Philly Debate: Candidates Forced To Explain Away Slip-ups

Last night's Democratic debate in Philadelphia's National Constitution Center featured moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous playing to the sorts of campaign nitpicking that are typically reserved for pundits and bloggers. By electing to focus on Rev. Wright (a weeks-old issue from which even the media had seemed to move on), Barack's "bitter" comment, why Obama doesn't wear the stars-and-strips on his lapel, Hillary's Bosnia trip exaggerations, and other candidate stumblings, the debate seemed willing to force issues such as taxes, gun control, and the war-which were eventually all covered-to the side-stage.

Also of particular note, Clinton at last issued a "yes, yes, yes" (video clip above) when asked whether she thought Obama could win in November-a concession she had been unwilling to make in the past. Shortly thereafter, Barack returned with his pseudo-support of Hillary: "Absolutely [she's electable], and I've said so before."

But the truest moment of brotherly/sisterly love came when a clip of John McCain popped up, and, prior to responding to his comments, both candidates shared in a tender moment of "look at that crazy old man" guffawing.