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The Running Ticket Blog: The Dem debate live

These comments are in chronological order from the top, reading down.
Share your thoughts with Andrew Malcolm and Don Frederick on tonight's debate. Jump to the comment form.

Well, Don, here we go. The last big rhetorical confrontation between the last two Democratic candidates standing before Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, when all those delegates are picked across the country in nearly two dozen states. Scroll to the bottom for updates.

It'll be interesting to see how confrontational Hillary Clinton is, after all the criticism for her husband's scorched-earth campaigning across South Carolina last week, and how confrontational Barack Obama is, after all the hubbub over his perceived snub of Clinton on the Senate floor before President Bush's State of the Union Monday night.

She has said she reached out her hand and it's still reaching out. She also just happens to bring it up at every opportunity.

Think we can guarantee the debate will start with a handshake?

Obama, it seems to me, has shown a growing maturity and comfort with the debate format. At first, even when he criticized her, he spoke to the moderator and camera. Now, he regularly turns toward her to address his criticism, small but important gesture for people passing video judgment on who might be their commander in chief.

Clinton has always shown a clear command of the wonky issue stuff. But -- yes, it is an unfair double standard -- when she got in her zinger last time about Obama's friendship with Rezko "the slum landlord," some thought she came across as unduly harsh, perhaps catty. (Obama, of course, opened that can of worms by taking a shot at her service on Wal-Mart's board of directors.)

Hard balance for a female to show the strength while remaining feminine. I'll bet she's worked at it since.

--Andrew Malcolm

*

No initial handshake as Obama and Clinton walked onto the stage -- so if it occurred, if was out of camera range. And, for the most part, the pair did not exchange pleasantries as they posed for photographs, though Obama did whisper something into Clinton's ear.

-- Don Frederick

*

Perhaps wanting to nix lingering attention to the "snub," Obama makes a point of saying in his opening statement (a wrinkle not included in Wednesday night's Republican debate, which featured four candidates) that he was friendly with Clinton before the campaign, and would be her friend after it, regardless of how it turns out.

-- Don Frederick

*

Asked, in the debate's first question, to spell out the differences between her and Obama, Clinton predictably mentions that her healthcare policy starts out making universal coverage the goal. Then, she revisits a distinction that surfaced last summer, but had faded from view of late -- Obama's statement that he, as president, would readily meet directly with the leaders of rogue states.

Clinton criticized that remark at the time. And tonight, she said she would pursue a foreign policy that is "realistic and optimistic, but we start with realism." That means, she elaborates, that she would be less willing than Obama to sit down with rogue-state leaders.

-- Don Frederick

*

No disrespect to the Republicans who still have four candidates running, at least for another week. But this debate with only two really allows time for deeper answers and fewer simplified stump answers. Get the feeling I'm learning more about each of them. Instead of the stupid 30-second answers or raising hands when each party had 8 or 9.

Remember the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates for the Senate seat from Illinois in the 1850s? Abe and Stephen got together for a three-hour discussion, just the two of them. Back and forth, making points, arguing, answering back. Maybe they had bathroom breaks, but no commercial breaks. And no moderators like Anderson Cooper apportioning debate time unfairly, as he did so obviously last night to Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. Three hours they went at it.

And they did seven of them around the state. Not a bad model.

--Andrew Malcolm

*

At the debate's break, the heated exchanges between Obama and Clinton during their get-together last week in South Carolina (when John Edwards was still part of the mix) have been lacking.

There was a minor spat over the touchy issue of driver licenses for illegal immigrants, but it was tame compared to the brickbats the pair were tossing at each other in the Palmetto State.

The bottom line on the immigration topic was that both would seek the type of comprehensive change that Congress has been unable to agree upon.

-- Don Frederick

*

It was about an hour into the debate when a question was asked directly about Ted Kennedy's much-publicized endorsement at Obama. But by that point, Obama already had worked in two references to the Democratic icon -- once during the discussion of health care, again during the discussion of immigration.

The use of Kennedy's name during the health care segment was effective -- Obama said that in backing him, Kennedy believed his prescription for achieving universal coverage, although not as aggressive as Clinton's would work. Still, Obama must guard against using Kennedy as cover too often.

-- Don Frederick

*

Barring a sudden shift in the debate's final minutes, it may be remembered as the night Clinton and Obama targeted Republicans -- more than each other.

Obama got off a good line about Mitt Romney, when discussing expertise in dealing with the economy. Romney, of course, has stressed his skills in that area. But Obama cracked that Romney "hasn't gotten a very good return on his investment" in his presidential campaign.

Obama also took a swipe at John McCain's remark that America might have a military presence in Iraq for 100 years.

Clinton got the biggest response of the night when she reprised a line she's used before about the prospective Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton White House tenures. It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, she said -- clearly knowing it was a surefire line -- and it might take a Clinton to clean up after the second.

A bit odd she said "might." A show of modesty, perhaps.

-- Don Frederick

*

Who knew that CNN's Wolf Blitzer would present Clinton's with perhaps her trickiest moment?

Blitzer cut to the chase after Clinton, for the umpteenth time, explained why she voted for the measure authorizing military force in Iraq and why she wasn't inclined to apologize for that vote. So, Blitzer interjected, you were "naive" in trusting Bush?

Clinton, obviously, disagreed with that characterization and it earned Blitzer some boos from the crowd. But it was worth a try.

If the start of the debate -- when healthcare was dwelled on -- played to Clinton's strengths, the discussion on Iraq gave Obama a chance -- again for the umpteenth time -- to stress that he got it right (from the Democratic point of view) in opposing an invasion of Iraq from the start.

-- Don Frederick

*

Then came the inevitable question about an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama partnership for the general election, what CNN's Blitzer called "a dream ticket."

For either to answer that would mean they'd contemplated defeat. So clearly neither would. Obama jumped in first, acknowledged that anyone would want Hillary on their ticket and said it would be "premature and presumptuous" to speculate on a vice president with so much of the nomination campaign yet to occur.

But then, surprisingly, and showing his maturity and new deftness in recent months as he matured in the debate process, which had been difficult for him at first, Obama took the question and twisted it into a mini-speech on the kind of people he would want in his administration "to restore hope" (there's that Obama word again) for millions of Americans at home caring for their children and struggling with their mortgages, etc. He got applause.

In the past, as when he, Clinton and John Edwards were once asked their greatest weakness, he answered the question directly: he keeps a rather messy office. The others took it into areas like feeling too passionate about changing America. For several days Obama himself told that story himself on the trail as an example of a lesson.

Clinton tonight said she agreed with everything Barack had said and did a little riff of her own on how united Democrats would be when the primary season is over and they face the Republicans.

--Andrew Malcolm

*

Wolf asked a question on many people's minds tonight, a question that Clinton has been asked before and was prepared for. If she can't control her husband on the hustings of South Carolina, how could she control him in the White House? (No, not that kind of control.)

Clinton let out that increasingly famous laugh. Then proceeded to not answer the question. She said, "Both Barack and I have very passionate spouses who promote and defend us at every opportunity." She said how much she appreciated that and that when she was in the White House she would seek advice from a broad range of advisors but would be the final decision-maker.

Of course, none of that answer acknowledged that Obama's spouse is not a former president with the public podium that brings and that, so far, Michelle Obama has not injected Bill Clinton's lily-white race into the campaign, nor compared him in a demeaning way to past ultimately unsuccessful candidates of his race like, oh, say, Harold Stassen.

--Andrew Malcolm

*

Well, they may not have started the evening off with a much-watched-for handshake, but they proceeded with decorum. And ended happily ever after.

Throughout the evening as Clinton answered or didn't answer her questions, Obama, who used to stand and stare straight ahead, would turn toward his opponent and listen intently, sometimes tilting his head with interest and sometimes jotting down notes with, did you notice, his left hand. Another left-handed potential president like four of the last six actual presidents--Clinton, Bush I, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

At the end, smiling, perhaps because it was over, Obama stood, towering over the minute Clinton. He turned toward her again and placed his hand on her chair back to politely pull it out as she rose.

Then, no doubt completely unaware of the millions of people and cameras watching, the two warring candidates leaned into each other's ears and exchanged words that must have been hilarious because they were both smiling and laughing and patting each other's arms. Really good friends obviously.

Now come a few days of furious campaigning and the Big Day, Tuesday.

--Andrew Malcolm

 
Comments () | Archives (48)

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Why wait, as Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can work in 2008 to fix the problems they talk about, NOW!

I heard alot of great ideas but are these just empty promise like everyother person running for president that came before you?

Considering that both Obama and Clinton are inspiring so many new voters - how interesting would be a combined ticket?


I was confused about the "no drivers licenses" issue. Surely, if the government wants to know where people are, who aren't considered "legal", the best way to do that is to let them get licenses - they'd have to give proof of where they live, where they were born, what their legal name is, just like I do. They'd have to submit a fingerprint, just like I do.

They could be a different color or something, but at least the information would be in the system if the person in question did something criminal.

I don't have a problem with licenses at all.

I did find it admirable that Obama was willing to come forward and say that people blaming immigrants (read "mexicans") for the current job situation is scapegoating. Used that exact very word. Whereas, Hillary sorta sketched around the question, to not alienate the angry, without offending her possible demographic.

good evening,

I'm portuguese and i'm wacthing the democratic debate on cnn i would like just to know the candidates point of view abaout the strike that is taking place for a few months now, screenplayer strike ibelieve...

By the way i had a relative that faught in vietnam you might find is name at the viethnam memorial

Thanks for your kind attention,

Luis Fraga

How long does it take for political decisions to fully execute?

8 - 2 - 8 - 8 years....

My logic... 8 years of President Reagan & 2 years of President Bush Sr..... of which President Clinton benefitted from....
8 years of President Clinton of which President Bush Jr has been blamed for.....

So, does the next 8 years get the benefits from President Bush Jr???

Senator Clinton is hypocritical in her debate tonight. How can she defend the working class when she in fact benefitted from her work on the board of WalMart while keeping the working class in their place? How can she talk about Morality, when in fact, under her husbands administration, it was bombarded with much inquiry into the Lewinsky scandal and the Whitewater scandal?????

I am an independent just for this reason. I just want someone who will lead this country as a LEADER and not sacrifice our populous for their own agenda.

I have found this a very informative debate...biggest problem I have is Hillary's constant non stop talking...does she ever take a breath?

This question is for both Obama and Clinton. I am from Louisiana. Down here in the south going to church and learning about God is really important. After all we are the Bible Belt. Our teachers still pray with our students before lunch time. I have noticed that some politicians want to take God out of our schools, out of our government, and out of the Constitution. How do you stand on this issue? Will you pray and ask for Gods guidance to help either of you lead this nation?

I am eighteen years old and a first time voter. This may not be important to everyone voting, would like to ask has anyone seen Sen.Obama say the Pledge of Alliegance? I feel that if candidate is running for President of the United States, the candidate should be able to say the Pledge with Pride and Honor..It makes no sense to me that someone would run and not say the Pledge. We are privilaged to live in the United State. Not many people have this opportunity.

Obama sounds like he has the same arrogance as Bush. Saying its important to be right when a decision is made is pure arrogance. No-one can be right on every decision. If he really believes that, its pretty scary.

I am utterly disgusted with Hillary. She drones on and on in her patronizing school marm voice, using her tired old script, speaking of Me Me Me, avoiding the painful truth such as the fact that she voted for the war in Iraq. She also has a bully of a husband who stuck his cigar up Monica Lewinsky's vagina, humilating his wife and daughter.

Obama is doing fantastic - he is the only candidate to vote for!

What is your stance on the government pension offset policy?
Will you overturn the current law, for public employees?

Also, what is your true belief in the so called "No Child Left Behind Act"???

Obama sounds like President Bush in his comments about Senator Clinton's vote on Iraq. The, "I was right I was right." is getting old. Is he saying like Bush that he will make a decision and stick with it no matter what changes or occurs? I don't want more of that. I want a leader that understands the complexities and ever changing climates of foreign policy. Hillary please underscore this you are not doing it enough!

Who is running for President besides the candidates we see on TV? Does anyone know? I guess the media really does have a BIG roll on who becomes President! Sad...

Wow, Head to Head at last, and both proved themselves class. Obama won by about 4 or 5 points. Please vote for him because our primaries in Kentucky dont' come until May!

Brian

GO FOR HILLARY!
I have followed the democratic debate live to night on the CNN Europe and are higly impressed by Senator Hillary Clinton and I think she is doing very well in the debate. I do belive that the USA now is ready for a woman in the White House and for us in Europe it's not unusual at all, with a woman in charge in any goverment position. I hope that the american voters this time will go for a woman, for Hillary Clinton, not just because she's a woman, but simply because she is the best candiate. It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush - and USA need a Clinton to clean up after the second Bush as well! Good luck and a good election on the super tuseday - I'll watch carefully!

Hillary was brilliant tonight. Even my Obama friends admitted it.

Republicans are shaking in their boots at the prospect of a Clinton-Obama. 16 years in the White House for one party? Sayonara GOP!

Hillary had the best line of the night.
She was warm, engaging, intelligent, funny, and on.
Obama was stiff, hesitant fairly often, had a few funny lines, but pretty boring most of the time. Definately not his best appearance.
It's too bad he keeps saying he was write about the war from the beginning and criticizing Hillary's vote about the war. Obama did not vote!
Just as she did in Florida, Hillary is going to clean up on Tuesday.
Obama was campaigning, not just for President, he was campaigning for vice-president.

I was so happy to see both of them act with some class. Although I think HIllary had the best performance, Obama had some great things to say too. I am so happy with the Democratic choices!

Heres how Bill & Hillary get the power back. Florida & Michigan don't count, until Hillary loses - Then McCaulliffe goes into action - the courts finding ultimately shows the no count makes for a "disenfranchisment".
Billarry wins!!!

Hillary as usual shows the smooth expertise of a woman who has seen so much in her life both good and bad...We need that experience and brilliance badly at this very pivotal time in our history...Lets see this woman clean up after the mess the men have made in the past 7 years....

Hillary Clinton caused a problem in the past - many people were hurt by 911 - our country's security was almost totally destroyed by her and her husbands handling of the international issues- I say get Clinton out she didn't even divorce her husband when he enticed a young girl for sexual favors i say hillary get lost

So after the war, everybody is invited to tea and crumpets?

The Hillary campaign is FINALLY getting the message and they need to PRETEND they're non-contentious. Yes. Hillary's campaign realizes that the general public comprehends they've divisively polarized the party as a means to serve the Bill/Hillary ticket. Mind us, not the nation's ticket, but CLINTON's ticket!

In today's debate, Hillary's cheesy nice personal is pure persona. She's a good actress. She's playing "Obama" nice.

Edward's camp is moving towards Obama and Hillary's desperately trying to emulate Obama. Guess what? It's too late.

SURPRISE! we want UNIFICATION - Obama said CHANGE, but in fact, the people want UNIFICATION. Hill, you BLEW IT! We're sick and tired of polarization. And Bill??? Oh, YOU totally blew it!!!

I think both Hillary and Obama showed their best tonight. Hillary came out on top though. She was warm, funny, intelligent, and poised. I though she was spot on about the immigration iissue. Nieither one of these candidates want to settle for a vp slot so I doubt we will see the dream ticket. John Edwards would be a good choice of a vp for either Clinton or Obama.

Barak said he would be "right on day one" and then at the very end of the debate he said he won't always be right. Well which is it? You can't staunchly say you'll be right and then say you have to surround yourself with good people because you won't always be right.

Barak had a vote of "present" 130 times while in the US Senate. Those were not votes of "Aye" or "Nay". Don't we need a president who can make definitive decisions? I would rather you vote yes and change to a no or vice versa, than to not vote at all. What a cop out.

I don't think Obama has the right to compare himself to Senator Clinton when it comes to voting on the Resolution, because he did not vote period. No one can say for sure how he would have voted if he was there that day given the same information as the other Senators. Just because he gave a speech against the war is not a guarantee of how he would have voted. So he is either voting "present" or he is just not present at all. I want someone who is going to represent me and to do that you have to be present and accounted for to make the hard decisions and you have to vote yes or no when you do show up. I think Senator Clinton with her years of experience and making tough decisions can more than do that.

Jeff Jack -- it's Obama who is inspiring new voters. I am not aware of statistics that say Clinton is also bringing new people into the Democratic party. Clinton is inspiring more people to vote in the primary, perhaps, but these people are already normally November voters. Don't underestimate how it might anger young people if the older boomers continue with adversarial voting. I notice that one of the strongest supporters of Obama on our faculty is an octogenarian. So it might be just the 55-65 year olds who resist the unity movement of the 20-45 year olds while the 65+ (e.g., Ted Kennedy) are actually in tune with youth's desire for a return to higher standards.

Curious -- excellent point about the licenses, and I completely agree that the strongest point of the night was about not falling into the habit of demonizing immigrants. Obama did not fall for the Republican xenophobia implicit in Wolf Blitzer's question. Who says the immigrants are taking the poor people's jobs? What jobs? Last I checked, it was Indian outsourcing that was taking my job.

Carleon -- agreed, effects take time. Especially if you think that unregulated subprime lending started back in the 1990's, like the emboldening of Al-Qaeda terrorists, during Clinton I and II (Somalia, USS Cole, empty Afghan tents). There is no doubt that the next president will be dealing with Bush II's problems for four or eight years, just as Clinton I benefitted from Bush I's righted economic ship. The only consolation prize for losing in 2008 is that the "first president of type X" doesn't have to preside over such a mess. A great president would be remembered for greatness even during hardship. But a Clinton III term might not beget a Clinton IV. Partisan Deadlock = Laissez Faire government = No corrections for economic malaise and foreign policy failure.

Kandi -- both Obama and Clinton have talked about religious guidance and prayer. Neither has quite the fortuitous logic of Huckabee or the morning regimen of George Bush II, but these two both have said how they consult the merciful side of Christianity in their well-informed strides.

Elizabeth -- I'm sure we said the Pledge of Allegiance just as often as anyone else did in the 70's, back at Punahou School (I was there). But don't believe all the email garbage that shows up in your mailbox (these days, if someone emails you a political barb, it is very probably untrue). Have a look at the picture of Ross Dwyer on wikipedia. This is a Punahou graduate, and I guarantee you that between 5th and 12th grades, young Barry Obama was a teammate of people just like General Dwyer. Punahou is where the Pacific Command officers send their kids. For over one hundred years. People like Admiral McCain, Sr. Far from being an unpatriotic place to be schooled, this school has produced more patriots in this century than perhaps any non-military private school in the country (because whenever there is a war, half of the school functions just like a military school).

Grisella -- how is saying "I was right" during a campaign anything like sticking with a decision and refusing to admit an error? If anything, it is people who did not read the intelligence estimate, voted for the war, then voted for the almost-war with Iran, again without reading the intelligence estimate, who should say "I was wrong" on occasion.

Odd Inge Matre -- what a cool name you have. But I disagree with you. Clinton's B-C-B-C cleanup line got applause because HRC's supporters tend to enjoy hollering more than reasoning. I actually mean that as a psychological observation, though I am obviously pro-Obama. Just because it got the most applause, which it clearly did, does not mean it was as profound as Obama's response about how there were poor people in inner cities before immigrants started pouring into Sun Belt states. I hope Chelsea Clinton improves her willingness to speak on stage, because if Hillary is right, we might need her to clean up after John Ellis Bush or George Prescott Bush. I see even Jenna wants in on the dynasty (not Jenna at 8:24pm, but Jenna, of "please leave Argentina" fame). It's a lot to ask of Chelsea, especially since hedge-fund management is not exactly community service or PT-109.

Terry Fisher -- Obama may have been "right about the war" but probably was not "write about the war." As long as we are playing with words, Hillary's summation included the words "race" (in the sense of a political contest) and "engendered". Oy vey. I would think nothing of it, except that her opening image of being sworn in, presumably on a Bible, made me think of Keith Ellison being sworn in on a Koran. Of course, Obama has always been sworn in using a Bible, since he is Christian. Got that, everyone? Keith is a Muslim. Barack is a Christian. He's no less a Christian than Don Frederick or Andrew Malcolm. But you know the smears as well as I do.

steve (in lower case) -- you know one of those men who made the mess all over the pretty dress was Bill Clinton. As the article notes, Hillary did not answer the question about controlling him. And three of the strongest women in this country have got to be Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Obama. I am sure that Barack Obama is teaching his daughters to get up and go if their husbands ever disrespect them. I would love to see Michelle Obama debate Bill Clinton. If he tried his little smug lying, rocking back and forth (he does this when he is fibbing), she'd reach over and pop his little cherry nose. Somebody should have done that, by now, and you and I might agree that this was another of Hillary's jobs left undone. (Sorry Bill, but I want my 1992 and 1996 votes back.)

My favorite sight of the night? Watching Rob Reiner sit and wish he had been as smart as Steven Spielberg with his donations (RR gave to Clinton and Richardson; SS gave to Obama, Clinton, and Edwards). Loyalty is a good thing, but blind loyalty that dominates reason is a precursor of evil. I think that was the point of Reiner's best film, A FEW GOOD MEN (and not just a small part of Spielberg's best film, SCHINDLER'S LIST).

I thought the debate was fairly even, showing both candidates knowledge of the issues. When it came to foreign policy, however, I thought Obama scored a large win in that area. This vote is really about changing the mindset that lead us into Iraq in the first place.Yes, Hussein was an evil dictator, but I firmly believe that it is our misguided refusal to communicate with our enemies that is the problem. Over here in Iraq, it waaas not until the Iraqis started conversing on an equal level with the Iranians during the summer that the flow of EFPs and weapons from Iran began to decrease. Our current approach to foreign policy leaves us with no outlet for addressing the actual issues that our nations legitmately maintain beyond threats, sanction, and war. Although it isn't sexy, aggressive diplomacy backed by all the levers of American power (the sticks and carrots) will be far more effective at bringing about actual solutions if we are committed and focused.

The line about Clintons cleaning after the Bushs was a rude awakening. I had not paid attention to how close we have become to a Banana republic alternating two families in the White House.

Maybe Clinton, the husband, cleaned up after Bush, the father, but when he was done we ended up with Bush, the son, and his Iraq fiasco, supported by a vote for Clinton, the wife, who now waits impatiently to return to the white house.

What a shame!


I also thought the Health question was pretty enlightening. Even though Obama's program costs more than Clinton's, it seems to be more solid on using current infrastructure of doctors etc., and investing in equipment.

When Clinton mentioned she was going to "open up the Congressional Health Care Plan", I got confused. A health care plan isn't like a credit union. What's to say that Congress will allow it? It's only got probably 10,000 members max (assuming all staff/service are allowed to join) - a small system like that probably works. Expanding it to 100,000,000 or so may not. Just the amount of people you need to hire alone to handle the expansion....woof.

I also wonder what the problem is about discussing all but top secret military stuff, in public, via CSPAN (which I didn't even know still existed). I do want to know where my politician stands on issues. After all these funny elections the last 8 years, secret dealings behind closed doors benefitting oil companies - I want to know who says what.

Transparency is *good*, and that was something Hillary Clinton obviously did not agree on. She seems to think we are not smart enough to handle the truth.

As for the "muslim" thing - it's not what book you use to take your oath - it's the OATH, that's important. As an atheist, I'd use a copy of the Constitution.
Muslims can serve just as honorably as anyone else.

Senator Clinton,

In light of your comments during the Democratic debate (01/31/2008), please allow me to enclose some of your own quotes to remind you some facts that are not in concordance with what you preach.
By your own word, « I worked on behalf of immigrants »:
Obviously, you did not work on behalf of all immigrants.

Let us start with helping immigrants come out of the shadow:
I contacted your office in 2002 to request help regarding my pending immigration status approved by the (then INS) in 1997 to adjust and stay in the US on the ground that I could not work nor travel outside the country, a must for my business that caused me to loose my business with all the consequences. After 9/11, all cases where delayed for obvious reasons but mine was particularly long in time compared to similar cases of citizens from other countries. I wrote you many letters and phone calls to expose my situation or «come out of the shadow» and have an appointment with you to try to find a solution or simply help me to withdraw my petition for a green card so I could move freely and legally out of the US. After 18 months I finally got an answer from one of your staff members, enclosed please find the unbelievable answers: "This country is not for people like you" (skilled and European), if that would be the case, I wish I was told before investing everything in the US, "You are being punish for your country (France) not wanting to help us with the Iraq war" (as I see it we do not live in the US of the World, each President of sovereign countries have the right to decide as best as they suit for their countrymen), "You have to wait indefinitely, you cannot live nor stay in the US as President Bush hates the French" (again with the "hate" the French, always this dangerous word "hate" as there is not enough of it already in the world), to the "keep a low profile, because you will be arrested, put to jail and deported, «you better shut your mouth and keep quiet, «you cannot do anything but wait»; (I though that the First Amendment was "Freedom of Speech and Redress of Grievances). Of course, I did not keep a low profile, I tried to change the law but that is another story.

You said that you are trying to find a comprehensive Reform solution, how many years once your case approved should people wait? How are you going to support yourself if denied of the basic human right to earn a living?

Lastly, you said you respect «the dignity of every people»:
A President must be a responsible adult who will answer no matter how neither unpleasant nor politically correct. As a Senator you cannot always bring a positive answer to each cases submitted to you but at least you could acknowledge instead of choosing blindly to ignore pleas concerning citizens no matter where they come from. You are not to be blamed for your employee behavior but if you want to run a country, at least you should run your office first!

This letter is not about me but about redressing some of your comments. I left the US voluntary. I am one of the few privilege people that were able to start over creating my own business. How many people can say that after spending years waiting for a green card that never comes, invested everything in your country of adoption, making a life, having a family and most of the time deprived of financial means to start over, and being trapped: prohibited by law to return to the US for ten years where by now you have personal ties, a law signed by your husband in September in 1997.

In case you might want to know, I am not paid by any of your political colleagues, not the Democrats nor the Republicans.


Hillary is a triangulating hypocrite who flips her positions whenever convenient. She claimed she voted to authorize the President to declare war on Iraq because she BELIEVED Bush when he assured her he wasn't going to war....come on, she's either lying or plain stupid but either way, not someone you can trust the Presidency. This is just one of several deceptive responses.

If you caught the New Hampshire debate, she flipped her position on allowing undocumenteds to have a driver's license as she was speaking - classic Clintonian doublespeak only she tripped on herself that time.

She does NOT have 35 years of elected office experience, she has only 8 yrs and OBAMA actually has 4 more years of elected office experience than Hillary.

She claims she's worked for children and poor families...well why isn't that her former mentor Marian Wright Edelman blasted her and Bill for passing Welfare Reform which further undermined the safety net for poor children.

BILLARY CLINTON - will say anything to get elected and NOTHING will change.

Both Clintons have NO MORAL COMPASS.

Go OBAMA!

Thank you, Ronald Roui, excellent job fighting off those nonsense.

Hillary will not lose because she's a woman. Let's get that straight. She will lose because she is hardly a change from the current ways of Washington. Those who think differently, need to poke around the internet and dig up some dirt...truth. Do some research. If you are voting for a woman or if you're voting for an African American, you're missing the whole point here. Vote for the person who's going to bring the country together. Which one of these 2 candidates appeals to Democrats, Republicans & Independants the most? My guess is it's not HRC & that she will lose to the Republicans.
Barack is our answer!
http://barackstar08.com/

I am amazed that women of my age are so willing to follow the Clintons simply because she's a woman.

When I was coming up during the bra burning days, our stance was that we were equal. We strove for equal opportunities to show our talents.

Never would we have used our husband's position as part of our resume, nor used his network for our own gains.

I would love to see a woman in the office, just not this woman.

The reasons go on. I cannot in good conscious reward someone who chose to vote for a bill entitled the authorization for the use of force. It was implicit in the title of the resolution that it authorized Bush and gang to use force. Clinton''s floor statement acknowledges the vote as issuing the grave responsibility of using force and the President should use it wisely. She knew exactly what she was voting on and she did it anyway, in spite of having 21 other Senators to join in voting no.

Voting for the war is bad enough, but to now claim she never thought Bush would use it is outright lying. Go back to archived tapes of the floor of the Senate at the time, read newspapers from the time, listen to archived radio at the time...all of it shows that virtually EVERYONE knew Bush wanted to invade.

Nearly 4,000 of our best and brightest are dead because of that vote. Untold numbers of Iraqi's are dead because of that vote. My grandchildren will be paying off the debt incurred by that vote.

Set aside all the circus stuff that surrounds the Clintons everywhere they go, the above two reasons are plenty to not vote THIS woman into office.

Vote hope, not fear. Vote unity, not divide and conquer.

Obama's poetic and lyrical tendencies may be inspirational for the young crowd, but I prefer the "solid and reasoned" Clinton for President and representing this country on the international stage.

I want to vomit every time Clinton mentions her experience in health care. Are the voters so forgetful of the disaster her attempts at reforming health care were? As Obama said, it's not good enough to be able to run on day one in the oval office, YOU HAVE TO BE RIGHT!

I canceled my 1 year pre-paid subscribtion to the Times yesterday. and will add the refund to my next Hilliary donation. When I went to college I threw the Times for extra money and I never "guttered it". It's like the rest of the trash now.

Obama's face expression during the debate looks angry sometimes. Especially after the Clinton response of it may take another Clinton to clean up after the second Bush. The way Obama said "I'm sure Clinton will on everybody's short list" didn't sound sincere either. Sometimes I can sense arrogance coming out of Obama. If he already is arrogant now, how much more arrogant could he be once he becomes president later? His personality reminds me of Bush's that it's scary.

No no no cLINTON IS NOT ON EVERYONS SHORT LIST .AND THERE WILL BE NO lATINO VOTES THAT I KNOW OF WILL BE VOTING FOR THIS BLACK BIGOT oBAMA AND HIS CROOKS OPRAH AND THE LYING KENNEDYS.tHIS IS FOR oBAMA YOU WILL BE ON THE SHORT LIST COME tUESDAY YOU WILL LOSE AND hILLARY WILL WIN YOU NEED TO STOP WE AS lATNOS WILL NOT VOTE FOR BLACKS .AND AS FOR THE MEDIA YOU CAN STOP CALLING lATINOS BROWN WE ARE HISPANICS AND THERE IS NOTHING BROWN BAOUT US SO YOU CAN STOP THIS IS A RACIAL SLUR .AND WE WILL BE VOTING FOR HILLARY. PERIOD

You speak of clinton voting for the irqa war.this black obama did AS well .and im betting if at first chance at being president this bigot will get American ass deep in this keneya war to .no now he speaks and tryes to mind use the Latinos and say about the immigrations well seems to me Hillary was the one in new york that has yet to do anything so far.and now all of a sudden on an election they want Latinos votes .no no no the this black crook Obama who does not saluite the American flag and is a muslim at that no no no .vote Hillary my Latino brother and sisters show these bigots we will not be swayed by their lyes.
Hillary HILLARY HILLARY.2008

Voters need to read politicians as they would the Bible or any other book. Too many voters buy into misperception, lies or mislead by there own self interest and pride. I would strongly advised voters to do there own research on all the candidates that are currently running for President of the United States of American (not just the ones you like or know about). If you just went to a church every Sunday and just listened to a minister preach and you never took the time to read the Bible for yourself then how would you know if what he was telling you was the truth? If you was in a cult or a self centered religion only out for self prosperity how would you know? only be doing your own research and not being lazy or going with the flow or what sounds good. Hillary Clinton is by far the most unelectable Democrat running for President and almost insures that another Republican will win the Presidency. 1) The Clinton's have a phone book of Scandals with all of her experience e.g. Whitewater controversy (insider trading, Kazakhstan (Helping our enemies to the US with uranium mines (which is used to build nuclear bombs) which there foundations have received massive contributions from this individual they helped, The first bombing on the world Trade Center and when intelligence informed Bill Clinton he allowed Bin Laden time to get away due to his indecisiveness and experience Monica Lewinsky (women I would assume its ok for you or your daughter to have a cheating spouse lie about it get caught and these are accepted as good moral values?). I guess wedding vows mean nothing? I understand most Women are voting for her because she is a Women but how does that qualify her? Wouldn't it be wiser to get the right Women to run for president she is not the only qualified women in the USA? There are many women who are prominent, successful, well educated, without the scandals (lets not accept the first thing smoking and jump on the band wagon). Latinos who voted in majority for Republican in the past 2 elections and for George W. Bush (who got it wrong both times and they are about to repeat history being wrong again for Hillary. She does what Republican did in previous elections came to your community, made numerous of promises and (she has previously flip flopped on a number of immigration issues as well as other domestic and international issues) at the end of the day after you have been mislead by your own local public officials in your state and city (by the way are doing this for personal favors that will only benefit them not you the voters) will forget about you the voters after the election and help special interest groups it is not about you the voters it is about money and powerful connections that will only benefit the Clinton's. She is unelectable as a President and will only assure another Republican in the White House who will not end the war by the way has cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars along with the lives of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands more that is physically disabled for the rest of there lives (these statistics include Women and Latinos also). What about the Asian, Orientals, Irish, Italian, Greek, and Arabic American Voters? are they not Americans who vote and lover there country? Where is there voice? I guess lets just appease to a bigger group (to use) that may help make a difference in the polls and once we get what we want its back to normal. I am not telling you who to vote for but please do your research and choose your vote carefully because it will be a choice of life and death and one that will affect the future of millions of children this is not a game, a beauty contest or a matter of pride or first.

Here's what stood out for me during Obama v. Clinton Debate 1/31 ...

IRAQ: Obama has a plan and timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq in 16 mos, Clinton is hesitant to commit; Obama has consistently voted against the war in Iraq, Clinton voted for it;

HEALTHCARE: Obama's healthcare plan would make health care *affordable* for all, but not mandatory [people will buy if they can afford], Clinton's plan would make health care *mandatory* whether you can afford it or not, like the current plan in Massachusetts that is creating real hardship for some lowest income people who need it most, and who are levied financial penalties for not enrolling, creating further economic burden; and Obama's plan costs less than Clinton's;

IMMIGRATION: Obama favors Driver's Licenses for undocumented residents, Clinton does not;

EXPERIENCE: Obama has the same or more years of experience as an elected official than Clinton; Clinton's "35 years" of experience is due largely to her being older than Obama, not to having more significant, higher quality or more effective service than Obama; Obama is about the same age as JFK and Bill Clinton when they won the Presidency.

POLITICAL REFORM: Obama has taken no money whatsoever from Lobbyists, Special Interest Groups or PACS. All of it has come from individuals, Clinton takes Lobbyist money; Obama has led the U.S. Senate in historic ethics reform toward eliminating the control of Lobbyists, etc., on the political process. Obama consistently walks his talk.

WORLD AFFAIRS: Obama has the ability to inspire, uplift and connect people across divides in a way I have never seen in my lifetime. In this 21st century world, where US image in the world is at an all-time low - even with our allies! - it is essential that our President have the personal life experience to relate across boundaries of every kind. This is a point of view documented by Fareed Zakaria, Managing Editor of Newsweek International who believes that his own background informs his expertise in world affairs as much as his PhD. Zakaria believes this to be true about Obama as well. In other words, Obama's cultural diversity will greatly inform his wisdom in world affairs in a way America desperately needs like never before.

Think about it ... then vote for Obama on Feb 5th :o)

Bess

My father and I have fought about politics all of my life. I don’t know how we are related sometimes. He has always voted for a Republican and even listens to Rush Limbaugh everyday. So when I asked him who he was voting for I was shocked to tears when he told me he was voting for Obama. At first I thought he was joking with me, but he was serious. I drilled him about why. He said that he thought Obama could bring the Republicans and Democrats together and get something done. He thought Barack was a smart man that he could trust. This is a seventy two year old white man that was raised by a raciest mother. All I can say is pigs fly, my father and I am voting for the same candidate. This is what happens when you start loving someone for who they are, they make you prouder then you ever thought possible. My father is not stuck in his ways he can still be inspired and be open to new possibilities. This blows my mind. Now when I hear Obama speak about change and bringing people together there is always a tear in my eye and I nod, yes. This isn’t just talk if my stubborn, conservative father can support a Democrat, there is hope for our future.

Thank you Barack Obama for giving ALL of us hope.

Why should the Clinton's change their dynamic swift and extremely effective politically incorect methods to destroy their enemy.Sure they have taken everal direct hits which would destroy most tag teams. Their achievements include impeachment, morals scandals and benefiting from foreign financial arrangements.And they are they are still standing and held in high esteem by a lot of Democrats and those not thrilled by any other political group.But they are still in the same business.

Its going to hard to accept the fact that both political parties will be accepted as honest and truly reflect their constituents when the Clinton scourge is gone, dead and buried.


Hope we hear something new tonight.I build biodiesel processors which turn waste vegetable oil into biodiesel.We need someone to help implement change. As the other poster said, we just need to keep moving in the right direction. With all this said, Obama is the lesser of two evils and is generally in the right directon IMHO.

The band has now to play theme songs for The Spider Man and The bat Man T.V. series 1 and 2 expected to be on air by the end of 2009. They have also played The Beatles songs’ during 2007 in the film “Across the Universe


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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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