The following is an excerpt from Stephen Collinson | October 14, 2015 | CNN.com |
(CNN)Hillary Clinton delivered a poised, polished performance in the campaign's first Democratic presidential debate, firmly defending herself against claims that she flip flops for political gain and likely quelling nerves in her own party after a stumbling start.
Her confident demeanor on the debate stage in Las Vegas may also dampen speculation that there is a place in the race for Vice President Joe Biden, who is still agonizing over a decision about whether to mount a late presidential run.
The debate was an important pivot point in the Democratic campaign, which until Tuesday had unfolded largely at arms length between the candidates. The race has been dominated by a perception that once again, Clinton is a leaden candidate who, just as in 2008, is in danger of losing her status as a front-runner to an upstart outsider -- in this case Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Clinton produced a more convincing rationale for why she should be President than she has done so far, dismissing the idea she was motivated mainly by restoring the Clinton political machine. She argued she has the vision and experience to enforce change, and drew an analogy between her own relentless refusal to admit defeat with the resilience of America itself as the nation battles back after a tough recession.
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