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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Answer(s) Everyone’s Talking About

posted by on October 31 at 9:05 AM

Here it is, Clinton’s answer on giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, from last night’s debate.

Some pundits are using her answer(s) as proof that Clinton bombed the debate. John Edwards used the opportunity to say:

Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago, and I think this is a real issue for the country. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”

Obama said something similar.

I was confused [by] Sen. Clinton’s answer. I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it. One of the things that we have to do in this country is to be honest about the challenges that we face.

However, both Edwards and Obama actually support giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants under the plan that was being discussed. Ironic?

Here’s Mark Penn trying to stave off criticism of Clinton’s debate answers in the spin room afterward.

And here’s some data on whether giving licenses to illegal immigrants is popular. Answer: It’s not.

RSS icon Comments


Pundits are using her answer(s) as proof that Clinton bombed the debate

We must be reading different pieces today, because pretty much everything I've read from the left and the right says that she was masterful with the exception of that one question. And even on that question, it wasn't as disastrous as a few people are making out. She should be happy with the result of the debate. She has pretty much sealed it. Obama lost whatever opportunity he had.

Posted by Gabriel | October 31, 2007 9:09 AM

Much ado about nothing. Edwards and Obama are desperate. This is not going to move the needle in anyway whatsoever.

Posted by david in wedgwood | October 31, 2007 9:10 AM

Not popular, but smart. Demonizing illegal immigrants won't keep them from coming here (as long as there are jobs) and not giving them driver's licenses or insurance won't keep them from driving to and from said jobs. It'll just make more unlicensed/uninsured drivers on the road.

Posted by steve | October 31, 2007 9:10 AM

Everybody attack Clinton.

Everybody attack Obama.

Everybody focus on why the other candidates suck. Fill in blank time with boring information like what you would do.


Posted by Mr. Poe | October 31, 2007 9:11 AM

"LIGHTNING ROUND"? What's that bullshit? Is this fucking "Password" or a debate to decide who's going to run the largest economy and military in the world? Lincoln and Douglas are rolling over in their graves.

Posted by DOUG. | October 31, 2007 9:15 AM

i think this was the result of trying to answer an unexpected question in less than 30 seconds. it wasn't a bomb on her part, it was just a bit of a minor fumble. she made an excellent point that the governor was trying to do the best with what he could do for immigration, and she and her colleagues needed to do the best they can do for immigration. obama trying to call her on it while agreeing with her was stupid. considering the power of the rest of her end of the debate, this was hardly a hiccup.

Posted by kim | October 31, 2007 9:44 AM

This is ridiculous. MS-NBC is ridiculous. It took about two seconds from the end of the debate for "spin-zone", or whatever the fuck, to start, and they absolutely hammered on the issue. "Clinton wants to give drivers licenses to illegals" over and over again, which, of course, she doesn't, and would be obvious to anyone who actually heard the debate.

If the media is focusing on this, it is because Republicans are terrified (TERRIFIED, I tell you) of Hillary. Obama and Edwards are both desperate at this point, so they are piling it on.

I disagree with Hillary on just about everything, but she is tough as nails. This is nothing. She is the Nominee. Next.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 31, 2007 9:45 AM

Wow. That was a slithery non-answer. Is she electable? Because that is the most important, almost the only, criterion that matters to me now. Here's why.

If a Republican wins, the Supreme Court will be overwhelmingly conservative for the next several years. At the risk of oversimplifying, the Court currently is comprised of four conservatives, four liberals, and one Justice, Kennedy, who often operates as the swing vote (Kennedy was the fifth vote against the Bush Administration in the 2004 military tribunal case). The conservative Justices are relatively young, while three of the four liberal Justices are the most likely to be replaced during the next administration (Stevens is 87 where Roberts is 52, for example).

This means that best that we can do over the next four to eight years is hold serve - replace liberal Justices with liberal nominees. However, if Romney, or his functional equivalent, takes office, these vacancies will be filled with more Scalias and Thomases, and the Court may have 5-7 conservatives.

This, to me, is the most important least discussed consequence of this election. So, I'll end where I began: Is Clinton electable?

Posted by California | October 31, 2007 10:22 AM

...her answer is a confusing because she is commenting on her comment...and then asked to be concrete on something she wasn't initially being concrete about...i like the fact that she is subtle in this way...that's a leader to me...i don't want a liar for a president and i don't want someone who sees all the issues in black and white...

Posted by huh | October 31, 2007 10:28 AM

Note how they quit calling illegal immigrants "undocumented workers" for the purpose of discussing drivers licenses. I had to show several documents, including a birth certificate, to get my drivers license; what are the undocumented going to show? If I lost my license for killing a family of four while drunk, can I just pretend to be illegal and get a new one?

Posted by legal immigrant | October 31, 2007 10:32 AM

@9 - I agree. Obama is like Bush in that he insists on everything being yes or no answers. Bush does it because he is a simpleton; Obama does it because he think it shows leadership.

Clinton is the one candidate who recognizes the complexity of issues and answers accordingly. She refuses to dumb down her answers.

Fucking "lightning round". What a disgrace.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 31, 2007 10:53 AM

The MSM is busy trying to find ways to sabotage any eventual Democratic candidate for President.

They're that sad.

It's kind of like how the closeted gay GOP seem to spend all their time attacking gay marriage and gay rights to employment.

Very, very sad.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 31, 2007 11:01 AM

I thought her answer was nuanced and thoughtful.

Posted by Mrs. Y | October 31, 2007 12:18 PM

I agree with Steve @3.

Drivers licenses have nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. A drivers license is a license to drive a car. That's it. Often used as proof of age as well. Okay, fine. What does that have to do with immigration? Nothing. A drivers license is not proof of citizenship.

Whether legal or illegal, I'd rather immigrants learn to drive properly, get licensed, and insured. Let INS worry about their legal status, not the clerks down at DMV.

Posted by SDA in SEA | October 31, 2007 1:08 PM


A birth certificate from their home country, a passport, perhaps. Third world countries aren't that backwards.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 31, 2007 3:35 PM

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