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After Jim Lehrer tried for the third time to get John McCain and Barack Obama to answer his question about where they stood on the financial recovery plan, I decided that I needed a time machine that would turn back the clock and put on that debate stage a candidate who could actually answer the question — and would do so with an understanding of the economy and a firm conviction about the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton wasn’t there. But time after time, as the debate progressed — or regressed, in my opinion — Hillary Clinton would have had a better answer, would have had a better understanding of the underlying issues, and would have explained herself without McCain’s stuttering repetitions or Obama’s murky equivocations.

Hillary would have been the real “straight talk express,” a model of the real change we need.

Unfortunately, there is another 40 days or so until we elect the wrong person president.