For the second time in a week, Barack Obama won the Democratic debate by not losing. As always, Tim Russert was a distraction, hammering away at Clinton the way he always does, then throwing that Farrakhan haymaker. Oy. But Clinton didn't help herself much. She should have left the Farrakhan situation alone, rather than aiding Russert. I loved the Saturday Night Live skit about Obama's media worshippers, but her joke about it fell flat. And maybe I've listened to it too many times now, but Clinton's efforts to suggest Obama's opposition to the Iraq war was merely a "speech" just doesn't work. Obama wins that point, hands down, and she should never have tried to minimize the difference between them. I felt like they both rehashed a lot of lines tonight; maybe they're running out of things to argue about.
Still, I've been thinking a lot, since the last debate, about whether, when and how Clinton should leave the race for the Democratic nomination. My friend Jonathan Alter at Newsweek suggested yesterday that the time for a graceful exit is, well, now – and that seems crazy to me. The Democrats finally have an exciting primary campaign that could stretch into the final states. Turnout is at historic highs. As I said the other day, if Clinton loses Texas or Ohio, I might think differently about this, but there are exciting races ahead; let the people vote. I laid this out in my video for Current this week.