Hillary Clinton

Debate Thread II

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Part one is here. The candidates are sitting down for the Dr. Phil section of the show.

8:10: Kucinich, on how to "rebuild" the military after Iraq: "Turn into a peacekeeping force." When Blitzer nudges: "Cut military spending by 25 percent."

8:13: Obama, who has a Romney-esque plan to expand the military, thinks you might be able to rein in the Pentagon budget and doing that. And let me clarify about Dodd. It's not that he's boring (although he might be), it's that his rumbling Connecticut brogue wreaks havoc on the echoey sound system in the media room.

8:15: Given the chance to pander and tell a military mom that he'll let veterans use any hospital they want, Obama doesn't—he wants to fix the VA. Hillary nods. Richardson does not nod: "I will give your son a hero's health care."

8:21: In Iran, Hillary Clinton will use "the kind of diplomacy that Bill Richardson did… for my husband." Hear that, Edwards and Obama? Next time you run for president, try being friends with the Clintons first.

8:25: Clinton and Edwards basically have the same position as the Bush administration when it comes to Iran, but it takes them a while to get there. Edwards will even leave the nuclear option on the table, as "any responsible president" would. Not that Bush is responsible, of course! Ah, to have the simple, nuke-'em clarity of the GOP debates.

8:28: Blitzer tries out the CNN version of the 24 question on… Dennis Kucinich. It's actually not news that he wouldn't kill bin Laden if given the chance, but it's nice for the rest of the Democrats, who will disagree…

8:29: …Obama doesn't disagree! No, wait, he does. He wouldn't assassinate most people, but he would drop some bombs into Osama's batcave.

8:31: How the top three candidates show off their foreign policy cred. Clinton: "I've talked with Musharaf." Edwards: "I met him and his wife." Obama: "I pronounce Pakistan with two long 'a's."

8:33: I was feeling a little bad about saying Blitzer set a "3rd grade homeroom tone." And then he asked the candidates to raise their hands and chaos broke out. Hillary gets applause by telling him "stop with the motherfarking hypotheticals, beardo." (Not a direct quote.)

8:35: Richardson calls more U.N. deals and a possible Olympic boycott to end the genocide in Darfur. Geez, is he trying to lose the 1980 election?

8:38: When he gets the Darfur question Joe Biden decides to become the candidate of the forgotten man: the superhawk who likes to yell at people. Richardson gently slaps him: "With all due respect, we don't need another military involvement. Iraq is enough." Biden grabs his jaw and scowls.

8:40: A high-schooler thinks national service is awesome and wants to know if the candidates also think it's awesome. Gravel and Kucinich do, but Blitzer gets bored and changes the question: "Should we bring back the draft?"

8:43: My internship with Professor X pays off and I take over a New Hampshire voter's mind: He asks Obama what his definition of "rich" is. Obama explains that he meets a lot of people who are struggling, the tax code needs more fairness… aw, hell, more than $250k a year.

8:46: Edwards: "I don't know about the definition of 'rich'." Oh, I bet you do.

8:47: There were actually enough format-breaking moments, as candidates rejected Blitzer's questions, to erase the memory of Obama's "divisive question" jibe. Obama's done a lot of rambling since then and the audience (who waited a long time for this on a rainy day) clealry isn't finding him that compelling.

8:50: Tom Coburn, using the psuedonym "Fred Hollander," e-mails in a question about earmarks. Chris Dodd doesn't want to get rid of them: Gravel "totally" (his words!) does.

8:55: And Joe Biden endorses public campaign financing.

8:57: Why in the hell did Edwards say he'd spend his first 100 days "travelling the world" to rebuild our alliances? The point of the first 100 days is that the president's got momentum; he's on a honeymoon; the midterms are far enough away that Congress won't run away from a few unpopular votes.

10:10: Just got out of the spin room where I asked David Bonior, John Edwards' campaign manager, if Edwards would really "travel the world" in his first 100 days. No, says Bonior: He was speaking broadly about the need to repair our alliances and his real first 100 days would be all about domestic policy. So, yeah, Edwards blew the question.

Got lots of video, but will need to hack at it tonight to see how much is usable/good. I should have video of Dennis Kucinich saying the Democrats can't win with Hillary, Mike Gravel attacking the war on drugs, and a very special guest with a message for Michelle Malkin.

Oh, and check out Jim Geraghty.

NEXT: Democratic Debate II: Manslaughter in Manchester

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  1. Five bucks Hillary gets out of her chair and walks around the stage talk-show style.

  2. I think to mix things up a bit would be if they let Republicans and conservitives lob some questions.

  3. War Mom is kind of hot.

  4. Gravel gets his “meds” from the VA. What kind of meds, I wonder.

  5. Does anyone hear voices talking over the canidents?

  6. Hillary wants to have diplomacy with Iran. I suggest sending Bill.

  7. eee, we should prevent Iran from getting nukes using “any means necessary?” and send Bill Clinton there instead of Dick Cheney, because saying Dick Cheney [blank] guarantees a laugh in a favorable room?

  8. Jonathan, there is a CNN feed with Arianna Huffington commenting live. I wonder who they’ll have on Tuesday during the Republican debate.

  9. Yes, Hillary, we get it.

    You’re the anti-Bush

    *yawn*

  10. Hillary and Edwards are by far the smoothest talkers on stage. Obama has been stumbling a lot and talking around the questions, as has Richardson (surprise surprise!). The others just aren’t getting much time to talk/make an impression.

    Jennifer is hot.

  11. Obama wants to take out Bin Laden even when this will cause civil casualties? This is morally repugnant.

  12. Jonathan, there is a CNN feed with Arianna Huffington commenting live. I wonder who they’ll have on Tuesday during the Republican debate.
    So she’s the one saying “kill your dog” over and over?

  13. I usually hate to comment on these horse races, as everybody does what the hell they want (Congress willing) once they get in, anyway (we can all google Bush speeches from 1999).

    However, I will say that, on appearances Clinton is holding her own. Agree or disagree with her, that shows she at least knows what she wants and can forcefully explain it.

    Obama on the other hand, should just change his name to Obambi, as he speaks and looks like an innocent deer in the headlights without his speechwriters and handlers to assist. You’d think a Harvard-trained attorney would at least be able to deliver a consistent Dershowitz-type harangue …

  14. Darfur? Finally, I have an excuse to go out for a ciggerate.

  15. Richardson proposes an Olympic boycott

    The Carter years are back!

  16. Finally, I have an excuse to go out for a ciggerate.

    And a dictionary!

  17. I hate it when the olympics are politicized.

  18. BTW, Im surprised when they asked about AIDS in Africa and Darfur, they didn’t start with “Well, if we repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy…”

  19. Damn I though the punk was gonna ask about weed.

    Draft is good question as Dems support it- but not here and now.

  20. Tim O’Connor is going to try and use his question as a way to get laid. “Hey baby, did you watch the debates tonight?”

  21. During the Obama rambling, I loved the shot of the lady falling asleep and her mustached partner’s eye wandering.

    A quote from LGF:
    Hillary, this is the War on Terror; there is no talking to those who want to cut your neck.

  22. Tax cuts again. Walmart will be next?

  23. Obama is about to define what “rich” means. Now, THAT’S rich!!

    When pressed by Wolf Blitzer, he finally said that $250K is the magic number for shaking down American breadwinners and businesses.

    Edwards lowballed with $200K.

    Where’s Walter Mondale to just simply say, “I’m a Democrat—TAX EVERYONE!!!!!”

  24. Damn I though the punk was gonna ask about weed.
    Now I wish they would let someone ask.
    “This is for all of you, why is weed illegal and should we legalise it?”

  25. From personal experience I can tell you that quite a lot of money from those “student” loans are taken out by college students to buy XBox 360’s and new computers.

  26. @ Cesar

    And more guns

  27. “This is for all of you, why is weed illegal and should we legalise it?”

    Well except for Kucinich I’d guess this would be like asking the Republicans about teaching homosexuality in kindergarden.

  28. I think Hillary’s best plan for dealing with Iran would be to ship Bill to the mullahs as a “complimentary hostage.”

    Ten bucks says “I’m-a-Dinner-Jacket” would soon be offering to pay us to take him off their hands:

    “By the Beard of the Prophet, that silver-tongued, infidel Clinton is hitting on every babe, and looking up every burqa, between Teheran and Isfahan. Call Great Satan Bush and tell him we’ll give up the nukes, but he has GOT to take Bubba back before he really does some damage!”

  29. “I’m a Democrat—TAX EVERYONE!!!!!”

    We can’t expect honesty from politicians.

  30. From personal experience I can tell you that quite a lot of money from those “student” loans are taken out by college students to buy XBox 360’s and new computers.

    Cesar, I’m 41. That’s nothing new. Some bought cars, Coleco-vision and NeXT cubes with the guaranteed stash. The smart ones invested in CDs and money market instruments for a quick interest profit and then repayed the loan the next year.

    Bill Richardson: A Chicken in Every Pot, A Turkey Neck in every debate.

  31. Pre-school for every American- full day?

    WooooHoooooo! Naptime!

    Richardson explains the Democrats view of Americans- we are all small children.

  32. Cesar, I’m 41. That’s nothing new. Some bought cars, Coleco-vision and NeXT cubes with the guaranteed stash. The smart ones invested in CDs and money market instruments for a quick interest profit and then repayed the loan the next year.


    I love talking on blogs and message boards. Almost every day they are full of good ideas like the above one.

  33. I wish some one would ask the same evolution question that was asked in the Rep. debate.

  34. Who’s the broad next to Kuchinich?

  35. Of course, that was 20 years ago, Jonathan. CDs only pay 4 -5 percent these days compared to the Breakfast Club era.

    But I’m sure there’s some young whippersnapper thinking up the next Dell, Microsoft, or Google with a handful of Stafford Loan dollars, as we speak ….

  36. For the record I don’t care what people do with their student loans. They can use it as beer money, gamble it all away at Atlantic City, or flush it down the toilet for all I care. Just don’t bitch about how the government should bail you out with our tax dollars, thank you very much.

  37. I used a student loan back in the early ’90s for a honeymoon. It was worth it.

  38. Hmm, I thought the Bush tax cuts were $1.4 trillion over 10 years.

    I hadn’t realized it was $1.4 trillion a year for 10 years.

    Or maybe some of these candidates are playing loose with the numbers?

    Anyway, when do I get my stuff?

  39. Just don’t bitch about how the government should bail you out with our tax dollars, thank you very much.

    Cesar, no disagreement, there. Considering that loans are the principal means of financial aid these days, I expect more and more Democrats with the bail-me-out mentality to make loans an issue, in terms of “the burdens on the middle class,” yada yada yada.

    Obama spoke to a student group a while back on the issue, complaining how it took him so long to pay back his student loans from law school. Of course, what he neglected to leave out was that (A) he could have went to a less expensive law school than Harvard, or (B) he voluntarily chose “a vow of poverty” by not using his Ivy League shingle to attain employment that would have allowed him to live well while repaying the principal and interest at a faster rate.

    So, you’re right, don’t compain about bail outs after you make economic choices that are not in line with the debt load you assumed …

  40. “8:40: A high-schooler thinks mandatory national service is awesome and wants to know if the candidates also think it’s awesome. Gravel and Kucinich do…”

    Nope, Kucinich said he would encourage young people to serve but he didn’t commit to mandating national service.

  41. Why in the hell did Edwards say he’d spend his first 100 days “travelling the world” to rebuild our alliances?

    Probably because that is the type of assignment he would expect as VP.

  42. on the back benches, Kucinich is a Democrat version of Ron Paul–much smarter and less creepy, but just as unelectable. I like Gravel, though.

  43. So I figured out that the citizenry are the losers but who won, was it Duff again?

  44. Now if Ron Paul wins the text message poll for this debate, we’ll know something’s up.

  45. Now if Ron Paul wins the text message poll for this debate, we’ll know something’s up.

    I dunno. Blitzer didn’t ask Paul any questions, so naturally I just assumed he was there.

  46. I used my student loan the same way that a plurality of recipients do: It paid for my education, I made no payments and defaulted on the loan, then negotiated a settlement at 38 cents on the dollar.

    The system works if you work it.

  47. Of course, Hillary won the debate.

    If anyone else wins the poll, their supporters must have been cheating. QED.

  48. Jonathan Hohensee | June 3, 2007, 8:11pm | #

    I think to mix things up a bit would be if they let Republicans and conservitives lob some questions.

    Uh, and Wolf Blitzer is a Communist Party Leader?

  49. Weighted average of interest on Federal Sub & Unsub loans = 3.6%

    Low risk money market account = 5%
    Other investments = 8-9% average

    Thank you US taxpayer and federal government, for subsidizing my investments.

  50. I used my student loan the same way that a plurality of recipients do: It paid for my education, I made no payments and defaulted on the loan, then negotiated a settlement at 38 cents on the dollar.

    The system works if you work it.

    And then you went to purchase a house, discovered that your credit rating sucks and you were either 1. Unable to purchase the house you want or 2. Able to purchase the house, but at a much higher interest rate than you otherwise would have, thus costing you far more in interest on your payments than if you had just paid your student loans. I guess the system does indeed work, sometimes.

  51. BTW, I am Pakistani-American. Obama’s pronunciation of Pakistan was absolutely correct. It is how it is really pronounced.

  52. Pendulum | June 3, 2007, 10:13pm | #

    Weighted average of interest on Federal Sub & Unsub loans = 3.6%

    Low risk money market account = 5%
    Other investments = 8-9% average

    Thank you US taxpayer and federal government, for subsidizing my investments.

    Fuck you, Pendulum, you dishonorable piece of trash.

  53. Mr asterisk,

    You left out option C: pay cash for your home.

    Im making an offer on a new home tomorrow. I will probably take out a mortgage but Im seriously considering cashing out some investments and just buying the thing.

    Im trying to figure out why I didnt do the student loan-money market-free money thing 20 years ago. I wouldnt have done the default-discount thing, but I screwed up. Anyone got a time machine?

  54. Shawne,
    …and Mexico is pronounced Meck-hee-ko by folks from Mexico. If Obama was from Pahk-ih-stahn or running for President of Pahk-ih-stahn, it would make sense. From here in the US it just looks like he’s trying too hard.

  55. Sorry, Mr. *, but you are wrong. By the time I was ready to purchase a house, six years after settling my loan at pennies on the dollar, my credit score was in the mid 700s. I now own two properties. God bless the gullible voter.

  56. a US Taxpayer
    Fuck you, Pendulum, you dishonorable piece of trash.

    Are you serious? I need a loan to pay for school. You want me to leave it in my checking account and let inflation corrode it?

    Not my fault the federal government has a committment to affordable student loans to low income individuals.

  57. I dunno, I think that a prerequisite to becoming president is the ability to pronounce the name of Iraq and Iran correctly. (Hint: It’s Ir-ak and Ir-aan).

  58. Uh, and Wolf Blitzer is a Communist Party Leader?
    He’s a whatnow?

  59. Sui Generis. As in soowee? You’re not a one of kind pig – just an ordinary one.

  60. Why Fred Thompson will be our next President…

    video not directly related but well worth it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25BIVy7g0X8

    very much related to the “single issue”

  61. Are you serious? I need a loan to pay for school. You want me to leave it in my checking account and let inflation corrode it?

    I want you to use it for school. If that’s what you did with it, then fine – I apologize.

  62. Fred Thompson will be our next president because of bear wrestling?

    Makes sense, once you think about it.

  63. My home had an electrical power outage about 6pm. Back up and running now.

    How is that for good luck?
    Did I miss anything? Didn’t think so.

  64. tomwright says: “I wish some one would ask the same evolution question that was asked in the Rep. debate.”

    No one would raise their hand to say they didn’t believe in evolution. The real question to ask Democrats: “How many of you believe in free enterprise and free markets?” Watch them squirm on that. And if any of them doom their primary chances by raising their hands, ask them which taxes, tariffs, and business regulations they would cut.

  65. So what happened to the Weigel interview with the Truther?

  66. Sui Generis–

    I hope you defaulted because you ran into some severe circumstances, and there was no other way out. It sounds from your posts, though, like you just decided to walk away from your commitment and to stick everyone else for the cost of your college education.

    That would make you simply a big brown turd. That is all.

  67. Yeah um, the bear wrestling is entertaining and all, but what does that have to do with Fred Thompson, or the WOD?

  68. Cutting the military by 25% is the libertarian thing to do, but not the corporatarian thing to do. I doubt that many military contractors will vote for Kucinich. If he won then they might have to take a paycut out in the sandbox, or even lose their jobs outright.

  69. Marko,

    “and Mexico is pronounced Meck-hee-ko by folks from Mexico. If Obama was from Pahk-ih-stahn or running for President of Pahk-ih-stahn, it would make sense. From here in the US it just looks like he’s trying too hard.”

    As a speech-language pathologist, I would refer a child from Mexico that said he was from “Meck-hee-ko” for an articulation evaluation (not really, but your attempt is way off the mark ;^).

    And if all you can say bad about Obama is that he says Pakistan correctly, he must be doing pretty well on the issues in your mind.

  70. Chuck, I defaulted on my student loan willfully and with malice aforethought. Although, I don’t really think it was malicious. The system is built that way – for anyone willing to take the short term hit to their credit rating, the long term benefits are huge. It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis. Don’t blame because the system is f*$&ed up. Or, as the kids say these days, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

    Dump the entire federally guaranteed student loan system if you don’t want millions of people like me taking advantage of it.

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