Pretty interesting debate in Las Vegas last night. Hillary really is coming on strong. The overall tone was actually very friendly. Russert and Chris Matthews speculated that the reason was because they were all sitting at a table, which makes it harder to confront someone compared to when standing behind a podium.
Regardless, it appears that Hillary has tacted completely over to the left on her Iraq position, which means that Obama and Edwards now have a very difficult time differentiating themselves from her on their position and plans for withdrawal.
There weren't too many fireworks. Here is a link to the transcript http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/us/politics/15demdebate-transcript.html?pagewanted=all and video clip http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22673060#22673060 if you want to see what they said exactly.
I'm only going to comment on a few points.
1. Edwards only mentioned the "mill" five times last night. Nice job!!
2. Their positions on nuclear energy are so naiive and play into the "fear" mentality of extremists. Nuclear energy is soooooooooooo clean. It would be a great way to help reduce on dependency on fossil fuels and help protect the environment. Nuclear plants are much safer these days then back in the 70s with meltdown scares. The only concern is what to do with the waste. All three candidates (except Obama did hedge and say he would assemble the brightest group of scientists to figure out what to do with the waste) said they were against nuclear energy because the waste might be deposited in Yucca mountain (in Nevada) and the long-term safety effects (e.g., radiation exposure) are not precisely known (e.g., worries that may leak into the ground after like 10,000 years). I think we need to greatly increase nuclear power plants (France gets nearly 70% of their electricity from nuclear power, as do several other countries in Europe).
3. Their economics stimulus packages are a joke. Tax credits and middle class tax cuts are nice, but the WORST thing to do going into a recession is to raise taxes on wealthy, and increase the rate on dividends and capital gains. Why? Because a $500 tax credit will only give someone a small amount of money that will last a week. The best thing to stimulate the economy is the creation of new and higher paying jobs. And, who provides those jobs? Corporations, small businesses...rich people with money give regular people jobs. I am not being right-wing on this issue at all. In fact, Charlie Rangel, a very liberal congressman from New York and head of the Weighs and Means committee supports corporate tax cuts.
4. None of the three are for strict gun control. They are all pandering so they can get elected in the national election.