November 16th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
2 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. J.Crobuzon

    But they have so much mud! If they don't throw it, they'll drown in it themselves.

    November 16, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. Pam, Lakeland, Fl

    Slinging mud...is she nuts? That is what she and her infamous husband are famous for..that and the fact that Bill will be remembered for teaching our children that "oral sex" is not sex. I hope he can sleep at night, knowing what he did to OUR society!!!

    November 16, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Out of the Republican playbook?? It's coming from you and your own goons, Hillary. Newsflash – you're not running against Republicans in the primary!

    November 16, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    Please, enough already! I can't stand to hear this woman's contrived laugh. Hillary, whatever you are trying to accomplish with this act, it is not convincing. Actually, I find it symptomatic of your entire campaign.

    November 16, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. John New York, NY

    Mrs. Clinton denied she was playing the gender card, and then went on for a minute to praise herself as some sort of hero to little girls and elderly ladies all over America. (contradiction, anyone?)

    Barack Obama could easily say that havaing himself as President could inspire young black men everywhere to reach for the stars- but he doesn't.

    He could complain about being in an "all white club" (I don't believe many of the debates has had a black moderator), but he doesn't.

    That's the kind of campaign to be proud of.

    November 16, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see any analysis in this article

    November 16, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Colleen, Pearl River La.

    Watched the debate last night in Las Vegas, did not like the cheering, clapping and booing.I just wanted to hear the answers to the questions and decide for myself. You let Clinton go on and on when she talked, gave little time to the candidates not in the top three when they spoke. I did like hearing questions and answers from the audience. You should never let the audience cheer and boo the speakers.

    November 16, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Adam, Pittsburgh

    I'm still not getting how any of her opponents' attacks have been "personal."

    November 16, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Randy, Minneapolis, MN

    Now there's the pot calling the kettle black, the master mudslinger herself. It was this person who sensationalized the phrase "Right-wing Conspiracy" to death, and now she doesn't like it when her competitors are beginning to use her own tactics against her. This woman is not as smart as some people give her credit for! Wait until the heat gets turned up and she pulls out the old "scorched earth policy", then only the ignorant will refuse to see her for what she really is. If she becomes President of the United States I don't care who controls Congress, they had better be VERY guarded about our national soverienty and a limit on taxes for everyone. There are other females in this world much smarter than Hillary, and they are contributing back to societies and countries in a robust and meaningful way. They cover many professions and do a much better job of representing the female gender than does Hillary.

    November 16, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Bee

    This is one of the most ridiculous debates I have ever seen in the last 7 months. CNN organization should be ashamed of itself. Please bring back credible Journalist that can ask the tough questions.

    We don’t need moderator that is pessimist about America’s future. We don’t need another Clinton’s plant in the audience. Clinton’s supporters are the most rude in the history of debate. They Boo when candidate challenge her on the issues. She is the phoniest person I have ever seen.

    Thank God there are other media outlets not named Clinton Network News

    November 16, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. Jim, Tampa, FL

    OK, CNN, we get it. You love Hilary. That was apparent last night DURING the debate; the way it was designed to her strengths, the way she kept getting borderline silly questions. and we see that in the aftermath–first, immediately following the debate, when your panel unanimously declared her the winner; then, on the front page of your website. Now, here. We get it. We're not stupid.

    November 16, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Michael, Sarasota, FL

    The Clinton News Network pulls it out for Hillary! Turns the debate into a planted/scripted Hillary commerical.

    November 16, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. therealist

    Clinton recovery? More like classic Clinton protectionism from CNN Politics. Or am I the only one that noticed Wolfe's cut to commerical just when things started heating up for Hillary on her second non-answered question?? Obviously Wolfe caved to the pressure from the Clintonians..

    November 16, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Caren

    That's the point!She's NOT running against Republicans, which makes Edwards "Roveian" attacks even more offensive!!!!!!! They are not coming her "goons", they are coming from Rove's apprentices. Hillary 08. Don't like it???? There's always Canada

    November 16, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Stephy, Groton Connecticut

    Clinton was fine tonight. But then again she already had the approval of the CNN journalists. Asking her questions on her gender is a great opportunity to gain some boost, and she nailed it just like any one would do. This question in itself was biased and clearly in her favor. If Wolf had allowed Obama to explained his support for Driver's license to the nation, I would have been satisfied really. But clearly in favor of Hillary Clinton, he cut him off so much so that rarely anyone heard him say a clear "yes" in the middle of Wolf'mumble jumble. Barack Obama is still the most direct front runner. Hillary won the debate tonight because of clear taboo questions from the network and the cutting-off of any candidates replying to her doublesided answers.

    November 16, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. Joel Horn, Seattle, Washington

    I enjoyed watching the debate. Very helpful. Senator Clinton has a wonderful opportunity to bring this Democratic team together, fix many of the terrible things done to our country by the Republicans, and bring hope and pride back to us. First of all, she is clearly the best choice for President. Second, she has amazing talent to help her – Biden as Secretary of State, Dodd at Education and Richardson at Energy would be a fantastic team. And, target Bill Clinton at rebuilding US relationships with our allies. This is a very exciting time for our country.

    November 16, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. Carrington Ward, New York

    Clinton has yet to solve her problem with "the vision thing." She wants power, clearly, but she hasn't done much to show us why we should give it to her.

    November 16, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. RealityKing

    For Hillay, National Security trumps Human Rights. Which means a vote for her is a vote for continued Bush's policies..

    November 16, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Enoch, Nashville TN

    Hillary, having PLANTS in the audience is not a smart move. I get a feeling someone wants to win at all cost, no matter what. We'll see how this plays out

    November 16, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Joel, Detroit MI

    Go Hillary! We're all behind you, rooting for your win!

    November 16, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Rich Orl, FL

    Most of the candidates did well last night. I particularly liked Joe Biden's continued directness and candor, but I thought Clinton won the debate overall. She went into it facing tough challenges from the last two weeks, and she delivered at a time when it mattered most, exhibiting the qualities of leadership, strength, and perseverance that we need in our next president.

    November 16, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. Mike, Westport, CT

    I think the booing was done by Hillary supporters to hurt Obama and Edwards.
    Another staged event.

    November 16, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Based on the majority of responses on this site, I would say that the common theme is that last night's debate was a complete sham. Somehow, the debate was conducted in front of a boisterous group of Hillary supporters who were allowed to scream (for her every staged response) and boo (everytime one of her fellow candidates tried to make a point). The questions posed to Hillary were all very easy and her staged responses were obvious to anyone with a pulse. Following the debate, most CNN talking heads came right out to proclaim Hillary back (after what any reasonable analyst would have to consider a lacklaster performance by all) and then we wake up to this story on the Ticker claiming that everything's all good for Team Hillary. I don't know if CNN is trying to tilt the scales but based on these facts it seeems like something is up. Don't you think?

    November 16, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. P Cavender Seattle WA

    It's interesting that liberal CNN has analyzed Hillary's debate tactics last night as successful. I heard VERY little from her about real solutions to problems. Each and every time she spoke, she dodged the bullet by bashing Bush and whining about "this administration's" failures. Just the same-old "Clintonian politicking" and NOT real answers!!! I hope America is smart enough to recognize politicking vs. true leadership.

    November 16, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. J - Texas

    Clinton 08

    November 16, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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