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The debate's finale: A producer's dream

January 31, 2008 |  8:08 pm

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