The Highlights From The Democratic Debate Last Night

by John Hawkins | July 24, 2007 8:58 am

Last night, I suffered through the Democratic debate so that you wouldn’t have to do it — and honestly, you didn’t miss much. CNN really wasn’t all that tough on them and the debate was every bit as interminably dull and liberal as you’d imagine.

However, there were a few moments of note because of what the candidates said or because of the really dumb questions the candidates were asked and so, I decided to post those for you…

The Kucinich doctrine is revealed,

“I say we achieve strength through peace. That’s the new doctrine that I’m going to promote throughout this campaign.” — Dennis Kucinich

Hillary won’t even admit she’s a liberal,

QUESTION: Hi. My name is Rob Porter, and I’m from Irvine, California.

I have a question for Hillary Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton, how would you define the word “liberal?”

And would you use this word to describe yourself?

Thank you.


CLINTON: You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual.

Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th century.

I prefer the word “progressive,” which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.

I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we’re working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family.

So I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that’s the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.

COOPER: So you wouldn’t use the word “liberal,” you’d say “progressive.”

The first of two moments of political courage for the night from Anderson Cooper,

“COOPER: Governor Richardson, the Democrats talk a lot about the failure of the president with Hurricane Katrina. The governor of that state was a Democrat; the mayor of that city is a Democrat as well.”

It’s embarrassing that this question made the cut. What does it say about liberals that they obsess over this sort of thing?

QUESTION: Hello. My name is Jordan Williams, and I am a student at K.U., from Coffeyville, Kansas.

This question is meant for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton.

Whenever I read an editorial about one of you, the author never fails to mention the issue of race or gender, respectively. Either one is not authentically black enough, or the other is not satisfactorily feminine.

How will you address these critics and their charges if one or both of you should end up on the Democratic ticket in ’08?

Why not just set the minimum wage at $50 an hour?

“I would challenge every Democrat on this stage today to commit to raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by the year 2012.” — John Edwards

This is the sort of “weak tea” that passes for Christianity amongst Democrats,

QUESTION: I’m Reverend Reggie Longcrier. I’m the pastor of Exodus Mission and Outreach Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

Senator Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage is influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to vote.

So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay American their full and equal rights?

Joe Biden wants to surrender to Al-Qaeda in Iraq so we can free up troops to invade Sudan,

COOPER: Senator Biden, in the past, you’ve talked about NATO troops. What about American troops?

BIDEN: Absolutely, positively. Look, I’m so tired of this. Let’s get right to it. I heard the same arguments after I came back from meeting with Milosevic: We can’t act; we can’t send troops there.

Where we can, America must. Why Darfur? Because we can.

We should now. Those kids will be dead by the time the diplomacy is over.

Obama wants to send a signal to the countries neighboring Iraq that there is no “military solution,” which apparently we will get across by running away.

COOPER: Senator Obama, how do we pull out now?

OBAMA: Look, I opposed this war from the start. Because I anticipated that we would be creating the kind of sectarian violence that we’ve seen and that it would distract us from the war on terror.

COOPER: Right…

OBAMA: I’m going to get to the question, Anderson.

At this point, I think we can be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. But we have to send a clear message to the Iraqi government as well as to the surrounding neighbors that there is no military solution to the problems that we face in Iraq.

Dennis Kucinich tells the audience that bigshots like Clinton and Obama can end the war any time they want to do so,

COOPER: Congressman Kucinich, the Democrats have been in power for seven months. Nothing has changed in Iraq.

KUCINICH: If you’re not going to answer the question, I’m going to answer the mother that troop — question.

The answer to your question, ma’am, is: Yes, it is politics. The Democrats have failed the American people. When we took over in January, the American people didn’t expect us to give them a Democratic version of the war. They expected us to act quickly to end the war.

Joe Biden accuses the other Democratic Senators on the stage of wanting to see American soldiers die from IEDs,

“BIDEN: Number three, the idea that we all voted — except for me — for that appropriation. That man’s son is dead. For all I know, it was an IED. Seventy percent of all the deaths occurred have been those roadside bombs. We have money in that bill to begin to build and send immediately mine-resistant vehicles that increase by 80 percent the likelihood none of your cadets will die, General. And they all voted against it.

How in good conscience can you vote not to send those vehicles over there as long as there’s one single, solitary troop there?”

Here was the 2nd stupidest question of the night,

QUESTION: Hi, my name is Sheena Currell. I’m from (inaudible), South Carolina.

My question is: Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Someone should have asked Bill Richardson what this enormous sop to the teacher’s unions would cost,

RICHARDSON: The last thing we need to do, relating to teachers, is the key to a good education in this country is a strong teacher. I would have a minimum wage for all our teachers, $40,000 per year.

If Dennis Kucinich has his way, we’ll end up sitting in the dark most of the time,

KUCINICH: Well, we have to understand the connection between global warring and global warming. Because when we start talking about wars for oil, we’re essentially keeping the same approach to energy.


So I’m saying we need to move away from reliance on oil and coal and toward reliance on wind and solar.

Anderson Cooper’s second act of political courage during the debate (they didn’t have the candidates who raised their hands listed, but there were several and if I remember correctly, Obama and Hilldog were among them),

“COOPER: How many people here a private jet or a chartered jet to get here tonight?”

Here’s the stupidest question of the night,

QUESTION: And we’re from Pennsylvania, and my question is to all the candidates, and it’s regarding the national minimum wage. Congress seems to never have a problem when it comes time to give themselves a raise. But when it came time to increase the minimum wage, they had a problem.

My question to the candidates: If you’re elected to serve, would you be willing to do this service for the next four years and be paid the national minimum wage?

Here’s the question I wish every candidate would have been asked (the two who were asked, Dodd and Richardson, said yes)

QUESTION: Hi, this is Lucia Ballie (ph) for a group of friends on the east side of L.A. And our question is: Does your health care plan cover undocumented workers?

Joe Biden reminds Americans that the Democrats are gun grabbers at heart,

QUESTION: Good evening, America. My name is Jered Townsend from Clio, Michigan.

To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe.

This is my baby (shows a gun), purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views.

Thank you.

BIDEN: I’ll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.


I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don’t know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I’m being serious. Look, just like me, we go around talking about people who own guns. I am the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban, that became law, and then we got defeated and then Dianne Feinstein went to town on it and did a great job.

BIDEN: Look, we should be working with law enforcement, right now, to make sure that we protect people against people who don’t — are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they’re either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record, and…


BIDEN: Anyway…


COOPER: We got one more question. Before…

BIDEN: … I hope he doesn’t come looking for me.

Update #1: If only this YouTube question had made the debate,

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