Hiller Instinct: Democratic debate in Las Vegas
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Democratic debate in Las Vegas
In the end, the questions Thursday night came down to just one: Is Hillary inevitable or in trouble?
Sen. Clinton jumped right in, saying, "I'm happy to be here tonight. My pantsuit is made of asbestos tonight."
She knew what she was in for when she got dressed -- enough criticism and attacks to start a political fire, and her top two challengers led the charge.
"What the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions," said Sen. Barack Obama. "That is not what we have seen from Senator Clinton on a host of issues."
Sen. John Edwards added that Sen. Clinton says she is bringing change to Washington but continues to defend a broken, rigged, and corrupt system.
But this time Sen. Clinton was prepared.
"The most important thing is to level with the American public," she said. "Sen. Obama's healthcare program does not cover everyone."
She added, "I don't mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud at least we can hope it's accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook."
Gov. Bill Richardson took a shot at all three.
"Edwards is engaging in class warfare, Obama was trying to start a generational war and Clinton, with all due respect," he said, "Her plan on Iraq doesn't end the war."
He said that all he wants to do is "give peace a chance."
Sen. Clinton, on the other hand, focused on her own chances.
"They're not attacking me because I'm a woman," she said. "They're attacking me because I'm ahead."
So did she -- or didn't she -- recover?
I'd say she did.
Hillary Clinton won this debate by holding her ground and by rumbling, not stumbling. She was simply too tough to rough up.
Which makes all the other democrats losers. They're all running out of time to catch her and are unable to.
In the last debate, Clinton gave her opponents an opening. But on Thursday night, she closed it.
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