Washington: Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton embraced the policies of the Obama administration from healthcare to economy and foreign policy in particular Iran during her party's first presidential debate this year.
At the same time, the former Secretary of State appeared to have deliberately avoided attacking or even mentioning Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front runner, in the debate in Iowa last night.
While Clinton's other two Democratic presidential rivals - Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley - did attack Trump, she appeared to have learnt lessons from the last debate in which she openly criticised Trump, following which she was strongly attacked by the real estate tycoon and his supporters.
"If Donald Trump wants to start a registry in our country of people by faith, he can start with me, and I will sign up as one who is totally opposed to his fascist appeals that wants to vilify American Muslims. That can do more damage to our democracy than any," O'Malley said.
"It is beyond my comprehension how we can elect a president of the United States, somebody like Trump, who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese," Sanders said.
Clinton on her part maintained her cool and preferred not to attack or even mention Trump during the entire debate.
Even when she had an opportunity, she only mentioned the Republican candidates.
"It is not only shameful, it is dangerous for the kinds of comments you're hearing from the Republican side. We need to be reaching out and unifying our country against terrorist attacks and lone wolves, and working with Muslim Americans," she said.
Instead, Clinton appeared to have embraced the policies of President Barack Obama in whose first term she served as the Secretary of State.
"I am absolutely committed to universal health care," she said when asked about 'Obamacare'.
"The fact is, we have the Affordable Care Act. That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party, and of our country," she said.
"We have already seen 19 million Americans get insurance. We have seen the end of pre-existing conditions keeping people from getting insurance," Clinton said and then defended Obama
for taking on Wall Street.
Clinton also defended Obama administration on his Iran and Syria policies.
"I think that the President's decision to go after the chemical weapons (in Syria) once there was a potential opportunity to build on when the Russians opened that door
resulted in a very positive outcome. We were able to get the chemical weapons out," she said.
"I know from my own experience as secretary of state that we were deeply worried about Assad's forces using chemical weapons because it would have had not only a horrific effect on people in Syria, but it could very well have affected the surrounding states Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey. So getting those chemical weapons out was a big deal," she said.
"I think, as commander in chief, you've got to constantly be evaluating the decisions you have to make. I know a little bit about this, having spent many hours in the situation room, advising President Obama," Clinton said.