The eight Democratic presidential candidates debated in New Hampshire last night, covering immigration, health care, and, of course, Iraq. Former Senator John Edwards, who is a distant third in the polls, went after Senators Hillary Clinton's and Barack Obama's voting on the Iraq spending bill, saying, "They went quietly to the floor of the Senate. They were among the last people to vote. They cast the right vote, and I applaud them for that. ... But there is a difference between leadership and legislating." But Obama fought back, pointing out that Edwads voted to go to war in 2002 (the Daily News gave Obama an "A" for his debate performance).
The NY Times called it "arguably the sharpest" debate by the Democrats so far, noting that it looks like a "three-way" race between Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker," but Clinton said, "I am a senator from New York, and I lived with the aftermath of 9/11 and I have seen firsthand the damage inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists." Obama said, "We are living in a more dangerous world, not a less dangerous world, partly as a consequence of this president's actions."
Also of interest: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson suggested the U.S. pulls its athletes from the Beijing Olympics until China gets involved with the situation in Darfur, Obama occupied the most airtime, and the second tier of candidates stuck to their "supporting cast" roles. Here's a transcript from the NY Times. And we found a recent Zogby poll fascinating: Though Clinton leads Obama, it's Obama, not Clinton, who beats Rudy Giuliani and John McCain in possible election matchups. Still, it's barely June and we're getting 2008 election fatigue. What to do!
Photograph of Edwards, Clinton and Obama at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH by Charles Krupa/AP