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The debate's finale: A producer's dream

In the heart of Hollywood, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama gave their crowd what it obviously wanted: A Hollywood ending.

Rather than grow testier as it went along, their one-on-one debate this evening at L.A.'s Kodak Theatre grew friendlier. And it culminated in a lovefest, with both keeping alive -- to the obvious delight of their listeners -- the possibility that they will end up on the national ticket together.

Close attention to their answers about an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama pairing will show that neither came anywhere close to committing to such a team. Despite that little detail, they hit high notes as they wrapped up their conversation (which is what the proceedings evolved into).

"I'm sure Hillary would be on anybody's short list," Obama said, finishing his answer to the question of running with Clinton, which he had used mainly to stress the importance of bringing dedicated, civic-minded folks into government (hard to disagree with that).

Indeed, Clinton chimed in: "I have to agree with everything that Barack just said." She added: "There is no doubt we will have a united Democratic Party."

With that, the audience was on its feet, cheering wildly.

A happy ending, as noted. Now we'll see what happens as life -- and the campaign -- goes on.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (7)

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Not the last debate, CNN is putting together another in late February. I hope it's more spirited. They must explain clear differences in character, ability, and deal with issues that are happening today.

Not keep explaining what they hope to do as President. Change something now. Attack the stock market industry for creating fraud affecting consumers or an environmental cause. They can't change troops fate in Iraq, something domestic to champion.

Speech's everyday until late February isn't worth anything. This kind of debate is about delegates, not that great to choose between them, who should be President. People already have their choice in mind.

Some could flip then flip right back by Tuesday.

I'm curious about the LA Times endorsements, the 1st or post Superbowl on Monday?

I wonder about Superdelegates, how they keep being mentioned, some won't change their choice from Hillary? Will they change during the primaries or wait until the convention?

Republicans are moving toward a McCain-Guilani pairing both are friends with Schwarzenegger.

McCain-Jeb Bush Former Governor of Florida has fans there.

That's a nightmare for people like me, who don't want a Bush ever again in the White House!

McCain-Romney, his "friend". Romney scratches a check to get that V.P. endorsement. All the negative campaign ads dismissed. He got worse from Bush in 2004.

Huckabee and Ron Paul, don't think they will make it.

Ron Paul is older than McCain and some already have issues with the oldest President ever pick.

I do hope whomever is President, hires bipartisan. We shouldn't have a too partisan White House in future years. Not every White House appointment or staffer should be the same party. Let them argue legislation in there, then a negotiated bill reaches Congress in a more agreeable way.

Some want partisan arguing , but not every legislation that needs to be voted on.

Partisanship has to be diminished so Congress can do their work and pass bills.

A bipartisan White House is the change in Washington I want.

(The last debate before Super Tuesday.
The LATimes Editorial Board has not announced when its endorsements will be made. But obviously they need to come before the Calif. primary next Tuesday. Whenever they're published, we'll have the first word right here.)

Are you a fricken idiot who lives in LaLaLand?

An Obama/Clinton ticket cannot win. I'm a HUGE Obama supporter, but I have some understanding of how America works.

There is NO way it will be successful. It is literally political suicide.

God, I hate radical liberals. They are as divorced from reality as radical conservatives.

I think the exchange on the war was the most significant in the debate because it highlights the weakness John Kerry had in 2004 in criticizing Bush on the war. He could not do so without casting himself as a flip flopper. It also emphasizes the suspicion, well founded in my opinion, that Senator Clinton and others were taking political and not principled stands by voting to authorize military force. Call me cynical, but I believe that Kerry, Edwards, and Clinton were primarily protecting their presidential ambitions, believing that they needed to be perceived as hawks to compete with republicans in a post 9/11 election.

The question that should have been asked of Hillary tonight is this ...

"Ma'am, your husband's presidency was marked by scandals running from the salacious to national security, you've run a campaign based on race coding, and both you and your husband have scant regard for the truth.

"What could you possibly say to young people, what could you possibly bring to the table, for those who need to hear a message of honesty and integrity, as personal responsibility is the cornerstone of government accountability?"

Martin Edwin Andersen
Churchton, Maryland

Obama as VP ..... huh ......that might work ......

Clinton as VP ...... are you freakin' kiddin' .....

Bill was prez folks ...... the Clintons will NOT take a VP spot .....

no way, no how, going nowhere

For the last time, Clinton/Obama is not a possible ticket. You can't put two hard-nosed northern liberals together. You need balance. In the history of elections, unbalanced tickets lose in a landslide.

To answer poster martin edwin andersen: Bill Clinton's peccadilloes were private concerns that were transformed into an international sideshow by a voyeuristic right-leaning news media. We haven't a clue as to what goes on in the Bush White House, but we know enough about his maniacal oil-swilling foreign policies to understand that he is an unabashed sociopath. The media has done nothing in the past seven years to reveal things that would indeed make us all blush. Clinton's trite peccadilloes would likely pale in comparison.

To answer the questions of this thread: HRC/Obama -- a dread ticket and an eight-year HRC presidency followed by eight years of Obama, a total of 16 years in the limelight for him as opposed to eight.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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