Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Hillary and immigration

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is going nuts, trying to frame Hillary Clinton's support for giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants as a sinker for her campaign. While it's not likely to be a popular position in a nation populated by a number of demoralized chest-thumpers looking for a scapegoat, it's a courageous one. This really is, as Clinton says, a public safety issue. You get hit by a truck, you want to know who did it.

The crazy thing is that she's being attacked for being "confusing" and "not decisive" by her male opponents when, in fact, she was pretty clear on this one. She may not have lept up to say, "Oh yeah, licenses to illegals, I'm big on that," but she didn't deny it, and she did defend it.

Where she's more vulnerable, thinks your blogstress, is on her vote for the Senate's war-mongering resolution about Iran. Several of her opponents were quick to point out that the price of oil is climbing high, thanks to this resolution.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Obama: I know I'm a little different

The folks at National Review -- well, Jim Gereghty, to be specfic -- are not amused by one of the NBC moderators using the term "Swift-boating" like it's a bad thing: "[L]et us not ignore that the question from Brian Williams uses 'Swift-boating' as a synonym as an unfair attack," Gereghty writes.

The unfair attack about which Williams inquired was the right-wing stage-whisper campaign alleging Obama to have been educated in a jihadi madrassah, and G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's slipping tongue that simply can't help but pronounce "Obama" as "Osama". The Illinois senator handled the question with characteristic grace, saying, "Look, I know I'm not the typical presidential candidate."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Oops...

When asked if she would, like her husband, support the tax plan unveiled this week by New York Congressman Charles Rangel that would raise taxes on upper crust while giving a break to those in the middle class, Hillary Clinton first said she couldn't endorse the plan because she didn't know all the details, then later said she couldn't endorse the plan because she didn't agree with all the details. Oy.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Biden's making sense

Too bad alway seems so damn eccentric when he does. About Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden, the senator from Delaware, said, "He says three things in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11." Called Rudy the "most unqualified under-qualified candidate to run for president since George W. Bush.

Earlier in the evening, when moderator Tim Russert challenged the candidates to pledge to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Biden rightly contended that saber-rattling at Iran made no sense when Pakistan was about ready to blow. Chris Dodd all but said, "Right on."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Edwards gets smacked around

When Bill Richardson went after John Edwards for being "holier than thou," he redeemed himself after grandstanding about having gotten two Americans released from Abu Ghraib in the days of Saddam Hussein. Then Dodd jumped on and Kucinich finished the job.

Edwards was going after Hillary Clinton for taking money from "Washington lobbyists;" Kucinich reminded the audience that Edwards took money from a "New York hedge fund."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Obama's warmed up

Barack Obama just landed one hard on the senator from New York when he piled on to Tim Russert's question to HRC about Bill Clinton's request that the National Archives not release records of his communications with his wife until 2012. Reminding the audience of Clinton's pledge to "turn the page," Obama declared, "that's not turning the page" when once considers the secrecy of the current administration.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Hillary is kickin' butt

She's tougher than Rudy, more experienced than Obama, done more for poor folks than Edwards, and smarter than everybody. That's the subtext of her responses on Social Security and her vote for the Iran resolution. Biden and Dodd are making sense in taking her on about her Iran vote, but her tone and body language trump their pleas. (My TAPPED colleague, Dana Goldstein, is right about Obama; the offensive stance does not become him.) And though it may be sexist of me to notice, Hillary's somber suit -- a black pantsuit with brown accessories (including a pocket square) -- look to your blogstress like fightin' duds.

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