The Plank

Dartmouth Debate Highlights

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The anticipated fireworks between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton failed to ignite at last night's Democratic debate at Dartmouth, but the evening was not without its highlights. We've assembled clips from the night's most newsworthy moments here.

Michael Crowley thought it memorable that "Tim Russert coldly punctured Edwards's [health care] balloon by reminding him that in 2004 he had opposed such a plan as unworkable--leaving Edwards looking like he'd seen a ghost" (at the beginning). At 4:48, Mike Gravel brags about stiffing credit card companies for $90,000.

1:30 into the following clip, Dennis Kucinich indirectly endorses time travel when he promises to have all troops out of Iraq by April 2007. When Russert corrects him, Kucinich replies "I'm ready to be president today!"

Josh Patashnik thinks Clinton seemed arrogant when she refused to give details on how to make Social Security solvent at :21. And Edwards comes off well slamming Richardson's ludicrous claims about budget solvency at 4:42.

At the beginning of the next clip, Russert does his best to press Clinton on a "Would Israel be justified in launching an attack on Iran?" query, but Clinton, who proved herself to be something of an evasion-ninja last night, deems it a hypothetical and refuses to answer.

Go to 7:31 in the following clip, where Russert asks Clinton a hypothetical she likes better: If the U.S. had captured the number-three leader in al Qaeda, who had information about a bomb about to be unleashed in three days, wouldn't the government be right in torturing information out of him? Clinton says no. Only problem is, her husband drafted the hypothetical.

At 3:14 of the clip below, Obama calls for more open policy with campaign bundlers, which Noam Scheiber took as a slightly-too-subtle attempt to jab Clinton. At 9:19, Clinton said that she would alternate sides in the event of a Cubs-Yankees World Series, a comment Michael Crowley found telling.

Edwards got props for his earnest, indignant performance last night--especially when he criticized Clinton's vote to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Noam Scheiber called this "perhaps his best moment of the debate." Starts around :58.

--Marin Cogan, Melanie Mason and Barron YoungSmith

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