Monday, July 23, 2007


4:40 PM: Waiting for the festivities to begin. Surprisingly there's no pre-debate hoopla on CNN. Just Lou Dobbs. I think he's against illegal immigration. Watch this space ...

4:51 PM: Richardson is just about to enter the debate stage. They all have military escorts.

4:59 PM: Some Demo consultant on Hillary's team just denied with a straight face that Hillary's the "front-runner."

5:02 PM: Oh no, they're showing the reject videos.

5:03 PM: Anderson Cooper just called the governor of California a cyborg.

5:10 PM: 10 minutes into it and not a peep from Bill Richardson. So far the questions have been for other candidates.

5:11 PM: Hillary's not a "liberal," she's a "modern progressive." What happened to Richardson's "new progressive" label he was trying out a couple of years ago?

5:13 PM: Cooper just said the next question was for Biden. But the guy on the video said it was for all candidates.

5:15 PM: They're showing videos made by the candidates. Chris Dodd has one about his white hair.

5:19 PM: I think Richardson is the only candidate who hasn't spoken yet.

5:21 PM: Finally! Richardson says "politics" affected the handling of Hurricane Katrina. He blasts predatory insurance companies and others ripping off the people of New Orleans.

5:29 PM: In a question about gay marriage Richardson says he'd do what's "achievable" -- "full civil unions with full marriage rights." He also listed a litany of other issues -- hate crime bills, don't-ask-don't-tell, etc. He never directly mentioned marriage. He also didn't mention that he voted in favor of a federal Defense of Marriage Act in the '90s.

5:35 PM: I meant to say earlier that Dodd's "white hair" ad seems greatly influenced by Richardson's "job interview" spots. Speaking of ads, the Richardson campaign has launched a new one. CLICK HERE

5:38 PM: Edwards' ad they just showed shows he can laugh at himself too. It uses the song "Hair." I think that cost less than Edwards' last haircut. What is this Democrat hang-up on hair.

5:40 PM: Richardson gets a question on Darfur. "I was at that refugee camp," he said, drawing attention to his experience over there. He calls for a permanent UN peacekeeping force there. "America needs to respond with diplomacy." Biden calls for American troops there. he's been to that camp too.

5:44 PM: Richardson didn't mention the Olympic boycott he raised in New Hampshire, though he did say that China should be pressured.

5:52 PM: Richardson: "The lives of our young troops are more important than George Bush's legacy. ... No politics. Get it done."

5:54 PM: Mike Gravel gets down! U.S. soldiers died in vain. Obama and Edwards dodge that one.

5:56 PM: Edwards against Bush vacation.

6 PM: Half time! Richardson got to speak three times so far. Hurricane Katrina, gay marriage and Darfur. He was quite forceful during the last one. He hasn't made any real gaffes, but, as in previous debates, he hasn't had the opportunity to stand out. Being that the questions are from the public and addressed mainly to the front-runners, few questions have fallen his way. I guess these video submitters haven't seen the Richardson press releases that declare Richardson is in the top tier.

6:04 PM: Come to think about it, other than a couple of jabs at Hillary for her initial support of the Iraq war, none of the other candidates have done much to distinguish themselves and overtake Clinton either.

6:07 PM: "I'm trying to provoke a debate here." Richardson says about Iraq. He repeats his plan to get troops out of Iraq and leave none behind. Biden says "Let's start telling the truth."
Biden talks about his legislation about bomb-resistant vehicles. Hillary says administration should start planning to withdraw.

6:15 PM They're playing a Richardson ad I haven't seen before with the same job interview guy taking to fellow managers about this guy with great qualifications.

6:17 PM: They're playing a metal music video! Richardson says he'd scrap "No Child Left Behind" and gets big applause. Calls for $40K minimum wage for teachers. That's what teachers get here in NM right? Calls for a major effort for art and music programs in schools. Might have helped whoever made that weird YouTube video.

6:20 PM: I just corrected an unintentionally funny typo in the 5:29 post.

6:26 PM: Oh Lord, they just played one of those hillbilly videos. Now it's a creepy talking snowman. This is just plain weird ...

6:28 PM: Finally a question from a real person. Of course it's a lady in the bathroom.

6:30 PM: Richardson seems to waffle about whether he took a private plane to the debate today. He finally admits he did, but said it was "yesterday." Anderson Cooper doesn't ask him who paid for the jet.

6:32 PM: They're talking about nuclear energy. Richardson hasn't had a chance to say New Mexico is the clean energy state. Hillary is agnostic about nuke power.

6:34 PM: Gal on video seems to want Starbucks to run elections. Richardson said he would push states to go to verified paper-trail voting systems like New Mexico's.

6:39 PM: Dennis Kucinich's video is an ad for this "Text Peace" deal. he's repeated it several times. Kind of reminds me of that election where Jerry Brown had a 1-800 number.

6:41 PM: Richardson said he'll raise minimum wage. So far nobody has disagreed.

6:45 PM: Richardson calls for "bi-partisan" Social Security system. Now there's a bad country song video about taxes.

6:46 PM: Biden jabs at Richardson. talks about raising taxes to "pay for some of the things the governor is talking about."

6:47 PM: Richardson raised his hand for a rebuttal but Cooper moves on. Forgot to mention that Richardson, in his Social Security answer called for a national fight against diabetes.

6:54 PM: Richardson's health care plan would cover undocumented workers. He talks about getting rid of junk food in the schools "like we did in New Mexico."

6:55 PM: Good question from a guy who talks about the problem of having two families dominate the White House for all these decades.

6:59 PM: An atheist kid asks whether the Dems will pander to the religious right. Apparently they're all deeply religious Christians who believe in separation of church and state.

7:01 PM: Hey we're in overtime!A weird guy who has some kind of extreme gun and calls it his "baby" asks about gun control. Richardson wants instant background checks and to bring people together. Biden nails it. he says the guy in the video might not be mentally qualified to own a gun. "Hope he doesn't come looking for me."

7:05 PM: A YouTuber asks the candidates to say what you like and don't like about the candidate to the left. Obama says he likes that Richardson has devoted his life to public service. But he jokingly refers to Richardson's endorsement of the Yankees and the Red Sox -- without mentioning the Chicago White Sox. Richardson says he loves all the candidates. He praised Joe Biden as a hard worker. But my browser went down before I could get if he said anything bad about Biden.

It's been fun. I'll come back later and clean up some typos.

UDATE: Found a few typos. There's probably more. The price of live blogging.

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