Wednesday, January 16, 2008

An Outbreak of Civility

Everybody got the memo, except Charlie Rangel who was still bashing Barack Obama yesterday afternoon, but by nightfall in Las Vegas, it was all sweetness and light at the Democratic round table (debate would be too harsh a word for what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards did for two hours).

For this news cycle at least, the politics of personal destruction gave way to earnest discussion of how to repair the Bush damage to America at home and around the world.

Something important must have happened to Sen. Clinton when she was 25 because she kept referring to her 35 years of experience as a qualification for the Presidency, while John Edwards kept reminding us how "personal" all the issues were for him and Barack Obama spoke often about bringing people together.

Compared to the headlines of the past week, it was all touchy-feely and rather restful.

Turning to the writerless Daily Show, the new civility was evident there too as the usually cantankerous John Bolton stopped Jon Stewart in his tracks by agreeing with him about Middle East policy while plugging his new book.

It won't last, but for the time being, it's a nice (forgive the cliché) change.

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