The Democrats' three top contenders debated in Las Vegas tonight, attempting to put behind them the sniping and innuendo that has characterized the race for the last week. Barack Obama separated himself from his staff's list of the Clinton campaign's slights, saying he had reeled in his team and refocused them on the issues.
Clinton invoked the name of Martin Luther King Jr. as a sort of olive branch, saying she thought it "appropriate on Dr. King’s birthday to recognize that all of us are here as a result of what he did." John Edwards continued to stake out the populist position on economic and health care issues. The candidates sparred on how to respond to the subprime crisis, as it affects both big financial institutions and citizens at risk of losing their homes, and how best to end the American role in the Iraq war.