Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"I'm the Seabiscuit of this campaign." and other thoughts on tonight's Democratic debate -- Part 1

You're looking live at steamy, sweaty Soldier Field in Chicago where the eight Democratic candidates are going to do their best to keep cool and not faint from the heat. Anyone left standing at the end will probably be a winner.

Everyone in the crowd appears to be clothed, so that's a start. Although I can't see too far into the upper deck, where the sun is.

If the president of the union doesn't stop speaking soon, I'm going to collapse from the heat and the boredom.

Air conditioning? They have air conditioning? Is that a joke, or do they actually have AC in their podiums? They shouldn't. they should have to sweat.
  • Dodd would have been better off saying "I'm a Bud man and a Cubs fan." He's also not really talking about infrastructure. And he's yelling. Someone should remind him that he has a microphone. He doesn't need to yell to speak to the back off the audience. Michelle says it's the most passionate he has sounded. She's probably right. I'm just cynical.

  • Hillary: "Da Bears!"

  • Obama: "Da Bears, Da Bears, Da Bears, Da Bears, Da Bears, Da Bears, Da Bears!" Michelle notes that he's not answering the question and that he goofed in saying we're not safer that we were after 9/11.

  • Biden: "We don't need any more commissions," Hillary. Ah, and he's going after Giuliani. That's the ticket. Giuliani went after the Dems at the debate Sunday (and probably won). Biden obviously was watching.

  • Edwards thinks that he's got something on this lobbyist money issue. He obviously thinks that's his way to get at Hillary.

  • Kucinich is basically saying that it's his fault that the Browns left Cleveland, since he wouldn't build them a new stadium to replace the dilapidated stadium.

  • Obama: "Da Bears!"

  • Richardson is against privatizing roads and bridges. That should be a no-brainer, but there are an awful lot of people who think we should sell our infrastructure for a quick financial fix.

  • Hillary, how would you fix NAFTA? The only good answer for this crowd would be to say that she'd scrap it (as Kucinich has). But she's just nibbling around the edges trying to make it sound like she's more against it than she is.

  • Would you scrap NAFTA or fix it?

  • Richardson would "fix it," and toss all the union-busting lawyers out on their ears.

  • Obama will immediately talk to the presidents of Mexico and Canada (which is a prime minister, but who's counting). So now we're going to talk to Iran, N. Korea, Cuba, Canada, and Mexico.

  • Biden would go one better, taking the leaders of Canada and Mexico to the mat. That would be worth watching. Perhaps they could duke it out in a cage, too.

  • Dodd stands with labor, and it looks like the stage is about to fly off into the sky.

  • Edwards says NAFTA has cots America 1 million jobs. He just smacked someone for being on the cover of fortune. I'll have to look it up. Apparently it was Hillary.

  • Kucinich will scrap NAFTA within the first week.

  • Hillary is trying not to lash out at Edwards. She wants to be our gal.

  • An excellent question, how do you explain that Made in America is better if other items are cheaper. Obama says it's because people would pay more if it meant they kept their job. But that's a little naive. Most people's jobs aren't tied to the manufacturing sector.

  • Is China an ally or an adversary? Richardson: China needs to do better in a host of areas, including human rights.

  • Obama: China is a competitor, but doesn't have to be an enemy. Good line.

  • Biden: The problem is that they "own the mortgage on our house." He wants to cut taxes and reduce the deficit? Is he a Reagan Republican now?

  • Hillary: I'm with Biden. "I don't want to eat bad food from China or give my children toys that will get them sick." That's the best answer so far. Meets people exactly where they are.

  • Dodd: We need to be able to flood China with cheap American goods to make the playing field even.

  • Edwards: No one is mentioning human rights abuses. He didn't hear Richardson's answer, apparently. Looks like Hillary stole his thunder on toys and food.

  • Kucinich:"If you dig a hole deep enough you'll get to China. Well, we're there."
First break. Kucinich is winning so far, Clinton has also been strong. Since Kucinich isn't actually going to win, it looks good for Hillary so far.


We're back, and on to Iraq.
  • If you get us out of Iraq and al Qaeda takes over, what will you do, Bill Richardson? Richardson is essentially rejecting the question and giving a mushy answer on long-term goals. He should have hit that one out of the park, since he's been calling for an immediate withdrawal.

  • Biden smacks Obama on Pakistan.

  • Hillary wants to redeploy smartly. Blah blah blah. What does that mean, exactly? She actually sounds like she's for the surge. I'll bet that won't play well.

  • Dodd said something I didn't get.

  • Edwards would draw down 50,000 now, and then practice diplomacy. What will happen with the other 100,000 troops?

  • Kucinich is on fire.

  • Barack, who did you wait until the last minute to vote on the supplemental? He's filibustering. He has to, because he waited for 50 votes on one side so he could vote without worrying about the consequences. Same thing for Hillary Clinton, despite her bloviations.

  • Chris Dodd, is Barack naive and reckless? Yes, he's irresponsible for threatening to bomb an ally. Obama says he's amused, but he doesn't sound like it. How can someone who voted for the war credibly tell me about foreign policy?

  • Hillary says you shouldn't always say what you think when you're running for president. The crowd doesn't like it. Actually, I don't like it. If you want to be president, you'd better damn well tell me what you're thinking. Obama doesn't like it either. "The American people have a right to know."
Second break: Kucinich is still winning. Obama did a pretty good job in the exchange over Pakistan. Clinton did not.

Part 2 coming up...

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