Hillary: Palin ‘Composed…Effective’ During Debate

By Nitya

Oct 3, 2008 4:19pm

ABC News’ Nitya Venkataraman Reports: If you were asking her to score it, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.,  would describe Sen. Joe Biden’s debate performance as "flawless", and tell you she’d always expected high marks for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the debate stage.

"I think she’s very good," Clinton said, praising Palin on Ryan Seacrest’s Los Angeles-based radio show Friday morning. "It’s amazing: she’s been thrust into the national spotlight with very little preparation and I think that, all things considered, you saw a very composed and effective debater last night."

Praise for Palin’s debate performance aside, Clinton reiterated her support for her former Democratic rivals during the morning radio interview and said "the real issue is who is better for America."

Referencing the current challenges facing the country — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s call for a potential $7 billion loan to California run day-to-day operations in his state among them — the New York senator said "the Obama-Biden ticket is much more likely to deal with these tough problems and I think the McCain-Palin ticket, as we saw again last night, is offering pretty much the same prescription which helped to get us where we are today."

As for the debates themselves, the New York senator laughingly said she enjoys taking in a debate when neither she nor her husband are required to participate. It was hard to watch her husband face-off on the debate stage, Clinton said, and "nerve-wracking" to play her own tapes back. "It’s like watching my daughter do something. It’s just a human reaction when somebody you love or you’re really rooting for is in that kind of position," Clinton said.

Clinton is in Los Angeles for an environmentally-themed Saturday fundraiser "Angelenos Go Green for Obama" to raise money for the Democratic presidential candidate and Democrats in November Senate races. The event will be headlined by longtime Clinton friend Jon Bon Jovi who hosted a New Jersey bash for Sen. Barack Obama last month which hauled in more than $4 million.

Both Sen. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have come under recent fire for what some interpret as lukewarm support of Obama who defeated the New York senator four months ago after a bruising, eighteen-month battle for the Democratic presidential nomination that left deep divisions within the party.

Despite her praise for Palin, Clinton stood firm behind her party encouraging voters to "strike the center" and "figure out how we’re going to work our way through this" to "come out of it stronger than we went in."

"What I’m hoping is on November 4 we are going to clean house from top to bottom, we’re going to get back to having people who know what they’re doing and can explain it," Clinton said. "But I am really hopeful we’re going to elect strong Democrats, we’re going to get back to putting the people’s business first, we’re going to get a much better balance between the do-nothing folks and the do-everything folks."

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