Update III: Debate Transcript Here
Update II: Commentator Kostner points to the SurveyUSA instaPoll on Who Won The Debate? Clinton 39%, Obama 15%, Biden 14%, Edwards 10%. On the Question Who Will Be the Best Democratic Candidate? Clinton 43%, Biden 14%, Edwards 13%, Obama 11%</a></p>
More poll data.
Update: Obama is going to have some explaining to do on his social security answer as well as his “meet the dictators” answer. Obama has as one of his advisers Jeffrey Liebman (we’ll have to have a bigger post on Liebman at some later date).
Let’s see how Big Media reports on what we have just seen.
Hillary answered the “Dynasty” question brilliantly. We posted an article on the “Dynasty” issue a while back.
If some Big Media reports are to be believed we might be in for a male version episode of the TV show Desperate Housewives. Reports are the desperate campaigns are planning attacks on our plucky Hillary. Let’s call this debate “Desperate HouseHusbands”. Feel free to comment.
For live video from CNN on the internet GO HERE.
First question: How are you going to be any different/effective?
Dodd: I’m experienced and that matters. Lists his past legislation.
Anderson to Obama: You’re inexperienced!
Obama: Overcome special interests. Community organizer
Question for Kucinich: How are you better than Hillary or Obama?
Kuch: Strength through Peace!
Hillary: We are united for Change. Ripublican leadership a disaster. I have 35 years of being a change agent. I work for common ground where we can.
Obama: We need a change in attitude. No PAC money. Attacks special interests.
Question for Hillary: How do you define “liberal” and are you a liberal.
Hillary: originally for freedom, for freedom to achieve, stand for the individual against power. Now the meaning has been mutilated. I prefer “progressive”. I am a modern progressive. Proud, modern progressive.
Gravel: Obama takes money from bundlers. Gravel Attacks Obama.
Obama: I pushed law to disclose bundlers.
Question for Biden: What Ripublican could you choose as a running mate?
Biden: Chuck Hagel and Dick Lugar. [Is Biden nuts?]
Edwards: I like Chuck Hagel too. But big corporate powers will not give up power. I have fought them all my life.
VIDEO BREAK FOR DODD: How did he get all that white hair? answer: by working so hard.
Question on race for Edwards: Reparations for slavery?
Edwards: No, but there are other things we can do. Blacks pay more for mortgages lets fight that. “We can’t trade our insiders for their insiders.”
Obama: We need reparations like investment in our schools. High drop out rates.
Anderson Cooper: Anyone for reparations?
Kucinich: I am. quotes Bible. Help poor whites too.
Question for Dodd: What role did race play in Katrina?
Dodd: Race played a role and that is why the response was such a disaster.
Richardson: There was politics [Anderson Cooper prefaced with a comment to Richardson] We need a president who cares.
Question for Hillary and Obama: How do you address critics on race or feminine?
Obama: Race permeates our society. Americans want to be fair. My committment is to education and social welfare.
Hillary: I am proud to be running as a woman [applause]. I am not running because I am a woman. I am the most qualified. What is best for your and your family? We need experienced leadership. My election will send a great message. [Hillary does well with this question]
Edwards: [Anderson asks if you are better than Hillary on women’s issues, like your wife claims?] I am aggressive on women’s issues. Wants all candidates to join him in raising minimum wage to $9 plus. Hillary should be commended for her history, but I have a better one.
Hillary: I admire Elizabeth Edwards. I worked on women’s issues all my life. I spoke out in Beijing. The Congress should not get a raise until minimum wage is raised. I have a long history on this issue. But it is good that we are all arguing about women’s issues and that is good.
Question: Same sex marriage question from two lesbians.
Kuchinich: For same sex marriage.
Dodd: Let’s treat our children with respect. I don’t support same sex marriage.
Richardson: What is achievable is best. Same sex marriage is not achieveable. No discrimination.
Question for Edwards: Why do you justify discrimination against Gays by quoting the Bible? [Tough question]
Edwards: Good question. I have personal conflict. I want to end discrimination but…. I personally am on a journey on this question. My wife supports gay marriage. I do not.
Anderson Cooper: Introduces the Reverend (African-American) who asked the question and asks did Edwards answer the Question?
Cooper to Edwards: Why is religion used to justify discrimination?
Edwards: I won’t use the law to disciminate.
Obama: [Cooper gives racial analogy on discrimination] My belief is the individual denominations determine marriage practices.
HILLARY VIDEO: Music with issues on index cards.
Question from Darfur: What action do you commit to?
Richardson: I was at that refugee camp. UN peacekeepers. Have China pressure Sudan. No fly zone might help. Let’s care about Africa, Asia… those that have been left behind. [probably Richardson’s best answer at any debate – which is not saying much unfortunately]
Biden: Yes to U.S. troops. We can help in Darfur. I’ve been to that camp.
Gravel: Governance question.
Hillary: We need to start acting not talking. Divestment in Sudan. No fly zone. Support for NATO with U.S. backup. No U.S. troops. We need to figure out what to do with our troops in Iraq.
Anderson Cooper tribute to the troops in Iraq.
Question: How do we pull out now from Iraq? Don’t we have a responsibility?
Obama: I opposed this war from the start. [More rambling.] No military solution to Iraq. Iraqi legislature on vacation. Phased withdrawal. Diplomacy. I will do this on day 1 if elected.
Biden: Let’s tell the truth. It will take 1 year to get all our troops out logistically. We need political solution. My solution is divide Iraq into 3 parts. But begin to withdraw troops now.
Question: 2006 elections gave Democrats a mandate to get out of Iraq. Are Democrats playing politics? Are they afraid of being blamed?
Hillary: Thanks for your families sacrifice. Since 2006 Democrats have tried to get Ripublican support to start getting our troops out now. I asked the Pentagon if they had a plan. The Pentagon replied that I was not patriotic. Ripublicans need to join us.
Kucinich: Dems have failed the American people. No legislation required.
Dodd: Iraq is related to Darfur.
Richardson: Get it done.
Question: Why did you call American lives wasted?
Gravel: Lives were wasted.
Obama: Attacks Hillary. I was against the war. [Cooper: but did troops die in vain?] We need plans to succeed.
Edwards: No, they did not die in vain. What is going to be done is the right question. Let’s put pressure on Bush.
Question: Should women register for the draft?
Hillary: I’m against a draft but support public service.
Obama: [Not sure what he said]
Edwards: Introduces his wife in the audience who is with a woman in the military.
Gravel: I opposed Vietnam. Bush should not invade Iran.
Question: Muslim states think of women as second class citizens. How will they respect you?
Hillary: I’ve met with many leaders of Muslim states. There is no doubt I will be taken seriously [Go Hillary!] There are many women leaders around the world. It would be appropriate to have a woman deal with muslim states on behalf of the United States of America.
Question: Would your meet with leaders from countries such as Libya, Cuba, Syria…?
Obama: Yes. We met with the Soviet Union. I would talk with Iran and Syria. We need to tell them we are not going to be a permanent occupying force.
Hillary: I will not promise to meet with these leaders in my first year. I will not be used for propaganda purposes. I will use a lot of diplomacy. But we will not have the U.S. president meet with leaders like Chavez and Castro.
Edwards: I will meet with them but Hillary is right that we need to prepare for these meetings so they are not just propaganda.
Question: What date will all U.S. troops be out of Iraq? How many family members do you have serving in Iraq?
Dodd: I served with National Guard. Several family members. January 1, 2009 is the date.
Richardson: I want all the troops out. I disagree with the Senators here. There is a civil war, sectarian conflict.
Biden: No way to get troops out in 6 months. What about all the civilians? We can’t leave them there.
Hillary: I put forth a comprehensive 3 point plan to get our troops out. But Biden is right. We can move a brigade a month. That is a lot of months. but they are not planning for this in the Pentagon. Bush and the Pentagon are the problem. We need to get the troops out safely and orderly. This is complicated so let’s start it now.
Kucinich: Send a message to congress. [Attacks Obama on funding.]
Question: Who was your favorite teacher?
Gravel: A teacher who taught me to speak.
Obama: A teacher who respected my experiences.
Biden: [Bad audio]
Edwards: Ms Burns who made me believe in myself.
VIDEO Question on what appears to be about education?
Richardson: I would scrap No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The key to a good education is a good teacher. Minimum wage of $40,000 per year for teachers. I would have a major federal program for education.
Biden: NCLB was a mistake. Ted Kennedy was for it so I voted for it. My wife is a teacher and reports NCLB is not working.
Question: Public or private school for your children?
Anderson accuses Hillary and Edwards of sending their children to private schools
Edwards: My children went to public schools.
Hillary: Chelsea went to Public School until 8th grade. In D.C. for security reasons Chelsea had to go to private school.
Obama: We need better schools.
Biden: My wife and daugher were killed and grew up with my sister who sent them to Catholic school.
Kucinich: Public schools
Gravel: we need competition in education.
Dodd: Public schools. Education is most important issue. I would not scrap NCLB entirely.
Question: Planned parenthood: have you provided your children with sex education?
Edwards: Yes. Our young children educated on sex predators.
Obama: Romney attacked me for proposing the same type of sex education about predators as Romney did.
Question for all: Al Gore (funny video)
Biden: Jokes about video.
Question: Global warming?
Kucinich: Global warming connected to global warring.
Question: Alternative energy: How will U.S. decrease energy consumption?
Gravel: Change the tax structure. Advocates [looney toons] flat tax.
Dodd: 50 mile per gallon standard. Hybrid cars. Corporate carbon tax.
Anderson Cooper: How many of you took corporate or jets to get here? (Gavel took the train)
Question: Nuclear power?
Edwards: No to nuclear power. Extremely costly. How to dispose of nuclear waste. We should not liquify coal (a slap at Obama).
Obama: Yes, lets explore nuclear power. caps on greenhouse gases. [Kumbaya moment] We need to put national interests ahead of special interests.
Hillary: I proposed a strategic energy fund. We can solve these problems. Fuel efficiency. Agnostic on nuclear power. Maybe American ingenuity will help.
Question: Voting Integrity. Standardize voting machines.
Richardson: I am for Verified Paper Trails. Stop Ripublicans from suppressing minority voters. [Good Richardson answer]
BIDEN VIDEO (pushing his experience)
Question: Will you work as president for the minimum wage?
Obama: We can work for minimum wage most Americans can’t.
Biden: I don’t have as much money as Obama, so no.
Question: Social Security caps question.
Dodd: Big problem
Obama: [Stumbles, talks about solution not the question]
Question: U.S. is going broke.
Richardson: Stop raiding the Social Security system.
Biden: Change tax structure. Cut tax breaks.
Question: Will taxes rise if Democrats get in office?
Kucinich: Strength through peace again.
Question: Several Healthcare videos.
Cooper to Obama: Your plan is not universal.
Obama: It is universal. Talks about his mother’s cancer. We’ve had plans before. Drug insurance companies will fight. [Obama just dumped his entire campaign message.]
Edwards: I have a plan then Obama came out with one but Obama’s plan is not universal. I went on a poverty tour last week. Things are bad
Hillary: Thanks for your testimony. I have scars from fighting for healthcare. We need a sense of national committment. Insurance companies will fight.
Question: Does your healthcare plan cover undocumented workers?
Dodd: We should all be able to answer these healthcare questions. I would cover undocumented workers.
Richardson: All should be covered. Get rid of junk food in schools.
Question: To Hillary: the Dynasty question
Hillary: I think it was a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. [Yay Hillary] I think someone else was elected in that election [Yay Hillary again]. Anyone of us would be better than the Ripublican. I will make my case on the merits.
Gravel: Clintons and DLC sold out the Dem party. Look at all the money Hillary, Obama and Edwards are raising.
Obama: We see cynics on how to change the country. How to overcome special interests.
Question: What does “In God We Trust” mean to you?
Biden: It informs my decision making process. I am religious and also use reason.
Question: Atheist question. And paying too much attention to evangelicals.
Edwards: My faith is important to me.
Obama: I believe in the separation of church and state. This helps the church and the state.
Question: Gun Control?
Richardson: Instant background checks are the answer. Attack poverty. Stop gun violence.
Biden: “If that’s his baby, he needs help.” [courageous answer by Biden]
Question: Look to candidate to your left and what is it you like and dislike about this person?
Gravel: I like Dodd’s dad. But follow the money.
Dodd: I like him and his wife.
Edwards: I like what Hillary and Bill did for America. I don’t like her coat.
Hillary: I like Barack and all the candidates but all these candidates are good candidates.
Obama: I like Hillary’s jacket. I like Richardson’s public service but not his baseball team choices.
Richardson: I like them all and especially for my Vice Presidents. Biden has distinguished career. Biden will make excellent Secretary of State.
Biden: I like Kucinich’s wife.
Kuchinich: Gravel showed great courage during the Vietnam debate.
ANDERSON COOPER THANKS THE CITADEL AND BIDS EVERYONE A GOOD NIGHT.