Bloggers on the Austin, Texas, Democratic debate.

Bloggers on the Austin, Texas, Democratic debate.

Bloggers on the Austin, Texas, Democratic debate.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Feb. 22 2008 5:20 PM

Playing Nice

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debated—again, the League of Conservation Voters released its annual scorecard, and pop star Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins.

Playing nice:Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had a fairly cordial debate last night in Austin, Texas. Bloggers wonder why Hillary didn't go negative and ask if her soft approach worked.

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"At least conventional political logic would dictate that she had no choice but to go after him just as she has been doing on the campaign trail," says Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo."But she didn't. Some are saying that she realizes she's losing and she wants to lose gracefully or not damage the interests of the Democratic party in the fall. Others that the tack she took is actually the best one for her to take. I suspect it's a bit of both."

RJ Eskow of the Huffington Post argues that the real winner was the "Democratic Party. Finally after a dark and long winter came a glimmer of light, a possibility that this party could emerge from its bitter primary season united and uplifted." At Firedoglake, Scarecrow agrees: "[T] main message Democrats are delivering is that we have two exceptional candidates who understand what has happened and who are both committed to do something about the mess we're in." So does Glenn Smith of MyDD: "You can't be in the room with these two candidates without liking both of them."

The Corner, the National Review's water-cooler blog, isn't so warm and cuddly. Kathryn Jean Lopez says the victory goes to "Barack Obama, even with a cold. And – and unbelievable as it is to comprehend after all we've been through – I think we just saw one of Hillary Clinton's final campaign moments, with a moving closer."

And about that closer … Jonathan Stein of MojoBlog contends "that handshake was seen by some in the media last night as a valedictory. It was a composed, graceful moment that humanized Clinton (and Obama) and showed that beneath their politicians' veneers, they are just fundamentally decent human beings. But the press saw the beginning of the end for Clinton. And indeed, it could be seen as Clinton laying the groundwork for a graceful exit."

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Read more about the debate.

McCain's big zero: The League of Conservation Voters released its annual environmental scorecard Thursday, which rates lawmakers based on their environment-related votes. Hillary Clinton scored 73 percent and Obama 67 percent. But the Republican front-runner received a zero out of 100. His career score is 24 percent.

"No, that's not a typo. McCain scored a big fat zilch," quips David Roberts on The Nation's new guest blog, Passing Through. "[That's] mainly because [he] missed every single vote LCV scored, including the big votes around the energy bill. … McCain was the only Senator to miss every LCV vote – he was outvoted by legislators who were out sick most of the year, even some who died this year. You're dead silent, is it still straight talk?"

Eric B. of Michigan Liberal reminds readers that "McCain has been trumpeted for his environmental positions, mostly because he thinks we need to do something about global warming. Execution, as they say, is another story; and although McCain got a zero last year mostly because he missed a bunch of votes, his lifetime voting record of 24 percent doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence."

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The simple + green blog argues that green issues are political issues, and that "a massive sea change is approaching. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, these are likely to be some of the most important issues of the coming election year."

But Michael Goldfarb of the conservative Weekly Standard's newly combined and rebranded Blog (formerly Campaign Standard and Worldwide Standard) wonders if the scorecard might actually please right-wingers: "Do you hear that Rush? He'd score better if he were worm food. … second look at McCain!"

Read more about the McCain's grade.

Little J. Los: Pop star Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins early Friday—a boy and a girl. Rumor has it that J. Lo and her husband, Marc Anthony, will be getting between $4 million and $6 million from People for the baby pics.

Smiley at Popular has some name predictions: "Jennifer Lopez Jr and marc Anthony Jr LOL. As much as I like Jennifer Lopez, it's no secret how big her ego is."

Gawker, predictably enough, tries to screw overPeople's exclusive, which "would be ruined by anyone lawfully and safely snapping a photo and sending it to a competing media outlet, like say tips@gawker.com, which FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY pays you $7.50 per 1000 views!"

Read more about J. Lo's twins.

Juliet Lapidos is a staff editor at the New York Times.