November 16th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
3 years ago

Analysis: Clinton makes a recovery in Las Vegas debate

Sen. Hillary Clinton

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped into the ring Thursday in this city known for prize fights, successfully beating back an onslaught of punches thrown from the left and right as her opponents sought to rattle the front-runner seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Clinton, who entered this Democratic debate vulnerable following a lackluster performance two weeks ago, came out fighting in the first round.

For the New York Democrat, a good defense was a strong offense, and she sought to silence her critics who stood just feet away.

"I don't mind taking hits on my record, on issues," she said. "But when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook."

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soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Steve, Indianapolis, IN

    A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for George Bush 2.0, a republican majority, and 8 more years of partisan bickering. The only difference between Bush and Hillary Clinton is that she's better at crossword puzzles.

    November 16, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. Elaine Aarons

    Hillary Clinton fought back and showed her two opponenets that she was a lady but very strong in her convictions, and she made this country very proud last night. She was well prepared. What a president she will make

    November 16, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. Gary Denson bloomington indiana

    I feel that Hillary Clinton took a complete beating last night. Edwards exposed her for what she really is just another worthless corporate controlled Democrat. She should withdraw from the race so she dosnt produce another NAFTA like her husband did 15 years ago.

    November 16, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Perfectly scripted, typical Clintonesque BS, Edwards points out truthful facts and you categorize it as mud and then manage to hammer Republicans for a Democrat pointing them out.

    Bravo, Ms. Clinton, see you in 2008.

    Like your good friend Monica, your going down.

    November 16, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  5. QUINT, GRAND PRAIRIE TX

    CNN rigged the audience with Clinton supporters to deflect any criticism of their G I R L

    November 16, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. A thinking woman

    Her lackluster prformance two weeks ago was a result of her stand on issues. Do people really want a President who will raise taxes, try to institute mandatory, government controlled healthcare, continue to support bad law, ie. a woman's right to kill her unborn child? Someone who agrees it would be ok to give illegal immigrants drivers licenses even though that is illegal. Man, these Democrats go to extremes to try to get into places of power. VOTE FOR HUCKABEE! and lower taxes.

    November 16, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Marylou NH

    Hillary was GREAT last night and has sealed my vote!

    very disappointed with Obama who seemed to be intimidated next to Clinton and just babbled, I was embarrassed for him, why is he even being considered in this race, he is obviously way out of this league of experience candidates.
    Richardson was impressive and my new second choice...

    Clinton will be the next President in 2008!!!
    VOTE FOR HILLARY

    November 16, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. Mike, Houston, TX

    Typical Clinton, when challenged, accuse the person of throwing mud. Still a joke as a candidate.

    Do you think, if she wins, that Putin and Chaves will actually respect this woman? She' no Thatcher.

    November 16, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. Ryan Indianapolis

    Sure she did CNN,,thats your girl Hillary. IF anything she seemed just as wishy-washy and the american people can see right thru this very decietful and evil woman. Good try CNN.

    November 16, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Gary Denson

    i think that Hillary looked great in her outfit and that Bill is a very lucky man to have her as a loving wife.

    November 16, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Thomas,Calhoun GA

    Gettem Girl. Hillary for President.

    November 16, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Ron, New Jersey

    I wouldn't say Hillary recovered, she just didn't slip up like last time.

    Is it just me or is Wolf Blitzer a bad moderator?

    He didn't ask very tough questions and was constantly interupting and cutting them off.

    Their post debate analysis included Clinton aids...i wonder what they said...lol

    MSNBC is much better at these things.

    November 16, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. ThatGuy

    Its pretty hard to say otherwise when the Analyzers worked for your Husband in the WH.

    November 16, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  14. Andy

    I don't believe a word that comes out of this lady's mouth. Its almost embarrassing to watch her talk. I thought Biden and Obama were the strongest in the debate.. in my own humble opinion, of course.

    By the way, did you see Hillary's eyes when Edwards said "corrupt" in regards to the politics as usual in washing, which Hillary represents... They go from normal to wiiiiiide open. I dvr'd it and played it back a few times.. just something i found interesting :)

    November 16, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. Lynn Reno Nevada

    I don't think so at all. She sounded condescending and a bit spiteful. And then she got caught twice trying to distort Obama's words, saying that his health plan would not cover millions of people, when it excludes no one. And then saying Obama's raising the cap on Social Security taxes would be a tax rise for the middle class, when Obama pointed out that people making over $97,000 a year are only 6% of the population and are upper class, not middle class. Was she lying or just confused? You decide.

    November 16, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    I watched ALL the Democratic Debates this year. But last nights was a CIRCUS. Heckling, Booing, Moderator interrupting most Candidates answers but Hillary's, Planted questions, an orchestrated Pet Rally for Hillary. So the Media can do what it is doing now. Taking her staged 1-liner answers and saying she is back. NO one is falling for this.

    November 16, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. Aaron, VA

    A recovery? Please.
    While she looked better than Obama and Edwards, Biden clearly stole that show. His first response, which showed that he knew the debate for what it was and was going to play off of that, was the best minute of the debate. It was only a minute, mind you, because he stopped the first time Wolf even mumbled something.

    Do you really want the President to be one of these people that can't even follow the only rule of the debate, which is try to keep your answers to a minute and stop when the moderator asks you to do so? Please.

    November 16, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. Dave, Evergreen CO

    The debate format and CNN’s execution of it were a joke. The first 15 minutes were more like an episode of Jerry Springer with Wolf Blitzer playing the role of the host. That seemed to open the door for the crowd to start acting like they were at a WWF event.

    Nobody won this debate but CNN was clearly the looser.

    November 16, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Kyle, Boise ID

    Yawn. Nobody cares. I'm more concerned that Kucinich was the only candidate who read the Patriot Act before passing it. That wasn't a joke.

    November 16, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Since when is questioning Hillary's blatant corruption a personal attack?

    She's just as much a neocon as George W. Bush is.

    November 16, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  21. JT, Ada OK

    Pointing out triangulation and fence-sitting is not mudslinging. It's a perfectly legitimate criticism of a political candidate.

    Clinton needs to toughen up. Boo...

    November 16, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Mary, Boston, Mass

    I used to be torn about which Democratic candidate to vote for in this election, but this debate made it clear. Hillary, 100%!

    November 16, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  23. Jeff Saeli, Orlando, Fl.

    Hillary says she has 35 years of experience. My question is doing what? How do you lead if you have no experience in leadership positions? Her entire political career has been buffered by her political association with her husband. She has been at the center of power, but she was not the one responsible for the decisions or the ultimate outcomes. As for her Senate experience, she is one of 100; she is not in a leadership position. Too many of our politicians have no idea of how our economic system works. You can tell that by the many income redistribution plans Hillary is making. I hope the Republican candidate can give her better opposition than the what she faces now.

    November 16, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. Anon, Berkeley, Ca

    Everyone is missing the most important consequence of this debate.

    Although Clinton was calm, assertive, and personable, Obama should be very happy. Why? Edwards looked terrible. He got slammed by just about every candidate (except for Obama).

    This debate has set the stage for a one-on-one duel between Hillary and Obama.

    Democrats will have to choose between the establishment candidate (who hasn't won a general election in who knows how long) and someone who isn't scared to stand up for democrats, but who won't parse his beliefs to buy their votes. I hope democrats don't repeat their mistakes from the past couple elections because it will result in fewer seats in Congress and a brutal battle for the white house.

    November 16, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. Paul, Whitestown, Indiana

    Clinton did better, but this is only batting practice. Come the big game, will she really be able to hit the curve ball or just knock the fast balls out of the park? Watch those sliders too...

    November 16, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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