Barack and Hilary. Hillary and Barack.

If you have been watching any of the democratic debates lately you have been treated to some serious sparing between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Nobody really likes the mudslinging which often results in a draw, but I have to wonder why so much time is reserved for this sort of McNasty campaigning? And why does the media focus on it so?
Here’s my take. As nasty as it is, and as petty as some of the points and counterpoints are, I think it gives us a view into the candidates under pressure. Do they remain cool? Do they stumble? Do they loose sight of their strategic vision or do they get embroiled in the tactical piss-fest? Who looks ready to crack, America ask. All other policy things being relatively equal, I look to these moments to help me understand who acts “presidential” under pressure and who is wired best to handle the pressure-packed job.