MANDATES! The subject's now health care, and Obama spoke explicitly in defense of his plan's lack of an individual mandate element to it. This was discussed quite a bit on the site last week, and in fact we'll have another piece on the subject published tomorrow. (As you might have guessed, TAP Online's recent emphasis on individual health insurance mandates is indeed part of a conscious strategy to boost the sexiness and broad appeal of the site.) Obama and Edwards had a fairly substantive exchange on the issue, and then two others made helpful contributions: Clinton made a welcome reaffirmation that her role in the 1993 health-care bid will not hinder her interest in pushing for a universal plan if she were elected (whether she's the person best positioned to make that case, given the history, is a different question); then, Kucinich said this whole mandate issue is beside the point and everyone's ignoring the fact that single-payer is obviously the best answer.

UPDATE: Clinton's targeting of the insurance and pharma lobbies in her discussion of the political dynamics of this issue deserves particular praise here.

--Sam Rosenfeld