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The swan song of Hillary Rodham Clinton?; Update:Clinton and Obama are now against the Secure Fence Act they both voted for; Update: Hillary snarks on Obama's "change that you can Xerox;" Update: Hillary gets shrieky over universal health care; Update: Hillary ends on a Miss Congeniality/valedictory note

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 21, 2008 07:50 PM

Scroll down for updates…here’s the “change that you can Xerox” video… “Lifting whole passages from someone else is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.” Who wrote it? Knowing Washington, we’ll know soon enough…Hillary’s ending statement is being categorized by all the talking heads as “valedictory”…Like I said: Swan song…

No, you can’t count her out. But just what exactly can Hillary Clinton do during tonight’s CNN debate in Texas to turn things around? What would define a “win” for Hill tonight–short of a full Obama meltdown, which isn’t going to happen? The show begins at 8pm. This ABC poll says she’s ahead in Ohio and it’s tight in Texas. Will the new anti-Obama 527 come up?

Stand by for the liveblog. Popcorn ready, but no Red Bull.

Update 8:02pm Eastern. This debate is co-sponsored by open-borders, Spanish-language media giant Univision. Founded by McCain national campaign finance co-chair Jerry Perenchio.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos is one of the questioners.

Look for plenty of opportunities for shamnesty pandering tonight.

8:06pm Eastern. Clinton gets the first opening statement. She registered voters in Austin and San Antonio. Clinton invokes the late Barbara Jordan. It’s Jordan’s birthday. Jordan, a staunch amnesty opponent and outspoken immigration enforcement activist, would be rolling over in her grave knowing Clinton’s using her name. Clinton invokes Ann Richards. Eh. Clinton brags about starting S-CHIP. Segues into health insurance company-bashing. Mentions HER EXPERIENCE.

Not a word about immigration. Or those, ahem, holes in the wall.

8:10 pm Eastern. Obama’s turn. He says he’ll be friends with Hillary after, she was friends with her before. Unification, baby. He’s sick and his voice is hoarse. Obama mentions the predatory loan victims he mentioned the other day. Uh-oh! Hillary forget to mention her pet issue! Must be cursing under her breath. Obama mentions jobs moving overseas. Obama mentions his anti-war bracelet. Doesn’t mention his lack of a flag lapel pin. What’s lacking right now is not good ideas. The problem is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die. (Applause). Now comes the usual anti-special interest attack…and the “bring people together” spiel.

Now, Obama invokes Barbara Jordan. “I want America to be as good as its promise.”

Univision’s Jorge Ramos to Hillary: “Would you be willing to sit down with Raoul Castro at least just one?”

Hillary: “I hope we have an opportunity…I’ll be looking for changes…releasing political prisoners, freeing up the press…I would be willing to reach out once they demonstrated they were truly willing to change direction…I would not meet with him until there was evidence that change was happening…”

Campbell Brown to Obama: “Presumably, you would meet with Raoul Castro?” Obama: “I would meet without preconditions…but with ‘preparations’ first…We have to talk to our enemies, not just to our friends…” Wants loosening of restrictions on remittances and travel restrictions. “I wouldn’t normalize relations until we saw change…I support the eventual normalization.”

No, I don’t get exactly what his position is. Do you?

Hillary wants to reach out to Iran. She would “use bipartisan diplomacy!” The era of unilateralism and arrogance of this administration is over. Applause. Hillary’s beaming. She’s really, really happy with her answer.

Obama wants to get a last talk-to-our-enemies word in. “It’s important for us in undoing the damage that has been done to take this step.”

8:23pm Eastern. John King changes to the economy. “How would Pres. Obama be different in managing the nation’s economy?”

“Restore balance and fairness.” End tax breaks to companies overseas. Offset payroll tax. Repeal Bush tax cuts. Applause. “Create a green economy!” Wave the magic wand: Windmills! Solar power!

Hillary: “The wealthy and well-connected have had a president for the last seven years. It’s about time the rest of us had a president for us.”

“The rest of us”–you know, like the Clintons, who have a net worth of between $10-$50 million Snort.

Hillary: I can’t concentrate on what she’s blabbering about, but she started shrieking about “Bush’s War on Science.”

Jorge Ramos goes to immigration. He’s complaining about federal raids. “Would you consider stopping these raids until comprehensive immigration reform passes?”

Hillary: “I would consider that, except in egregious situations.” She demagogues about children being left without parents. Babies left without parents.

She’s for cracking down on federal employers, but not doing anything about illegal alien employees. “We need a path to legalization to bring the immigrants out of the shadows.” Blah-blah. “If they committed a crime, they should be deported. But a path to everyone else.” Who illegally entered the country. Would introduce “comprehensive immigration reform” in her first 100 days.

Obama. He’s for immigration reform, too. “It’s absolutely critical that we tone down the rhetoric.” “We have seen hate crimes skyrocket.”

No, unfortunately, he’s not talking about illegal alien gangs targeting black Americans.

Obama mentions the legal immigration backlog and increasing fees.

“We have to improve relations with Mexico.” He assails Bush for dropping the ball on Mexico. “We haven’t seen the kind of outreach and cooperative work.”

Clueless.

Two words: Merida Initiative.

8:37pm Eastern. John King raises the border fence.

King to Hillary: Would you commit tonight to finish the fence and speed up construction or say, wait a minute, do we really want to do this?

The UT-Brownsville would have part of its campus cut off. Passport requirements to the north are interfering.

“We need to review this. We were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate, it would be built. Bush is going off the deep end.”

1) That’s not what the law said.

2) The problem is not that Bush is going too far. It’s that they have dragged their feet and pandered every bit as much as the Democrats.

Hillary says we should do “Smart Fencing.” Now, she doesn’t want physical barriers.

Even though she (and Obama both) voted for the Secure Fence Act.

Obama: “The key is to consult with local communities…I will reverse that policy…” He wants everything but a fence now.

Obama invokes the specious “we can’t deport all 12 million undocumented” card.

8:43pm Eastern. Obama wants to pass the DREAM Act illegal alien tuition benefits legislation.

Jorge Ramos speaks Spanish. “Is there any down side to the US becoming a bilingual nation?”

Hillary: It’s important for Americans to become bilingual. But it’s important that English remain our common, unifying language.

8:47pm Eastern. Commercial break. Nasty Hillary has not made an appearance tonight.

All platitudes, no vinegar tonight.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

8:52pm Eastern. John King tries to wake everyone up with a question about the “parallel universe” in which Hillary/Obama attack each other on the campaign trail and talk cordially next to each during debates. King: Are you saying your opponent is all hat and no cattle and how can you say that after the last 40 minutes?

Hillary: “I do offer solutions…it’s part of my life.” Blah, blah. No attacks. She’s Miss Congeniality. There are differences between our records. Hillary mentions the Hardball exchange with Kirk Watson, who couldn’t name an accomplishment of Obama’s. “Actions speak louder than words.”

Obama: “I do think actions speak louder than words. Which is why over the last 20 years, I’ve acted a lot to provide health care, reform criminal justice system, reform ethics system, create transparency in government…mentions wounded warriors at Walter Reed who had to pay for their meals and phone calls before he came to Senate…they would say I’m not just talk, but action.”

8:56pm Eastern. Obama ribs Clinton for calling his supporters “delusional”…he mentions all his newspaper endorsements in Texas…”I think they perceive the reality in Washington quite clearly…The reason that this campaign has done so well that people understand that it’s not just a matter of putting forward policy positions…if we can’t inspire people to get involved in their government, get beyond racial divisions, regional devisions, religious devisions…I’m running for president to start doing something about suffering and so are the people behind my campaign.”

Huge applause. Longest applause of the night.

8:58pm Eastern. Campbell Brown brings up Hillary plagiarism charges. Obama says Deval Patrick gave him the lines to use. The suggestion that this is plagiarism is silly. Big applause. This is where we start getting into silly season and people start getting discouraged. What people want is how are we going to get good jobs and wages, college is affordable, etc. What I’ve been saying in these speeches–and I have to admit, some of them are pretty good–big applause–I’ve been talking about changing tax code, college loans, bringing end to war in Iraq…We should be spending time lifting people up.

Well, I’d say he has pulled the rug out under Hillary on this issue.

Hillary has a frozen smile. If you’re candidacy is about words, they should be your own. These aren’t changes that you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.

9:01pm Eastern. Boos. Hillary condescends. “You are a passionate speaker.”

Obama: “That’s not right.” Hillary is booed.

Hillary talks about foreclosures, health care. “We’ve got to look hard at the difficult challenges we face once George Bush is gone.” Blah blah.

Obama moves on to talking about health reform differences. Old territory.

9:06pm Eastern. Obama razzes Hillary over her secretive conduct during the 1994 health care debacle. Score.

Commercial break.

9:13pm Eastern. Hillary is getting shrieky over the health insurance mandate thing.

Guess what? Newsflash, Clinton camp: This thing has been rehashed over 5-6 other debates. It’s not a winning issue for Hillary. It’s not damaging Obama.

9:22pm Eastern. Rehashing Iraq. Leadership. Change. Nothing you haven’t heard before.

9:33pm Eastern. Obama gets a question on earmarks. He mentions teaming up with GOP Sen. Tom Coburn on googling for government to open up process.

Hillary has the audacity to talk about the US borrowing money from China to give to Saudi Arabia.

Her voice is getting really, really intolerable.

Agh.

9:38pm Eastern. Campbell Brown asks really, really dumb questions. She needs to host a daytime talk show and stay there. “What was your moment of crisis?” Obama recounts his entire life. Hillary jokes about how she’s “been through many crises in her life.” Smiles. Basks in applause.

I can’t have caffeine. I can’t have caffeine. I can’t have caffeine.

Hillary turns the question to Americans who have had real crises. Recounts meeting soldiers at Brooks Army Medical Center. What she’s been through is nothing compared to what ordinary Americans go through.

It’s a better answer than the self-absorbed Messiah’s.

9:44pm Eastern Hillary: “I’m absolutely honored, absolutely honored to be here with Barack Obama.”

Shakes his hand. Ick.

Big applause. “Whatever happens, I hope we can say the same about the American people.”

She’s basking. He’s kicking himself.

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