Monday, June 4, 2007

"9/11 led us down a cul-de-sac." and other thoughts on last night's debate

You're looking not-so-live from St. Anselm College. I watched the Sox-Yanks game last night instead of the debate, so sue me. Here we go...
  • Dennis Kucinich is from the city of champions. He's also standing on a box.

  • For what it's worth, Wolf Blitzer should also have a box.

  • Whoa, that dude in the front row is seriously cross-eyed.

  • Obama with the old line about needing to fight them there so they don't come home, or some sort of bunk. This is the thing that Bush has been most successful at. He's been talking this way for so long that even the Democrats have co opted some of his language.

  • Kucinich: "9/11 led us down a cul-de-sac." I don't know what that means.

  • Biden says we can save 2/3 of the soldiers lives if we give the troops V-shaped vehicles. I'm guessing there is some context to that suggestion, but without it he sounds like he's getting his ideas from watching the Jetsons.

  • Hillary's answer on her votes on Iraq was much better than Obama's. I don't know why, but Obama doesn't do well in this format. In the debates to date, he has appeared unsure on his feet. I'd expect more.

  • Obama is apparently so nice that he can't even attack John Edwards without stumbling over the punch line. And he's allowed Clinton to take the high road in this section. She sounds much better in the early going than she has in the other debates.

  • Senator Dodd has this way of tailing off and not finishing his thoughts. Ted Kennedy does the same thing. I wonder if it's a product of the ability Senators have to "revise and extend" their remarks.

  • This question about genocide in Iraq is a silly one. If we should stay there or anywhere) because of the possibility of genocide, then we will be everywhere. I mean, you could argue that genocide is possible in any society.

  • Why do we need 67 votes to end the war? To sustain a veto? It seems like if the senate wanted to cut funding, it would only take 60 votes to break a filibuster. If the president vetoes it, then it's on his head.

  • As Clinton is dodging and weaving around the question of why she didn't read the National Intelligence Estimate, Michelle just said "I hate it when they go around and around and don't answer questions." She then curled up with a blanket and a pillow.

  • Michelle on Mike Gravel: "This guy's a nut job."

  • Richardson's problem is that he is trying to talk about his broad ideas and policies, and not answer Blitzer's narrow questions. Wolf wants him to respond specifically to the word "amnesty," while Richardson is trying to outline his entire program.

  • What the hell is Biden talking about? He's started about four different thoughts trying to answer this question about immigration.

  • Barack thinks we need to toughen the border with Canada? I swear, he's making this stuff up.

  • I hate this "raising your hand" shtick. And Obama is right, the "official language" question is a stupid question. This debate so far has been full of "gotcha" questions and code words, not real discussions about policy.

  • Hillary seems much less shrill and much more in control tonight. She's also touching the right bases on health care when she talks about the insurance companies and big Pharma wanting to keep the system as it is.

  • Wolf does not want to let Richardson lay out anything resembling a complex plan about health care or anything else. He hates long answers. Please, let people talk about there ideas. Now he's trying to cut off Chris Dodd, too.

  • Obama's statistic about 25% OF California's drivers not having insurance despite the state requirement has to be wrong. There is no way the number is that high. Massachusetts is a mandatory state, and I can't imagine there are many of us who don't have insurance. In fact, if you lose your coverage, you lose your registration.

  • Would a gay Arabic linguist in fact be a cunning linguist if she were a lesbian?

  • You know things have changed when a Democrat like Hillary Clinton is more comfortable quoting Barry Goldwater than a Republican would be.

  • Richardson starts his answer about gays in the military with "I'd do what we did in New Mexico." Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the governor of New Mexico can't do anything about the military, can he?
  • And there's a picture of Wolf Blitzer's ass. Not a good camera angle.

  • Hillary is more uncomfortable about the question about her husband than she has been about any of the others.

  • Chris Dodd says the question about how to lower gas prices is "a question that deserves complex answers." When a senator starts his answer with that line, you know he has no idea what he's talking abut and is going to try to filibuster his way out of an answer. Dodd is now admirably demonstrating the art of saying nothing.

  • I think I'm going to jump off at halftime. I'm tiring and the Red Sox game has just started.

  • Richardson doesn't think the oil companies are gouging us. That may not play well with the base.
That's it for me. First impressions were that Hillary was the winner. Obama and Dodd were losers. Richardson may also have been a loser in the sense that he seemed to be clashing with the moderator on every question.

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