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Election Connection

January 6, 2008

Clinton, Obama face off in Democratic debate

MANCHESTER -- Change was the theme of last night’s Democratic presidential debate, the intensity of which rose over which of the candidates would be best able to lead the country in a new direction.

Hillary Clinton said she has devoted her life to changing people‘s lives for the better, and as the first woman president, would represent a huge change.

Clinton, who finished a disappointing third in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses, went on the offensive early on by saying that opponent Barack Obama could have a pretty good debate with himself over his changing positions on health care and who it would mandate coverage for.

“We need a president we can count on,” she said.

Obama defended himself, saying “I have been entirely consistent on health care.”

He went on to say that his plan mandates health care coverage for children because children do not have a choice, while their parents do.

Obama found a fellow defender last night in candidate John Edwards.

Edwards said he and Obama are the candidates of change, as decided by the voters in Iowa. Obama finished first in Iowa, with Edwards in second.

“I didn’t hear these attacks from Senator Clinton when she was ahead,” Edwards said.

Once the clear frontrunner in New Hampshire, Clinton is now tied with Obama, according to the latest poll of Granite State voters.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson played a moderating role, on several occasions shifting the discussion away from bickering, saying what is at stake is too important -- getting a Democrat elected to the White House.

The candidates did little to distinguish their positions on the topics of nuclear terrorism and the Iraq War.

All said they would strike at al Qaeda in Pakistan if intelligence reports indicated they were acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition, all said they would end the war in Iraq.

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