This clip is all you really needed to watch of the Democratic debate last night.
We see Hillary lamely blaming the National Archives for the Bill Clinton orchestrated attempt to suppress documents that might actually shed some light on what First Lady Clinton’s policy role was in that White House.
This is the first time I’ve seen Hillary genuinely flustered — just making it up as she answered. Fumbling on about the 20 million pieces of paper at the Archives, topping it off with this lame bit of technocratic mumbojumbo about how the “Archives will move as fast as its circumstances and processes demand.”
This artless Clintonian dodge was clearly Barack Obama’s best opening.
And he starts strong, with a jab about Cheney-esqe secrecy and an effective upper-cut: “not releasing these records — a the same time, Hillary, that you’re claming this [time in the White House] as the basis of your experience — is a problem.”
But then Obama — who earlier jokingly compared himself to Rocky, with Hillary, implausibly, as Apollo Creed — pulled his punches. He shadow boxed for the next two minutes with high-minded platitudes about bringing people back into the process, blah, blah, blah, inflicting no more damage and tiring everybody in the audience out.
Fortunately for Hillary, this fight night was a spit decision. Edwards and Obama both had good showings — defusing each other’s appeal. Worse, Chris Dodd also woke up. And Joe Biden lit up the stage with his novel arguments about Pakistan — and of course his line of the night about Rudy Giuliani:
“There’s only three things he ever mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”