Game on!


Debate is happening now.

Obama uses his opening statement to compliment the folks in Pennsylvania but also to acknowledge that they’re having a tough time. Probably trying to preempt any talk about his “cling” comment.

Clinton gives a shout out to Philadelphia as the birthplace of the nation and then talks about how government can fulfill the promise offered to successive generations of American starting in Philadelphia. Points to Clinton for plugging her website!

All in all, I’m underwhelmed but I guess I shouldn’t have expected Lincoln’s Second Inaugural as a debate opening statement.

So two opening statements in and it’s commercial time. Why do I suddenly want a Verizon V-Cast phone?

For more liveblogging of the debate from some local bloggers, check out Attytood and Philly Will Do. Admittedly two very different takes on the event.

UPDATE – Other thoughts as they occur to me:

It seems kind of weird to me that George Stephanopolous – one of the architects of Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 – is now asking debate questions of Hillary Clinton in 2008…

It’s 8:22 and we’ve heard about Obama’s “cling” remark and now more about Obama’s pastor, Reverend Wright… how is this bringing down my health care costs or improving the infrastructure in my city or ending a war?…

8:27 So is Charlie Gibson reprising the faith debate?

How many “cities” does Senator Clinton have?

8:29 George… I was counting on you for a good question and you throw “Do you think Rev. Wright loves America as much as you do?” Did Stephen Colbert write that question?

8:30 Can’t Rev. Wright be patriotic and say things about the United States being messed up? Using the freedom to say such things – freedom that Wright fought for as a marine – is more patriotic than just wearing a flag lapel pin.

8:32 Ohmigod! Bunch totally predicted the Bosnia question! Nice job Will!

8:36 I’m really starting to think that candidates should be going for laugh lines a little more often. Make people laugh and they’ll like you. I’m now going to award victory in this debate to the first candidate who gets a good laugh from the crowd. (That will make it easy!)

8:38 The flag?! Really?! I am getting dumber and dumber as I watch this. What Obama should say: can a flag lapel pin lower health care costs or help bring new jobs to this nation? Why are we hung up on a symbol? Ok… maybe he shouldn’t say that. It is now 8:39 and we’ve talked about a San Francisco fund raiser, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bosnia in 1996 and the American flag.

8:42 The blogosphere is not liking ABC’s performance all that much. It’s time for both candidates to train their rhetorical guns on Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous. I know I, for one, am about to go all Elvis on my television. Yes. The American people are smarter than that but apparently the media is not.

8:44 So the now it appears that ABC is getting its questions – like about this Ayers guy – from the comments sections of right wing blogs and stories.

Ding Ding… Clinton gets the first laugh. I hereby declare a winner!

8:47 Ahhhh…. commercials. For once I’m actually glad to be watching pharmaceutical ads and spots about dieting aimed at this nation’s fat asses. Can we please have 45 more minutes of commercials?

In fact.. this “Divided We Fail . org” commercial just talked about more issues than the whole debate has.

8:52 Finally… an issue question but and it’s about Iraq because it’s easy to say “Iraq.” Please Charlie… don’t try adding on to a perfectly fine question from the vox populi.

8:55 Remember when Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda took over that debate in the last season of the West Wing? That was awesome.

8:59 I’ll give credit to Stephanopolous for that question about Iran. It reminded me of the good old days of the Cold War and all of the stuff I learned in college about deterrence, NATO and the Warsaw pact. Things were so easy back then. The Middle East is downright confusing – at least according to a certain Republican candidate for President.

9:01 I don’t think I caught Obama’s answer to the Iran-Israel question. I’m trying to pay attention to Clinton’s answer but she sure does talk with her hands. What’s the difference really in the President meeting with the president of Iran in the first place or after rounds of low level negotiations? Those negotiations are not going to erase Captain Crazy Ahmadinejad stupid sayings from everyone’s minds.

9:04 Please no more of these read my lips questions…

9:07 We’ve been on the economy for a few minutes now and I’m pretty confident that my taxes won’t be going up until I make more than $200,000 per year. If I’m ever making more than $200,000 a year, I’ll be happy to pay higher taxes… or hide the money somewhere.

Too bad Charlie and George are going to see their taxes go up. Ha ha.

9:11 Obama’s back to training his guns on McCain and Bush. As is Clinton. I still think they should be taking shots at Charlie and George.

9:15 Will Bunch – “Millionaire Charlie Gibson seems angry that Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax…I can’t imagine why.” and Dan McQuade – “Anyway, yes, me, the Court Jester of the Philadelphia Blogosphere is disgusted by this debate. I’m really going to go vomit now.”

9:24 GUN CONTROL!!!! Oh my god. This the “wedge” issue debate… clearly.

9:30 Obama just one-upped Clinton’s reference of Philly’s murder rate by mentioning that 30 school-aged children in Chicago were victims of gun violence last year.

9:33 Somewhat interesting question about affirmative action. Let’s see Obama talk about race again because we know how cool that was the first time around!

Second laugh of the night for Clinton on calling Cheney the “4th branch of government all to himself.” That’s 2 to zip on the laugh meter. I don’t think Obama can come back from this.

9:35 Now I’m just looking forward to The Daily Show and Colbert Report take on this event and Saturday Night Live’s parody. And now… at 9:36… gas prices. Charlie drops that the rest of the world pays a whole lot more than we do for gas. I think he misses the larger point in that fact. Those other countries tax petroleum more and use that money for trains, public transit and investments in energy.

Unfortunately the investing in renewable energy seems to have been relegated to a throwaway line.

9:39 Obama just cribbed from the Apollo Alliance, actually calling it an Apollo, er uh, Manhattan Project. If you don’t know that the Apollo Alliance is, look it up. It’s pretty cool.

9:40 And let us finish it off with stupid question about “using past Presidents.” As far as I’m concerned, they should be used for naming libraries after and building houses for poor people until we get treated to wall-to-wall coverage of their state funerals.

9:46 Oh good… finish it off with a question about superdelegates that is basically an opening to their closing statements. Who cares about convincing super delegates? At least Clinton pivots directly to “addressing the American people.”

Closing statements are soooo boring.  I’m done.  Good night everyone.  Stay tuned for all of the Bill Ayers craziness tomorrow.


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