LIVEBLOGGING: Dems in New Hampshire

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7:01 PM Wolf starts the pandering off. It’s the debate limbo, how low can you go?! Also some answers may be less than a minute long, “we can only hope.”

7:03 PM “I’m John Edwards.” Shortest “opening statement” and either remarkably humble or remarkably…not.

7:04 PM Obama and his GIANT EARS OF JUSTICE! He and Tommy Thompson should form a superhero team… if they haven’t already. As far directly answering the question about whether the Bush administration deserves credit for preventing domestic terrorist attacks… that is taking awhile.

7:06 PM John Edwards will use everything he can to fight the war on terror, including his mighty tan.

7:07 PM Hillary swats at Edwards’ “bumper sticker” attack on the “War on Terror,” and talks forcefully about the SUICIDE BOMBERS who are willing to commit SUICIDE to kill us, reminding people that she is actually the most butch person on stage.

7:10 PM An operative notes that “the lit podiums are like jeopardy. they could have skipped those intros if they just signed their names.”

7:11 PM Richardson is looking at Obama like he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about when he wades, uncertainly, into an explanation about how his vote against the Iraq supplemental is actually a way of supporting the troops. He seems more uncertain than usual.

7:13 PM “I agree with Hillary.” I don’t usually think of referring to her as “Hillary” as being necessarily sexist, but somehow in this context I don’t think he’d refer to Obama as “Barack.”

7:14 PM Then again, Obama just told him, “John, you’re about four years too late to this.” SNAP! And he just referred to “Hillary.” They’re just all gonna go with first names right now, like the kids of dirty hippie parents.

7:15 PM Gotta give Hillary points for composure. And the smile she’s giving while Edwards tries to slam her is delightfully evil-looking. Edwards eye-roll to Dobbs! And smug shrug of the shoulders!

7:17 PM Behind the back camera views of Wolf do nothing to add to the debate but remind me that Wolf is a very small person.

7:19 PM According to Richardson, our troops in Iraq have become targets. Is this is new development? Aren’t troops usually exempt from this kind of viciousness? THE OUTRAGE OF TROOPS AS TARGETS.

7:21 PM The semi-circular walkway is very beauty contest.

7:21 PM Kucinich embraces the “teachable moment” aspect of this war. Like teaching that sometimes troops are targets?

7:22 PM These guys are beating up on Bush almost as much as the Republicans did.

7:23 PM Commenter Kristi with the true insight:

My white, Midwestern, middle-class 64 year-old Mother said something after watching Obama’s town hall in New Hampshire on C-span this weekend that I’ve never before heard her say about anyone – she said “I don’t normally talk this way, but I couldn’t help but notice that he has a really cute butt”.

So I’ll add to your “GIANT EARS OF JUSTICE!”


7:24 PM Even though she didn’t read the NIE, Hillary “felt like I was totally briefed.” So that’s what they’re calling it these days. When you’re not briefed, I mean.

7:25 PM Edwards: Obama “was right, I was wrong.” Remarkably humble… again?

7:26 PM Obama; “I want to thank John… for his… compliment.” As though he was unsure if it was.

7:27 PM Yeah, I want Mike Gravel to make the rules about who’s qualified to be president.

7:29 PM Richardson seems to be arguing that granting legal status to immigrants is not amnesty because he is opposed to building a fence?

7:32 PM Karen writes in from home (get well, soon, KT!): “Did they NOT do a mike check before this started? Soooooo cnn.”

7:33 PM I agree with a commenter: Biden should probably stop yelling. Also, how does a fence stop cocaine but not people? What if the people are carrying the cocaine? And what if they bring it to me? Or maybe they already brought some to Biden. Would explain the CONSTANT SCREAMING.

7:35 PM I suspect Gravel raised his hand to the English question only to ensure he got to talk. Obama plays the outrage card, which seems genuine as he seems to be literally sputtering. WOLF IS INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO DIVIDE US. So we will all be his height.

7:40 PM I’m going to get a drink while they talk about health insurance. (Nice self-deprecating laugh at “being in on this issue” for a long time, Hill.)

7:43 PM Okay, who else agrees that Kucinich is standing on block? Clearly. Now, is Hillary?

7:44 PM CNN not bothering to pretend to give second tier candidates full time. Shameless about it. And the front runners in the center. Let’s just pretend it’s already January, shall we?

7:45 PM In response to Karen’s comment: “CNN was too busying counting down to the debate for the past 12 hours and combing Lou Dobb’s hair to check mics.”

7:47 PM Kucinch says running a company for profit like it’s a bad thing.

7:48 PM Hillary: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” NOT a mistake, “an important first step.” She’s good. Biden: “No body asks anyone if they’re gay in those holes.” Yeah, pretty much once you’re in the hole, you already know.


7:52 PM Edwards: Pace yourself, John, please.

7:53 PM Ah, the role of Bill Clinton in a Gravel administration. I think he would be air traffic controller for the flying pigs.

7:55 PM Richardson: “President Clinton gave me two great jobs.” Monica must have been a very good teacher.

7:57 PM Hillary: “Bill Clinton, my dear husband” would be a “roving ambassador.” So that’s what they’re calling it these days.

7:59 PM Thanks to trifecta for pointing out the Dodd “Talk Clock.” All I know is that there’s another hour to go and I don’t have enough to drink.

8:01 PM I don’t know if you realize this, but Bill Richardson was once the governor of New Mexico. Also, states should be able to investigate price gouging (I think they already can), but Richardson doesn’t think that’s actually happening. So, uhm, he would like states to waste their money seeing if anyone else making it. Even though they’re not.

8:08 PM Those chairs are total “Dating Game.” Hey, bachelor number one, I’m a deployed troop, what would you do with me?

8:13 PM I’m sorry I thought these were audience questions, but apparently Wolf is a member of the audience. Also, is Kucinich sitting on a block, too?

8:14 PM Poor Mike Gravel. Maybe he’s gassy or something.

8:17 PM I think Obama’s shorter answer to the question of whether vets should be able go outside the VA system is, “yes.” Richardson wants to talk about his “Hero’s Health Card,” which gives you a hero’s health.

8:22 PM Hillary settles the issue that she will not ALWAYS use force. Except in one liners! “They sent Dick Cheney, which is hardly diplomatic.”

8:24 PM Edwards is aware of a long, and apparently secret, history of pro-American sentiment in Iran. He will, however give them nuclear carrots.

8:26 PM Hottie history professor question. Yum. Something about Pakistan. Upon which we shall be, says Hillary, “focused like the proverbial laser.” Ah, yes, the proverbial laser. I believe it was made from walnuts.

8:29 PM Obama would kill Osama with his bare hands, just to clear up the name thing, actually.

8:31 PM Hillary raises her hand to say she would strike Osama, while simultaneously explaining why she has reservations. I think that is a good preview of a Hillary administration.

8:33 PM Thank you, amberglow, re: pro-American Iranians:

Ana, it’s not secret at all, unless you work at Time, i guess. Iran also has a large and unscared Jewish population who refuses to leave–Iranians are not at all the anti-American boogiemen we’re told they are. —

Okay, not secret. But, you know, spotty?

8:34 PM MASS CONFUSION! And Wolf SMACKED by Hillary for the hyperbolic hypotheticals! An operative quips: “She didn’t raise a hand, she raised a finger.”

8:35 PM Richardson is so serious about Darfur, WE MIGHT NOT GO TO OLYMPICS!!!! That’ll show China! YOUR GOLD MEDAL IN TABLE TENNIS IS MEANINGLESS.

8:37 PM “By the time all of these guys talk, 50,000 more people are dead!” Biden with the best point of the night. And Wolf follows up with another question about the Olympics. Says an operative: “Is secretly a sportscaster?”

8:43 PM Hotline catches an important moment: “And another candidate said off camera (but not off audio): I don’t want to raise hands anymore.” Aw, who’s tired?

8:44 PM Ah, taxes, a real Democratic strength. Did you just feel the energy go out of the room? Is it just me?

8:46 PM Edwards does not know what a rich person is. Here’s a hint: They might have almost as much money as you. Also, btw, if he doesn’t know what rich person is, wouldn’t that make it hard to know who’s in which America? I thought it was “rich” and “poor,” but maybe it’s like, “likes ice cream,” “prefers cookies.”

8:48 PM CNN title: “Former hair salon owner: married with two children.” I.e, NOT GAY.

8:52 PM I believe we have the first instance of a “reach around” being offered in a presidential debate, if you don’t count what was implied during the Edwards/Cheney one.

8:54 PM Biden want to cut the malarkey! Balderdash, I tell you!

8:56 PM John Edwards would re-establish America’s moral authority in the world by traveling it. I would hope we’d lead by example, personally.

8:57 PM Like, for instance, getting out of Iraq, as Hillary suggests. Can’t believe Edwards blew that shot.

8:58 PM Biden’s first priority would be to use his superpowers to solve all world crises now. The expectations game, well played!

8:59 PM And, finally, it’s over. Wolf won.