P-I – Democrats conciliatory in debates


Democrats conciliatory in debatesWednesday, January 16, 2008
Last updated 12:11 a.m. PT


LAS VEGAS — She was first in line to watch Democrats’ “winning in the West” presidential debate. Marilyn Gross wanted to hear about such Western topics as recent huge forest fires, water conservation, climate change and urban growth in a region of wide-open spaces but exploding population centers.

She would hear almost nothing about these issues.

Instead, NBC News anchors tried to rekindle a political brushfire by dwelling on racial innuendoes recently traded between backers of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They used quotes from The New York Times and one anchor even misstated the name of where the debate was being held.

Ex-Sen. John Edwards made his first Silver State appearance of the year. The state’s precinct caucuses on Saturday will anoint a front-runner in the Democrats’ exciting presidential nominating battle. But Edwards pulled his staff out of Nevada months ago in favor of a big Iowa effort.

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