Six months before the 1st presidential primary yet another Democratic presidental debate took place last night at St Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. The Boston Globe’s news and Op Ed writers have a series of blog-like posts in today’s paper, which mostly offer very faint praise to the junior senator from New York.
Clinton spoke calmly and fluidly, and seemed at ease -- even likable, as she smiled at a question about her husband.
Even likable, Peter? What a stunning surprise! Perhaps Hillary should be nominated for an Oscar.
THE NEXT time the Democrats debate, they should pull out a chair for Bill Clinton. The former president is already with them in spirit. Why not get him there in the flesh?... For Hillary Clinton, this could be a plus with voters who yearn for the Clinton years. But it also focuses attention on a complicated political and marital relationship -- and is all about the past.
Susan Milligan ( writing in a news story):
The two-term New York lawmaker looked stoney[sic]-faced at Edwards during his remarks about the war, but avoided -- as front-runners tend to do -- attacking any of her primary opponents.
Clinton repeated her previous assertions that she was duped by the Bush administration into believing that the president would give the weapons inspectors more time to do their job. "This is George Bush's war. He is responsible for this war. He started the war. He mismanaged the war. He escalated the war. And he refuses to end the war," Clinton said, exhorting her fellow Democrats to remember they were united in their desires to end the war.
Obama's was a strong performance, one that gave away nothing at all to the front-runner, Clinton, who came off as smart and competent, but for all that, didn't turn in as many memorable moments.
But it made at least one thing clear: dealing with the incumbent president's war in Iraq will be the defining issue -- and most divisive one -- for the Democratic candidates trying to succeed him.
The war will also become their responsibility, unless they expect it to end during the next 18 months.
Jeff Jacoby sums up pretty well:
...on the issue they spent the most time discussing -- the war in Iraq -- not one spoke seriously or responsibly about the consequences of an American withdrawal.
Ready for prime time? No, not yet. Fortunately, it isn't prime time yet -- the election is more than 16 months away. If you weren't tuned in last night, don't worry.
I wan't tuned in to it, and I don't buy the product popularly known as TV.