Garance Franke-Ruta

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor at the Prospect. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She was a 2006 recipient of a fellowship at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University.

Recent Articles

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION.

A pointed exchange between Obama and Clinton on the topic of Social Security leads to the second instance this evening of the audience booing or ooing one of Clinton's competitors for being critical of her. Obama makes the point that raising the payroll tax cap above the $97,000 mark is not going to be a "trillion dollar tax on middle-class families," as Clinton described it, because only six percent of Americans make over that amount. "This is not the middle class." He compares her rhetoric on Social Security to Romney or Giuliani (eliciting what sounds, to a TV viewer, like boos and whistles).

KUCINICH HAS A MINI-MOMENT.

During the "yes or no" question on support for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, Obama stumbles further, giving a "Clintonesque" answer before saying, when pressed, "yes."

The rest of the responses: Biden - no; Clinton - no; Edwards - no; Dodd - no.

Dennis Kucinich has the best answer, telling Blitzer: "I take issue with your description of people being illegal immigratns....they're undocumented." There are no illegal human beings. "I take exception to the way you framed that question," he tells Blitzer.

And then Bill Richardon tells me something I didn't know: He's already signed legislation giving undocumented immigrants licenses. "My answer is yes," he says. "I did it four years ago." His legislature sent him and bill and he signed it.

SHE'S BACK.

"The will be no loud bells," CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer said, introducing the set-up. "No flashing lights."

No flashing lights, that is, except the twinkling of Hillary Clinton's eye. Clinton is back in business, and she's feeling fine. "This pantsuit is asbestos tonight," she joked, replendent in a trendy grey jacket and black shirt. "This has to be a big election. This is going to be one of the most important elections we've had in this country."

LIGHTNING ROUND.

It's all happening on The Strip:

  • Can Clinton "turn up the heat" on her rivals or is she going to pull a John Kerry and wait too long to respond? This whole "above the fray thing" may look like good strategy when the opponent is Jonathan Tasini, but Barack Obama seems to have realized he's not fighting Alan Keyes any more, and Clinton won't keep her lead if she doesn't start to make some offensive moves.

KOS & ROVE, SITTING IN... AN EDITORIAL MEETING?

The Trail has the scoop that the person Newsweek has selected to balance out Markos Moulitsas as a campaign 2008 commenter is....Karl Rove. Yowza. If those two ever wind up in the same editorial meeting, I hope Newsweek will film it and play it for us online. People would pay to see that.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

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