I’m told this was a sweetness and light debate for the first 45 minutes, which seems like an odd move for Hillary, as she completely needs to shake things up tonight. Still, I’m seeing a bit of fire in her eyes as she watches his answers. It’s now or never for her tonight, and she needs to shake Democrats’ new faith in him.
This is a wildly raucous crowd, as they just applauded returning from a commercial break.
After a question on whether her opponent is ready to be a commander in chief, Hillary says she wants to go back to make a point on health care. The moderators begin to object and she bulldozes through them. Hmm. A point for her, but maybe the first way to demonstrate you can handle dictators is demonstrating you can put John King, Jorge Ramos, and my darling Campbell Brown in their place.
Hillary’s making a decent point, that Obama’s plan has mandates requiring parents to get health insurance for their children, and penalties for noncompliance. But he acts as if it’s something objectionable for her plan to have similar mandates and penalties for the public at large. The answer is that the government ought to use mandates as rarely as possible.
Hillary’s going on to foreign policy, speaking fairly fluently about Cuba, Pakistan and Kosovo. But the problem for her is that all Obama has to do is echo that; she needs a gaffe on his part.
The audience applauds, “I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I was prepared to be commander-in-chief.” I really don’t see how that’s an applause line or an extraordinary statement.