UPDATE: Is anyone watching? Based on the comments so far the answer is no:
Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...What's beezelnut oil? Trooper York is friends with Doyle?... Well, I'm watching. I just can't bring myself to live-blog.
But Ann, Bionic Woman premieres tonight. And the election isn't for another 14 months.
sorry....Ken Burns' WAR is on PBS...
Trooper York said...
Sorry I am watching the Met game with Doyle as they blow another game, good times.
I would rather be boiled in beezelnut oil than watch another damned political debate at this point.
Wake me when they narrow it down to two candidates per party.
Food TV is showing a sandwich making contest. Much more appetizing than the dembate.
ADDED: Would you want second-grade children to read a story about a prince who falls in love with another prince? This seems like a question that could come back to hurt them. Edwards says "yes" outright, but Hillary blabs up a storm without answering the question and gets away with it.
Another interesting question is whether you'd lower the drinking age to 18. They go on about how bad alcoholism and drunk driving are without addressing the age issue and whether delaying legal drinking helps avoid alcoholism and drunk driving. Finally, Russert asks if anyone takes the other side. Gravel gruffly says if you can fight for the country you ought to be able to have a drink, and then Kucinich forcefully makes what I think is the right argument, that the key is -- if you're going to drink -- to learn to drink responsibly. He adds that the voting age should be lowered to 16. Since he has no chance of being the candidate, I feel free to say I like the guy.
AND: Quite amusing to pose a hypothetical (about using torture) and tell Hillary after she answers that it was based on a position Bill Clinton took. She just smiles and says she'll talk to him later. (I'd like to hear that conversation.) I thought it was interesting that on the hypothetical -- about a captured al Qaeda leader who knows the location of a ticking time bomb -- Obama and Clinton stressed that it can't be American policy to have a loophole to the proscription against torture. But I got the feeling that they were leaving a loophole there: It can't be stated outright so that the world knows we'd do it, but still, maybe we'd do it.
AND: What is your favorite Bible verse? Obama says Sermon on the Mount, but then blabs generically. Hillary Clinton says "The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Which is not exactly a Bible verse, but okay. Why should the candidates be ready to recite Bible verses? Kucinich holds up a card with a prayer from St. Francis, which fits his theme (peace) but, again, isn't a Bible verse. Edwards is impressive with "What you do unto the least of those, you do unto me." This resonates with his poverty theme, and I like the way he doesn't point out that it does. Richardson says the Sermon on the Mount. Yeah, well, Obama already said that so it's boring. You had time to think of a specific verse in the Sermon to distinguish yourself. "Blessed are the peacemakers" would have been so easy. Gravel: Love! Dodd cites the Good Samaritan. Biden: "Christ's warning of the Pharisees." Which is a clever answer to the question, essentially critiquing the question. The idea is: Don't parade your religion in public.
FINALLY: Some general observations on presentation (not based on whether I agree with the positions taken). Obama seems tired. And he's tiresome. He needs to learn to give crisp, clear answers. Hillary was strong and solid and sometimes charming. Richardson did nothing to distinguish himself. Edwards was on fire. Smart, sharp, and clear. A lot of passion, but not in any way out of control. Dodd and Biden did fine for guys who know they have no chance. Best guy with no chance is Kucinich. Very clear. Knows what he wants to say and says it. Gravel is the old guy that wandered onto the stage to say that teenagers should drink and love is the answer.
WRITTEN THE FOLLOWING MORNING: You know what would have amused me? If, asked to give a favorite Bible verse, somebody -- Gravel? -- had said: "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."