Sunday, August 19, 2007

"What I believe in is love." and thoughts from today's Democratic Debate -- Part 1

You are looking live at Des Moines, Iowa, site of the 458th Democratic Presidential debate. OK, again not live, since I have better things to do at 9:00 am. Obama says he's out of the rest of the debates (other than the "official" debates), but I'm not! I'll be here for all of them. And away we go...
  • Hey Hillary, Obama's not ready, right? Ho ho, ha ha. I'm not going to criticize a naive, inexperienced candidate on this stage, George.

  • Senator Dodd, you've said Obama's completely out of touch. Should he be president? What kind of stupid questions are these to start? Why ask the seven candidates what they think about the eighth? What is that supposed to prove?

  • Richardson takes the early lead! You've got Obama who represents change and Clinton who represents experience. Both are important, which is why you should vote for me.

  • Obama with a nice line about the bumper cars at the fair. After talking about Pakistan, he says "there is one more thing I believe..." I hope to hell that he believes in more than Pakistan and just one other thing.

  • George pins Hillary on nuclear weapons. I wonder if George feels like he needs to be tougher on Clinton, since he worked for the former president. Kind of like a father who coaches his son and is tougher on him so that he doesn't appear to be playing favorites.

  • Looks like this is going to be the Hillary and Obama show.

  • Hey, Obama has a fly on his forehead. Wonder if that's an indication that he's full of shit?

  • Senator Edwards finally has a chance to speak and he starts by guffawing about hope and optimism? Clunk. He says "actually" when he's talking about his points. I find people who talk in those kind of terms to be a little shady.

  • Michelle says Mike Gravel is "out of his mind." I like him because he gives me a chance to catch up with the blogging.

  • Richardson seems engaged for a change.

  • Again, here we go with the Clinton-bashing from Stephonopolous. Why would he ever start a question with Karl Rove's premise. Is it at all possible that Rove is talking badly about Clinton precisely because he is most afraid of her, not as some sort of objective observer? If Rove says Clinton is unelectable, I immediately suspect that he thinks she is the most formidable.

  • Obama says he believes he is the best person to lead the country. Edwards counters that he "has a different view." Well no kidding, Mr. Obvious. If you didn't disagree, you would drop out and support Obama wouldn't you? I just don't see how this Washington lobbyist thing gains enough traction to help him.

  • Clinton is right about Rove's obsession with her, as am I. Pardon me while I pat myself on the back.

  • I guess all we are going to do for the next five minutes is argue about the influence of lobbyists. I guess the fact that the game is being played on Edwards turf right now is a good thing, but I just don't think this a huge issue.

  • Chris Dodd is right about "situational ethics" where candidates think their donors are good and the opponents' donors are bad, but no one is listening because he is Chris Dodd and he sounds and talks like a generic senator.

  • Hey, Kucinich is there! And he's pissed that he hasn't spoken for the first 15 minutes. He's talking about health care, but he's still pissed. He doesn't seem as happy as he has in previous debates.

  • Tee it up for Richardson...and whiff. Don't use words like tri-partite. You turn people off by using big ambassador words. He should have started by saying he will bring the troops out, not adding that as an addendum to the end of his question.

  • Hillary, help a brother out, yo! Michelle is tired of her not being specific on how she'd take the troops out. This is good for Richardson, in that he gets to stand out as the only one of the "top tier" who is committed to a quick withdrawal. Anytime every candidate is debating one candidates, position, it's a good thing for that candidate.

  • Gravel wants to ally with Iran and Syria and let them have Iraq. Hoo boy!

  • Richardson wants to know what the purpose of Clinton's and Biden's "residual force" is. Good question. Turn it on them. He overtalked the question, and lost some of the impact of it, but that's what he needs to do, force them to explain why troops need to stay.

  • And even better news for Richardson: Obama agrees with Edwards, Clinton and Biden. The point has been made: Richardson is the only member of the top tier who is willing to stand up to take our troops out. He has to be thrilled with how this is going.

  • Stephonopolous pinned Obama down on specifics, and Obama is starting to stammer a little. I don't think he wanted to get pinned down.

  • Kucinich is still mad. He blames the "Democratic Senate" for going along with the war. Were the Democrats still in charge when the war was authorized? I'm going to half to look that one up.

  • Do you believe in a personal God? Hillary says she can't hear the question. Sounds like she's trying to buy time to come up with an answer. That is not going to go over well with the religious folk (not that they were going to vote for her anyway).

  • Dodd says we don't do anything "without [God's] approval." None of these guys sound convincing so far.

  • Gravel: "What I believe in is love." Hasn't that been obvious throughout the debates? He is really a big cuddly teddy bear.

  • Richardson seems sincere. Biden also seems sincere. And he's a martyr.

  • Obama is speaking now. I've got to say, I'm looking past him. I can't wait to hear Kucinich's answer. Obama would pray for strength and wisdom. That's actually a pretty good answer.

  • Kucinich: "I've been standing here for 45 minutes praying to God that you would call on me." Now that is the most candid answer of the night!

  • Oh come on, they get a guy with overalls to ask a question? He can't be real, can he? He's got to be straight out of central casting.

  • Chris Dodd wants the Internet in every farmer's home. That'll do it.

  • Edwards has a number of supporters in the hall. I think he could advocate the torture of all dogs under 35 pounds and get a hearty round of applause.

  • Obama always says that "every proposal that has been talked about is a good one" before adding his two cents. Every single time.

  • Richardson gets 20 seconds to finish this segment. Much as I'm rooting for the guy, he couldn't recite his social security number in 20 seconds. And he gets cut off.
More to come.

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