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October, 30th 2007

Democratic debate Part II

– Liz Mair

A reader has just emailed to ask why Hillary has two sets of eyebrows, and to suggest that Joe Biden may be growing a ponytail. Could this be true? Biden isn't getting enough face time for me to really tell, but Hillary's eyebrows are indeed wacky.

Edwards just hit Hillary really hard, too. If you want troops to stay in Iraq, vote for Hillary. Actually, I think he's got a point. Her inability to commit to finishing the job and leaving by 2013 is one reason why I wouldn't vote for her, that's for sure.

Oh, wow, and he pulled out the "she's going from primary mode to general election mode" hammer. Obviously, Edwards is right, but this is nasty, nasty stuff. Totally warranted, but nasty, and I think Hillary's going to eat him alive. She's started about Al Qaeda in Iraq, in what looks like a surprisingly Republican-like effort to make him look like a wimp on defense. I have no doubt that he is, and she's not, but irrespective, the fact she's willing to show what I imagine are her true (rather more hawkish) colors is interesting.

***

OK, now we're referring to Rudy as "Rudolph."

More importantly, my debate-watching-companion points out that Hillary's chin looks tighter, and her neck is firmer, too. He suspects botox-- quite a lot of it.

Back to the point, though, Hillary has executive experience because she's done work for kids and stuff. Awesome. She's also starting to sound ranty-- this is not going so well for her tonight.

She's also considering eating Russert's privates with a nice chianti again, because he asked her about releasing her records from the National Archives. And she's refusing to discuss the point about Bill's letter saying "let's not release any documents, please."

Obama's trying to hit her on this, talking about secrecy and how her and Bill's secrecy looks like Bush-Cheney secrecy. Oh, and it's also about the fact that she's running on her experience, but we can't assess it. Good point. And he's talking about earmark disclosure-- now this is a good topic for him, because it actually does distinguish him from everyone on the stage, and not in a way that makes him look like a doofus. Ah, and he's returning to the Bush-Clinton wars theme again, and getting away from the usual Washington nonsense.

Side note: here's how it's going to work tonight. Edwards is going to beat the crap out of Hillary, she's going to respond, and Obama's going to poke her just enough to reinforce the idea that she's [corrupt/untrustworthy/a neocon/unprincipled/etc.]

And it starts again. Edwards is on about how much money Hillary has taken from lobbyists/corporations/other inherent evils-- and he believes in the tooth fairy. Hurrah!

Hillary is responding by doing more Bush-bashing, and referencing the "we" who made progress in the 1990s. She's going to take $10 billion away from industries she doesn't like, too. And change is irrelevant without strength and experience. Great and all, but a) $10 billion is small change in the grand scheme of things and b) Hillary may be strong, but so was Mussolini. And he had better hats.

Obama's talking about leadership and experience. It's all about crossing-the-aisle stuff, which he's very good on, but which rather reinforces his "nice, nice," belongs in the Senate, image as opposed to his "kick the crap out of the other guys," can run the executive branch, credentials, which, uh, kind of need bolstering right now.

Oh my God. Chuck Todd was right. Richardson is leaping to Clinton's defense. Has he decided he can deal with being her VP? Is he going to switch and run for NM-Sen, and wants Bill's help in fundraising? I have no idea, but coming to Hillary's defense is a new move, and it's pretty weird and disconcerting.

***

Everybody hates Clinton. Dodd reminds us that something like 50% of Americans do. If he's trying to make a point that not 50% of Americans hate him, he's right. That may, of course, be because only 2% know who he is-- but he'll remind you that he's electable and he can bring the country together. Probably he can do the latter better than her. But this guy is going nowhere, and that's fairly obvious.

Edwards completely disagrees with Richardson. No doubt. He actually looks annoyed enough to full-on dis Richardson.

Kucinich is smiling. Brian Williams wants to know why. I think it's either because his wife looks better than Hillary, or because Keebler Elves always smile.

Richardson's raising his hand for some reason, probably because he wants to defend Hillary from Richardson.

Side note: has anyone else noticed that the Democrats tonight are all talking about Rudy just as much as the Republicans all talk about Hillary? That says something about who the GOP frontrunner is.

Biden's dropping "mans" and is commenting about when he runs against Rudy. The audience is laughing. So is Richardson. Gee, I wonder why.

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