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Losing Pretty at Dem Debate

02/22/2008 01:07 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Was it the awkward handshake at the end or the half-hearted delivery of scripted attack lines that made Hillary Rodham Clinton come across as the one conceding the race in the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday?

Surprisingly, Clinton showed no signs of a combatant who had come to change the game against Barack Obama. Perhaps she is coming around to the view that Obama's nomination is inevitable but that his victory in November is not. By easing into a gracious exit strategy, Clinton would hope to be in shape to pick up the pieces if Democrats lose the general election under Obama.

Or maybe the Clinton camp believes that debates are not the place to tear into Obama -- and some other tactic is in the works. Either way, in this debate Clinton chose against making a real effort to win ugly. Craig's Webcam Review now on CQ Politics Trail Mix