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Looking back on campaign debates can be interesting

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Tam

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The Gloves are Off: Edwards, Obama pummel Clinton at Demo Debate

Hillary Clinton stumbles during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, as Obama, Edwards, and others sling harsh criticism her way.

By Anastacia Mott Austin

So much for the vows from Democratic Presidential candidates to avoid negativity.

It would seem unavoidable, however, as Hillary Clinton’s opponents are losing time to overcome her substantial lead in virtually every poll.

As the undisputed frontrunner, Clinton should have expected to be the target of other candidates’ comments and criticism throughout the recent debate, held Tuesday night at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

They took every chance they could get to try to rattle her composure and topple her lead.

John Edwards launched a few particularly barbed comments in Clinton’s direction, criticizing her vote on Iraq, her stance on Iran, and what he said was her tendency to polarize.

"The American people...deserve a President of the United States that they know will tell them the truth and won’t say one thing one time and something different at a different time," said Edwards, referring to Clinton’s vote in 2003 to go to war in Iraq and her current claim to want to end the occupation, should she be elected.

Added Edwards, "I think that our responsibility as presidential candidates is to be in ‘tell the truth’ mode all the time." :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Barack Obama had his own ammunition. He questioned Clinton’s ability to bring together the Republicans and Democrats, who need to work together in order to get anything done. "Part of the job of the next President is to break the gridlock and to get Democrats and Independents and Republicans to start working together to solve these big problems like health care or climate change or energy." :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Obama added, "Part of the reason that Republicans, I think, are obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that's a fight they're very comfortable having," an obvious barb aimed at the previous Clinton administration’s notorious reputation for not making friends of the Republicans. :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Edwards also said he doubted Clinton would make the significant changes that the public seems to want. "Will she be the person who brings about the change in this country?" asked Edwards. "You know, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the tooth fairy, but I don't think that's going to happen."

Youch. Clinton held her own for much of the debate though, retorting back to Edwards, "Change is just a word if you don't have the strength and experience to actually make it happen." :agree:

Edwards attacked Clinton’s position on Iraq, claiming that "If you believe there should be no actual timetable for withdrawal, then Senator Clinton is your candidate."

Responded Clinton, "My understanding is that we had the same agreement—most of us on this stage—that we would bring out combat troops, but we would pursue a mission against al Qaeda in Iraq, if they remained a threat."

The next day, the Clinton camp said that Clinton had focused on the problems with the current administration, and chose not to attack fellow candidates. "She kept her focus on the real target in this election, Republicans and the Bush administration, instead of going after the other Democrats," said a press release.

Obama’s campaign also issued a statement following the debates. "Senator Clinton offered more of the same Washington calculation, ducking and dodging that won't bring the change America needs," David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, told the press.

Political pundits say that with the barrage of attacks aimed her way, Clinton did "stumble" a bit during parts of the debate. She seemed caught off guard after a question about drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants, for example, and gave a confusing answer. Some experts also say that Clinton came across as defensive at times.

Yet even those who felt it was not her best night doubt that it will affect poll numbers enough to shake her solid lead. However, what the debate portends is more of the same, since her opponents seemed able to shake her up, at least a little bit. Expect more mudslinging and barbed questions in the next eight weeks leading up to the first state primaries.

An interesting side note to the debates was the brief moment of levity when Dennis Kucinich confirmed a claim made by actress Shirley MacLaine in her most recent book that he had seen a UFO. Said Kucinich, "Yes, I did see a UFO, it was an unidentified flying object."

Kucinich then quipped, "More people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush’s presidency."

Geez and here the way the Media is talking about how the Republicans are attacking each other in their debates, you would think it was something brand new, a never seen before campaign tactic. I guess not. :wink: :lol: :lol:

Don't you just love the fact Edwards is always in true mode :???: and as President, Obama has broke the gidlock in Washington. :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol: Campaign rhedoric years later is worth looking back on for at least a GOOD LAUGH. :wink:
 

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