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February 21, 2008

Post-Debate Analysis: So Boring It Just May Matter

Aside from the Xerox moment, this debate was a big snooze. But it may be noteworthy because it was so boring.

If Clinton thought that she had a chance, she would have done everything possible to shake things up. Sure, she took lots of shots at Obama's healthcare plan, but she never really got that into it. She killed at the early debates; now, not so much. She even stumbled over the Xerox line that her staff thought up. Obama's plan this evening was to make the debate as uninteresting as possible and he succeeded, but he sure didn't have to try all that hard. He's ahead already, so a humdrum debate helps him most. If there was a winner this evening, it was him, despite all the media praise for Clinton's final answer.

And that's the other thing that makes this debate noteworthy: in a moving speech, she talked about how--if she lost--everything would be alright for her, but that she's just so darn worried about the country. There were no tears, but it was close. I've been wondering what she plans to do if she doesn't become the nominee, and now we have the answer: she intends to stay in Democratic politics. She's going to keep at it in New York and if McCain wins, she'll try for the presidency in four years.

The next week and a half is a face-saving exercise for Clinton. She wants to make a nice exit.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:41 PM

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