Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are facing off in a one on one debate here in Los Angeles:
The economy is likely to dominate Thursday’s debate, as both candidates look to appeal to supporters of Edwards and his brand of economic populism.
Clinton and Obama have split victories in their parties’ early-voting states: Obama has won in Iowa and South Carolina, and Clinton has won in New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan and Florida. But the Michigan and Florida contests awarded no delegates, and all major Democratic presidential candidates pledged to avoid campaigning in those states following national party penalties against them for moving up their contests so early.
The heat is on… this is the final debate before Tsunami Tuesday. Are you watching? This debate was far more toned down than the last, showing some unity between the two candidates once again, including a very warm moment between the two at the end of the debate.
Here’s a clip of Hillary Clinton speaking on her experience that qualifies her to be the next president:
And one more clip: Hillary: We already have a CEO President & look what we got…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX12xWiiaJc
UPDATE: Bill Schneider on CNN offers the “The bottom line” on who won the debate:
The audience response was the same as that of Democrats across the country: they’re happy with their choice this year, but they don’t want to have to make it.
I thought overall, his position tonight was still that of the challenger, and she was effectively the incumbent. Barack Obama needed to peel votes away from Clinton. He made some progress on the Iraq issue. But how many Democrats are still more concerned about Iraq than about anything else?
To the extent that the debate was a draw, it helps Clinton.
Why? Because holding his own wasn’t enough. Obama’s task tonight was to make the case that there were huge differences between them. Just holding his own and looking presidential was not enough — he had to convince Democrats who like her that there’s a reason she shouldn’t be the party’s nominee.
Schneider went on to say, Obama “had command on the issue of Iraq,” and “six months ago that would have been enough,” but maybe it isn’t now. Why? Because “Other concerns have come to the forefront.”
In all, it was an unhelpful debate. They minimized their differences. Tonight’s showdown will rally Democrats, no question – but won’t help them make a decision. The biggest applause line of the evening came for the idea of the two of them together.
The debate doesn’t kill momentum for either one. But does it help build any?
The big question of the night seemed to be will Obama’s strong showing early in the debate help Obama enough to “overtake Clinton?” Probably not. Bill Schneider “didn’t see that” and neither did I.
I felt that once again Hillary Clinton showed a far stronger command on the issues and even in the area of the Iraq issue, Obama saying he was right from the being does not prove he’s a better leader. We’ve got other pressing issues in America now like the economy and health care and Clinton, has the advantage in terms of policy on both.