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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Who better to debate than lawyers?

I was watching some of last night's Democratic presidential debate when I heard Hillary Clinton take John Edwards to task for receiving lots of donations from (gasp!) trial lawyers. It was then that it occurred to me that all three of the Democratic candidates debating were lawyers. Clinton practiced at the Rose firm in Arkansas. Edwards was a North Carolina trial attorney who obtained a number of big verdicts and settlements for his clients, most notably $25M for a three-year-old who was disemboweled by the suction of a pool drain. Barack Obama was a lawyer in Chicago, where he represented community organizers and handled voting-rights cases. He became a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago and a state senator.

Two out of the three went to Ivy League law schools -- Clinton (Yale) and Obama (Harvard). Edwards went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In any event, it was a spirited debate. Since it's a political topic, I won't weigh in too deeply. It's just as well, anyway. I kept flicking between the debate and "The Lobotomist" -- the PBS "American Experience" airing that night on the controversial father of the lobotomy operation. I don't know if public television purposely ran something about lobotomies opposite a presidential debate -- but the irony was not lost on me. I was tempted to give them a piece of my mind ...

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