded with emails from people in other states, some coming in to help the Ohio campaign out. All eyes on Ohio at the moment. Bad time to have people looking.