Liveblogging: The Fracas in Philly

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9:00 PM I think that publicity still of Brian Williams was taken when he was twelve.

9:02 PM And Bri-Bri, right in with the “tell us how Hillary will eat our babies.”

9:03 PM Obama’s first canned joke — something about a guy named “Rocko”? — falls as flat as his smooth washboard stomach.

9:04 PM Obama could not attack if he were surrounded by stinging bees. HRC brushes him off with nary a misconceived metaphor to stand in her way: “Waving sabers”? I’m glad you’re so hawkish on foreign policy because you have no idea how to handle a sword!

[hotel wi-fi a little hinky. Will continue as I can.]

9:09 PM No one can lay a glove on her. I should probably stop blogging now. Or, you know, for the rest of the cycle.

9:11 PM Cute old man talking about Iran! Is he related to Hillary?

9:16 PM Not only is Obama not taking the bait to attack Hillary but I think he may endorse her by the end of the night.

9:17 PM Also, Hillary is the only one running against George Bush. Everyone else is has mentioned her more than any Republican. I love that she is into “vigorous diplomacy.” Bill feels the same way. Carrots and sticks! That’s what Bill said!

9:19 PM Edwards mentions “neo-cons”! Drink!

9:20 PM Richardson: Not only would I negotiate with Iran without preconditions, but I would also wear a burka.

9:22 PM You can drink when they say “saber waving” OR “saber rattling.”

9:24 PM Hillary has “pledged that I will take all the steps I can to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.” She actually got a laugh for that, but, understood: promising to keep them from developing a nuclear weapon sort of attributes to her the kind of wiccan powers only Bob Tyrell and John Podhoretz think she has.

9:26 PM Biden, on the other hand, is perfectly ready to pledge pretty much anything.

9:30 PM When Bill Richardson talks about his successes in international negotiating, he should not use the specific numbers of those he got released.

9:31 PM Is Kucinich really really talking about nuclear power? I think I see Hillary yawning.

9:32 PM True fact: Originally, before she was going to say she does “not oppose the brave men and women fighting” in Iraq, Hillary was going to say, “I hate those damn kids. Screw ’em.”

9:33 PM Oh, she just talked about her friends, “Bill and Joe and Chris.” Leaving anyone out, there, Hillary?

9:35 PM Shorter John Edwards: I would like to remind you that Hillary is not actually president yet.

9:36 PM If you could combine Edwards’s attacks with Obama’s positions… well, you’d have Hillary Clinton. But Edwards is at least taking jabs.

9:39 PM Writes a Republican pal: “I’d trust her with the country.”

9:43 PM Wow, talk about running for the general, Hillary responds to a Rudy critique with, “They obviously think I am communicating effectively about what I will do as president.” Also, she’s totally talking for like, a half hour at a time. And, content-wise: She manages to dismiss the entire “experience” question by saying that she doesn’t have the same experience as the current administration. It’s true, by some measures, she has less! (And by some measures, more: the whole “experience” yard stick is kind of a joke.)

9:45 PM The RNC has been emailing Tim. (See: Question about opening the Clinton archives.)

9:47 PM Oooooh, BHO mentions “bundling”! Winkle Paw! Drink!

9:49 PM John Edwards believes in the Tooth Fairy. And here I was worried about creationist Huckabee.

9:52 PM Okay, even I am now kind of tired of BHO bringing up his stand against the war. Oh, and Richard doesn’t like personal attacks! Thanks Secretary of State Richardson! Oh, you wanted veep? Sorry, that will go to someone who didn’t even try to run against her.

9:56 PM There is another hour to go.

9:57 PM SwampDad (just so you know it’s not genetic):

I so much like Edwards. And now Richardson. These guys are good.


I am switching to The Unit at 9pm.

9:58 PM “Congressman Kucinich, why are you smiling?” “Because I am totally high.”

10:06 PM I love Biden for calling Rudy out on his complete lack of foreign policy experience. LOVE IT. Something 9/11 noun verb something. Whatever. Nice.

10:07 PM I guess this is a segment on Social Security. Time for BHO to shine! If I can stay awake, I will totally write about it.

10:09 PM Obama is totally a Muslim. Brian Williams just told me so. Also, a John McCain mention, in his only appearance among Democrats until he joins the Hillary administration.

10:12 PM Someone’s still reading!

I guess I missed The Unit, have to catch it on iTunes later.

So I am going to stay with you.

10:14 PM Dad says more (about Social Security):

[Obama mentioned the] “actuarial gap”. Actually those who hate soc sec make a big deal of this. But as Milton Friedman says in his book, slight adjustments will fix it – he read the actuarial report. Congress did that kind of fix when they raised my retirement age by 10 months.

The real big problem with SS is medicare, not the cash benefit program.

I will forward this to Atrios.

10:17 PM “Rattling sabers” is the new black!

10:19 PM This is the second time that Obama has mentioned he once said something that automakers found disconcerting. I wish he had more examples.

10:22 PM Chris Dodd is about to do a rain dance.

10:24 PM I believe that John Edwards just advocated private donations over government assistance for disaster relief. Uhm, wow. But there should also be unlimited federal assistance to victims of natural disasters. He’s so making a little bit of sense right now!

10:28 PM Alternative minimum income tax. Talk amongst yourselves.

10:30 PM “Congressman Kucinich, I want to mention the issue of hedge funds.” “Tim, have you ever really looked at your hand?”

10:33 PM Seriously, if this were the first debate, Edwards would be the choice as the anti-Hillary. Name checks: Halliburton, Wal-Mart, lobbyists, Blackwater, insert name of another bad guy here.

10:36 PM Bri-Bri saying “Time…time…time… time… time…” is going to be my new ringtone.

10:38 PM Okay, seriously: Lightning round? What does that tell us about a candidate? The ability to answer questions in under 30 seconds is helpful for contestants on game shows, but kind of disastrous among, you know, adults.

10:43 PM A friend suggests a question appropriate to the lightning round: “Ginger or Mary Ann?”

10:45 PM I’m still pissed about the CONCEPT of the lightning round. But apparently DOCTORS have asked Bri Bri to ask something. BUT WITHIN 30 SECONDS! BZZZZT! Too long! Brian Williams has been eliminated.

10:51 PM Barack: “I didn’t realize it was a lightning round.” Ha ha! The whole thing is a lightning round! Seriously, tho: If only the whole campaign was a lightning round, Barack, if only.

10:52 PM Seriously, the beep-beep when they go over? Is this a game show on an election? Wait, don’t answer that…

10:53 PM I’ve been told that the official nickname is not “Bri Bri” but “BriWi.” My apologies.

10:53 PM FIRST MISTAKE OF THE NIGHT FOR HILLARY, first mistake of perhaps the entire campaign: Advocating DLs for illegal immigrants. She does! Or not. Something. For a second she forgot she’s already President.

10:56 PM OMG they are ganging up on HRC over illegal aliens driving. SPEAKING OF! Kucinich saw a UFO. BREAKING! And, “space.” I thought that was Lou Dobbs’ thing.

10:59 PM Hillary will cure cancer.

11:00 PM Apparently Christmas is coming.

11:01 PM Why isn’t this over?

11:02 PM Obama gets a final jab in… at Mitt Romney.