In the meantime, Hillary used the deba te to spin her platitudes. One of them was a peon against unsafe toys. “We shouldn't permit the import of unsafe toys,” she said in the debate. But her chief strategist, Mark Penn, is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the PR company that represents Aquadots, the company that makes the bead toys with an adhesive coating that turns into the date rape drug when children suck on it. Penn is paid by Burson based on a percentage of their profits, and Aquadots is an important contributor to their bottom line. But neither Blitzer nor any of Hillary's Democratic opponents were alert enough to call the conflict into question.
But the underlying inability of the New York Senator to take clear positions on issues has not been assuaged and will increasingly become apparent to the savvy voters of Iowa and New Hampshire. Her slide in Iowa has reached dangerous proportions. She now holds a bare two-point lead over Edwards and a three-point lead over Obama in that pivotal early state.
Despite Blitzer's and CNN's assistance, she might have trouble in Iowa.