Friday, November 16, 2007

Dem Vegas Debate: The Clinton Comeback, with Diamonds and Pearls

Hillary Clinton has rebounded from her toughest week as a presidential candidate in a debate that showcased her ability to combat attacks from opponents.

So says the conventional wisdom (ahem,the pundits) after the CNN debate in Las Vegas.

She hit back Barack Obama and John Edwards on their health care policies. Said Obama's was truly universal, leaving out millions. Hit Edwards for not running on universal health care back in 2004.

And when her rivals tried to hit back, the audience booed. A very sympathetic audience was behind Clinton. Who gets tickets for these things anyway?

The final questioner (with a coronation in mind?) just wanted to know if Hillary preferred diamonds or pearls?

"The fire seemed to go out of Obama, and she regained her stride," said political analyst David Gergen.

"I think she did very well," said former Republican congressman J.C. Watts. "I don't think they were able to take advantage of the things they put her on her heels for."

Other reviews:

  • "This debate was about Clinton effectively fighting back, Obama sticking to his guns and separation between those two and everyone else," wrote NBC's Chuck Todd on First Read.
  • The Hotline raves, "Indeed, it seems it was HRC's night. Even when pulling lines directly from her stump speech, Clinton's answers were mostly clear and crisp, and she managed to effectively call out her opponents for their "mudslinging."
  • "Tonight’s debate will probably stop the talk of a huge momentum swing away from Hillary Clinton," wrote The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder. He also adds that while the Edwards camp will try to spin this as a "seismic" debate for their candidate, you probably shouldn't buy it.
  • Mark Halperin, over at The Page grades Clinton at a B+. Obama and Edwards get C+.

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