Sweet: Making nice at start of Las Vegas Dem debate.

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Outside the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, site of Democratic debate (photos by Lynn Sweet)

LAS VEGAS, NV.–Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton went out of their way at the start of a Democratic debate here to put behind them the racial acrimony that threatened to divide Democrats.

Clinton said some of the inflammatory comments came from “exuberant” and “sometimes uncontrollable supporters.

Obama distanced himself from a memo a South Carolina staffer pushing the story questioning the Clintons’ committmenent to civil rights.

John Edwards was asked what is “a white male to do?” given the historic nature of the Obama and Clinton candidacies.

The debate comes in advance of Saturday’s Nevada caucus, the first western state to vote for a Democratic nominee.

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