Nothing like having your power go out ten minutes before a debate begins... It's back on now and we're ready for the drama. Hillary must win decisively in Texas and Ohio and this exchange may determine the future of her candidacy. Barack Obama has to make a key mistake or Hillary must land a clear blow for tonight's debate in Austin to affect the vote.
There have been many debates thus far and many issues have been discussed ad nauseum. Topics such as global climate change have had short shrift but with the coal industry's heavy advertising and sponsorship of the debates do not expect to hear this brought up by the network. It appears CNN has been bought and paid for by the "Clean Coal" consortium.
Both candidates used their openings to highlight Texas connections. Clinton's mention of her first political job registering voters in south Texas was a good move but Barack also mentioned Ohio in his opening and she neglected the other big prize. Obama made sure to use his line about Washington being the place good ideas go to die and it immediately brought to mind the McCain lobbyist scandal which just broke.
The first question regards Cuba and the change of power. Would Hillary be willing to meet with their new leader to take the measure of the man? She said only after Cuba moved towards reform. "There has to be evidence that the changes are real." "I wouldn't meet with him until there was evidence change was happening."
Obama has said before he would meet with such leaders. "We now have the opportunity to change the relationship between the United States and Cuba. There does have to be preparation, of course. It's important to talk not only with our friends but our enemies." He called for a new direction using diplomacy.
Hillary remains stuck on this point that the President shouldn't meet until certain conditions are prepared. What she means is she isn't going to waste her time on a junket which won't improve her standing in office. This is a failed policy which means the president is afraid to actually LEAD. Bold leadership can break diplomatic logjams and we've seen that in history. Nixon's trip to China comes immediately to mind as an example.