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.
Clinton said she has consistently opposed Yucca Mountain in Congress, though she remains open to the possibility of nuclear power in the future. Furthermore, her Senate sub-committee held hearings on Yucca Mountain and presented information on its many dangers.
concern about him stems from his failure to follow up with leadership and continue his opposition. Obama's capable judgment may lead to other good calls, including his interesting views on such topics as meeting with petty dictators in this campaign. The fresh idea has inspired some. But he and Edwards both lose sight, to a similar degree, at times of something important to the American people. One must be ready to handle crisis and be willing to protect our country from threats. Clinton grasps this importance best amongst Democrats. Lofty ideas on diplomacy have to be seconded by strong measures of preparedness. A few other moments shined in the debate. Edwards offered an impassioned speech on veterans, describing their difficult conditions and possible solutions to their problem, such as guaranteed funding for the Veterans Administration. Obama shone when he shared his history of being raised by a single mother and opined on what African American fathers must do to better their families. But Clinton scored the most memorable quote: "President Bush is over in the Gulf now, begging the Saudis and others to drop the price of oil. How pathetic! We should have an energy policy right now." This combination of forcefulness coupled with her knowledge on issues made for a convincing performance in Vegas.