In An Otherwise Genial Debate, A Brief Moment of Jujitsu

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tonight's rules of engagement appear to be: strive to be nice. Clinton and Obama are clearly taking more enjoyment in hammering President Bush and the Republican candidates than they are attacking each other. That doesn't mean there aren't knives being wielded. When the topic of drivers' licences for illegal immigrants came up, Obama masked an attack with a hint of the high road.

OBAMA: The only point I would make is, Senator Clinton gave a number of different answers over the course of six weeks on this issue. And that did appear political. Now, you know, at this point, she's got a clear position. But it took a while...Initially in a debate, you said you were for it. Then you said you were against it. And the only reason I bring that up is to underscore the fact that this is a difficult political issue.

Clinton did not lack for a velvet-clad dagger of her own:

CLINTON: I just have to correct the record for one second, because, obviously we do agree about the need to have comprehensive immigration reform, and if i recall, about a week after i said that i would try to support my governor, although i didn't agree with it personally, you were asked the same question and could not answer it. so, this is a difficult issue.

[Watch for yourself.]

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