Hillary a no-show in a stacked showdown?

Although I wrote a post about it earlier, I have no idea what is happening at tonight's Iowa debate, because it is being broadcast on an elite network called HDNet that only five people in the United States can receive.

But there's some severe weather, and it is unclear whether Hillary will make it:

Des Moines, Iowa---Sleet, snow, and ½ an inch of ice blanket the streets of Des Moines, but tonight's Brown and Black Presidential Forum, featuring all eight Democratic presidential hopefuls, will go on as scheduled - and so will the candidates' ice spit ball throwing contest, including charges that the organizers of the event are stacking it with Clinton supporters.

Senator Hillary Clinton canceled one campaign event this afternoon in Norwalk, Iowa, and participated in the Heartland Presidential Forum via telephone at 1:30 P.M. at the Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines. She hasn't yet arrived in Des Moines.

"We're monitoring the weather situation closely," said Mark Daley, Clinton's Iowa press spokesman.

Clinton was in New Hampshire late last night and planned on flying into Iowa early today, but after two planes skidded off the runway, the Des Moines Airport shut down and is not expected to open until mid-afternoon. With a backload of planes waiting in Chicago to reach Des Moines, any presidential candidate not in Des Moines now is at risk of missing the important event scheduled for 7 P.M.

As the Clinton Iowa campaign staff sit nervously in their Des Moines office, no doubt, putting together a back-up plan just in case HRC can't make the forum, several press releases hit my email; one calling on Senator Obama to "take down his incorrect statement on Clinton's health care plan from his website."

In cyberspace, skies are clear and all lanes open for the tour de force mud slinging that is ratcheting up in these final days before the January 3 caucuses in this tight race between Senators Clinton, Obama, and former Senator John Edwards.

Obama and Clinton have been mixing it up for weeks now, including charges and countercharges of how experienced or inexperienced the other candidate is on foreign policy:

"If she wants to tout her experience of having visited countries, that's fine," the Illinois Senator said. "I don't think that Madeleine Albright would think Hillary Clinton was the face of foreign policy during the Clinton administration. But maybe she'll disagree with that."

In fact, Albright, a Clinton supporter, did disagree with Obama.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg which now seems to be roiling over the Hawkeye State in the form of a snow and ice storm that has shut down streets and caused numerous accidents on the freeway. and most residents fear a power outage with all that ice hanging heavy on utility lines.

All voters here are hoping for a thaw between the dueling the Dems though no one expects it anytime soon. The stakes are just too high.

Senator Obama will be attending the forum. He arrived here last night after first rejecting the Ex One Airport in the suburban of Ankeny because "the runway was too short for his private jet."

"Senator Edwards is just wrapping up an event at Drake University," said Iowa press spokesman Mark McCullough on a cell phone call this morning. "He'll be at the Brown Black Forum tonight."

Hillary got booed earlier in Iowa, and that's interesting in light of the talk that the organizers of tonight's debate "are stacking it with Clinton supporters."

Stacked or not, will she make it?

UPDATE: Hillary appears to have made it, in time to tell Bill Richardson that governors make good vice presidents:

New Mexico's Bill Richardson, the only governor in the race, asked Hillary Clinton, in view of her husband's career, "Don't you think governors make good presidents?" Clinton shot back, "I also think they make good vice presidents," drawing guffaws from the audience and leaving Richardson momentarily speechless.

MORE: Hillary is also being accused of "tacking right":

Clinton is also on the right among the Democratic candidates in opposing state plans to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, a measure Obama favors.
That's not the way it appeared in Philadelphia.

UPDATE: Check out my Pajamas Media analysis of the debate I could not watch -- written before it happened!

posted by Eric on 12.01.07 at 10:07 PM

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