I missed the last two talkfests, but with the Democratic presidential candidates taking the stage again tonight for a debate hosted by CNN/YouTube and moderated by Anderson Cooper - we are on the case. I'll start with the question I have asked before:
"There are plenty of bloggers covering the debate live tonight, but is anyone covering the live bloggers? DWSUWF rushes in where other, more sensible bloggers, fear to tread. "As before, we'll include Daily Kos, Heading Right, Wonkette, for a "left", "right" and "whatever" perspective and will add the Reason Hit and Run Blog for a libertarian point of view. I'll also add a moderate blog if I can find one blogging live between now and 7:00 PM EDT. If any are not live blogging, we'll be scrambling for a substitute.
It'll take a few minutes to ramp up, but the beer has been poured and here we go - keep refreshing your browser for latest updates ...
Wonkette: "Do you have CNN-YouTube fever? Neither do we. Also, it’s 4 p.m. in the West Coast office and we are, sadly, totally sober. We are opening a bottle right now."
Daily Kos: "The CNN pre-debate panel: a Republican strategist (Ed Rollins), a conservative columnist from the NY Daily News (Michael Goodwin), and a Hillary strategist. And Lou Dobbs. Ugh."
Andrew Sullivan: "I'm watching. I can't say I see anything that interesting thus far. Except Clinton's disavowal of the word "liberal" and Gravel's loopy aggression. Stay tuned for more reax. But I can't be the only one feeling debate fatigue."
Reason - David Weigel: "I've got my Coke, my sushi and my viking helmet. Let's go. You know what pre-canned YouTubes can't do? Ask follow-up questions. I'm pessimistic."
2008Central: "Introductory Youtube remarks from some guy with a soul patch who looks like he’s in an emo band in his spare time starts the debate off. Cooper introduces the debate and talks up the quality of the questions. … And they promptly start with a laugh track of silly ones. Way to build credibility."
DWSUWF: No action at Heading Right, substituting The Conservative Soul- Andrew Sullivan.
BIDEN & EDWARDS SAY HAGEL IS BEST REPUBLICAN
Wonkette: "Everybody loves Chuck Hagel. Maybe he should be a president?"
Daily Kos Commenters: King One Eye, dougymi & ptmfbcs: "Chuck Hagel! As Biden's VP? And Edwards?(Who I've been leaning toward) That's disgraceful!" "hagel? well, forget biden for sure. Edwards has some questions to answer on that one too. hagel is a wingnut who's against the war.", "I still liked it...if only because it just killed Hagel among Republicans. Well, if he wasn't already dead to them?"
Reason - David Weigel: "Chuck Hagel shoots his TV."
2008Central: "What Republican would you choose for a running mate? Biden says Hagel, the perfect and only choice really. Biden also touts his crime bill. Edwards quickly says Hagel, and talks about instituting “real change” with someone who has been there."
DWSUWF: Now that is interesting- Democrats are afraid of Hagel, Republicans won't nominate him. Sad.
======"WOULD YOU ALLOW US TO BE MARRIED"
Wonkette: " No, you lesbians can’t have marriage... Unless Dennis the Kucinich is president!... Welcome to America, lesbians!... Chris Dodd’s daughters … are they lesbians?
... John Edwards still creeped out by the gays, while his wife is still a fag hag."
Daily Kos Commenters: Rjones 2818 & Escapee: "Gay Marriage. Kucinich: Yes - If the Constitution means what it says than Gays, etc. have the right to marry. Goodbye, Dodd - Marriage or nothin'"
Andrew Sullivan: "They still won't actually answer the simple question: Why do you oppose equal marriage rights? ... They still smell of fear. As long as candidates are too afraid to stand up for what they believe, why should anyone support them? We're not electing a focus-group or a consultant. We're supposed to be electing a president."
Reason - David Weigel: "Kucinich and Dodd would let gays marry. They'll also legalize unicorns. Neither of them will win, everybody. - Richardson for everything but the word "marriage."
2008Central: "Edwards is asked about religious justifications for slavery, discrimination, and against gay marriage. Explains that he personally does not believe in gay marriage, but does believe in full rights, and would not use religious beliefs to directly determine policy, contrasting his position with that of his wife. The Rev. who asked the question stands up in the audience and says Edwards did not broaden the question as he intended (no, he actually just answered the question… :roll eyes:) Edwards speaks again and goes over the same ground."
Wonkette: "Democrats won in November, yet they’ve curiously done nothing about Iraq. Why such pussies? (Note: That was the only coherent/worthwhile question so far.) ... Biden’s “YouTube-style video” is just a crappy teevee commercial. He should’ve done one with the Mentos and Pepsi. - Okay, I just texted for peace. Do we have peace yet? Also, is Kucinich making money off this scam?"
Daily Kos Commenters: Lisa & MoronMike: ""Surpising -I find myself impressed by Biden." "He never fails to impress me when he gets on a roll. The man has knowledge and passion." "Iraq is Biden's high fastball""
Andrew Sullivan: "For the record: the lamest phrases yet are Obama's "diplomatic surge" and Dodd's "aggressive diplomacy." Only Biden seems like a grown-up. The rest are soundbiting."
Reason - David Weigel: "Richardson gives the only coherent answer on Iraq. The Murtha position, basically: We can pull troops out and not worry about inflaming a civil war because troop presence is metastizing the fighting. No one noticed, but he's been creeping up in the polls -- ahead of Edwards in one -Biden and Clinton call the rest of the Democrats liars."
2008Central: "Dodd says he would advocate a safe withdrawal if nothing happened before then. Dodd cites his family members who have served. Richardson says there is a civil war, and the time to get out is immediately. Biden says the truth is that troops need protection and civilians there need protection. Biden says 70% of deaths in Iraq are from IEDs and can be prevented with mine resistant vehicles and he is proud to have voted for them."
DWSUWF: Biden is my top ranked Dem for a reason.
======SOCIAL SECURITY & TAXES
Wonkette: "Ha ha, “Mitt Romney Money” is a sorta funny insult. — Oh shit, Biden’s got less money than I do. Does that include his house? Surely he owns a couple of houses."
Daily Kos Commenters: Albatros, Rjones & KimD: "Richardson - bipartisan fix; major prevention focus for diabetes, no raids or privatization of SS, safety net of the country no politicization of the issues - Universal pension, early health issues, etc. - Richardson getting better (more relaxed) Richardson says anything Most of the time it has nothing to do with the question he's asked."
Andrew Sullivan: "Raise Taxes or Cut Benefits? A simple, vital question. No one answers. A polity that cannot address its own fiscal viability is a polity that needs to be rebooted."
Reason - David Weigel: "More and bigger entitlements! Maybe if we keep increasing the minimum wage we can take larger deductions from those checks and pay for all of this. 8:45: One of Howard Stern's sidekicks asks if his taxes will go up. "No," says Dennis Kucinich. "We will destroy the economy. "
2008Central: "Richardson says that bipartisan solutions are key, and that he’d do things like instituting a national 401K. Biden says tax cuts on the top 1% are un-needed. Will Democrats raise taxes? Kucinich says no, that he would end war and NAFTA and get better return on their taxes."
DWSUWF: Either/Or question gets Neither/Whatever answer.
======HEALTH CARE & GUNS
Wonkette: "Hillary Care! It’s back! It’s better! But Hillary cares. — What you learned, Hillary, is that it doesn’t matter what you want and what every other developed country has, because this country is owned by the health insurance & pharmaceutical corporations." - "Finally, a candidate puts down the stupid YouTube morons! The video cretin is caressing his machine gun and calling it “my baby,” and Biden responds by calling him a mental case. Outstanding! And then says the guy shouldn’t have a gun at all, and is a dangerous lunatic. Ha ha."
Daily Kos Commenters: LithiumCola: "Universal Coverage - Edwards: Obama doesn't cover everyone. I do. You have to mandate coverage to cover everyone. I went on a 3 day poverty tour. Last day I was in Appalachia. Met a guy who couldn't talk for 50 years because of a cleft palate. In the richest country on Earth. Clinton: The fact that this is happening in a country is a disgrace. Yes, I did try in 93, and I have the scars to prove it. Care is a universal value. Decency and respect. (Didn't answer the question). Not everyone has answered yet but they move on to another question. Dodd rightly gets outraged that they switched questions on him. I hope they revolt soon en masse. Dodd in favor of Stem Cell research. Programs for obesity reduction. Richardson: covers undocumented workers."
Daily Kos Commenters: Pmob & WMTrialLawyer: "what a fucking nut. - the guy with the automatic gun, I mean." "Oh. My. God. - Clio, Michigan. Couldn't get a better stereotype for the Michigan Militia and assault weapons than that guy right there. I grew up in Mid-Michigan. I know of where I speak. I moved for a good reason, I tell ya."
Andrew Sullivan: "Hillary Wins Again - She's so much better a debater and performer than she used to be. You know how much I hate to say this: but she destroyed the opposition tonight: out-classing it, out-debating it, and avoiding the usual pitfalls. I wish it weren't so, but it's what I saw. If she keeps this up, it's hers."
Reason - David Weigel: " Edwards met a guy who got his cleft palate fixed when he was 50. Lucky for him he could kick! And jump. Aaaaand kick!" - "Bill Richardson and Joe Biden make a bold stand against crazy people. I'm the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban," Biden says." - "People with guns are crazy! Who knew?"
2008Central: "Gun question about gun control. Richardson says instant background checks are the key. Also talks about poverty in the ghetto to prevent gun violence. Biden says “he needs help” if someone believes having an assault weapon is crucial."
DWSUWF: You know - somebody at CNN had to pick that guy to represent gun owners. Sometimes I am sympathetic to the view of Right about Maintream Media. I hope they pick some tree-spiking, tire slashing, Eco-Terrorist to ask the Republicans a question about Global Warming.
THE FORMAT & ANDERSON COOPER
Wonkette: "Please Kill Us: YouTubers Are Idiots" - "Wonkette likes Anderson Cooper’s shoes. Ha ha, Wonkette likes nothing. Good night!"
Daily Kos - KOS his own self: "I actually thought the debate was pretty cool. Drudge had a derisive headline earlier today that said something like, "Is this a way to choose a president?" For my part, I give an emphatic "yes"! Anything that makes politics fun is a good thing. And, for example, the Gore question from Tennessee and the Snowman and his snowchild were fun. This was a positive, and I hope to see more of it become culturally acceptable in the presidential process."
Andrew Sullivan: "I'd say it was a big success as a concept, although I wouldn't be as excitable as JPod. If you're sick of people like me on television, or worse, then the direct questions from regular voters and non-voters must have been a breath of extremely fresh air (there's another asthmatic metaphor). I was fearing it would be lame. It wasn't. Anderson was calm and appropriately tough (and, yes, I'm a friend but I'd say if he sucked as well). His affect was particularly well-suited to the new YouTube format"
Reason - David Weigel: "The YouTube thing... worked. It was cloying and the campaign videos should have been cut, but it mostly worked. No moderator would have tossed out an athiesm question, although in the future it'd be nice to have a non-blowhard ask that question."
2008Central: "Hilarious ending."
DWSUWF: DWSUWF regrets not making his own YouTube video. We've got till September. Initial reaction is that Biden was best and Richardson redeemed himself from earlier shitty performances. As is the custom - I'll sleep on it and update this with final reactions during the morning hangover. I really really need to plan this better next time to make sure I have full spectrum of live bloggers.
I just retrofit 2008Central.net's live blog as a replacement for MIA Moderate Voice.
UPDATE: 07-25 - better late than never.
Biden was best, again. Richardson exceeded low expectations. Obama fell short of high expectations. Edwards fell short of low expectations. Kucinich met zero expectations. That other guy has white hair. Mike Gravel's schtick not as entertaining as YouTube videos. YouTube questions were better and more entertaining than Britt Hume. YouTube questions were not that entertaining. It is Hillary Clinton's nomination to lose. She didn't lose it Monday night. Chuck Hagel is the GOP's only hope. The GOP has no hope.