Update: For the results of the Vermont, Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio Primaries - Click Here
Another debate (the 19th debate/forum - transcript here), this one a long, two hour (scheduled for 90 minutes), two-person forum that gave each candidate a chance to really expand on their answers - and in several instances each candidate took the opportunity to rebut points made by their opponent. I wish there was more of that in past debates, it really makes a difference.
Did either candidate 'make a difference' in the race with their performance in the debate? Not really. Clinton hit hard with the plagiarism slam that was widely reported last weekend, even mentioning the YouTube videos (encouraging people to google the videos and see for themselves) but this story was pretty much already out there.
The strongest moment of the night came at the end of the debate.
CLINTON: Well, I think everybody here knows I've lived through some crises and some challenging moments in my life. And...
And I am grateful for the support and the prayers of countless Americans.
But people often ask me, "How do you do it?" You know, "How do you keep going?" And I just have to shake my head in wonderment, because with all of the challenges that I've had, they are nothing compared to what I see happening in the lives of Americans every single day. along with Senator McCain, as the only two elected officials, to speak at the opening at the Intrepid Center at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, a center designed to take care of and provide rehabilitation for our brave young men and women who have been injured in war.
And I remember sitting up there and watching them come in. Those who could walk were walking. Those who had lost limbs were trying with great courage to get themselves in without the help of others. Some were in wheelchairs and some were on gurneys. And the speaker representing these wounded warriors had had most of his face disfigured by the results of fire from a roadside bomb.
CLINTON: You know, the hits I've taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country.
And I resolved at a very young age that I'd been blessed and that I was called by my faith and by my upbringing to do what I could to give others the same opportunities and blessings that I took for granted.
That's what gets me up in the morning. That's what motivates me in this campaign.
And, you know, no matter what happens in this contest -- and I am honored, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored.
CLINTON: Whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that's what this election should be about.
BROWN: All right, a standing ovation here in Austin, Texas. Our thanks to Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. We appreciate your time tonight.
It was a strong closing moment for Clinton in a debate that may have changed a few minds, but will it be enough? The format allowed for Obama to expand more on positions and issues than he had in previous debates, but it was not new information for anyone who has followed the races closely, just a better debate as a result. There was really nothing new in the way of issues and platforms and style from either side that would move supporters from their current positions, I suspect.
In the end -- at the end -- Clinton may have picked up a few undecided voters, but she didn't turn back Obama's momentum. One more debate remains, February 26th in Ohio -- six days before the Ohio primary.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!