Hillary Clinton sought to dominate the last forum before Iowa’s Caucuses that featured Clinton and the other candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Clinton must have watched or been briefed about The Des Moines Register debate among Republican candidates on Wednesday. The Republicans refused to give debate moderator Carolyn Washburn a show of hands when she asked who believed global warming was a problem. "Carolyn, do you want to ask us to raise our hands about global warming?" Clinton inserted during a brief lull. "You didn’t get a very good response from the Republicans yesterday."
Washburn replied: "I wasn’t doing that today."
Clinton then seemed to temporarily appoint herself spokesperson for all the candidates who shared the stage with her: "We all want to be on record. We all believe in it. We think it’s a real problem."
A few moments later, Clinton sought to distinguish herself from main rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards. "Everyone wants change," Clinton said. "…Some believe you get change by demanding it. Some believe you get it by hoping for it. I believe you get it by working hard for change. That’s what I’ve done my entire life."
Yet Clinton’s assertiveness seemed to backfire when she interrupted this exchange that began with the moderator asking a question of Barack Obama. "With relatively little foreign policy experience of your own, how will you rely on so many Clinton advisors and still deliver the kind of break from the past that you’re promising voters?" Washburn asked.
Clinton laughed, then said: "I want to hear that." Some in the crowd laughed.
"Well, Hillary, I’m looking forward to you advising me as well," Obama replied. Many in the crowd applauded.
Throughout the debate, Obama and Edwards each focused on their particular vision of change. Obama — the candidate Clinton accused of hoping for change — focused on the "urgency" he sees. "Now, I am confident that we can meet these challenges," Obama said. "I believe we can provide better economic security, that we can restore our standing in the world and that we can make sure that our children have a brighter future, but we can only do it if we have the courage to change, if we can bring the country together, if we can push back against the special interests and if we level with the American people about how we’re going to solve our problems."
Edwards — the candidate Clinton accused of demanding change — presented himself as someone who is driven by his gut instincts. "What makes America America is at stake: jobs, the middle class, health care, preserving the environment and the world for future generations –but all those things are at risk," Edwards said. "And why are they at risk? Because of corporate power and corporate greed in Washington, D.C. and we have to take them on. You can’t make a deal with them. You can’t hope that they’re going to go away. You have to actually be willing to fight."
Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd also participated in the forum, which was broadcast on Iowa Public Television.