Tonight's Democratic Debate
Tonight the Democratic Presidential candidates will be debating in Las Vegas. CNN will televise it (8 pm EST, will live blog it for as long as I can stand to, history shows I'll do the first hour and then bail, hopefully J will be around) and Wolf Blitzer will moderate. It promises to be the most intriguing evening of the campaign so far.
Hillary Clinton was perceived as having taken a blow in the last debate. John Edwards has become an attack dog against Clinton (something we saw too little of when he was actually in the traditional political attack dog role, VP candidate in 2004). Barack Obama has been much less aggressive against Clinton than has Edwards but, imo, has reaped the most benefits from Edwards' kamikaze attacks. The roles the candidates are willing to play will be extremely interesting. And Clinton's response to the last debate perhaps the most intriguing aspect of all.
Substantively, the drivers license issue and how it plays with regard to the immigration issue, will be a big big issue. Nevada has a large Latino population. The wild card on this issue will be Bill Richardson, who as Governor of New Mexico, has ALREADY implemented such an initiative to great success. I expect he will be very aggressive on the issue and immigration generally. The other issue likely to draw attention is Social Security where Obama and Edwards have foolishly adopted Republican talking points, speaking as if immediate action is necessary.
One final thought, after the roasting Russert received in many quarters for his performance in the last debate, I expect Wolf Blitzer to be very aware of how he will be perceived if he allows this to be turned into a Hillary Hate fest. I think it will not.
All the major players will likely have opportunities, both on political tactics and on substantive issues. This will be one to watch.
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