LIVEBLOGGING: Debating the Tubes

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Where I’m not:


7:00 PM: That man’s facial hair does not represent my view.

7:01 PM: “We’re not sure how this is going to work,” says Anderson. CNN, your home for breaking news.

7:02 PM: Using kids to ask “adult questions” — I believe that’s someone on the Giuliani campaign’s job.

7:04 PM: FIRST QUESTION. “The issues don’t matter if nothing gets done… beyond the platitudes…how are you going to get anything done?” It’s the same question that every interviewer has asked every candidate since the second one, but the camera moves were VERY MTV and he sort of threw in some “dudes” and whatnot. This debate is different!

7:06 PM: Also, Obama is different. He says so.

7:07 PM: A Kucinich question. Apparently he’s anti-war.

7:09 PM: Clinton, ready to lead on day one.

I think I’m just going to set up some macros.

7:09 PM: Also, Obama: for change. (I haven’t even set up the macros yet!)

7:10 PM: Creepy smile from Rob! I think he’s going to start downloading Hello Kitty slash fiction after the camera goes off. And now, an etymology lesson from Hillary. Apparently, “liberal” used to mean something different. So did gay! Anyway, she’s a “progressive.” For some reason, Cooper tosses to Gravel who is now making crazy talk about bundlers and EWWWWWW extreme closeup! Obama now slapping back: did you know he’s for change? Oh, wait, sorry, he’s shown leadership.

7:13 PM: An actual good question. (What GOPer would you choose for veep?) Ruined by the answer, though how much do we love the idea of BIDEN/HAGEL in 08? We love it like Hello Kitty slash fiction, that’s how much.

7:14 PM: Edwards: something about change.

7:15 PM: Funny self-deprecation from Chris Dodd! He’s old and that’s FUNNY.

7:16 PM: Reparations? The questioner suspects that candidates will dodge. Edwards… does not! He is against reparations but totally is against rich people that aren’t him. Also: change.

7:17 PM: Obama: something about “corridors of shame” — again, I believe that’s the Giuliani folk’s bailiwick. Seriously, he hearts the schools. Children are our future.

7:20 PM: Katrina should have been responded to “ahead of time,” which sounds like Dodd is so old he actually knows the future, but maybe he is just referring to the whole “HUGE MASSIVE STORM TO HIT NEW ORLEANS” warnings.

7:21 PM: “i forgot richardson was there” emails a friend. Who works on campaigns.


7:26 PM: Hillary “can’t run as anything besides a woman.” There are clinics for that.

7:26 PM: Edwards graciously abdicates the votes of sexist bigots.

7:27 PM: CNN found the only widely-viewed downloadable video of two lesbians on the internet that isn’t porn. Dodd wants to not have to spend money on his daughters’ (gay) weddings. Richardson wishes the women in the video were hotter.

7:31 PM: Edwards doesn’t like to use religion to justify prejudice except against people who make him weird. (Did Anderson pick these questions? I mean, really.)

7:33 PM: Well the audience loved that Hillary ad. Dylan much?

7:39 PM: Edwards: HAIR video. Oh, it’s Katrina + hair. Very funny. How much water would $400 buy for your average Superdome refugee?

7:39 PM: Richardson is against genocide, pro-caring, and permanent peace-keeping forces… “somewhere.” In Africa, one presumes. Not Iraq.

7:41 PM: Biden: “Why Darfur?” BECAUSE WE CAN. Also, that camp is apparently a popular tourist stop. “I called for [something] and everyone agreed!” Truly, the lonely voice of reason.

7:43 PM: Hillary bravely posits that we should focus on Iraq as much as Darfur. But we’re losing there, and we’re not yet losing in Darfur!

7:44 PM: “How do we pull out now?” Asks a smartly dressed GOP mole. Obama: “we can be as careful getting out as we were careful getting in.” Riiiiight. What if the careless getting in prohibits getting out? Bash Tony Snow. Start withdrawal by March 31st. Because that’s careful. HE SAID A SPECIFIC DATE, so how can that possibly be careless?

7:47 PM: Joe Biden would like to remind us that he is Joe Biden.

7:49 PM: Okay, honestly? The BEST thing to happen in HRC in the past month is getting attacked by the Pentagon, because then she gets to be the victim along WITH the mother of that fallen soldier!

7:51 PM: Dodd wants to ROBUSTLY pursue diplomacy. Insert grabby hands Richardson joke here.

7:52 PM: Something for Gravel. Drink break. (Honestly, he’s better when he just stares at the camera.)

[And, uhhm, LONG WIFI PROBLEM HERE. Sorry. To make up for it, a bonus joke from my tuned in colleague: “I thought our soldiers were dying in Vietnam SO THAT someday you could go to Hanoi and buy a Baskin Robbins ice cream cone.”]

8:04 PM: “It’s not enough to meet with bad leaders,” says Edwards. That’s right, as the Bush administration knows, sometimes you also have to prop them up.

8:05 PM: Dodd has first cousins serving. Truly, the war touches us all.

8:11 PM: Gravel ad. Again: better as silent eerie figure of doom. Swamphusband has this endorsement: “i want gravel to be elected nation’s voluble uncle!! to give mike gravel something to filibuster against!!”

8:15 PM: Favorite teacher question. Lots of priests mentioned. Where were they when the Giuliani came calling?\

8:17 PM: Okay, wtf? NCLB ROCK VIDEO? Is this what happens when our children is not learning? Wouldn’t your typical Limp Biskit lyrics communicate the same issue?

8:21 PM: EVERYONE has excuses for why they send their kids to private schools. Also: U of C! Where fun goes to die! Uhm, and then there’s Biden… and dying… ooops, sorry. Funny how only a few use the question to actually address the issue of education. EXCEPT DODD, who then gets busted for not… staying on topic? I’m confused.

8:24 PM: BAD TOUCHING! Where is the bear?

8:25 PM: Now some gimmicks. And some of the best fake smiles since Nancy Kerrigan. Ha ha, that’s funny, Al Gore. Hillbillys. Uhm, someone ask Gravel something.

8:26 PM: In the comments someone said the ROCK VIDEO was the moment when this debate jumped the shark. The hillbilly q was the moment the shark jumped itself. The snowman question was the moment that the crowd rose up and jumped up and down on the shark.

8:28 PM: Now we are in someone’s bathroom. Drink. In the Bay Area, and she’s not even hot.

8:31 PM: Gravel took the train to Charleston. With the hobos.

8:32 PM: They may disagree on nuclear power, but they all pronounce it correctly. Hillary wants us to “start acting like Americans again”… uhm, as opposed to not acting like Americans by invading countries willynilly and, uhm, warming the globe.

8:35 PM: Biden ad grim and, you know, true.

8:39 PM: TEXT PEACE? That’s what you have for us Kucinich? TEXT PEACE? Don’t repeat it too much or you might sound like that “Head On” ad… too late!

8:42 PM: Group Romney bashing makes for some bonding before we get to Social Security questions… some guy with sunglasses asks about the “tough” solutions, like raising taxes. Richardson brilliantly begins talking about Medicare.

8:45 PM: Bob Roberts moment. Folk singer who hates taxes. Also hippies.

8:46 PM: Health care montage!

8:47 PM: This is very depressing.

8:48 PM: I notice the comments have dropped off. I have as well. Can we go back to talking about change? Obama with an extended seat/chair metaphor! CAN YOU FEEL THE EXCITEMENT?

8:51 PM: Hillary just named all the questioners. She totally wins the memory portion of the competition. Also, a tip from a colleague: Perhaps, Hill, when you’re talking to breast cancer survivors, you should not mention that you have your own “scars”…

8:55 PM: Dynasty question, parried skillfully by Hillary (“I do have a problem with Bush being elected”), then… omg, is it possible? WAS THAT HOWARD DEAN? Not sure if I’d recognize him anymore.

8:57 PM: No one is more excited than me for this debate to end.

8:57 PM: A quarter. God. Stuff. God please make it stop.

8:59 PM: I want to go to Gravel on this one, just to see if he sees hidden signs about the bankers/hedge fund managers on the quarters…

9:00 PM: My position on gun control has changed because now I want to shot myself to make it stop. But, seriously, let’s just make sure Gravel doesn’t get a gun. The kids in the “ghettos” that Richardson refers to? What? HUH? Biden with a good line about the man and his metal “baby.” “Hope he doesn’t come looking for me.” Indeed.

9:03 PM: Obama HAS A ROCK VIDEO. Can I get that as a ring tone? Oh, uhm, I can? … Er…

9:04 PM: “Remember be honest.” Okay: Kill me now.