Ron Paul

Democratic Debate II: Manslaughter in Manchester


That's the view from my seat in the media room at the second Democratic presidential debate. (It's filled up a little bit since then.) When the debate kicks off at 7, the blogging will commence.

7:02: Wolf Blitzer's "introduce yourself" kicks it off with a nice, 3rd grade homeroom tone. Dennis Kucinich chooses to answer with an impression of Jimmy Cagney.

7:04: Obama rambles about what the Bush administration has done right, or wrong, or whatever, in the war on terror, and Wolf Blitzer gives him a save.

7:06: John Edwards sort of forgets the origin of the "war on terror" term. It started on 9/11 with reporters grappling for ways to describe the coming retaliation, didn't it? Hillary Clinton, trying to grab back some of that "Democratic hawk" mojo after voting against the Iraq supplemental, basically agrees with Rudy Giuliani that it's not a bumper sticker and 9/11 9/11 9/11.

7:07: Dennis Kucinich closes the bumper sticker debate by… quoting a bumper sticker. (A Ben Franklin quote bastardized into a bumper sticker, yes, but he's this close to launching a Baby on Board initiative.

7:10: Why won't Joe Biden say his colleagues were wrong to vote against the supplemental? "These are my friends! We're busting our neck every single day!" There are chuckles in the press gallery when he claims this (his pro-supplemental vote) is the reason he might not get the 2008 presidential nomination.

7:12: Here's the difference between Hillary and Obama. She warbles the song of centrism in perfect, robotic, utterly incredible sentences. He reaches for eloquence and drowns it in "ums" and "ahhhhs." Also, she's a lady.

7:13: John Edwards, excruciatingly, speaks truth to power by calling Hillary and Obama wimps. Obama kicks him in the groin and slices his throat with a rusty garden trowel. (Actually he says "You were about five and a half years late on this," and the media room rumbles with the sound of reporters finding their ledes.)

7:15: Hillary refuses to punch down. She ignores Edwards, blaming the war on Bush. When Edwards flings back some mush about leadership, she laughs at him.

7:17: Chris Dodd is also in this debate.

7:19: As is Bill Richardson.

7:20: Reason magazine reader Mike Gravel takes another swing at Edwards, because it's just that easy.

7:21: Kucinich: "The Democrats were put in charge because they were going to stop the war."

7:22: Biden: "The last thing we Democrats need to do is not tell truth. I love these guys who tell you they're going to stop the war." You can understand his attitude, but is he aiming at Kucinich or at the guy who spent 6 years in the Senate and thinks he can lecture Joe Fucking Biden?

7:24: Hillary Clinton doesn't read National Intelligence Estimates, but she knows what's in their tables of contents.

7:27: Wolf Blitzer fails to get Obama to say the senators who voted for the war "don't deserve to be president." So he says the magic words: "Senator Gravel…" And Gravel explains how you can "lack moral judgment" and "kill more Americans than died on the Eleventh of September" and yet not be "a bad person."

7:29: "Gov. Richardson, you're kind of a Mexican. Should we kick out all the Mexicans?" (I'm paraphrasing.)

7:31: A few minutes ago John Edwards' campaign sent out an e-mail assuring us his "Still Winning the Issues Debate." Is that a forfeit?

7:33: Obama gets the immigration question and links it to the TB scare, when Andrew Speaker was able to cross the border because US-Canada border guards didn't think the guy looked sick. The solution: More US-Canada border guards!

7:36: And here's the first Ron Paul moment. Blitzer asks if we should make English the official language (this is something GOP leaders want to introduce again), and only Gravel raises his hand. Obama breaks format and laces into Blitzer for asking "one of these questions that divides us." It's not the obvious out-of-the-park homer that Rudy's Ron Paul interruption was, but it has a similar effect. The other candidates desparately try to jump in and agree with him: Clinton and Dodd succeed.

7:39: Oh, thank Christ, an actual policy question. Edwards knocks Obama for not offering mandatory universal health care and not promising to explode the deficit. Obama disagrees that you need to make everyone buy insurance. Hillary splits the difference: You don't need a plan, apparently, as long as you break the back of the insurance companies and make them accept your will.

7:43: If we repeal the Bush tax cuts, can I have a lifetime supply of root beer and a perpetual motion machine? Because apparently repealing them would pay for everything.

7:46: Blitzer, seeking to cut off the health care scrap, calls on Kucinich. I love politics: Where else do you wrangle the short guy to stop the fight?

7:49: The gays in the military question would be dealt with a little faster in a Republican debate. I mean, Mike Huckabee would probably call Edwards a queer and run around the stage for high fives, but otherwise they'd all say "nope" and we'd move on to a new question. After a little tussle, everyone agrees: Gays in the military now! (UPDATE: There's some echoey sound in this room and I missed Clinton's citing Barry Goldwater. Read about it in the comments.)

7:54: Blitzer asks several people who are not Hillary Clinton what, as president, they'd "do with Bill Clinton." And then Barack tosses it to Hillary Clinton. Everyone loves dynastic rule and, uh, peace in the Middle East.

7:58: While Chris Dodd is speaking, let me point out that Joe Biden's office is firing off press releases blasting Edwards (for "cutting off funding for the troops") and Richardson (for "following Biden on Iraq plans.")

8:00: Edwards is practically glowing as he dreams up ways to use government power to make gas cost less.

CNN breaks to let the candidates shake hands and reporters drain their bladders. Part II is here.

NEXT: Mike Gravel, Reasonoid

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. N-8, G-17, I-12, . . . .

  2. I would have liked one of the candidates to pull a Monday Night Football and say “Senator [blank], the Ohio State University.”

  3. Someone needs to tell Hillary Clinton about Ron Paul.

    I wish Wolf Blitzer would have had the balls to say: “No Sen. Clinton, actually Ron Paul is against the war.”

  4. The war on terror term was used in the mid-80s by the press. That’s when I heard it first.

    Osama, among others, should realize that they are not running against George Bush in 08,
    and that the Democrats need to have stances on future policy, not the 20/20 hindsight they love to speak of.

    As for Dennis and bumper stickers…well, that is how elections are won these days. The more people that vote, the more emotion plays in the voting.

  5. What the hell was Kucinnuch’s “9/10” forum about?

  6. Clinton said that all the Republicans support the war and Bush….

    I guess she never heard of Ron Paul

  7. Clinton also blamed the entire war on Bush. I guess she forgot that she was part of the Congress that authorized using force.

  8. I wonder how many times Gravel will say “Vietnam”?

  9. When odds making, I should had projected that Gravel would act like a crazy SDS asshole.

  10. Wolf Blitzer’s “introduce yourself” kicks it off with a nice, 3rd grade homeroom tone.

    Could have been quite entertaining had Wolf instead used another favorite first-day-of-school exercise and had them pair up and then introduce each other.

  11. Maybe they should get a ball of yarn and Wolf could throw it at each nom. and tell them to say their name and favorite color.

  12. Not only does he speak French and english, but Gravel was able to learn Spanish mid-debate!

  13. 1. I’m not that big on the issue, is there really a big health care issue in Americia?
    2. What’s with Edward’s “suck up to Obama” strategy?

  14. I love how all the Dems (save Richardson) think you can fund everything by repealing the “Bush tax cuts for the wealthy”.

  15. “Osama, among others….”


  16. Would Obama and Edwards just get a room already?

  17. Obama’s line about mandatory car insurance in California may not fly in New Hampshire where car insurance is not even mandatory.

  18. A universal health care program will not be an insurance program, it will be mandatory income redistribution. Let’s be truthful here Democrats.

  19. Did Hillary seriously just quote Barry Goldwater?

  20. And another great stereotype: only gays supposedly know how to translate to and from Arabic.

  21. I’m with Hillary here, “don’t ask don’t tell” is the best possible compromise they could had got.

  22. Ow! Hillary just dropped Barry Goldwater’s name on my foot.

  23. “It should had been gotten rid of 20 years ago!”
    Isn’t it 10 years old?

  24. Edwards claps like a femme.

  25. “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight!”

    Haha! Hillary should put that in her stump speech permanently.

    Where does she stand on she-males serving in the military? Is this really a big issue?

  26. Who is Hillary kidding? If she gets elected, hes going to be appointed to her senate seat by governor Spitzer.

  27. Lol. Dodd goes on a global warming hoax tirade but forgets to actually answer the question how he will lower gas prices (real answer: more refinery capacity).

  28. “And now we will go to part two of this debate…the swimsuit competetion!””

  29. The way I remember Goldwater on gays in the military, He said Clinton was a sissy for ‘Don’t ask Don’t tell’. The President should be able to order “Left Face” and the military should pivot and follow the command.

  30. Cesar: Oh god…you’re probably right.

  31. The way I remember Goldwater on gays in the military, He said Clinton was a sissy for ‘Don’t ask Don’t tell’. The President should be able to order “Left Face” and the military should pivot and follow the command.

    Warren, I agree with Goldwater. I always tell gay people that think Clinton was so wonderful for their cause, that had he been a real supporter with some cajones, he would just have signed an executive order making it possible for them to serve, end of discussion.

    Perhaps he believed all those conspiracy theories about Curtis LeMay and Kennedy …

  32. I am watching the replay, so perhaps this is the wrong thread, but on the “national language” nonsense, I really liked the response by Gravel, Dodd and B. Hussein Obama. Hillary needs to go back and “make cookies” or something.

    She can run back to her Marxist hole on killing medical/drug firms from making a profit from providing goods and services too. Can’t wait to see how whe attacks energy firms.

  33. Bill Richardson embraces the James Earl Carter III policy of boycotting the Olympics todeal with Darfur and Chriss Dodd says “that goes too far?”

    These folk are way too out there for me. I hope the LP and the RNC are taping this to play it back during the real election.

  34. Surprise, Dodd was in the “Peace Corps” just like that MSNBC Commie, Chris Matthews. Wonders never cease.

  35. dj of raleigh says: “Osama, among others, should realize that they are not running against George Bush in 08,
    and that the Democrats need to have stances on future policy, not the 20/20 hindsight they love to speak of.”

    Ummm, in ’06 about 10,000 Democrats across the nation ran against Bush, who wasn’t up for election and was term-limited, and most of them won. So why wouldn’t they flog that dead horse again in ’08 if the voters are gullible enough to buy it? Heck, I imagine some might STILL be running against him in ’10.


    The Little Green Footballs site allows one to vote for the winner of last night’s debate and Ron Paul is on that LGF poll.

    Go over to LGF and support your candidate.

    9/11 was an inside job! Truthers for Ron Paul! nyuck nyuck nyuck.

  37. My jaw pretty much dropped when Mike Gravel responded to the “What would you do to make gas cost less” question by telling Wolf that Americans need to “grow up” (or something very close to that) and face up to the fact that the price of gas reflects reality.

  38. “7:54: Blitzer asks several people who are not Hillary Clinton what, as president, they’d “do with Bill Clinton.” And then Barack tosses it to Hillary Clinton.”

    How does she NOT say, “Pick out china and rub my shoulders?”

    I totally would have said that, even if I was going to appoint him Sec Def.

  39. By the way, David, good job on this thread. More than a few guffaws, which was the best we could really hope for.

  40. The Republican debate of June 4th was superb. Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans actually speak their minds.
    Hillary, Edwards, and Obama look like children compared to the Republican field. From an intellectual standpoint, the
    Republicans far out do the “tripple failure” that is Hillary, Edwards, Obama.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.