Thursday, September 27, 2007

It Wasn’t Hillary’s Finest Night

Front-runner Hillary Clinton finally started getting some pointed challenges from her opponents in a televised New Hampshire debate Wednesday night.

Clinton stoically ignored the swipes, but the evening marked a sharpening of the dialogue in the Democratic nominating contest. It reflects the fact her poll numbers have started to climb and if the others want any chance of overtaking her, they need to keep that lead from getting larger.

It wasn't a good night for Clinton. Her weakest moment in the debate was when she repeatedly ducked the sensitive question of just how she'd make Social Security sound and Joseph Biden pounced: "Presidents are supposed to lead," he said as he looked at her. Some of the other candidates said they'd raise the Social Security taxes paid by wealthier Americans.

She also took criticism from her opponents for voting for legislation several of them said could be interpreted as giving President Bush license to go to war with Iran.

John Edwards noted that he, like Clinton, voted for the war in Iraq and came to regret it because of how Bush used that legislation to go to war. "We learned a very different lesson," Edwards said.
Biden also said getting a health care bill approved would be more difficult for Clinton because of her failure do get it done when she was first lady and because of "a lot of the old stuff" people associate with the Clinton presidency.

He then pointedly said he was talking about "policy, policy" issues, which had the same effect of injecting former President Clinton's Oval Office dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.
Christopher Dodd was challenged on a statement he made the other day quoting Bush as saying he expected Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.
Dodd said he was just noting Bush is a bad prognosticator but it had the effect of telegraphing that Clinton might be a loser for Democrats in a national election if she is the nominee.

Some of her foes also said Clinton should have pressed harder to get a national health care bill passed in 1993.

Edwards, too, took a swipe at the Clinton era, saying the administration "gave up" on health care and instead "we got NAFTA," the North American Free Trade Agreement that is increasingly unpopular with organized labor.

Clinton's best moment came when moderator Tim Russert pointed out she disagreed with a position taken by her husband, former President Clinton, on the issue of torture.
She made clear she'd be her own boss as the nation's chief executive by replying: "Well, he's not standing here right now."
Pressed about the difference, Clinton smiled and said: "Well, I'll talk to him later."
While the evening couldn't have been pleasant for Clinton, it opened a necessary discussion Democrats must have: If they don't probe her weaknesses, the Republicans will.

I don't know how many people watched the debates last night but Hillary sold out her antiwar supporters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hillbilly always seems to get out of these messes