Clinton, CNN and Fall out from the Debate (updated)

Hillary Clinton's performance at the Las Vegas debate has been overshadowed by charges of planted questions, a planted audience, and curious behavior by CNN that seemed to favor Clinton over other candidates.

In football, you've probably heard of "the 12th man." Well, last night, Hillary definitely had home field advantage. I can't think of another debate, ever, where the audience was allowed to take control of the debate to this extent. By allowing this to occur, CNN was essentially helping guarantee a Hillary advantage.

So why was it allowed to occur?  [snip]

But it wasn't enough for CNN to help Hillary during the debate. By booking pro-Clinton "independent analysts" like James Carville and David Gergen, they ensured the post-debate spin would go her way. Obviously, both Carville and Gergen have worked for Bill Clinton -- Carville in the campaign and Gergen in the Administration. How on earth could they be deemed to be impartial analysts?
Curious indeed. And the fact that CNN apparently vetted and approved every question asked by the audience also calls into question their impartiality.

There was also the case of a woman who is a well known an anti-war activist
 - another "average voter" - who got to make a statement against striking Iran thinly disguised as a question.

All of these questions - and others involving how the tickets for the event were given out - have to be dealt with by both Mrs. Clinton and CNN. At stake; Clinton's candidacy and CNN's credibility as an unbiased news source.

Update: Clasrice Feldman adds:
Immigration questions largely focused on a short song and dance designed to allow Hillary to walk back her support of Spitzers' license plan after her team twisted his arm to drop it. None of the candidates offered or were asked to clearly describe how they would handle illegal immigration.
But that position reveals a major  miscalculation on immigration as the big issue in the coming presidential election. Remember, how the talk was that the Republicans had lost so much in failing to get comprehensive immigration reform? Dean Barnett argues in the Weekly Standard that's wrong.  He maintains that the Democrats' support of it, along with drivers licenses and educational and other benefits for immigrants is their Achilles heel.
Here are some astonishing poll figures he cites in support of his argument:
A quick example: In the rather important state of Ohio, the Quinnipiac outfit polled Ohioans this week on whether they supported the idea of giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The answer won't surprise anyone who's paid attention to the immigration debate, but it has stunned the Beltway class. 84 percent said it was a bad idea, while a whopping 11 percent thought it was a good idea. [snip]

Senator Clinton had no idea how unpopular her semi-position would be. Indeed, the entire Democratic slate of presidential aspirants still doesn't grasp the visceral reactions that illegal immigration elicits. Here's another nugget from the Quinnipiac Ohio poll: 61 percent oppose giving a public school education to the children of illegal immigrants.
The "debate" was staged, stacked and the format and questions were idiotic, but the answers will provide the Republican candidate with an unending supply of powerful campaign fodder, including Hillary's for it , against it tapdance.

Barnett assumes Hillary will get the nomination (and McCain won't), for he concludes that the Republican nominee will be a hardliner on immigration "something that will put him squarely in the middle of the electorate."
The Democrats had to pull their punches; while some of them may be against the drivers' license idiocy, they're all pro-amnesty and they all supported McCain/Kennedy. In other words.... all the Democrats can do is squabble about what quarters of the Titanic each candidate gets to occupy.
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