In the first Democratic debate on October 13, Hillary Clinton commanded the stage. It was the performance of her life. Her strong showing put to rest, at least for now, calls for Vice President Biden to consider entering the race.
“If Biden’s only rationale is that Clinton is tanking, then that’s no longer an opinion,” a party strategist, told the New York Times. Biden could not “risk a backlash” from Democrats, she said.
Hillary’s concise answers to nearly every question, and an unabashed aggressiveness was impressive. This was a new Hillary. She was at home as a leader of a a great party.
I agree with Maureen Dowd who wrote in Sunday’s New York Times that Hillary’s decision to circumvent the State Department’s email system showed “bad and paranoid judgment, and left her official emails as secretary (of state) vulnerable to hacking.” She is not yet off the hook.
Clinton has said she doesn’t know what to expect from questions coming this week from Republicans on Capitol Hill. It’s been advertised as a moment that could determine whether she can survive the campaign. (Would she be so wounded that Joe Biden would have to jump in and rescue the party?)
Hillary’s strong showing in Las Vegas came at time when her poll numbers were slipping. She needed a big win. Her cause was helped by remarks from representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican majority leader in the House. He said in a TV interview that his Republicans were using the Banghazi investigation to cripple her prospects for the nomination.
Bernie Sanders, the only other memorable candidate in the debate, lost his footing with a shaky response to Clinton’s attacks on guns. Nonetheless he played her gallant ally when he declared, turning to Clinton, “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails”
I don’t know how to say it except to say it. In Las Vegas Hillary Clifton never looked better. She behaved throughout the night — well — like a President.