Obama And Clinton's One-on-One

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When CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Clinton whether she was willing to admit that her vote authorizing the Iraq war had been a mistake, she was evasive and never responded to the question.

[National News]

Five days before next week's critical Super Tuesday elections when voters in 22 states weigh in their choice for a nominee, Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton presented forceful arguments as to why each is the best candidate to carry the Democratic Party's banner against the Republican nominee.

History will be made in the coming weeks. The Democratic Party will have either an African American or a woman as its presidential candidate.

This is the first time the two candidates went one-on-one following John Edwards’ withdrawal from the race yesterday. The candidates are competing for more than 1,600 delegates next week.

Senator Clinton scored points and a winning line when asked about why voters should tolerate another Clinton in the White House, having endured two Bush Administrations --the father and son. “It did take a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and it may take another Clinton to clean up after the second Bush.”

Senator Obama scored strongly on the issue of the Iraq war when he managed to pin Clinton on her vote authorizing the war. Obama said he would be a better candidate to face the Republican nominee since he had opposed the war even before it was launched. Obama said he would offer a “clear contrast” against any candidate offered by the Republicans.

When CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Clinton whether she was willing to admit that her vote authorizing the Iraq war had been a mistake, she was evasive and never responded to the question. When Blitzer asked her whether she had been "naive" and had been misled by president Bush into the Iraq war, some Clinton supporters jeered the moderator. Still, Clinton was unable to respond directly to the question.

Obama also dented Clinton’s argument that her experience gives her an upper hand since she was prepared to be president “on day one.” He noted that her experience did not prevent her from voting in favor of the Iraq war. “It’s important to be right on day one,” Obama said, to rousing applause.

Obama also scored points when he said it wasn't fair to scapegoat immigrants for African American unemployment--he said economic downturn impacted all Americans and that African Americans also suffered high level of unemployment before the new wave of immigration.

The only major issue of contention between the candidates was over the Iraq war.
Senator Clinton repeatedly invoked the "good days" during her husband's administration although she kept insisting that she should be judged on her own merits, when asked about her husband's sharp attacks against Obama deemed by many critics to be over the line. 

There had been considerable tension between the Clinton and Obama campaigns over accusations in recent weeks that Senator Clinton and her husband former president Bill Clinton had engaged in bitter attacks against Obama, including the use of race-baiting tactics.

Tonight’s debate was civil and the two candidates didn’t rule out considering the other as a running mate on the vice presidential ticket. Analyst have observed such a possible pairing as the "Dream Team."

Most observers doubt Obama would invite Clinton, considered to be a very polarizing figure, to be his VP running mate if he wins the primaries. On the other hand, Obama, seen as an extremely invigorating and unifying candidate would be appealing to Clinton and could even help her tip the scale against the Republican candidate.

Clinton was very prepared when it came to discussing her comprehensive healthcare proposal, as was Obama. Obama clearly was the winner on the issue of having opposed the Iraq war.

[More To Come]

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