Hillary On Fire

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., responds to a question during a debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

So much for Hillary The Vulnerable. Hillary's slips. Hillary's faltering campaign. Two weeks of doubt were erased in two hours of debate last night in Las Vegas.

Early on, the junior Senator from New York announced she was dressed in her asbestos pant suit. Good line and good for a laugh but it gave notice to all on the stage that Mrs. Clinton was ready: you got a flame thrower? light it up, you can't burn me.

Edwards and Obama did their best to bring some heat but, quite honestly, when it was over Mrs. Clinton was neither burned nor even singed. They brought so little heats he didn't even break a sweat.

She deftly tossed the gender card aside and watched her closest rivals struggle to confront, struggle to make themselves seem different enough so Democrats would choose them over her.

If anything the debate in Las Vegas showed that Mrs. Clinton might be an even more formidable for than anyone predicted.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.