Sunday, June 03, 2007

Live blogging the live bloggers - Democratic Debate Part Deux

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 4, 2007

It is the Democrats turn. The declared Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage again tonight, this time in New Hampshire for a debate hosted by CNN -
"CNN's Wolf Blitzer will moderate the debates and WMUR's Scott Spradling and the Union Leader's Tom Fahey will pose questions to the Democratic and Republican candidates. WMUR's Jennifer Vaughn will moderate questions from the audience."
The important question is one I have asked before:
"There are plenty of bloggers covering the Republican debate live tonight, but is anyone covering the live bloggers? DWSUWF rushes in where other, more sensible bloggers, fear to tread. "
I was going to blow this one off, as I am on a fishing holiday in the backwoods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. But, having slept through the first Democratic debate, while covering two Republican debates, we will (in the interest of Divided & Balanced reporting), try to stay awake this time. Full disclosure: We are not so far "backwoods" that we must suffer without basic cable, a cable modem, and a wireless router, so your fearless derivative blogger will once again attempt to monitor and report real-time on other bloggers covering the debate live. 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.

Here we go ...
Pre-Debate Comments:
Wonkette: No Action?
Daily Kos: "Poll: Going into the debate, who are you supporting?" [DWSUWF voted for Richardson]
Heading Right: No Action?
Moderate Voice:Holly- "I don’t pay for CNN, MSNBC or Fox News so I can’t watch these debates on TV. I have managed to set up Internet viewing via CNN Pipeline Web Player. If I were unable to have broadband Internet, I wouldn’t have access to the debates. In order to provide adequate information to the voting poor, let’s move the debates back to CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox broadcast channels."
Reason - David Weigel: "I'm in Manchester, New Hampshire (where, as a Free State Projecter could tell you, it is now hailing) to chase a few stories and cover both parties' debates"
DWSUWF:Turns out basic cable does not cover CNN here. Had the same problem as Holly. viewing though the web now. Off to a rough start.
First Question:
Wonkette: No Action?
Daily Kos: "Clinton asks she agrees with Edwards; she does not. Hoists up 9/11 (f*cking hate that. F*ck that.). God, she's as bad as Giuliani on this."
Heading Right: No Action?
Moderate Voice:Comments - Nick Rivera: "Wow! Are we actually having a real debate?! Five minutes into the debate, and the candidates are actually criticizing on another and drawing key distinctions between one another."
Reason - David Weigel: "Hillary Clinton, trying to grab back some of that "Democratic hawk" mojo after voting against the Iraq supplemental, basically agrees with Rudy Giuliani that it's not a bumper sticker and 9/11 9/11 9/11."
DWSUWF: Ok got the pipeleine working, and we think we have a quorum, will go looking for a right wing blog.
Biden & Gravel straight talk:
Wonkette: No Action?
Daily Kos: "Biden says that Democrats should be telling the truth - basically that we don't have enough votes to get us out. Plainly speaks that the war won't end until we have a Democratic president."
The Fix: Chris Cillizza: "Wolf Blitzer asked the candidates to raise their hands if they thought English should be the official language of the United States, former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) was the lone person to raise his hand. But Sen. Obama jumped in after Gravel explained himself."This is the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us," said Obama -- calling it a "disservice."
Moderate Voice: "Does it look to anyone else as if the major candidates are in the middle of the line while the minor candidates are on the edges?"
Reason - David Weigel: "7:22: Biden: "The last thing we Democrats need to do is not tell truth. I love these guys who tell you they're going to stop the war." You can understand his attitude, but is he aiming at Kucinich or at the guy who spent 6 years in the Senate and thinks he can lecture Joe F*cking Biden?"
DWSUWF: I like Biden's demeanor tonight. May have to move him above Richardson again. Richardson just does not do well in this format. Substituted Wahsington Post's Chris Cillizza for M.I.A. blogs.
Don't Ask Don't Tell:
Daily Kos: tgray comment:"doesn't make sense for Hillary to support "don't ask..." the Clinton Admin signed it into law but that was not what they originally wanted. it was a capitulation!"
The Fix: Chris Cillizza: "on this particular question, Clinton wasn't afraid to say her husband's administration made a mistake. Clinton said "don't ask, don't tell" was a "transition policy" that wasn't well implemented and "it's not the best way to do it." She said gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve in the armed forces and be treated the same as all other recruits."
Moderate Voice: "I’m glad to see that nobody likes DADT anymore!"
Reason - David Weigel: "7:49: The gays in the military question would be dealt with a little faster in a Republican debate. I mean, Mike Huckabee would probably call Edwards a queer and run around the stage for high fives, but otherwise they'd all say "nope" and we'd move on to a new question. After a little tussle, everyone agrees: Gays in the military now!"
DWSUWF: Hillary is laughing. A lot. Too much. Perhaps the latest effort to "warm up" her image?
Chairs and Pens and Pandering:
Daily Kos:"Biden: Do away with regime change policy. 10 years away from nuclear weapon; there are so many other ways, but take it out if there's a missile on the launch pad."

The Fix: Chris Cillizza:"[Dodd] delivered a muscular statement about the role of the next president when it comes to keeping Americans safe. "No one is going to be elected president who is not going to have as their primary responsibility to keep us safe and secure," said Dodd. A nice moment for him. And did we mention all the candidates are now sitting?"

Moderate Voice: Holly- "BTW I don’t care if Kucinich drops his pen or somebody thinks Sen. Clinton is dressed like a bee."
Reason - David Weigel: "8:15: Given the chance to pander and tell a military mom that he'll let veterans use any hospital they want, Obama doesn't—he wants to fix the VA. Hillary nods. Richardson does not nod: "I will give your son a hero's health care."
DWSUWF: The citizen questions are better than the MSM.
Kill Obama Osama:
Daily Kos:"Kucinich: No assassinations, International Criminal Court [hints Bush should go as well]"

The Fix: Chris Cillizza: "It's not exactly following him to the gates of Hell, but Sens. Obama and Clinton just gave tough answers to a question on whether they would take advantage of a 20 minute window to kill Osama bin Laden even if civilians would also be killed."

Moderate Voice: Holly- "Dennis, I am willing to kill OBL with my own hands. Peace requires justice."
Reason - David Weigel: "8:28: Blitzer tries out the CNN version of the 24 question on... Dennis Kucinich. It's actually not news that he wouldn't kill bin Laden if given the chance, but it's nice for the rest of the Democrats, who will disagree... 8:29: ...Obama doesn't disagree! No, wait, he does. He wouldn't assassinate most people, but he would drop some bombs into Osama's batcave."
DWSUWF: Who says politicians can't learn? Everyone gets tougher. Except Dennis.
Who Won?
Daily Kos: Talex -"Here Is An Interestin Metric - Clinton Won. Given that I expect Obama and Edwards supporters to vote for their candidate on the dkos poll Clinton is logging 17% on who won the debate. Given that she gets 5% or less support here I think the dkos poll shows she actually won the debate as she peeled off some Edwards and Obama support..."

The Fix: Chris Cillizza: "The discussion was largely controlled by the Big 3, however, who fielded questions on a number of foreign policy matters (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan) and a handful of domestic concerns like health care and veterans' benefits. Biden occasionally broke through the clutter but the other second-tier candidates struggled to distinguish themselves. Tune into The Fix tomorrow for a look at the winners and losers from tonight's debate. And don't forget -- we are in New Hampshire all the way through Tuesday night's Republican debate."

Moderate Voice: Holly- "Debate’s over. I’d say that ALL of the candidates had some good moments."
Reason - Comments: CRIMETHINK -"Now if Ron Paul wins the text message poll for this debate, we'll know something's up" ... MSM PUPPET MASTER - "Of course, Hillary won the debate. If anyone else wins the poll, their supporters must have been cheating. QED."

DWSUWF concludes: Biden and Gravel were strong. Doesn't matter. Obama and Edwards had a few good moments. Doesn't matter. Richardson and Dodd showed up, sort of. Doesn't matter. Kucinich doesn't matter. Clinton fake laughed too much. She wins.
UPDATE - The Morning After Post-Mortem Posts

Daily Kos: Kos has a truly embarrasing and pointless post and poll on Mike Gravel:
"So is there really a point to having Gravel, in between advocating English as an "official" language and promoting his right-wing flat tax, sit on the debates doing nothing but attack other Democrats?"
Surpringly (at least to DWSUWF) most Kossacks vote to deny Gravel an invitation to additional debates.

Reason - Dave Weigel: Weigel was also thinking about Mike Gravel: "
Wags used to joke about a Ron Paul-Mike Gravel unity ticket. They're both old, they're both odd, they're both hated in their parties—they could rent out Ken Kesey's bus and convert into their own Straight Talk Express! Well, here's Gravel sounding alternately super-libertarian and semi-coherent."
The Fix: Chris Cillizza: Cillizza arrives at a similar conclusion to DWSUWF, declaring Clinton a winner 12 hours later, probably after sneaking a peak at this blog:
"Hillary Rodham Clinton: The New York Senator was placed at the center of the stage last night at Saint Anselm College, a fitting place for the role she played in the festivities. Clinton was in the middle of nearly every exchange and repeatedly sought to speak for the group. She cast the Democrats on the stage as united against a common opponent -- George W. Bush and the Republican Party. ("This is George Bush's war," she said. "He is responsible for this war.") That approach made Clinton look magnanimous and presidential. Put simply: Clinton is a pro. She is polished, smart and savvy -- all of which was on display last night."

Daily Dish -Andrew Sullivan: Sullivan did not need 12 hours to arrive at a similar conclusion:

"She did well, it seems to me. There were times when her robo-lecture act began to wear down my ear-drums, but, in general, Senator Clinton bestrode the debate as an authoritative figure. In fact, I've never witnessed a U.S. political debate in which a woman clearly dominated as she did tonight. She was hawkish, and I was frankly surprised to hear her state baldly that "we are safer than we were," referring to the Bush administration's counter-terrorism policies... Still: she wins this one. It kills me to admit it. But there you are. And as it sinks in, a dreadful specter emerges. Think June 2008. Think Romney vs Clinton. Plastic vs Perma-Freeze. It could happen."

Moderate Voice: Robert Stein- Stein has some pithy observations (also posted at Connecting the Dots):
"Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, obviously on defense as front runners, lost no ground, with the former First Lady looking somewhat more relaxed than she has been up to now... Mike Gravel overplayed his crotchety, foxy grandfather role while Dennis Kucinich evoked admiration for his sincerity and sadness over the fact that it is irrelevant. Overall, the tone was satisfyingly serious and collegial if not wildly informative, and an interesting set-up for the God-fearing. self-righteous gang of poseurs later this week."
Wonkette: I remain bitter about Wonkette taking the night off from live blogging the debate. My derivative live blog suffers when I don't have a good smarmy live blogger from which to steal. I hope Wonkette will be more considerate about their impact on fellow bloggers when they next consider taking the night off. Wonkette finally gets back to work this morning:
"...props to CNN for their placement of the candidates on stage, allowing us all to witness the sexual tension simmer between Obama and Hillary, and sticking Kucinich and Gravel on the furtherest ends of the stage where they wouldn’t bother the real candidates. Here is a picture where you can sort of see the box they let Dennis stand on."
DWSUWF: I was surprised that Heading Right was not live blogging, leaving a partisan gap in my methodology. They were live blogging the previous four debates. Moreover, After an admittedly hasty search, I could not find any major right-of-center blog live-blogging the debate. Odd. It was almost as if they got a memo or e-mail or something to not draw attention to the Dems debate. I never saw it. I guess the spam filter must have eaten mine.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

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