Hillary Clinton Stole the Show at the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate

As a life-long Democrat, I was fairly certain I would not cross party lines in the 2008 Presidential Election, but I had not ruled it out. I have been doing extensive research on all the candidates in an attempt to make an informed decision based on the candidates' platforms.

Until the Democratic Debate on CNN Monday night, I had not decided who I liked the best. Hillary Clinton proved she is clearly the best choice for the Democratic candidate for President in the 2008 election. Actually, she is clearly the best choice in the entire field - Democratic or Republican -- for President of the United States

Throughout the debate she demonstrated how knowledgeable, and self--assured she is. She is the only candidate who has actually lived in the White House. Further, as the former First Lady, she will not need time to adjust to living in the sometimes surreal world of daily life as a United States President. She is already familiar with protocol, religious and ethnic customs around the world, and has met many world leaders - as she commented last night, she has personally met 82 leaders of countries world-wide. She is also clearly intelligent and knowledgeable regarding America's current foreign policy, domestic policy, and is not afraid to challenge those in power when she disagrees with them.

Clinton held her own last night, as the only female on stage. She wasn't pushy or overbearing, but neither did she shy away from the tough questions, or from defending herself, when appropriate. The self assurance I saw demonstrated, particularly when discussing her ability to be taken seriously by male heads of state in other countries, was the turning point in the debate for me.

Senator Clinton's stand on the Iraq War also impressed me. She regrets having voted to allow President Bush the power to send troops into Iraq. Now she has a well-thought out and reasoned solution to withdraw the troops in a measured and methodical way, coupled with employing international diplomacy. The Iraq War is the most important issue to me, because of the billions of dollars being spent. None of the other issues that are important to me-healthcare, immigration, Darfur, global warming-can even begin to be addressed until the situation in Iraq is resolved.

The answer she gave to the question posed to the candidates about whether or not they would meet with world leaders from several Middle Eastern countries, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba within the first year of being in office was also impressive. She emphatically stated she would not necessarily visit any or all of them unless it was on her terms. She pointed out she did not want a meeting to be used as propaganda against the U.S. Her response demonstrated her wisdom, experience and political savvy.
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