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The Debate's Best Moment

I can't believe no one has mentioned what surely was the most hilarious moment from last night's debate. Tim Russert asked all the candidates about their greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. To the latter half of the question, John Edwards responded:

I sometimes have a very powerful emotional response to pain that I see around me. When I see a man like Donnie Ingram, who I met a few months ago in South Carolina, who worked with for 33 years in the mill, reminded me very much of the kind of people that I grew up with, who's about to lose his job, has no idea where he's going to go, what he's going to do -- I mean, his dignity and self-respect is at issue, and I feel that in a really personal way and in a very emotional way. And I think sometimes that can undermine what you need to do.

Surely this brings shamelessness to an entirely new level. However, as Noam noted, Obama's answer was pretty lame, too. As for Clinton's response, the second part was indeed her best minute of the night, but the opening verged on the bizarre:

I get impatient. I get, you know, really frustrated when people don't seem to understand that we can do so much more to help each other, and sometimes I come across that way. I admit that. I get very concerned about, you know, pushing further and faster than perhaps people are ready to go.

That's right--Clinton is an agent of radical change pushing our conservative country to places it has no desire to go. It's almost as if she has embraced the hard-right critique of her from the 90s!

Update: Mike was on Edwards' comment before I was. 

--Isaac Chotiner