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Other Democrats let Clinton off the hook on license issue

  LAS VEGAS, Nev. … It got pretty hot here in the desert Thursday night, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came prepared.

   "This pantsuit, it's asbestos tonight," she said.

   What Clinton didn't say was that she was also carrying a flamethrower.

   What's more, she used it.

   In what seemed like the 2,578th debate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination (but was really only the eighth), Clinton fired back at the opponents who had been firing at her for the past two weeks.

   She accused former Sen. John Edwards of "slinging mud" that was "right out of the Republican playbook."

   And she attacked Sen. Barack Obama for offering a health care plan that leaves 15 million people uncovered … pointedly noting that that's about the number of people in Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the first four states where people will vote for their presidential favorites.

   And afterwards, the pundits … who love to see third-degree burns at such affairs … raved about Clinton's performance.

   Yet one question remained. Why did the moderator, Buffalo's own Wolf Blitzer, and the other candidates let Clinton off the hook on the question that burned her so badly in the previous  debate?

   After two weeks of contradictions and vagaries, Clinton was again asked if she favored  driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

   She said "No" … and nobody challenged her to say anything more.

   So what do you think? What would have happened if Clinton had been seriously challenged on that question?

   Would she have come away with a few burns of her own?

--Jerry Zremski

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