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GOP debate: Claws out for each other…and Hillary

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 21, 2007 09:36 PM

Update: Get your debate video fix here and here.

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Looks like the GOP presidential candidates drank their Red Bull. Having one less person on stage (so long, Sen. Switchback) also helped. Recap here. And the best highlights were the one-liners against Hillary:

During the debate, the candidates took several opportunities to accost Sen. Hillary Clinton, either on her plan for health care, her late support for the Yankees baseball team and her proposed spending on a variety of issues, including last week’s budget amendment to earmark $1 million for a Woodstock music museum to commemorate the 1969 festival.

“I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time,” McCain said earning a standing ovation for the double entendre that referred to his imprisonment in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.

“I’ve been very critical of her, but I want to tell her I agree with this one. Quote, Hillary Clinton, ‘I have a million ideas; America cannot afford them all.’ I’m not making it up. I am not making it up,” Giuliani said to laughter. “No kidding Hillary — American can’t afford you.”

Speaking of claws coming out, the London Times had fun with the saga of Socks Clinton:

AS THE “first pet” of the Clinton era, Socks, the White House cat, allowed “chilly” Hillary Clinton to show a caring, maternal side as well as bringing joy to her daughter Chelsea. So where is Socks today?

Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky.

Some believe the abandoned pet could now come between Hillary Clinton and her ambition to return to the White House as America’s first woman president.

Clinton has been boosting her prospects in the past week with some homespun references to her gender as part of a series of events with the theme Women Changing America, during which she chatted girlfriend-to-girlfriend and mom-to-mom with female voters.

The softening of Clinton’s image seems to be working. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, predicts that up to a quarter of Republican women will vote for her. She leads Democratic rivals in the polls by 26 points and is scooping up more donations to her war chest from Wall Street and defence contractors than any candidate from either party – an unmistakable indicator of who they think will win in 2008.

Clinton’s treatment of Socks cuts to the heart of the questions about her candidacy. Is she too cold and calculating to win the presidency? Or does it signify political invincibility by showing she is willing to deploy every weapon to get what she wants?

“In the annals of human evil, off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list,” writes Caitlin Flanagan in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. “But neither is it dead last, and it is especially galling when said pet has been deployed for years as an all-purpose character reference.”

Another casualty of the Clinton machine.

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Reader S.M. has a blast-from-the-past question: What happened to Kathleen Willey’s cat?

Posted in: GOP,Hillary Clinton

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