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June 28, 2007

Live from Dem Debate [DemPBS]

So here I am in the press room at the Democrats debate. I'm hoping for Dennis Kucinich to pull out a death ray and vaporize everyone. In the event that doesn't happen, I will be liveblogging.

First bit of news: I spoke with Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod (whose brother Jim Axelrod is a national reporter for CBS) and he said Senator Demigod will not be coming over to the press room to spin his performance.

21:02. So the debate is getting started. Maureen Dowd has not shown up. I don't know what's wrong.


21:05. Ace asked earlier if I was going to be able to ask a question. I won't during the debate itself but after it's over, I will be able to talk to whoever comes over to the press room. SOP for these is the "first-tier" candidates don't come over so sadly I will not be able to see Hillary's pantsuit in person. The second- and third-tier guys will probably show up though.

21:09. Yammering from some radio host named Tom Joyner. Tavis Smiley manages to finally finish his intro.

21:11. Hillary first out of the gate. She's wearing old crusty!

21:13. Gravel groupies show their love for the main man.

21:14. First question to Hillary. Predictable question "Is race the most intractable issue in America? Especially in light of SCOUTS." Hillary panders, tries to string as many platitudes possible together. "The March Is Not Finished!" "The work is yet to be done!"

21:16. Hairpiece Biden: I was tough on Roberts and Alito the rest of you Dems weren't. "We Need to Stop the Slide."

Ironic to hear the left finally start worrying about the courts.

21:18. Richardson manages to say nothing for about two minutes.

21:18. Silky gets up. "Finally we can talk about inequality in America." More class warfare. It ain't working, Silk. Yawn.

21:20. Obama's turn. Namedrops, trying to make up for his making his presidential announcement on the same day that this group made a "State of Black America" announcement by stringing as many names together.

"We have made enormous progress, but not good enough."

That is the typical Democrat line. America is not good enough. Obama manages to say nothing substantive as per usual.

21:22. Our man from Mars gets up. He wants an affirmative action constitutional amendment, wants to disarm America and spend money on education. I guess Arabic.

21:24. Mike Gravel pledges to stop war on drugs as the answer to racism. Crowd not reacting much.

21:25. Chris Dodd. Is it just me or is he made of plastic? His face and hair never seem to move at all.

21:26. Pander round over. Tavis says he's turning panel over. Limit answers to 1 min per person.

21:27. DeWayne Wickam (sp?) The unemployement rate of black high school dropouts is lower.

Biden: You know, DeWayne...

"minority child"

"black child"

He's speaking about 10 words a minute. Limo liberalism at its finest. We need to make children go to preschool at 4. "Smaller classrooms". Yay!

21:30. Richardson works in a prefab line: When it comes to education everyone asks you "how are you going to pay for it?" they don't ask that about the war.

So that means we don't have to ask about education, duh.

We need full nutritional breakfasts for children, he adds.

21:31. Silky: Two american schools blah blah. We need to look at getting kids to school "much earlier" than 4.

21:32. Obama. He agrees with most everything everyone else has said. No need for a debate. Prefab: "When you have a bill called no child left behind, you can't leave the money behind."

21:34. Kucinich manages to turn a question about education into Iraq. Crowd seems rightfully perplexed. I want a 15% reduction in that bloated Pentagon budget.

Amazing they never say that about any other department.

21:35. Gravel. You've heard all this before! When is it going to change? Democrats no better than GOP on disarming America. The people on this stage are very guilty that we have spent money on war not education!

Viva la revolútion!

Gravel got one thing right though. We have all heard all the same litany from Dems for years. It ain't working.

21:37. Hillary: I REALLY BELIEVE IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. She's shouting tonight. God she's horrible.

I've raised standards in education, especially for minority children. (Pat pat)

21:39. Question to Richardson. We need to do something about black kids getting AIDS. Bill: You have to use needles. We need to deal with Africa since Africans have AIDS.

Obviously black Americans are catching it from Africans.

21:41. Breck says he knows that black women are more likely to have AIDS. We need to find a cure for AIDS. This guy should run for office! Medicaid should cover AIDS.

21:41. Obama. We need more education to stop it. We need more sex education in schools. Black community has a problem with homophobia.

Good stuff.

21:43. Martian minute. Dennis: "It's time to get real." Preach it, brother Kucinich.

We need to socialize medicine immediately!

21:44. Gravel. AIDS problem is caused by the war on drugs. God this guy actually has less imagination than Hillary.

21:46. Amazing from Dodd. There is a role for government in this but there is also a role for the private citizen to solve problem of AIDS.

Plea to turn healthcare . .

Tavis cuts him off

Dodd: I was going to ask about global warming for 600.

Smiley: and I was going to say if you were Paris Hilton, you could have an hour.

Hillary (monotone): That was really funny, Tavis.

Biden's turn: I was trying to educate black men. There is no shame in getting tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS.

Stop before you hurt yourself.

Sharpton makes a face.

Obama: I got tested with Michelle, wife.

Biden: Getting tested saved my life!

21:51. Warren Buffet says the rich aren't paying their fair share of taxes. Do you agree?

Naturally none of them will have to guts to say no.

Edwards: "We need to get rid of George Bush's tax cuts for rich people."

Wants to raise capital gains to put it on an income scale.

Obama. Why is it when we talk about race, we always talk about welfare and education? People want fairness more than anything else.

Actually mentions he's rich. First time I've seen a Democratic candidate do that.

Kucinich: Taxes are really about war. Broken record.

21:55. Gravel. No one understands tax code. We need to wipe out the income tax and replace it with retail sales tax.

First semi-sane thing from him all night.

21:56. Hillary. "Well clearly I think the economy was working better in the 90s."

Actually it's about the same.

At least she's not trying to sound black tonight.

We need those with the most to continue contributing this country.

21:57. Biden: We need to raise taxes.

21:58. Richardson first Dem to talk about cutting taxes. Finally some sense.

"We should be the pro-growth Democrats."

"We need to find a way that globalization must works for the middle class."

Smiley cuts him off at time.

Richardson: I'm almost finished.

Smiley: You are finished.

22:00. Question: Why are there more black people in prison? What does that say to you?

Obama: Justice is not colorblind.

Kucinich: We need to end mandatory minimum sentences. Wants to end death penalty. Pander-pander-pander.

Gravel. The only way you can get justice is to empower yourselves and become political leaders.

This is just politics as usual.

20:07. See the second thread. This one is taking too long to update.

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posted by MatthewSheffield at 09:42 PM

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