Clinton Shines In Vegas
After a slow start bogged down by a show of unity that bordered on blather, the Democratic debate in Las Vegas managed to reveal important character traits. We learned that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., NY) wants to be the hands-on CEO, Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) prefers being an inspirational leader, and John Edwards likes the role of the fierce fighter.
When the debate turned to policy, the three Democrats agreed on most issues. But deciding who won the debate came down to critical differences to answers on three big issues: the economy, energy policy and foreign policy. On these issues Clinton asserted her knowledge on policy issues and dominated Edwards and Obama.
Economy: The Devilish DetailsEdwards constantly argues he wants to fight special interests on behalf of the middle class and the poor. He certainly came through on this as a litigator when he could earn big money for himself and his client.
But his Senate record shows he voted twice for a precursor of the 2005 bankruptcy bill. He voted for it in 2001, when a version died because of a pocket veto of President Bill Clinton, and again voted in favor of it in 2002 with Bush in office.Edwards admits: "I made a mistake in voting for the
Inconsistent Nuclear StancesThe Democrats all offer innovative energy plans that favor alternative energies over fossil fuels. Tuesday's energy discussion stood out because it focused on an issue near and dear to many in Nevada -- the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Clearly, Nevadans need to know where a candidate stands on nuclear power and nuclear waste. The words they heard from both Edwards and Obama can't have soothed them, which could have an effect on the outcome of Thursday's caucus, as Clinton's record seems far more consistent than either of the men. Edwards voted twice to authorize Yucca Mountain as a nuclear repository while in the Senate. He has changed his tune since, and in his campaign incarnation, he now opposes both nuclear power and any unsafe nuclear storage. Obama also faces some questions on consistency. He has disavowed lobbyist money in this campaign, but as I
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