This American Debate

Another Democratic debate is taking place in Iowa right now, but this one is camera-free. National Public Radio is broadcasting the debate, moderated by Michele Norris, Steve Inskeep, and Robert Siegel. 

Politicos expected the debate to be relatively low-key, thanks to the predominantly liberal NPR audience, but the candidates are already making distinctions. NPR was wise to make Iran one of the three debate topics, given yesterday’s release of the National Intelligence Estimate.

Clinton’s Revolutionary Guard vote sank into the background after the media got caught up with horse-race politics, but the NIE has pushed it into the spotlight once again. As Clinton notes, the vote wasn’t about what Iran was doing inside its own borders, but rather how it helped Hamas, Hezbollah, and terrorist forces in Iraq. But no matter how much justification she gives, the candidates can always use a variation of John Edwards’ counter: “Among the Democratic candidates there’s only one who voted for the resolution; and that’s exactly what Bush and Cheney wanted.”

Earlier, Clinton said critique of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment has gone “too far.”

Listen to the debate here .