8:41 PM ... The one thing I'll say on Hillary's behalf is that she's right. There's nothing that's happening to Obama now that won't come at him at three or four times the ferocity if he's nominated.
8:43 PM ... Just when I'm seeing Hillary's side of things, she comes back with crap like this 'present' stuff. Anybody who's looked into this knows the whole 'present' thing is garbage. It's a standard thing in the Illinois legislature. Here's the NYTimes
fairly critical article on the 'present' issue, which nonetheless gets at the nub of the issue that in almost every case this is a standard part of legislative procedure in Illinois.
8:54 PM ... This health insurance for illegals is sort of a weird question since the emphasis that Blitzer puts on the question makes it sound like he's asking the candidates to justify the non-inclusion of illegals -- which somehow I don't think they're worried about justifying.
8:57 PM ... In these extemporaneous policy discussions I always find myself wishing Obama could be more clear and concise. But my wishes don't seem to come true.
8:58 PM ... Edwards comparison of 'choice' in health care to 'choice' is Social Security is a pretty good analogy.
9:00 PM ... I find myself refinding my positive feelings for Hillary, my gut level support, when she talks about herself as a fighter, about her never giving up, being there today and tomorrow. And then she launches into these attacks and she starts to lose me.
9:03 PM ... Did no one mention to Joe Johns that that de-baathification law seems to have been a complete sham which will allow for more purging of Sunnis. Guess he didn't get the note.
9:05 PM ... TPM Reader MF writes in: "I understand that the New York Times has basically outlined why Obama voted "Present" while in the Illinois legislature. However, and I think a lot of beltway or New York people miss this, not everyone reads the New York Times. It is Obama's responsibility to explain the "Present" votes to the electorate and not to simply rely on a New York Times article. He was given an ample chance to explain the votes and in my view he failed." On this point, I've got to agree with MF. No fun going into a general election with a candidate who can't concisely explain why bogus charges are bogus. No fun blogging and blogging and blogging trying to debamboozle on their behalf.
9:07 PM ... A somewhat contrary view from TPM Reader SM: "To the extent that her "humanizing" moment of emotion helped her win NH, I'm wondering whether Sen. Clinton's jarring, attacking, and frankly groundless personal attacks against Sen. Obama will re-instigate the pre-NH narrative about her, namely that she is cold, calculating, triangulating, and when threatened, resorts to the politics of personal destruction. If she thinks this kind of performance is going to play well in the general election, she is wildly mistaken. This kind of performance will alienate independents, not motivate them."