Clinton, Obama go toe to toe, keep gloves on
(02-01) 04:00 PST Los Angeles - --
The last two Democrats standing decided to play nice and not nasty Thursday - New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama dialed back their personal attacks and focused instead on the Democratic values they share.
In the final debate before Tuesday's 24-state electoral free-for-all, the presidential hopefuls avoided the slashing assaults of recent days and told voters just what a difference a Democrat in the White House would make.
"The differences between Barack and I pale in comparison to the differences that we have with Republicans," Clinton said.
After a teapot-size tempest Tuesday about whether or not Obama had snubbed Clinton at the State of the Union address, the two opponents were all smiles at the debate, laughing together and almost hugging after the contest ended.
"I was friends with Hillary Clinton before we started this campaign," Obama said in the early moments of the debate. "I will be friends with Hillary Clinton after this campaign is over."
Clinton and Obama even refused to dismiss the possibility that they could become running mates in the fall campaign, although Obama noted that there is a big difference between an Obama-Clinton ticket and a Clinton-Obama ticket.
While it's far too early to even talk about vice presidential candidates, the Illinois senator said, "I'm sure Hillary would be on anyone's short list."
But throughout the night, both Clinton and Obama took dead aim at Republicans, past, present and future, contrasting Wednesday night's GOP debate melee with their own ideas for America's future.
When former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain debated, they showed "they are more of the same," Clinton said. "Neither of us, just by looking at us, you can tell we are not more of the same. We will change our country."...Source