Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SCORING THE DEBATE....I got home too late to see the Democratic debate last night, but the left blogosphere seems to be virtually unanimous that Hillary Clinton won (for whatever definition of "won" you prefer). This seems to be the consensus both of those who like Hillary and those who don't.

That's amazing. I've long felt that Hillary Clinton is a more effective debater and public speaker than she's given credit for, but I'm still surprised that she seems to have blown away the competition so thoroughly last night. I'm interested enough in seeing how she did this that I might even try to catch a rerun of the debate if it gets rebroadcast later in the week.

Kevin Drum 1:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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Watch for the "raise your hand if..." question from Wolf Blitzer. Hillary basically took charge and said the group would no longer answer these hypotheticals. The whole panel of candidates seemed to look to her as their leader.

Posted by: nonplussed on June 4, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I listened to the Iraq segment, in which Hillary was a little on the defensive for voting to authorize the war in the first place and shifting recently to vote against a funding bill under political pressure. I thought she handled it as well as she could, but I was really impressed with Obama. And Kucinich was fun ("this was a moral question" and thus voting for the war should disqualify a candidate).

Posted by: David in NY on June 4, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

i totally agree w/ nonplussed (i think she even did it twice).

essentially, i'm at home thinking "geez these 'raise your hand' questions are lame", and, Clinton basically says "Wolf, these 'raise your hand questions are lame'".

game point, in my book.

Posted by: josh bivens on June 4, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Some CNN spin:

John King: refers to the anti-war left wing of the Democratic Party. Note the national polls must now show that the American people are left-wing anti-war Democrats.


NYT poll: Opposition to war at all-time high.

More CNN spin: Voting against money for continuing the war is voting against the troops. Since when? If the war is defunded, the troops have to come home. That is the only way to save their lives. It is NOT voting against the troops.

Blitzer deals himself more face time than he gave most of the candidates:
A chart published by the Presidential campaign of Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) indicated a major imbalance in the time allotted to different Democratic hopefuls by CNN broadcaster Wolf Blitzer...
The 'Talk Clock' showed that Senator Barack Obama came out in front, with 16 minutes of air-time. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel received only about a third of Obama's air-time at 5 minutes, 37 seconds
Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Dodd both finished behind Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Democrat who has distinguished himself in the field of candidates with a foreign policy built around principles of non-violence. Kucinich had 9 minutes to answer questions, with Dodd getting about 8 1/2 minutes, and approximately 8 minutes for Biden.

Blitzer himself spent close to 13 1/2 minutes asking questions and following up with the answers.

It was a good debate. Most of the candidates are rational, which is in stark contrast to the Republican field.

Posted by: Mike on June 4, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

nonplussed -- missed that, what was Wolfie's hypo? I heard one about "What if Iraq becomes Darfur and turns into genocide" and was wishing somebody would say -- "Iraq is not Darfur, idiot." Unfortunately, Bill Richardson was entirely too polite and relied on evading the question.

Posted by: David in NY on June 4, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Biden did really well too.

Posted by: Steve W. on June 4, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

The reason I turned the radio off (in addition to fearing I would drive off the road in the torrential rain) was that I can't abide Biden. He is truly as dumb as a post. Asked why he voted for the Mexican Fence, as opposed to his more recent criticisms of such policies, he answered, roughly: "Well, that was in the context of drugs. A wall will keep out drugs, but people will just climb over the wall." I swear to God, that's what he said.

Posted by: David in NY on June 4, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Biden was very good...but yeah, Hillary "won".

the agreement extends to the National Review types as well btw.

Posted by: Nathan on June 4, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

The poll on DailyKos has Edwards winning it from Obama.

Posted by: Keith on June 4, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary "won"? The party bosses must be delighted.

Posted by: Vincent on June 4, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the rub. If the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton, then the Democrats lose in '08. It's just that simple - too many people can't stand her, and that's just too much of a handicap to expect to win the White House. I admit that if she's the nominee, I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but I am not what you'd call a "swing voter" by any stretch of the imagination. Wake up and smell the coffee, Democrats!

Posted by: Trent on June 4, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hilllary is the only serious candidate. Obama and Edwards don't have enough experience. Fred Thompson, who I consider too inexperienced, actually has more experience than either Obama or Edwards.

The others don't have the organization and popularity to contend with Hillary. If Gore or Kerry decided to run again, then Hillary would have some real competition. Until then, she's the only game in town.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Then why does she poll so high, Trent?

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Surfing the left leaning blogs today it amazes me how many did not see the debate yet are willing to comment upon it based on what others say about it. Isn't that what we've been complaining about the MSM doing?

Kevin, I hope you do watch the debate and then you can decide for yourself who won. I thought no one lost last night, except Gravel who came off looking stupid this time, but everyone else seemed to be on their game.

Posted by: Doubting Thomas on June 4, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Another hypothetical brought forth by the inimitable Wolfgang Blitzkrieg was that so-called "terrorist plot to blow up JFK Int'l Airport" in New York, which was "foiled" thanks to timely intervention by another convicted felon / informant on the FBI payroll. Those clowns must have been related to the dimwitted schmucks who "plotted" to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago last year.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 4, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Wolf Blitzer is a GOP whore. As for Hillary, she sounded and looked a senior person last night. Obama was better but need more works. Edwards is losing points every time he wanted to raise the eyerack issue. Yes, John we all know Hillary voted for the eyerack debacle so there is no need to repeat 1000 times. Biden is too old, sorry.

Posted by: bob on June 4, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Hey "anonymous" - the only polls I've seen are polls of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters. Do you know of any data on her approval ratings with Independents, etc.?

Posted by: Trent on June 4, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hilllary is the only serious candidate.

I hear that more and more from wingnut types like ex-lib. Almost as if they really, really want Hillary to run.

The GOP can't come up with a candidate that will energize the wingnut base, but the Democrats just might be dumb enough to nominate an opponent who would do that for them.

Posted by: bob on June 4, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary does well in debates because they are more
like small scale conversations, albeit more
formal. Her limitations are in speeches to large
crowd settings, where she tends to get shrill.

At least Blitzer had the good sense to focus most
of his time on the big 3, and leave the no-hopers far out on the wings.

Posted by: flubs on June 4, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Politician's definition of a "hypothetical question:" "A question I'd rather dive out a fifth-story window than answer."

Posted by: elmendorf on June 4, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

IMHO -- shared by, among others, some folks at TNR -- Obama was the winner. People seem not to actually listen to Hillary -- sometimes her answers are solid, but more often they're bland, oddly passive, or pedagogic. She reiterated her "If I had known then" line about her vote, which must be the lamest explanation out there, yet she continues to get away with it unchallenged. (Does it mean, for example, that she'll need 20/20 hindsight to make the right decision on tough questions?)

Obama showed he can hit, and hit hard; he gave numerous answers that go beyond policy description to a better sense of principles; he's personally appealing and has a strong grasp of policy detail; and he looks and sounds like a strong leader.

Edwards came out to make an impact, and it backfired on him. He was a catalyst, but for the highlight reels of other people.

As for the others, Biden was at times bright and forceful and at others angry to the point of bursting a vein. Dodd was invisible. Richardson needs to come to New York to learn how to speak faster -- he gives long policy descriptions without any context.

Posted by: Merlon Lewis on June 4, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

The poll on Kos does not agree that Hillary won.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Trent "If the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton, then the Democrats lose in '08."
Bush Clinton Bush Clinton will not happen.

As for deciding who should be president based on "experience"... it's just one factor in judging the capability on an individual to hold the office. To posit experience as the determining factor for candidates of the the Democrat's stature is stupid and trollish.

Posted by: joeis on June 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

ex-Biblical: Hilllary is the only serious candidate. Obama and Edwards don't have enough experience.

Um - nice twisted little version of reality you got there, ex. It would be a real shame if something were to, you know, HAPPEN to it. (like Real Reality).

So, tell me - how much Experience did Dumbya have when he was elected President? A term-and-a-half as governor?

The "experience" dog won't hunt. Try again. And besides; we know Hillary is more "experienced" - that's what we don't like about her.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK
Hilllary is the only serious candidate.

Well, of the top two Democratic candidates, Hillary is the one that polls worst against the Republicans, and of all the Democratic candidates, she's the best known and the one where people's opinions are the most firmly established, and so the one where those numbers are least likely to move significantly.

From an electability standpoint, then, I think she is a weak candidate. I might put up with that and support her anyway in the primaries if I thought she had substantive qualities that were desirable over the other major candidates, but I just don't see that, either.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you don't have to wait for a rerun: CNN has the debate on its video site, in 4 parts, in good quality video.

I hate to say it, but Hillary was impressive.

Posted by: Happy Dog on June 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I liked Hillary's "raising hands is dumb" bit. But, I don't think she really won. I'm not sure any of them lost...

I don't really get the Obama thing. Too much of what he says sounds empty/hollow. I don't dislike him, he just doesn't make me sit up. And even Hillary (much as I REALLY disagree with lot's of what she says and lots of her votes) makes me sit up and say 'yes' now and then.

(I'm leaning towards Edwards based totally on the importance of Health Care)

The feeling I took away is that everyone's waiting for Gore to come in and take over. I think everyone slides down a notch or two if that happens.

The candidates can't say that. But it's affecting everything.

Posted by: katiebird on June 4, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK
Obama and Edwards don't have enough experience.

In the real world, Hillary Clinton has less experience as a candidate or office-holder in electoral politics than Barack Obama, and only arguably slightly more than John Edwards (she's spent a little more time in the Senate now than his one term, but this is her first national campaign.)

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The American public won't vote for Hillary for the same reason they don't watch evening news anchored by Katie Couric.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 4, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

The difference is that Katie Coric went out of her way to kiss the GOP asses.

Hillary will kick those parts of GOP's anatomy.

Posted by: gregor on June 4, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Figher:

I can't stand Katie Couric, and don't think much of Hillary, but that's just a stupid f*cking remark. What reason exactly is that?

Posted by: thersites on June 4, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten: So, tell me - how much Experience did Dumbya have when he was elected President? A term-and-a-half as governor?

This suggests a campaign slogan for either Edwards or Obama. See if you like it:


Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter: "The American public won't vote for Hillary for the same reason they don't watch evening news anchored by Katie Couric."

Say what?

For the most part, viewers tell pollsters they aren't watching the CBS Evening News because because they perceive Katie Couric as a dilettante.

Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, but she's certainly not a frivolous lightwieght.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 4, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Less qualified? How so? Both have more years experience in government than Bush had.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

The "experience" dog won't hunt. Try again.

Everytime I hear that Obama supposedly doesn't have enough experience, for some odd reason I think of another junior Senator from Illinois...somehow the right doesn't seem to like the comparison, though...

Posted by: Edo on June 4, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Who won or lost can change in a few days when our media is involved. Remember the second Gore-Bush debate. That night, the reporters gave an overwhelming victory to Gore. The next day, Bush was credited with not making a complete ass of himself (although, in fact, he did). Within three days, Bush was declared the hands-down victor.
And don't forget the 1968 Democratic Convention. Americans saw with their own eyes police savagely beating anti-war demonstrators. They were outraged. Two days later, it was clear that the dirty hippies and yippies were responsible for the lawlessness and violence.

Posted by: Gaston44 on June 4, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

There seems to be a lot of "Hillary won because she called Wolf out on a lame question." That's great and all, but Wolf isn't running for President (besides, Obama did the same thing, first). Hillary came off to me as rather light in her responses, no specifics, not much conviction and a lot of political maneuvering to say the "right" thing. She's still running for a National audience it seems. Edwards was rightly so debating for the audience sitting 30' away from him and in that respect he seemed to win in my view.

Posted by: Fred F. on June 4, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten, actually Bush was Governor of Texas for 6 years, which is the same as one Senate term for Edwards. Obama had some local government position before he was a Senator. i believe.

But, Obama and Edwards had no accomplishments in the Senate. They didn't author an important bill. They didn't lead any particular issue.

Bush OTOH won re-election in a landslide, because he was regarded as a highly effective Governor. "As governor, Bush successfully sponsored legislation for tort reform, increased education funding, set higher standards for schools, and reformed the criminal justice system. Under his leadership, Texas executed a record 152 prisoners.[28] Bush used a budget surplus to push through a $2 billion tax-cut plan, the largest in Texas history..." (from Wikipedia)

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Personally I thought Hillary C. did a good job yesterday also and the idea of her nomination doesn't sound as bad as it did for me a while back.

My only worry with her candidacy would be the entire "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton" mantra that Republicans may use. And they may score enough points off using the argument against electing "more of the same" to swing the election.

Posted by: samsin on June 4, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

If this is true, Hillary is the only serious candidate, PUKE! antiquelt

Posted by: antiquelt on June 4, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah; you forget that Bush also took the State of Texas from a record surplus to a record deficit.

Was that the kind of experience you were talking about?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

For XM listeners Channel 130 is replaying the debate all day

Posted by: DA on June 4, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe people are buying into Hillary's phony bull$%@*. I'll go with the Kos and agree that Edwards won and Obama came in second.

Hillary is more of the same. Haven't we had enough of the Bush's and Clinton's?

Posted by: damianmann on June 4, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Hillary is more of the same. Haven't we had enough of the Bush's and Clinton's?"

Oh, yes. Yes. Still, she surprises me now and then. It doesn't mean I'm going to support her. (I hope I'm not going to HAVE to support her)

Posted by: katiebird on June 4, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

CNN decided to throw in one part Charlie Parker to the eight-parts-Ray-Coniff-Singers format. Hey, Wolf, seemed to be saying, I'm gonna git ya with my unexpected scat inquiry. It went something like this: Quick now, you're on the road in a gas station bathroom and there's no toilet paper. Raise your hand if you'd use your shirt.

You gotta hand it to Blitzer; his no-nuanced approach, his nearly all-complexity-left-out style is in tune with the attentuated attention span of the electorate. C'mon, he kept urging the candidates, can't you just summarize the "War on Terror" or the Immigration Bill in a brilliant sound-bite - sort of like what I do for a living. In a sentence it was the: Enough with the ambiguities already debate.

Hillary was the most composed because she was obviously coached by the best. So she calls Wolf on his shallow style, and, at times "led" in the debates. Does that mean she's a true leader? Where's the record? Is the there there? Not even close. And even the stupified masses can see through it, unlike the CNN panel of "experts" who gave Hillary the undisputed win.

Apparently the event passed by so quickly, few obeservers noted several striking occurences, not the least of which was Hillary's unreflective support for raising taxes - historically the death knell for candidates of all stripes. She wasn't even specific about what the money would be used for but legitimized it based on her husband's fiscal record of success.
Right now there are Republican strategists hovered over editing equipment looking for the exact SMPTE time codes that will be replayed at a future strategeic time when it will appear, as it always seems to, that all the Democrats want to do is raise taxes and spend your hard earned money. There's no ifs ands or buts; Hillary put her foot in her mouth and she's never going to be able to effectively remove it after last night's performance. Win the debate? Maybe, though that's debatle. Lose the race? Indubitably.

What she and many of her supporters fail to point out is that the so-called Clinton economy was bolstered by the tech boom, the IPO frenzy and junk bonds, not to mention the growing popularity of investment vehicles like derivatives, hedge funds and 401Ks that the unwashed masses were now enjoying. But the trajectory for much of that growth ran its cycle. And it won't again happen until something akin to quantum computing or actual cold fusion arrives. In the meantime the trade deficit's going through the roof, gas prices are headed to $4 a gal. and the PC biz has slowed considerably.

Could the Bill and Hillary show turn that around? Not unless they've got some new fangled gizmo in their bag of tricks capable of reinvigorating manufacturing and job creation outside of the arms business.

Another foot-in-the-mouth response, which no one candidate was able to halt before damage was done, concerned the "War on Terror." Rather than a nuanced discussion, Blitzer decided to distill the argument into this: You've gotten information about where bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan; Do you take him out with a missle even if civilians would die? Kucinich, much to his credit, said no; he must be held accountable for his crimes in an international court. Of course, if he had more time to think instead of crowding as much data into his sentences as possible in 15.7 seconds, he should've said, If we know where he is then we should first aim to capture him. But time wasn't on his side, and thus he seemed weak in a country still looking for some ass whooping. But, nonetheless, it was wise.

Hillary, still abiding by the mindset that gave W. permission to conduct preemptive operations, raised her hand without hesitancy, but then qualified it with an explanation that her husband's misinformed efforts to get bin Laden failed. This is a person pressured to appear so tough that she exhibits a propensity to shoot first and ask questions later, just like her husband did despite the fact of knowing history as well as she does. And if she has to violate the air space of a sovereign nation with nukes, populated with teeming masses who need only a meager pretext to mount a nationally supported jihad, then so be it.

Is that a leader or a follower of the prevailing no-nonsense Neocon sentiments that got us and the world into this mess in the first place? Which, of course, is why the right doesn't mind, at this point, helping Hillary along.

First, because she's going to be a sitting duck once the race truly gets under way. And second, because her right wing sensibilities aren't so different from the Neocon ideology - one of the reasons she didn't read the intelligence report before backing W. Either way, the right wins and the liberals lose.

Additionally, Edwards was quite impressive last night and probably broke out the the Ken-doll-$400-haircut box he was in. He doesn't need the kind of coaching the Clintons made a science (see Joe Klein). And poor Bill Richardson, feeling the heat from a recent rise in popularity, repeated that he was a governor like a mantra. You can tell, he just wants to be himself, but in the candy-assed Hollywoodized world of DC politics, he'd greatly benefit from a little more insider polish.

Posted by: arty kraft on June 4, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I have a question:

When the election is held, is there any possibility that the Repbulican candidate could win? Against either of the Dems?

Posted by: bobbywally on June 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK
When the election is held, is there any possibility that the Repbulican candidate could win? Against either of the Dems?

Yes. IIRC, Giuliani outpolls Clinton right now; Obama is the only Democratic candidate that outpolls all of the Republicans.

And I don't think Clinton is going to win any more supporters.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary in the debate last night:

"Our troops did the job they were asked to do. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They conducted the search for weapons of mass destruction. They gave the Iraqi people a chance for elections and to have a government. It is the Iraqis who have failed to take advantage of that opportunity."

Well said!

Posted by: quo on June 4, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK
When the election is held, is there any possibility that the Repbulican candidate could win? Against either of the Dems?

Yes. IIRC, Giuliani outpolls Clinton right now; Obama is the only Democratic candidate that outpolls all of the Republicans.

And I don't think Clinton is going to win any more supporters.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK


It's certainly a legitimate question, but more relevant a couple of months ago when it seemed the Republicans were doomed to fail. In all likelihood, Fred Thompson is going to change that, and pretty damn quick. He's got the authorative presentation America's still looking for, especially as incidents such as the JFK airport plot and similar situations arise, even though he's an authentic Neocon. New face, same ole same ole, but many Americans won't catch on. "Hey, ain't he the guy in that TV show?" they'll note. "Yeah honey, I really like him."

Also, your question's based on the supposition there will be two candidates. That may be true, but they're not likely to be Hillary and Barak. Ever hear of the Kentucky Derby? If you read the blogs closely and sort through the prevailing bias against Hillary, you gotta wonder how she's so far ahead in the polls with such a marked negative rating. The two are incongruous, and will, over time, reduce her chances regardless of the size of her funds.

Money may talk but the people are sick and tired of being treated like pawns, even if, in fact, they continue to act like them. Don't be surprised if the electorate turns on the monied candidates if nothing else for the sake of a tepid form of rebellion.

Hillary will not do well in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. Edwards will win at least one of those races, and then the Lemmings will have to reevaluate the field. Once that happens, expect the gas to go out of the Clinton baloon.
"I'm a Believer" will quickly be replaced by "I'm a Loser." Also, with a little help, Richardson will hit double digits by then and it will seem, as it did in '76 with Carter, that at least four candidates have a shot.

Barak still has to face the tough questions about religion and God, which he has attempted to do, but hasn't situated himself favorably enough in this God fearing land of ours. He's by far the most secular of the group and he's going to face heat as he becomes more viable. Hillary's duplicity is based on the "War on Terror" whereas Barak's core problem, above and beyond race, is his open-minded - call them Deist - views on sacred matters.

At this point the Republicans seem lost, but don't kid yourself. The first wave of Neocons took a hit, and after W. goes it's going to be: Let's return to the party of Ronald Reagan again when it was morning in America. To a country that weeps when Sanjaya gets the boot or the Joneses get a new house on Home Improvement, that's potent stuff.

Posted by: arty kraft on June 4, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK
It is the Iraqis who have failed to take advantage of that opportunity.

Yeah, the failure of the occupation is the Iraqis fault. Damn ingrates.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Hillary won--in this case meaning that the entire lineup was on her "anti-Bush" bandwagon. Too bad. We really could use some leadership here. I see Obama trying a little but he will have to go much further out of the box to challenge the Dems' politics-as-usual surgical procedures...
See my post on The Hankster

Posted by: Nancy Hanks on June 4, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know who you are referencing Kevin, but the idea that Hillary won in a blowout is ridiculous.

She did fine. Edwards did some good things. Obama was ok. Etc.

Nobody "won."

Nobody lost.

A week from now no one will remember.

Posted by: Armando on June 4, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

There was no winner in this debate because there was no debate. The questions from Blitzer and the reporters were innocuous and inane. The serious issues like global warming, civil liberties, Patriot Act, illegal wiretaps, torture and the candidates positions (and voting records)on them were left untouched. No surprise. It was more like a Barbara Walters interview than a debate.

Posted by: Chrissy on June 4, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the debate with a bunch of local democrats. The only times people applauded were several times when Kucinich made strong points and once when Hillary made a point.

I thought most of them looked pathethic when they were dodging the question about doing away with earmarks.

Posted by: Davei on June 4, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten: Yeah; you forget that Bush also took the State of Texas from a record surplus to a record deficit.

Sure, you can try to refute W's accomplishments as Governor. But, it's impossible to refute Obama's and Edwards' Senate accomplishments. There were none.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hilary didn't win, but more importantly, you don't have a single link to demonstrate that anyone other than you thinks so. You're attempting to establish Conventional Wisdom here, and it really irritates me. As a blogger you can't make - or at least shouldn't - these kinds of just-trust-me assumptions without getting pooped on. And that's how it should be. If Joe Klein had made this exact same post, he would have 200+ mocking comments by now.

Show some degree of evidence - even anecdotal evidence - or limit the comment to "I think Hilary won" - and why. Don't try and tell us that "everyone thinks" Hilary won. That's very MSM.

Posted by: glasnost on June 4, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

"It is the Iraqis who have failed to take advantage of that opportunity."

I didn't watch the debate, but it seems Hillary's argument should be this: "I voted for Bush to remove Saddam and secure the country. I didn't think it would be easy, but did anyone think he would screw it up this badly? (insert discussion of breaking up iraqi army, not securing weapons caches, Abu Graib, etc.) It's Bush's fault!"

My real fear is that the repugs will engineer a PR coup against Bush, distancing themselves enough that everyone will forget how they backed him time after time after time. Bush as the lone gunman should be the repug strategy. The democrats need to push the connection.

Posted by: Captain on June 4, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

"essentially, i'm at home thinking "geez these 'raise your hand' questions are lame", and, Clinton basically says "Wolf, these 'raise your hand questions are lame'".
game point, in my book."
Posted by: josh bivens

So, for you the real debate was between the media (Blitzer) and each candidate? Don't you care what a candidate's policies are or what their vision for America is? How shallow are the Hillarites?

On firedoglake.com they were praising her appearance and didn't mention ANY issues or policy positions at all. Just what does Hillary stand for that John Kerry didn't or that Mitt Romney wouldn't stand for?

Posted by: MarkH on June 4, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

There were none.
Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Both have served with distinction. Edwards even being slandered by Cheney on bogus attendance allegations (Edwards attended more than Cheney). Neither has ever bankrupted an oil company - which is more than we can say for Dumbya's pre-presidential experience.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

When the election is held, is there any possibility that the Repbulican candidate could win? Against either of the Dems?

Possibly of concern is that if the election comes down to a woman or a black man running against a middle-aged (or older) white guy, it could scare up a large enough block of voters to swing the election to the Repubs.

Posted by: pencarrow on June 4, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

It only took the entire liberal and progressive blogosphere seven years of constant, top-of-their-lungs yelling of the command 'STOP ACCEPTING GOP FRAMES!" for two Democrats in power to finally say, in a public venue, 'No, Mr. Media guy, I don't accept your question or its premises.'

Posted by: lampwick on June 4, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Hillary gives no discernible sign that she is any more intelligent than the average Democrat senator. She flunked the bar exam. She did not read the intelligence report before she voted for the Iraq war ..."
Posted by: mhr

"flunked the bar exam"?

What are you talking about?

But, her hair looked so good. how could she flunk a bar exam? First there's the attack on Edwards hair cut and now we're told looks are everything. Of course, if that were true Nixon would never have been prez and Hillary would just be endorsing Mitt Romney. We really don't want to go there.

Who among the candidates DIDN'T flunk the bar exam? Hmmm?

Posted by: MarkH on June 4, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten: Both have served with distinction.

How can Senators who accomplished nothing have served "with distinction"? That phrase means with "marked superiority; note; eminence". How can Senators with no achievements be markedly superior?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

How can a president who is the world's greatest living utter disaster be supported by anyone?

Posted by: cld on June 4, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

How can a president who is the world's greatest living utter disaster be supported by anyone?

In all fairness, one must give credit for the well-meaning, good-faith efforts made by Carter.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

That is really desperate, fx-liberal.

Posted by: cld on June 4, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Hilllary [sic] is the only serious candidate. Obama and Edwards don't have enough experience."

Joseph Biden has served in the U.S. Senate with distinction since 1973 — almost six full terms.

Christopher Dodd has been in Congress since 1975 and in the Senate since 1981 — he's in his fifth Senate term.

Mike Gravel served in the Senate for 12 years — two full terms. During his Senate career he was in the national spotlight because of his role in the release of the Pentagon Papers and his outspoken opposition to the draft and the war in Vietnam.

Dennis Kucinich served two years as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, during which he successfully fought off a plan to sell off the city's electric utility. It's estimated that this saved Cleveland $195 million in just one decade. He's now in his sixth term in the House of Representatives.

Bill Richardson served 14 years in the House of Representatives, from 1983 to 1997. He was U.N. ambassador 1997-1998, energy secretary 1998-2001, and governor of New Mexico 2003-present.

These candidates are all far more experienced than the usurper-in-chief, and it is premature to assume that the eventual victor will be one of the supposed first-tier candidates.

As for Obama and Edwards, either one could out-debate and out-preside Shrub any old day.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on June 4, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Since you continue to be a moron:

Senate career

Obama was sworn in as a Senator on January 4, 2005.[52] He hired former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle's ex-chief of staff for the same position, and Karen Kornbluh, an economist who was deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, as his policy adviser.[53] In July 2005, Samantha Power, Pulitzer-winning author on human rights and genocide, joined Obama's team.[54] An October 2005 article in the British journal New Statesman listed Obama as one of "10 people who could change the world."[55] Three months into his Senate career, and again in 2007, Time magazine named Obama one of "the world's most influential people."[56] During his first two years in the Senate, Obama received Honorary Doctorates of Law from Knox College,[57] University of Massachusetts Boston,[58] Northwestern University,[59] and Xavier University of Louisiana.[60] He is a member of the Senate committees on Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Veterans' Affairs;[61] and the Congressional Black Caucus.[62]


Obama sponsored 152 bills and resolutions brought before the 109th Congress in 2005 and 2006, and cosponsored another 427.[63][64] His first bill was the "Higher Education Opportunity through Pell Grant Expansion Act."[65] Entered in fulfillment of a campaign promise, the bill proposed increasing the maximum amount of Pell Grant awards to help students from lower income families pay their college tuitions.[66] The bill did not progress beyond committee and was never voted on by the Senate.

Obama took an active role in the Senate's drive for improved border security and immigration reform. Beginning in 2005, he co-sponsored the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).[67] Obama later added three amendments to S. 2611, the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act," sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).[68][69] S. 2611 passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the U.S. House of Representatives.[70] In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act, authorizing construction of fencing and other security improvements along the United States–Mexico border.[71] President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law in October 2006, calling it "an important step toward immigration reform."[72]
President Bush signs the "Coburn-Obama" Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
President Bush signs the "Coburn-Obama" Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.[73]

Partnering first with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), and then with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar-Obama" expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines.[74][75] The "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for a web site, managed by the Office of Management and Budget, listing all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward, and providing breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract.[76][77] On December 22, 2006, President Bush signed into law the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.[78]

On the first day of the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, in a column published in the Washington Post, Obama called for an end to "any and all practices that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a public servant has become indebted to a lobbyist."[79] He joined with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in strengthening restrictions on travel in corporate jets to S.1, the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007, which passed the Senate with a 96-2 majority.[80][81] Obama joined Charles Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring S. 453, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, including fraudulent flyers and automated phone calls, as witnessed in the 2006 midterm elections.[82][83] Obama's energy initiatives scored pluses and minuses with environmentalists, who welcomed his sponsorship with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) of a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, but were skeptical of Obama's support for a bill promoting liquefied coal production.[84][85] Also during the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act," a bill that caps troop levels in Iraq at January 10, 2007 levels, begins phased redeployment on May 1, 2007, and removes all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008.[86][87]

Official travel
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Obama at a Russian base where mobile launch missiles are being destroyed by the Nunn-Lugar program.
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Obama at a Russian base where mobile launch missiles are being destroyed by the Nunn-Lugar program.

Obama traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan in August 2005 with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The trip focused on strategies to control the world's supply of conventional weapons, biological weapons, and weapons of mass destruction, as a strategic first defense against the threat of future terrorist attacks.[88] Lugar and Obama inspected a Nunn-Lugar program-supported nuclear warhead destruction facility at Saratov, in southern European Russia.[89] In Ukraine, they toured a disease control and prevention facility and witnessed the signing of a bilateral pact to secure biological pathogens and combat risks of infectious disease outbreaks from natural causes or bioterrorism.[90]

In January 2006, Obama joined a Congressional delegation for meetings with U.S. military in Kuwait and Iraq. After the visits, Obama traveled to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. While in Israel, Obama met with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.[91] Obama also met with a group of Palestinian students two weeks before Hamas won the January 2006 Palestinian legislative election. ABC News 7 (Chicago) reported Obama telling the students that "the U.S. will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel," and that he had conveyed the same message in his meeting with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas.[92]

Obama left for his third official trip in August 2006, traveling to South Africa and Kenya, and making stops in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. He flew his wife and two daughters from Chicago to join him in a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Kisumu in rural western Kenya.[93] Enthusiastic crowds greeted Obama's public appearances.[94] In a public gesture aimed to encourage more Kenyans to undergo voluntary HIV testing, Obama and his wife took HIV tests at a Kenyan clinic.[95] In a nationally televised speech at the University of Nairobi, he spoke forcefully on the influence of ethnic rivalries and corruption in Kenya.[96] The speech touched off a public debate among rival leaders, some formally challenging Obama's remarks as unfair and improper, others defending his positions.[97][98]

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

. . . and the horse you rode in on:

Political career

[edit] Senate term

Both the success of the Sta-Rite case and his son's death (Edwards had hoped his son would eventually join him in private law practice) prompted Edwards to leave the legal profession and seek public office. A Democrat, Edwards won election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 against incumbent Republican Senator Lauch Faircloth. Despite originally being the underdog, Edwards beat Faircloth by 51.2% to 47.0% — a margin of some 83,000 votes.

John Edwards was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

During President Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial in the Senate, Edwards was responsible for the deposition of witnesses Monica Lewinsky and fellow Democrat Vernon Jordan.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Edwards was reported to be on Democratic nominee Al Gore's vice presidential nominee "short list" (along with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, Gore's eventual pick).[citation needed] In November 2000, People magazine named Edwards as its choice for the "sexiest politician alive."

Edwards served on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and U.S. Senate Committee on Judiciary.

During his Senate term Edwards cosponsored 203 bills.[16] He cosponsored Lieberman's S.J.RES.46, the Iraq War Resolution, and also later voted for it in the full Senate to authorize the use of military force against Iraq,[17] saying on October 10, 2002 that "Almost no one disagrees with these basic facts: that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a menace; that he has weapons of mass destruction and that he is doing everything in his power to get nuclear weapons; that he has supported terrorists; that he is a grave threat to the region, to vital allies like Israel, and to the United States; and that he is thwarting the will of the international community and undermining the United Nations' credibility." [1] He subsequently apologized for that military authorization vote. Edwards also supported and voted for the Patriot Act. Among other positions, Edwards generally supported abortion rights, affirmative action, and the death penalty. Among his first sponsored bills was the Fragile X Research Breakthrough Act of 1999.[18] He was also the first person to introduce comprehensive anti-spyware legislation with the Spyware Control and Privacy Protection Act.[19] He also advocated rolling back the Bush administration's tax cuts and ending mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent offenders.[20]

Edwards supported the expansion of the H-1B visa program to increase the number of work visas for immigrant workers.[21] Edwards generally supported expanding legal immigration to the United States while working with Mexico to provide better border security and stop illegal trafficking.[20][22]

Before the 2004 Senate election, Edwards announced his retirement from the Senate and supported Erskine Bowles, former White House Chief of Staff, as the successor to his seat; Bowles, however, was defeated by Republican Richard Burr in the election.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, if you really want to change the world and the direction that it has been heading, elect a woman, the right woman.

Mrs. slanted tom reminds me that women give life and men take it with violence and war.

Posted by: slanted tom on June 4, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

My impression watching the debate last night was that any one of them would make a better president than any living Republican.

Posted by: cld on June 4, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

From the Department of Republican Brains, head of Arkansas GOP complains that we don't have enough terrorist attacks in the US, which is why people don't appreciate George Bush.

Just think: if only there were lots and lots of terrorist attacks in the US we would all think George Bush was making us safer!

That's just how the world works.

Posted by: cld on June 4, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK


Obama is the only Democratic candidate that outpolls all of the Republicans.

Citation please. Ramussan has Edwards beating all the current GOP candidates; Clinton and Obama lead all but Guiliani (tied and down by one respectively).

Posted by: Edo on June 4, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Obama won. He was cool and collected and said all the right things but I wonder can he fight back when the inevitable attacks begin. He always appeals to the better angels of our nature which isn't gonna help him when the GOP goes full Willie Horton mode. Hillary seemed a little flat and I never noticed it before but she has some of the brightest and coldest blue eyes I've ever seen. She could have carved up John Edwards for breakfast with those eyes when he kept ragging her on Iraq. John and Elizabeth Edwards are turning into Bill and Hillary without the scandal. They're good but I don't quite know if they can make it to the finish line.

Posted by: aline on June 4, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if that comment is based on the blogs or the media, but Hillary did not blow away the competition. She came across as smart, articulate, and likable. She had a few good moments.

Same can be said for everybody.

Posted by: JJF on June 4, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

...she seems to have blown away the competition so thoroughly last night.

That was the comment that mysteriously disappeared in the post above.

Posted by: JJF on June 4, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary "took charge", and everyone else looked to her for leadership?

Try she yelled the loudest.

I am not a Biden supporter, but he clearly won that debate.

Posted by: luke on June 4, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

We were sort of "on the fence" between Hillary or Edwards but last night's debate blew us right over to Hillary. The woman is extremely impressive. She has our vote - mine and my hubby's.

We like the Edwards family. But John Edwards is no politician. He keeps handing the Republicans another knife to stick in his back. He would never make it through the general election if elected the Dem nominee.

Posted by: Arden in Iowa on June 4, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK
Citation please.

Zogby America Poll, conducted May 17-20, 2007, as reported. It is reported, among other places, at pollingreport.com.

Ramussan has Edwards beating all the current GOP candidates;

As much as I prefer those results (after all, Edwards is the only candidate I'm giving money to, so far) Rasmussen seems to be pulling those matchups from different polls from at least as far back as November 2006 (Edwards v. Huckabee), rather than from one poll conducted at one point in time.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 4, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

please ignore Zogby when talking polls. I don't know what happened to Zogby but his polling numbers were/are terrible.

Posted by: bob on June 4, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Clinton handled a question very well related to the war, after Barack Obama threw a divisive zinger at John Edwards, with Hillary so perfectly elaborating on the fact that this is George Bush's war...I thought she was awesomely effective and skillful.
Haircut or not, I am touched by Edwards and agree with much of what he says.
If Gore runs, he has me at hello.

Posted by: consider wisely on June 4, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

It was her makeup. Absolutely fantastic. (If you think this is sexist, remember the first Nixon Kennedy debate.)

Posted by: Eli Rabett on June 4, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah and Senator Clinton didn't read the intelligence assessments before voting to give Bush the Blank Check to start His War.

We all know that Senator Clinton did not want to destroy her career and Presidential Aspirations by opposing Bush early on. Plenty of Ambition. No Foresight. If Senator Clinton (and others) had intended to stay in the Senate and insist that the Inspectors Remain in Iraq, then we would not be in the Jam we are in today.

I think it is ironic that only the Major Candidates are being considered, while those who consistently opposed Bush's War are sent to the showers early. Representative Kucinich for one.

One might think that over 660,000 Iraqis died to further political ambitions, if one were cynical.

Posted by: deejaays on June 4, 2007 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

It distresses me that so many people take John Edwards seriously. He's the Romney of the left. The guy was a pro-war centrist, and when it becomes politically expedient, he turns into an anti-war liberal attacking the other major candidates from THE LEFT? He's got all the charm of a used-car salesman, and the conviction of an empty suit, IMHO.

And this is coming from someone who supported him back in 2004.

Posted by: mopper on June 4, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

The few of you folks left who continue to hold out for Obama are in a hole and need to stop digging.

The next president of the United States will be Hillary Clinton (and for all the right reasons)and it is past time for you to cease your tilting at windmills and join up.

Clinton will win the presidency by a landslide but the real fight in 2008 will be for the Congress. Democrats must expand their majorities and this will take some doing, presidential landslide or no.

Join up. Please.

Posted by: getaboard on June 4, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Frank Luntz did a focus group in NH the night of the debate. He found that Edwards won, Biden came in 2nd, and Hillary 3rd. Obama came in dead last. Obama comes off as too wonkish and long winded. The focus group felt he sounded like a politician.

I know what they mean. I always get bored listening to Obama. I would agree that Edwards won too, he was the most likable. I dont agree that Biden came in second though, I thought he seemed too emotional.

Posted by: Jonesy on June 4, 2007 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well... John Kerry won all his debates against the Chimp and where did that get him.

I have Clinton fatigue; and Hillary is much more of a flip-flopper than Bill ever was. She might get my vote, but none of my money are shoe leather if she is the parties nominee. I may vote Repug for Prez just to see them get us out of Iraq or seal the parties doom for generations to come.

Posted by: Brian on June 4, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

"flunked the bar exam"

Well, whoopie - Yeah, as she wrote in her book, she did fail the DC Bar Exam the first time. So, freakin' what?

Knew a fellow who flunked the California Bar eight times - Became senior partner in one of the top trial firms in the country - Three of the lawyers were in the top 100 trial lawyers nationally. After he left to go on his own, he won, at the time, the highest plaintiff's personal injury verdict against a trampoline manufacturer.

Paula Jones, was represented late in her legal dispute with Clinton, by the husband of Susan Carpenter McMillan. He failed the CA Bar the first five times - He has become a very wealthy personal injury attorney. He was also the law clerk for another senior partner in the above mentioned law firm.

There are others who passed the first time and have a hell of a time finding the court house.

The only thing about flunking the bar is, perhaps, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and their ilk will not talk with you.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 5, 2007 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton's answer to Edwards' excellent, cogent rejection of Bush's "war on terror" b.s. is to sound just like Bush:

I am a senator from New York. I have lived with the aftermath of 9/11, and I have seen firsthand the terrible damage that can be inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists who are intent upon foisting their way of life and using suicide bombers and suicidal people to carry out their agenda.

And I believe we are safer than we were. We are not yet safe enough. And I have proposed over the last year a number of policies that I think we should be following.

Jonathan Schwarz nails it at A Tiny Revolution:

Every single word except the senator from New York part could have come out of George Bush's mouth. It's like she's studied all his talking points and boiled them down to their essentials.

1. Pretend you don't understand what people mean when they criticize the phrase "war on terror." Act like such people mean the 9/11 attacks weren't so bad.

2. Have you mentioned 9/11? Good. Be sure to emphasize your unique insight into and emotional connection with it.

3. Pretend to think the 9/11 terrorists were "intent upon foisting their way of life" upon us. Nothing better expresses the depth of your contempt for Americans.

4. Try to find that sweet spot where people will still be scared enough to feel they need you to protect them, but not so scared they start to wonder what you've been doing for the past five years.

Posted by: Nell on June 5, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Blown away?

I think Hillary did very well, but I would hardly say she blew away everyone else.

Actually I think all of them, with the exception of Gov. Bill Richardson, did very well. And each also stumbled at one point or the other.

But I think your personal choice for the nomination is showing when you overstate Hillary's performance.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on June 5, 2007 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary had a great night. Here are a few of the pundits comments:

TIME MAGAZINE'S MARK HALPERIN NAMES HILLARY THE WINNER -- 'BOTTOM LINE: CAME IN THE FRONT-RUNNER AND LEAVES IN A STRONGER POSITION': "Able to look commanding and presidential even as she fielded niggling, hoary questions that bordered on the absurd. Never lost her temper, her focus or her cool, and even dispatched a crowd-pleasing Dick Cheney zinger. Occasionally lapsed into the weary defensiveness she displayed during the health care wars of '93 and various subsequent Clinton sagas. Bottom line: came in the front-runner and leaves in a stronger position." [Time, 6/04/07]

ABC NEWS' GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS -- 'SHE CAME IN THE FRONTRUNNER. SHE LEFT THE FRONTRUNNER': "Listen, Hillary Clinton went into the debate last night as a frontrunner. Look at our poll. She was ahead 42%, Barack Obama 27%, John Edwards 11%. She came in the frontrunner. She left the frontrunner... the strongest best moment of the night belonged to Hillary Clinton when she was asked do you agree with John Edwards when he says the war on terror is just a bumper sticker." [Good Morning America, 6/04/07]

AP ANALYSIS -- HILLARY 'PROJECTED AN AIR OF CONFIDENCE AND A MASTERY OF THE SUBJECT MATTER': "With a new Washington Post/ABC News poll showing Clinton far ahead of her rivals nationally, the former first lady projected an air of confidence and a mastery of the subject matter at Sunday's forum. She also insisted Democrats should focus their policy critiques on Republicans, especially President George W. Bush." [AP, 6/4/07]

THE ATLANTIC'S ANDREW SULLIVAN -- 'SHE WINS THIS ONE. IT KILLS ME TO ADMIT IT. BUT THERE YOU ARE': "In general, Senator Clinton bestrode the debate as an authoritative figure. In fact, I've never witnessed a U.S. political debate in which a woman clearly dominated as she did tonight... Still: she wins this one. It kills me to admit it. But there you are." [The Atlantic, 6/03/07]

WBZ-TV'S JON KELLER -- 'HILLARY CLINTON IN COMMAND': "Hillary Clinton in command. She was crisp, well informed, and showed more anti-terrorist passion than the rest. That's all good news for Sen. Clinton." [WBZ-TV, 6/03/07]

CNN'S CANDY CROWLEY -- 'THIS IS HILLARY CLINTON'S VENUE': "I think that this is Hillary Clinton's venue. She has done very well in both debates. She has facts at her fingertips. She is sort of calm, answers the questions. She does very well. This clearly is her forum." [CNN, 6/04/07]

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' JENNIFER HUNTER -- HILLARY 'FORCEFUL AND DETAILED:' "But Sunday's debate at St. Anselm College among the eight Democratic presidential contenders did not define a clear winner -- although Clinton's deep well of political experience was apparent and will likely keep her ahead in the polls. She was forceful and detailed in her answers." [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/4/07]

BOSTON GLOBE -- HILLARY 'SHOWED LEADERSHIP:' "On style points, all generally acquitted themselves well. Clinton showed leadership by resisting the moderator's clumsy attempt to force the candidates to give instant yea-or-nay answers on complex issues like ending the genocide in Darfur." [Boston Globe, 6/4/07]

ABC's THE NOTE -- 'IT WAS CLINTON'S NIGHT. NO CANDIDATE LOOKED MORE PRESIDENTIAL': "The consensus opinion: It was Clinton's night. No candidate looked more presidential -- despite (or because of) Edwards' attacks -- and the stage seemed to tip in her direction when she defended the field against Wolf Blitzer's (enemy of enemies!) toughest queries." [ABC News' The Note, 6/04/07]

CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY'S CRAIG CRAWFORD -- 'CLINTON DID MORE THAN HOLD HER OWN... SHE WON': "But Clinton did more than hold her own in the face-off aired by CNN. She won. Due in part to her commanding center placing on the stage among eight contenders, the New York Democrat came across as the boss." [Congressional Quarterly's Trail Mix, 6/04/07]

ABC NEWS -- CLINTON PLAYED 'ON A HIGHER PLANE': "Clinton, meanwhile, was practically playing on a different, higher plane befitting a front-runner while pitching herself as the toughest candidate when it comes to national security." [ABC News, 6/03/07]

She also scored well with the voters in New Hampshire:


Posted by: Greg on June 5, 2007 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

So the corporate media like Hillary. Quel surprise. And "getabord" - I'm telling you, you may like Hillary. That's great. But if you think she can win over enough swing voters to become President of the United States, then I have some desert acres in Utah that I'd love to sell ya.

Posted by: Trent on June 5, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

She has a little more work to do to win the nomination, but I think she is up to the task of winning over swing voters. I have seen her in action up here in New Hampshire.

Posted by: Greg on June 5, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

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