Now that third-wheel candidate John Edwards has dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination, Hillary and Barack finally got some “alone time” together in a televised debate.
Without John’s interruptions, these two were able to have some pretty substantive exchanges—especially on Iraq. (See the full transcript here.)
A big red light in my head went off when Hillary started talking about “coercive diplomacy” and her vote for war. I immediately thought it was some kind of oxymoron.
She used the phrase when she was trying to explain why she voted for the war in 2002. She said in 1998, when she was First Lady, she knew Saddam Hussein was a megalomaniac “and knowing he would not want to compete for attention with Osama bin Laden there were legitimate concerns about what he might do.” Therefore, she voted for the war resolution that authorized the president to use force in Iraq.
According to Hillary, her vote to go to war was only a threat. Not a promise. But, that doesn’t sound like “coercive diplomacy” to me. That’s more like triangulation.
It was off this conversation that Obama scored his best zinger of the evening. “I think everybody…understood this was a vote potentially to go to war,” he said. Then he went on to say that Clinton “has claimed that she’s got the experience on day one. And part of the argument I’m making in this campaign is that it is important to be right on day one.” Cue the applause.
Now, as a conservative I’ll never consider voting for Obama because of his liberal policies, but I was cheering him on when he called Hillary out on that one.
Who do you think won last night’s debate?
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