Dem Debate Live Blog


8:03 … So far, I got nuthin’.

8:03 … Sam Marshall’s 1st birthday today. Dunno if it’ll come up in the debate.

8:08 … Campbell Brown works for CNN now? I’m way behind.

8:10 … Not sure what Hillary’s answer to the first question meant; Obama’s answer about as full of generalities as Hillary’s. Dunno, looks like Hillary came to fight.

8:18 … Huh, not sure I ever quite fully got what that meant when a pol talks about people “sitting around the table, just got their kids to bed.” Yeah, I get it. Now I get it.

8:30 … Obama should have cut Wolf off and told him he was stupid — not just a yes or no question. But he didn’t. He let Blitzer hold the floor. Obama also didn’t explain his point well enough.

8:33 … Richardson addressed the question better than Obama.

8:43 … Guess Campbell Brown’s research ain’t great.

8:57 … Barack’s talking now, but it seems like he hasn’t spoken for like nine hours. Don’t know if it’s me but this feels like the longest debate in history.

8:59 … Obama’s close on the surge was pretty good. First good moment.

9:00 … Is Wolf the worst debate moderator ever?

9:02 … Kit Seelye is a lot wordier live blogger than I am; and she blogs in reverse-reverse chronological order. Or what I guess you might call chronological order if you want to be concise about it. When in Rome! Try actually blogging!

9:12 … Hillary: “Not attacking me because I’m a woman. They’re attacking me because I’m ahead.” Good line, well delivered. Regardless, now we’ve got to go back to Campbell Brown, who at this point I think Hillary has made to look like a fool. That’s almost a decent reason to support here right there … I think Brown thought she was going to trip Hillary up on that one but she was so ham-fisted and lame about it that Hillary basically hit that one out of the park.

My reactions right after a debate often tend to be very different from what the consensus opinion turns out to be. But trying to get a feel for the broader narrative of this debate (75 minutes in) I think the basic tone got set very early in the back and forth between the top three candidates. The story going into this debate was that Hillary’s veneer of inevitability had been cracked and that the knives were out for her. But she came out aggressively, and basically knocked Obama and Edwards back. Not that she flattened them, but she was more aggressive than I think either of them were quite ready for (I’ll have to go back and watch the tape). And since then I think the debate has been hassled out on that basis — basically a wash and therefore a plus for Hillary. Not sure what others will think. I think we’ll still be talking about the surge for Obama and Edwards. But so far at least I say the first exchange out of the gate was the most significant.

9:49 … Okay, that was another key moment. Obama/Hillary back and forth on Social Security.

9:52 (commercial break mull) … One thing that surprises me about the Obama cap issue is that a few more details would I think resolve almost all the issues, at least among Dems. Is he committed to raising the cap now — as I’ve said I think would be a bad idea? Or at the point where we start dipping into the trust fund or when the trust fund runs out? Latter makes a lot more sense. And is he saying he’d remove the cap completely or in part? Usually more details are something a candidate wants to avoid, but here I think the opposite is the case.

10:13 … Am I wrong or was the whole thing pretty painful?