Liveblogging The 8 PM EST Debate
I’ll be liveblogging the 8 PM EST debate tonight. If you’re going to be watching, make sure to tune in, refresh, and check out the commentary and comments section while you watch.
7:46: On the one hand, this debate may be relatively dull, because almost all of the other Democratic debates have been dull. On the other hand, since the wicked witch of New York is on the ropes, you have to figure she’s going to do everything short of throwing sand in Obama’s eyes and then hitting him in the knee with a pipe wrench to win.
8:00: Wow, Campbell Brown is kind of cute.
8:01: The glacier and the phony are hitting the stage. Hopefully, we can get down to it without dragging the intros out for 10 minutes.
8:04: CNN always does this crap. Ok, the debate is starting, now the candidates will screw around for a while before we get started. Why should we, as the viewers, care about this crap? If they want to take photos with local officials on stage, why can’t they do it before 8 PM?
8:08: Here we go — Hillary luvs Austin, Texas! Yada, yada, yada. Not that I care, but has Hillary gained weight? Maybe it’s just that outfit. Hillary is pro-sick people, got you! She also is taking a courageous stand on behalf of veterans. I’m sure the anti-veterans lobbies will be just outraged!
8:13: Barack wants to “unify” for “change!” Hooray! He also has people with some sad stories. Like the lady who has to work hard and still can’t afford health care for her sister. Ehr, why is she paying for health care for her sister? Wonder how Barack stays so thin on the campaign trail? Could it be….cocaine? I think I heard the Clinton campaign say he used to use cocaine.
Barack doesn’t like special interests (which ones) and he is promising an America that’s as good as its promise. Ok, that’s an agenda…
8:18: Barack will just meet with the guy — because he’s a dope. Dictators aren’t interested in goofballs who repeat “yes, we can,” “change,” and “hope” over and over. I wonder how much contempt our enemies would have for us if we put this guy in charge? It would be like Jimmy Carter Part 2.
8:20: Hillary responds — eh, she didn’t score any points there with normal people although the libs in audience liked the shot at Bush. Chelsea looks foxy in the audience.
8:21: Barack doesn’t think we stand above the rest of the world? It’s not a privilege to meet with the President of the US? Audience loves it, but he sounds clueless.
8:26: Obama — The economy has been in trouble for four years? Also, if an area has been in economic trouble for decades, isn’t the problem with the area? Barack throws in a tax cut for people under 50k. Opposes lead paint on Chinese toys. Those are pluses for him. Investing in solar, wind, and biodiesel will put people back to work? Geeze…what’s that, a greenie FDR work problem he’s suggesting? Ugh…Barack is going to form a coalition for change. How is Barack going to do that? He’s the most liberal man in the Senate. How often are Republicans going to do that?
8:29: Hillary, a trade prosecutor. Enforce trade agreements. We should definitely do that. Tougher safety standards on imports — free traders should be saying the same thing. Ugh, a moratorium on home foreclosures. It sucks to lose your home, but that’s life. You buy a house you can’t afford, you may lose it. Freeze interest rates for 5 years? Ugh! Again, here’s Hillary with the government job program. We’ve got to end Bush’s non-existent war on science!
8:30: Did Hillary just say that she considers stopping enforcement of immigration laws until comprehensive immigration reform passes? I think she did. Not much enforcement talk, lots of talk about amnesty. She would push an amnesty bill in her first 100 days.
8:32: Barack, we’ve got to tone down the immigration rhetoric. No one is allowed to oppose amnesty apparently — too hateful. In other words, the bill that went down in flames back in 2006 — Hillary and Obama love it, except they think it’s too soft. The legal immigration system does need to be fixed. We’ve got to work with Mexico to help them produce jobs…like Bush hasn’t been bending over backwards to do that. Bush has screwed that up…does anyone believe that? Barack is not just going to fix the American economy, he’s going to fix the Mexican economy, too.
8:39: She said the words Bush and dumb in a sentence. Har, har, har! Hillary does not want to answer this question. It’s pander to Hispanics in Texas vs. committing electoral suicide in the general election. Hillary wants to listen to people along the border, never answers the question. Follow-up because she didn’t answer. Hillary goes on to smart fencing. Why, how dare Bush actually try to build the fence! Hillary sounds like she doesn’t want an actual fence, she wants a smart fence everywhere. No real answer though.
8:40: Barack: “There may be SOME areas where it makes sense to do SOME fencing.” They’re really lining up not to build the fence. It’s “fairness” and “justice” to just allow every illegal alien to become a citizen. Geeze, amazing as it may be, John McCain is actually to the Right of these two clowns on illegal immigration. Pass the Dream Act to allow illegal aliens to go to school here on the taxpayer dime.
8:42: Is there a downside for America becoming a bilingual nation? Hillary, English needs to be our common unifying language. Even she’s not willing to pander that much. She is adamantly against making English the official language.
8:44: Barack is turning into total mush on this. We should encourage every child to speak two languages. Don’t we already try to do that?
8:49: Commercial break — As per usual, Hillary, who has no charisma and Barack, who is supposed to be the most charismatic man on earth, are running about even in the debate (Hillary is ahead by a nose — maybe?). So far, I am a little surprised because Hillary hasn’t taken a single significant shot at Bambi so far.
8:50: Hillary, are you saying your opponent is all hat and no cattle. She attacks Bush instead of Obama and then…still waiting…I am kind of surprised she isn’t trying to take a chunk out of Obama tonight. Here we go, one of Senator Obama’s supporters was asked to name one accomplishment of Obama and couldn’t.
8:57: Barack is now talking “20 years of service.” Now he’s taking credit for a bunch of things that he’s only marginally connected with. He signed onto a few bills, and he’s talking about them as if he wrote them or was essentially responsible for their passing. Obama, Hillary is saying my supporters are delusional and are being duped. Boy, is that on target. Barack will inspire the American people and end all divisions and…does anyone believe this? He’s the most liberal guy in the Senate. How is he ever going to bring people together?
8:57: Barack: Words matter, I didn’t plagarize anything. It’s silly season. Hillary looks vacant up there now. We’ve got to surrender in Iraq, cut taxes (Didn’t Clinton promise that?), national service, which ever pol says.
9:02: Hillary: If your candidacy is going to be about words, they should be your own words. This isn’t change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox. Good lines! We have to unite the country around specific goals. We can’t just say come together. Ouch, this kitten has claws! Now, she’s blasting him on health care, foreclosures. We’ve got to do hard work, not just bringing people together, but overcoming entrenched opposition. Hillary is talking up her health care program in 1993, which, doesn’t make a lot of sense since it failed and she’s talking about getting people together to get things done.
9:06: Barack got pole axed there…let’s see if he has a decent response. He’s getting into the weeds on health care. Wonk stuff. He had no real response to the beat down Hill laid on him….except, health care in 1993, she did it the wrong way. Hillary did the health care behind closed doors. She blew it. We’ve got to be open. Weak response overall.
9:06: Going to commercial. Hillary has now moved ahead after drawing blood there. PS: Where’s that incredible charisma Barack is supposed to have? How come it so seldom shows up in these debates?
9:10: Hillary, I am ready to be Commander-In-Chief but let’s get back into wonk stuff on health care. Gah!
9:12: Now Barack is back to wonk stuff on health care. Sigh.
9:15: Blah, blah, health care, blah, blah…
9:17: Hillary: I can be a good Commander-In-Chief. Dodges the question about Barack.
9:21: Barack, I would be a great Commander-In-Chief! I wouldn’t hesitate to strike our enemies, unless they’re in Iraq, where I will surrender to Al-Qaeda. So, if our troops didn’t have enough equipment in Afghanistan, wouldn’t that be because Clinton didn’t leave Bush the material he needed? I have better judgment because I opposed going into Iraq. I have shown great judgment.
9:24: Iraq is clearly getting better; will you admit it? Hillary — no, I won’t admit it. Blah, blah, blah.
9:26: Barack: Violence has been reduced. But, it was a mistake to go in the first place, so it’s irrelevant. Because I opposed the war in the first place, I can better argue that we should do something dumb now when I have to debate McCain. It won’t play out the way you suspect, my friends. Vets are victims! John McCain doesn’t understand the economy!
9:27: Commercial break. Now we’re back to dull. I am ready for this to be over.
9:31: You were responsible for 91 million in earmarks. You won’t say why. Barack: I did! I have put them all out there.
9:33: Hillary, you got 340 million in earmarks. McCain doesn’t do any. What do you say? Does he have a better case to make than you? Why, no! He supported the Iraq war and the Bush tax cuts. Of course, I can beat McCain on fiscal conservatism.
9:36: Hillary, what if it comes down to super delegates? We will be unified.
9:37: Primaries and caucuses should count for something. Super delegates must go the way the voters do — now that I am doing better with the voters. He would be arguing exactly the opposite thing if he were behind and thought he could win that way.
9:38: Final question! Huzzah! Talk about a moment of crisis that tested you. Obama. Name a single moment that tested you….Honest answer: I’ve led a charmed life. I snorted coke, had fun, and still became a senator. Real answer: community organized, rough childhood, dodge, dodge, dodge. I have cumulative experience. Lame answer.
9:40: Everybody here knows I have lived through some crises and challenging moments. Applause. How do you do it, Hillary? How do you keep going? Why, my life has been nothing compared to the people whom I meet. Like military men. Those guys have it tough. The hits I have taken are nothing compared to them. I have been blessed. I want others to have the same opportunities that I have. I am so honored to be here with Barack Obama. We’re going to be fine no matter what happens. I just hope we can say the same about the American people.
Wow, towering Grand Slam home run on that last question for Hill. Great way for her to end a debate.
Summary: All in all, the debate was a little dull and as per usual, Hillary and Obama were closely matched and have very similar positions in general. However, Obama sounded a little more naive than Hillary and she did splatter him on plagiarism in a line that will be much replayed and she had an absolutely awesome answer on the closing question.
With that in mind, the winner was: Hillary Clinton and the loser was Barack Obama.