MANCHESTER, N.H., 9:34 p.m. — The minute-by-minute speaks for itself:
9:26 p.m. | “We’re all advocating for change,” Clinton asserts. But it’s easier said than done, she says, and points to her record. Change, she says, “is a result of very hard work, bringing people together, stating very clearly what your goals are, what your principles are, and then achieving them.”
9:27 p.m. | Oh no she didn’t! Clinton just called Obama a flip-flopper, particularly on healthcare. “I think that’s relevant,” she said. “I think we’re looking for a president we can count on.” Didn’t someone — perhaps a certain Republican? — make that same argument against John Kerry in 2004?
9:32 p.m. | Oh no he didn’t! Bloodbath! Edwards just attacked Clinton for attacking Obama, lamenting that people who support change — like him and Obama — always get beaten up. “That’s not the kind of discussion we should be having,” he said, adding that whenever anyone pushes for change, “the forces of status quo are going to attack.” That’s a not-too-subtle dig at Clinton.
9:34 p.m. | It gets worse! Forget any attempt to be subtle. Edwards says what everyone in the filing center is thinking. “I didn’t see these kind of attacks from Senator Clinton when she was ahead,” he said.
Clinton can’t let that go. “Wait a minute now, I want to respond to this,” she said. “Making change is not about what you believe, it’s not about a speech you make, it’s about working hard.”
9:36 p.m. | Richardson chimes in, and sets the room afire with laughter. “I’ve been in hostage negotiations a lot more civil then this,” he quipped. “Let’s stay positive,” he implores. He notes, for the record, however: “I love change.”
— Thomas Kaplan