A little preview from the Financial Times:
Thursdayâ€™s Democratic gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada, is attracting much more attention than previous presidential debates, given the growing perception that Hillary Clinton is no longer cruising to victory. But there is little in the national and local poll numbers to justify such a large swing of conventional wisdom against Mrs Clintonâ€™s prospects.
A month ago, Mrs Clinton had been all but crowned the Democratic 2008 nominee by the media. Today she is portrayed as acutely vulnerable, particularly to Barack Obama, who has increasingly called into question the former first ladyâ€™s â€œcharacter and judgmentâ€.
Mr Obama is now in a statistical dead heat with Mrs Clinton and John Edwards in Iowa, which holds the critical first nominating caucus on 3 January. But Mrs Clinton was only briefly in the lead in Iowa, which has always been her weakest state, and began the campaign this year in third place with Mr Edwards having a clear head start.
â€œIt did not seem credible a few weeks ago when everyone was saying Hillary has this locked up, and it isnâ€™t credible now to say that sheâ€™s foundering,â€ said Bill Galston, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, who has played a prominent role in previous Democratic campaigns. â€œThe truth has always been somewhere in between.â€
Taken in isolation, few of Mrs Clintonâ€™s recent mis-steps stand out as egregious. She was judged to have lost the most recent presidential debate, in Philadelphia two weeks ago, when she gave a waffling response to a question about whether illegal immigrants should be permitted driverâ€™s licences.
To try and kill this issue before it bites her again in this debate, Hillary is now apparently completely against driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.
Also, there was the headline on Drudge a few days ago that Wolf Blitzer had been warned by the Clinton campaign to take it easy on Hillary. Apparently Blitzer now says that’s not true according to CNSNews:
(CNSNews.com) – CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that no presidential campaign of either party has tried to pressure him to influence his questioning in CNN-hosted presidential debates.
The issue arose on Tuesday when the Drudge Report reported – under the banner headline “Wolf Warned: No Ganging Up on Hillary in Vegas”- that “Wolf Blitzer has been warned not to focus Thursday’s Dem debate on Hillary.”
The report quoted an unnamed “top Clinton insider” who said: “This campaign is about issues, not on who we can bring down and destroy. … Blitzer should not go down to the levels of character attack and pull ‘a Russert.'”
Either way, I’m sure that the guns will be blazing for Hillary by Edwards and Obama. This will definitely be worth the watch. As always we will have a recap and some clips right after the debate.
Also, we’ll have the entire debate video uploaded in a couple days so check back here if you miss it.
Here’s some post-debate analysis and notable clips.
Here’s the entire CNN Las Vegas Debate video:
11/15/07 – CNN Democratic debate from Las Vegas, Nevada