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12:15 PM

Debate Team 

Clinton's War-Vote Rationale Gets Weirder

We've already sussed out the romantic aspect of Sunday's debate, but there was a collegial moment as well. John Spencer said at one point that Clinton would make a "tremendous" presidential candidate.

Hillary didn't entirely live up to the billing, but she was downright breezy at points. As she often has trouble connecting with an audience, the antiseptic environs of a TV studio had the weird effect of loosening her up. For her that means policy over personality. She was effortlessly on point on all issues except, yeah, the big one. (On abortion she added a nice bit adoption and cutting teen pregnancies to the Bill stadard "safe, legal, and rare". If Kerry had her comfort on the issue in his town-hall debate against George Bush in 2004, he may have earned a few extra thousand votes.) On the war, Hillary's still in a fog. This time, she said her vote gave Bush approval to let the weapons inspectors return, adding the strangely psychoanalytical assertion that Bush needed that authority because Saddam may have wanted to out-terror Al Qaeda with another attack. Well, at least that's a new line.

Clinton Stays on Talking Points in Senate Debate [NYT]

Hil Better Watch Her Barack [NYDN]