Hillary and Obama do Hollywood

Rick Moran
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stood side by side for nearly 2 hours last night and debated the same issues they have been debating for months.

This time, however, there was none of the rancor and ill will directed toward each other. Instead, the debate turned into a virtual love fest:

Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spent their last debate before next week's Super Tuesday contests pointing out differences on Iraq, health care and the economy -- but without all of the finger-pointing that's marked their campaigns.

The exchange was in sharp contrast to previous debates because of the absence of political sniping, yet was one of the most substantive policy discussions yet in the race for the nomination.

On Iraq, Obama said he'd be more able to end the war because he opposed it from the beginning. He said Clinton's vote to authorize the use of force there would undermine her efforts to bring it to an end.

"I think it is much easier for us to have the argument when we have a nominee who says, 'I always thought this was a bad idea -- this was a bad strategy,' " he said.

Clinton defended her vote, saying she was told by the White House that it would be used initially to return weapons inspectors to see whether Saddam Hussein had an active weapons program.
Time and again Hillary Clinton emphasized her experience and judgement while Obama said it was more important to be right than have experience. But in contrast to last week's South Carolina mud slinging, the two managed to make their points without resorting to personal attacks.

Hillary scored against Obama with her critique of his health insurance program while Obama came out on top in the Iraq debate. Most observers gave the debate to Obama because he was on the defensive much less than Hillary.

With Obama moving up in the polls and fresh off a spectacular month of fundraising (a record $32 million from an astonishing 170,000 donors), he is extremely well positioned to attack Clinton in several key states on Super Tuesday including California, Connecticut, and perhaps even Massachusetts where the Ted Kennedy endorsement has pulled Obama within striking distance of Clinton.

Clinton, on the other hand is far ahead in several key states including New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. With both candidates so close, it could be that neither of them will emerge from Super Tuesday with a decisive advantage in delegates and the race will go on into March.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stood side by side for nearly 2 hours last night and debated the same issues they have been debating for months.

This time, however, there was none of the rancor and ill will directed toward each other. Instead, the debate turned into a virtual love fest:

Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spent their last debate before next week's Super Tuesday contests pointing out differences on Iraq, health care and the economy -- but without all of the finger-pointing that's marked their campaigns.

The exchange was in sharp contrast to previous debates because of the absence of political sniping, yet was one of the most substantive policy discussions yet in the race for the nomination.

On Iraq, Obama said he'd be more able to end the war because he opposed it from the beginning. He said Clinton's vote to authorize the use of force there would undermine her efforts to bring it to an end.

"I think it is much easier for us to have the argument when we have a nominee who says, 'I always thought this was a bad idea -- this was a bad strategy,' " he said.

Clinton defended her vote, saying she was told by the White House that it would be used initially to return weapons inspectors to see whether Saddam Hussein had an active weapons program.
Time and again Hillary Clinton emphasized her experience and judgement while Obama said it was more important to be right than have experience. But in contrast to last week's South Carolina mud slinging, the two managed to make their points without resorting to personal attacks.

Hillary scored against Obama with her critique of his health insurance program while Obama came out on top in the Iraq debate. Most observers gave the debate to Obama because he was on the defensive much less than Hillary.

With Obama moving up in the polls and fresh off a spectacular month of fundraising (a record $32 million from an astonishing 170,000 donors), he is extremely well positioned to attack Clinton in several key states on Super Tuesday including California, Connecticut, and perhaps even Massachusetts where the Ted Kennedy endorsement has pulled Obama within striking distance of Clinton.

Clinton, on the other hand is far ahead in several key states including New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. With both candidates so close, it could be that neither of them will emerge from Super Tuesday with a decisive advantage in delegates and the race will go on into March.