Saturday, November 17, 2007

Reflections on the Debate (Las Vegas)- No. 6

At the Democratic Presidential debate on 11/15/07, Senator Clinton claimed "well, Wolf, I've just been personally attacked again." This was in response to this lengthy statement of former Senator Edwards:

Well, can I say first, nobody on this stage is perfect, and that certainly includes me. (Cross talk.) And I don't claim perfection, far from it.

What I would say is that the issue is whether we can have a president that can restore trust for the American people in the president of the United States. (Applause.) Because I think this president has destroyed that trust, and I think there are fair questions to be asked of all of us, including Senator Clinton.

Senator Clinton says she will end the war. She also says she will continue to keep combat troops in Iraq and continue combat missions in Iraq. She says she will turn up the heat on George Bush and the Republicans. But when the crucial vote came on stopping Bush, Cheney and the neocons on Iran, she voted with Bush and Cheney. (Applause)

On the issue of Social Security, she said, standing beside me on the stage, that she would not do anything about the cap on Social Security taxes. And she has said privately to people, because it's been reported in the press, that, in fact, she would consider raising that cap. And the most important issue is, she says she will bring change to Washington while she continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged and is corrupt, corrupted against the interest of most Americans and corrupted -- (cheers, applause)

Let's see. These points were made: 1)None of us is perfect; 2)Each of us can be questioned as to whether we will restore the trust of the American people; 3)Clinton has voted with the Administration on Iran; 4)Clinton has advocated two contradictory things about Social Security taxes; 5)Clinton defends a system that is rigged, "corrupted against the interest of most Americans." These charges are substantive, not personal.

As a Democrat who would like to see the Presidency taken back from the Repubs next year, I hope Mrs. Clinton cried "foul" only for political advantage. If she really believed this was a "personal attack," she is hardly ready to face the attacks that will in fact be personal, next autumn, assuming she is nominated.

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