“Well, I’m very proud of his promoting my candidacy, and I’m very happy that he is able to travel as widely as he has been, along with my daughter,” Clinton told reporters while campaigning in Little Rock, Ark.
“But this is my campaign, it is about my candidacy,” she said.
So it’s one on one tonight.
The model for her is the New Hampshire debate. Clinton should channel what she revealed in New Hampshire, combining her command of the issues with her charm, which clearly would surprise Obama. He’s always expecting the attack from her. Hillary needs to use the unexpected, including humor and having a little fun.
As for Obama, he’s got to be specific and show command. More than Clinton, he’s got to challenge her. His petty side will have to be stowed, however. Everyone will be looking for it.
The obvious: watch mistakes. Huge audience tonight. So close to Super Tuesday neither candidate can afford them.
Here we go.
5:04: DEMOCRATS make history tonight. Soak it up. Be proud. I sure am. … ..
Opening statements: Obama mentions Edwards. He takes a moment to acknowledge Clinton. Translation: The Snub hurt; acknowledged; let’s move on. He’s got rhetorical game, but he rambles too much.
Clinton’s statement talks about the next president in 2009. “A staff of problems” await. Her voice is velvet tonight. She’s being specific and making a pitch. Focused. Point to Clinton. Tips her hat to the Edwardses. Talks poverty, as Obama did. … ..
First question, what are the differences between you? Health care like Edwards, says Clinton. Mortgage crisis needs to be abated. On foreign policy, don’t meet with dictators yourself, as president, in the first year. We are not more of the same, just look at us.
Obama takes on what Clinton says, doesn’t add new policy differences. He believes people can’t afford health care; he doesn’t believe in mandates. “Force” is the word he used. Against interest rate freeze. Obama on lobbyists. Was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. Elevate diplomacy. Meet with Iran personally; carrot & sticks.
5:18: Health care. Dems want everybody covered. Your plan is voluntary, with 15 million not covered. Why is your plan superior?
Obama: you can get it if you want it. (TM Note: who pays for the people who don’t want it and end up in the emergency room because they won’t pay for it?) He “doesn’t believe there will be 15 million out there.” .. … Just congratulated Gov. Arnold. Bipartisanship. Reaching out. Etc. .. …
Clinton: “The passionate cause of my public service.” If you like your health care nothing changes. Satisfied? Nothing changes. If you are underinsured or not insured, we will open up the congressional plan to you. “We will make it affordable for everyone.” It will provide subsidies and cap premiums. We want to make sure it is affordable for all. It is designed to be affordable with health care tax credits. She continues laying out the realities of health care. Conversational and understandable. “Bite this bullet,” mentioning Edwards on health care too, drawing a comparison with him.
Obama: “Ted Kennedy.” … .. like Obama. Transparency on health care. Televise on C-SPAN! … Wolf: Is that a swipe at Clinton? No.
Clinton: First efforts were a beginning. It resulted in Children’s Health Care Program. Regulate the health ins. industry differently. Cover everyone. Compete on cost and quality. Can’t cherry pick people. Drug companies must be part of the solution. Let Medicare negotiate prices. Democrats have to carry the banner of “Universal health care.” $300 million worth of attacks came at her in 90s. We’ll have to proceed Congress to put the deliberations on C-SPAN. … .. … Electronic medical records. Worked with Newt Gingrich (and Bill Frist), proves bipartisan creds. .. …
5:37: BOTH: Wealthy Americans will pay more. Get over it. We need universal health care.
Clinton sneaks in that tax rates will go back to prior rates. People did well in the 1990s. –applause–
Illegal Immigration. Question directed to African American community, from a question via the web. Obama first. A mistake he keeps making, that Clinton does not, is that he talks about his resume before dealing with the question. It makes him sound rambling. If he’s our nominee this will have to change. It makes him less effective. Pathway to citizenship.
NOTE TO DEMS: We need to focus on “border security.” These two words matter to voters.
Clinton: Illegal immigration causes people to lose jobs. “Comprehension immigration reform solution.” Tighten borders, crack down on employers, help local communities, help Mexico create jobs. Register everyone. Felons will be deported. Path to legalization: pay a fine; pay back taxes, try to learn English with help; then you wait in line. … ..