Pressies and pundits alike are declaring that Hillary “fought back” last night, and some are outright saying she “won” the debate. I have to say that from what I saw of it (in the replay late last night) she proved that the phoney charm Bill Clinton used to win over voters rubbed off a little on her, too. Not only that, but she demonstrated that she’s got the Clinton penchant for lying down pat (well, ok, I know that goes without saying – but last night, she made it into an art form), too, especially when she commented that she hadn’t been playing the gender card after her poor debate performance last time.
My annoyances with her aside, Obama’s got to be sick this morning over his lack of ability to capitalize last night on the bad last couple of weeks La Clinton had. Hillary has abandoned her “politics of hope” baloney and started going for the jugular. Obama was more on the defensive than offensive last night, and when that happens, the debate for that candidate has been lost. John Edwards came off more and more as the phoney that he is, at times sounding scripted, and I found myself agreeing with some of the commentators at The Corner who remarked last night that they wish Bill Richardson would get out of the race – the sooner the better. If it were a two man race between Richardson and Edwards to determine who was the biggest BSer, Richardson would win hands down, and that’s saying alot. Not only that, but Richardson is just not cut out to be president. He actually answered “yes” last night when asked by Blitzer “are there times when human rights are more important than American national security?”
Biden came off as the most “real” of the candidates, even though he doesn’t have a shot in you know where of winning the nomination. But even moreso than Richardson’s bizarre answer on the human rights/national security question, I found the oddest comment of the night coming from him when he looked around the stage and said it’s not about what any of these people said or did in the past, it’s about what they’ll do now. I’m sorry, but it is about what a candidate has said and done in the past on a particular issue. Voters need to know what a candidate’s record is on the issues in order to determine whether or not the candidate’s values are in line with theirs, and to see how true to their principles the candidate has or hasn’t stayed. It’s elementary, my dear Biden.
All in all, last night, all eyes were on Hillary to see if she’d continue to stumble or regain her balance and show why she’s the frontrunner. Like her or not, she rose to the challenge.