Missed the first five minutes. Quick summary: candidates sitting, McCain’s feet not quite touching the floor. Romney’s backdrop is a setting sun. Metaphor much? Huckabee wants you to know he won’t lay you off.
8:06 PM McCain’s pronunciation of economic terms not his strong suit.
8:10 PM Romney calls McCain “a good Republican.” Except when he’s not.
8:11 PM McCain scribbling while Romney talks: Mitt’s a phony. Mr. Phony Romney. Lia-ney. Mitt-dacious. I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU.
8:13 PM Laughs from the press room to McCain’s riposte: “Your two hometown papers, the ones that know you best, endorsed me.”
8:14 PM Mitt scribbling while McCain talks: 1. Mention Reagan – check! 2. Say McCain-Feingold – check! 3. Say McCain-Kennedy – check! 4. Out of money – check!
8:15 PM When Romney refers to his notes, it seems like he really wishes he were giving a PowerPoint presentation instead. McCain is sitting in front of the “A” on Air Force One… it makes his head pointy.
8:16 PM Romney knocks down — or at least pushes really hard — two pieces of McCain’s Mess-a-chusetts talking points. Talks deftly around the debt racked up through health care program.
8:18 PM Ron Paul chewing gravel while others talk.
8:21 PM Question to Mitt: Aren’t “fees” really a fancy word for “taxes”? Answer: Feefeefeefeefeefeefee.
8:23 PM McCain pulls out the ol’ “and what if we’re wrong…” schtick about climate change. You know what? If we’re wrong, we’ve also just replaced a lot of perfectly good light bulbs with ones that make us look green. As it were.
8:25 PM Oh god this is a two hour debate.
8:25 PM Since he’s at the Reagan library, McCain can totally replace that pen that Ronald Reagan gave him!
8:27 PM Mitt: “They don’t call it America warming, they call it global warming.” And, I, sir, call you a pedant!
8:28 PM And Anderson Cooper SHUTS RON PAUL DOWN! Surprised there was no applause. Colleague: “Don’t let the r [LOVE] utionaries know there’s a missile launcher outside.” This is not a figurative expression. I’m looking at that launcher right now.
8:30 PM Huckabee talking about people in traffic. Proposes WESTERN NAFTA superhighway! PLEASE KEEP THE PAULITES AWAY FROM THE MISSILES.
8:34 PM Very clever of debate planners to keep filing center freezing cold in case we started to believe that global warming talk.
8:35 PM McCain bashes the “alternate minimum tax.” You know, the one they charge you every other year.
8:37 PM “If we could only cut the spending.” Drink.
8:37 PM I think McCain should stop referring to himself as a “foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution,” because I think some people will think, “Valley Forge.”
8:40 PM Huck: “We’re not building a fence to keep people in, and we’re not building a fence to keep people out.” We’re also not building a fence to insert concrete pilings into the ground, and we’re not building a fence to demarcate a border. We’re basically not building much of a fence. Really, it’s kind of trellis.
8:43 PM Huck and Mitt love that millions of people want to get into our country. They just wish they weren’t so… brown.
8:45 PM If McCain’s immigration bill came to a vote in the Senate today because it won’t be voted on. Uh. Yeah. What is the sound of vote hands clapping…
8:48 PM Thanks for the pointer, yes we love http://slog.thestranger.com/
8:49 PM Ron Paul asked a yes or no question, only allowed to answer yes or no. This is a brilliant Paul containment strategy and maybe should be used instead of a fence.
8:56 PM A chat:
SWAMPLANDOPERATIVE: can we bring rudy back just to pick on ron paul for old times sake? give him a wedgie?
ANAMARIE COX: i think he’s waiting backstage to do just that
SWAMPLANDOPERATIVE: a NAFTA superwedgie
9:00 PM Mitt denies that he’s ever been for an Iraq timetable “unequivocably.” Exactly.
9:02 PM Mitt trying to get angry about timetables thing. Really. He’s totally frosted! McCain is running against Ned Flanders with better hair.
9:06 PM I can’t tell who won that McCain-Romney exchange but McCain clearly thinks he did.
9:07 PM Romney says it is “normal and natural” for governors not to take positions on “federal issues.” Like, say, stem cell research? Gay marriage? Oh right…
9:09 PM Romney on timetable accusation: “There isn’t a single media source that hasn’t called it reprehensible… the Washington Post gave you three Pinocchios on it!” Did I say Ned Flanders? I meant Jiminy Cricket.
9:11 PM Paul: “How the hell are we gonna have the guns and butter!?!” Butter-firing guns are illegal in most states.
9:13 PM Huckabee didn’t come here to umpire a ball game. Or whittle a dollhouse. Or distill some wisdom. Better: “I’d like to be here tonight.”
9:15 PM Huckabee feels strongly that we have an army. That’s prepared. That we never have to use. They’ll guard that imaginary fence.
9:18 PM Mitt: China is using a “wild west form of capitalism.” It is true the West was built with very low-wage labor.
9:23 PM Mitt: “One of my really great regrets in life is not to have served in the military, I really wish I could have.” True, at the time, he was engaged in the day-to-day, bloody struggle of trying to convert people to Mormonism in France. Or, as the grunts said, “in the merde.”
9:28 PM Huck: Governors rock! CNN has put him on a question diet.
9:29 PM No, really, governors, like, do stuff! Ask me about roads! I WANT TO BUILD HIGHWAYS. No, not just highways, SUPERHIGHWAYS.
9:29 PM Spin room has already started. Can already hear the gentle murmur of BS sloshing about in the hall.
9:31 PM Reagan. Ronald Reagan. Reagan reagan ronald reaganing. GOLD STANDARD. Ronalded reaganist ronald reagan reagan. Reaganer.
9:34 PM To the spin room. Would rather drink until the room spun.