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Opening Statements

Tonight's Democratic debate in Philadelphia began in the most traditional of manners -- opening statements by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.).

Obama won the coin toss (symbolic?) and elected to go first, touching on the frustration that people across Pennsylvania and America feel without ever mentioning the "bitter" remarks that drew so much attention over the past five days.

"This election offers us an opportunity to change that," said Obama. "I am running for president to ensure the people of America are heard in the White House."

Clinton, providing yet more evidence that there is very little difference between the two candidates, echoed Obama's sentiments.

"There is a lot of concern across Pennsylvania and America," said Clinton. "People feel as though their government is not solving problems. I am running for president because I know we can meet the challenges of today."

One other note: ABC News is REALLY playing up the fight theme for tonight's debate. "We are in round 15 of a scheduled 10-rounder," moderator Charlie Gibson said at the outset of the the proceedings.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 16, 2008; 8:14 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Obama Addresses "Bitter," Clinton Hits Back

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