by John O'Sullivan

Obviously Rich, Kate (to whom greetings and gratitude for her kind words), and I are on the same richly ornamented page when it comes to who gave the most impressive performance overall in the debate.

Hillary takes the cup. For nine-tenths of the debate she was masterful.

For the first time, however, she also floundered–and she did so on an issue and in a way that the GOP is better placed to exploit than her fellow Democrats.

She was caught in an clear contradiction. And she couldn’t get out of it smoothly because she would have had to alienate one of two important Democrat constituencies–ethnic pressure groups or blue-collar workers–in order to do so.

There’s an old British joke about the guards officer who was so stupid that even his fellow-officers noticed it. Well, Tuesday night Hillary was so vulnerable that even her fellow-candidates noticed it. Will the media? And–an even more depressing question–will the Republican party. (The RNC? Fuggedaboutit.)

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