Post CNN Las Vegas Democratic Debate Analysis w/ Video

Here’s a report on the event from AOL News:

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Under pressure in a feisty debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused her closest rivals Thursday night of slinging mud “right out of the Republican playbook” and leveled her sharpest criticism of the campaign at their records.

“People are not attacking me because I’m a woman, they’re attacking me because I’m ahead,” Clinton said, striving to protect her standing as front-runner in an increasingly competitive nominating campaign.

“What the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions, and that is not what we have seen from Senator Clinton on a host of issues,” said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a debate seven weeks before the first contest of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“There’s nothing personal about this,” said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who joined Obama in bluntly accusing Clinton of forever switching positions on Social Security, driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and other issues. turning aside the suggestion that she was seeking to hide her positions. Long an advocate of universal health care, she said Obama’s current proposal leaves millions uncovered and that Edwards did not support health care for all when he first ran for president in 2004.

The three-way confrontation at the beginning of a lengthy debate reduced the other Democratic presidential hopefuls on the debate stage to the uncomfortable role of spectator, yet it perfectly captured the race for the party’s nomination. Clinton leads in the nationwide polls, but recent surveys in Iowa show she is in a virtual dead heat with Obama and Edwards.

Also, here’s a clip from Obama talking about the controversial driver’s licenses for illegal aliens plan via Hot Air:

Hillary had a much better answer this time, Obama looked very foolish and actually drew laughter from the crowd at how absurd his answer was. As I said several posts ago, Hillary will come back much stronger on this issue and will not allow herself to be tripped up again like the Philadelphia debate. Obama stumbled badly.

We’ll have more clips to come along with more commentary.

Also, check back tomorrow for the entire debate video we’ll have available for anyone who missed it.

Update

More videos in a playlist:

‘Tis rare that a candidate gets booed at a debate but somehow Edwards managed.

Update

Here’s another video report from the Associated Press where Hillary and Barack heatedly debate health care coverage:

In my opinion, there was no clear winner in that health care exchange. Hillary smacked Obama but he smacked her right back. I couldn’t tell what people were yelling near the end.

Update

The Clinton campaign is praising Wolf Blitzer for being weak while another unnamed campaign is criticizing him for it, via the Drudge Report:

CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer did an ‘outstanding’ job in Vegas, a senior adviser to the Hillary campaign said early Friday. ‘He was outstanding, and did not gang up like Russert did in Philadelphia. He avoided the personal attacks, remained professional and ran the best debate so far. Voters were the big winners last night.’

A rival campaign insider charges: ‘Wolf turned into a lamb. No follow-up question on Clinton’s huge flip on drivers licenses?’

Yeah, it was pretty pathetic that Blitzer completely neglected to question Hillary about the fact that a week ago she was supporting driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, or sort of was, or wasn’t, who knows. The point is, Wolf Blitzer had that chance and chose not to pull the trigger, instead allowing her to simply answer “No”, and then moved on.

Lamb indeed.

We will have the entire debate video up on Friday so check back then.

  • Michael Jerryson

    Ok, politics and arguments aside– coming at it simply from a personal reaction to this recent debate: I found myself no longer trusting the very system of debate.

    Reports about Wolf Blitzer going soft on Hillary Clinton prior to the debate, and the act of staging questions for her to answer, led me to wonder about the way the debate was initially framed.

    Also, the amount of people who were “pro” Hillary in the audience and their actions/decor throughout. I know, Nevada has a very high percentage of people liking Hillary, but these initial reports have left me with absolutely no faith in anything promoting her in this venue.

  • Eydo

    I read the first “update” at this web page and had to laugh. I think it’s amusing how people get upset over the candidates failure to answer the “Yes or no” to the driver license question. It is like asking: “Yes or no, was nuclear energy (and subsequently the creation of the atomic bobm) good for the world?”

    It is literally impossible to answer both of those questions in one word. Obama had to explain his position to the rest of the world, and after I listened to it (unlike many of the blind Hillary fans), it made sense. It’s a matter of personal safety Americans. Re-read Obama’s answer, think it over in your minds. I used to be on the side of Lou Dobbs, with his blind rage tactics of “are you STOOPID?” comments about drivers licenses, but now it makes more sense as I hear about it from the Obama camp.

    And don’t think that laughter and booing coming from the audience was anything more than horrible moderation by Blizter’s part. That should not take place at a campaign, ever. It waste’s the candidates time and detracts from what really matters.