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Setting the Stage: The First Democratic Presidential Debate

ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls have gathered here for their first debate of the 2008 primary campaign. The Fix is here -- live-blogging the key exchanges, best one-liners and outstanding performances.

While we're still months before any actual voting, tonight's debate is a first major test for each of these candidates. Never before in this campaign have all eight shared a stage and had the opportunity to engage one another on the issues of the day. Momentum can be built or stunted depending on a candidate's performance tonight.

The debate won't begin for more than an hour, but judging from the atmosphere around the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium you wouldn't know it.

Huge crowds are gathered around MSNBC's set toting signs and screaming their support for their candidate of choice. In our brief stroll around the campus supporters of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) are out in the fullest force (and throat).

Here's a brief rundown of The Fix's experience so far:

*First political sign seen: Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) had two small signs planted as soon as you exited I-26 and headed into Orangeburg.

*Best sign: "Elizabeth for First Lady". We spotted that one during Elizabeth Edwards appearance on "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

*Worst development: Not a single Chic-Fil-A between Columbia airport and Orangeburg.

But before we get to the actual event, we need to set some parameters about what to expect out of each of the candidates. Who comes into the debate with the most to prove? Who has the most to lose? Who's the best raw debater in the bunch? Who has to be aggressive tonight?

Below you'll find The Fix's best guesses at what each candidate will say and do during the debate as well as whether they come in with high or low expectations.

Let's Set the Stage...

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Any time the Democratic candidates gather, the senator from New York will be the focal point. Clinton enters tonight's debate with high expectations -- she has cast herself on the campaign trail as the candidate most ready to lead the country; tonight she needs to show why. Clinton also comes into the debate with two major factors in her favor -- experience and gender. Clinton is perhaps the most scrutinized politician in recent memory and is used to performing publicly under the klieg lights. She is also the only woman in the field, a fact that allows her to stand out from the seven men on the stage and also complicates any attempt to attack her? Remember when Rep. Rick Lazio (R) decided to confront Clinton during a debate in 2000 to force her to sign a pledge to bypass accepting soft money donations? Viewers saw Lazio as threatening and unsenatorial. He never recovered.

Barack Obama: Of the Democratic field, Obama is the most gifted orator. But can he succeed in the rough and tumble and back and forth of a presidential debate? Obama faces an interesting challenge tonight: He has pledged to run a new and different campaign that rises above partisan bickering, yet he must find a way to effectively counter any attacks by his rivals on his record. Can he find a way to do that without sullying his pristine reputation as an "unpolitician"? During his 2004 Senate race, Obama showed his aptitude as a debater and his willingness to throw a rhetorical elbow or two as he faced down Alan Keyes (R); Obama's task was made easier in that race, however, as polls showed him with an impregnable lead over Keyes before, during and after the debates.

John Edwards: For the past week or so, rival campaigns have made sure to remind reporters that Edwards was not only one of the most successful trial lawyers of his generation but is widely regarded as one of the premier debaters in the party. Ah, expectations setting. There's certainly a grain of truth in all of that spin -- Edwards proved his debate skills during the 2004 Democratic primaries and then in a high-profile showdown with Vice President Dick Cheney. Prior to the announcement of Elizabeth Edwards's cancer recurrence, Edwards had been the most willing among the top-tier candidates to draw direct contrasts with his rivals. Will he do the same tonight?

Bill Richardson: As anyone who has spent any time with Richardson knows, the New Mexico governor is immensely personable and charming. And as anyone who has spent any time with Richardson also knows, he tends to go off message rather regularly -- much to the chagrin of his campaign advisers. All of those traits are likely to be on display tonight. Richardson needs to use this debate (and the myriad others scheduled in the coming months) to show viewers that he belongs in the first tier with Edwards, Obama and Clinton. How can he do that? By highlighting his experience as a chief executive (the only one left in the field) and contrasting what the three senators have said versus what he has done.

Joe Biden: Biden is among the most well-spoken members of the Senate, he must find a way to translate Senate-speak into sound bites for the debate tonight. Biden is likely to question the frontrunners on their plans for a way forward in Iraq. He has repeatedly stated that he alone in the field has offered a viable plan for the future of the country. Biden must stay focused tonight. At times, his mind seems to wander while his mouth continues to move -- never a good trait in a politician.

Chris Dodd: The Connecticut senator is our dark horse in tonight's debate. He's a fiery speaker who knows that he's got to peel off supporters from Clinton, Obama and Edwards in order to move his numbers. That's a combustible combination that could make Dodd the story of the night. Dodd's strongest weapon? His status as the only Democratic presidential candidate to cosponsor legislation offered by Sens. Russ Feingold (Wisc.) and Harry Reid (Nev.) that would remove funding for the war in Iraq next March. Dodd is also likely to push the frontrunners on specifics as he has touted himself as the candidate of ideas -- most notably on energy policy.

Dennis Kucinich: Kucinich has absolutely nothing to lose in the debate tonight. He is clearly the most liberal candidate in the field (as evidenced by his effort this week to launch impeachment proceedings against VP Cheney), and he is likely to try and bait people like Obama and Clinton into discussions of his policy proposals. They won't bite.

Mike Gravel: The best news for Gravel is that he will be one of the eight people behind a podium tonight -- ensuring that far more people know who he is after the debate than before it.

Make sure to check The Fix early and often during tonight's debate, which starts at 7 p.m. ET and is being carried live on MSNBC. We'll bring you the best moments and instant analysis of the event. And then tomorrow we'll be back with a rundown of debate winners and losers.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 26, 2007; 5:43 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PostTalk: Sam Waterston & Angus King of Unity '08
Next: Democrats' Debate Opens on the War


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Posted by: RenatKiyLi | May 16, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 28, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 28, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse


All Americans are given free healthcare if they need it. Unfortunately they are receiving it in the Emergency Rooms across America. And that is what is making you pay so much for your healthcare besides the fact that over thirty percent of it goes into profits and into the salaries of the Healthcare Industries CEO's Pockets. Roo already points out two programs that are more efficient than private care while being ham stringed by congress and not allowed to purchase their drugs in bulk to save money. Corporations over Citizens every time.

Posted by: Matthew | April 27, 2007 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Dave! What does any of that have to do with the US attorney scandal? try to keep up, k?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 26, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Dave!--" For heavens sake, can you name me a complex well run government program?"

Medicare and Medicaid which an order of magnitude more efficient than private insurance corporations.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

- a not for profit healthcare system. Where in the constitution is the right to healthcare? I must have missed that amendment. The Declaration of Independence says "pursuit of happiness", not guarantee of happiness. For heavens sake, can you name me a complex well run government program? The IRS's job is to take peoples money so that both R's and D's can fund programs and even that agency is poorly run. My kids will not be able to retire on Social Security if it is still around. HUD? EPA? I have worked in support of both of those and the only acronym that comes to mind is FUBAR. Other countries do a lot of things. That is not a good argument for us to copy them. You're saying that our national policy should be based on peer pressure? Come on.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

It is not Dennis Kucinich's liberalism that made him introduce articles of impeachment aginst Dick Cheney. It is his integrity. And the reason that other candidates do not want to discuss his policy ideas is because they shread holes through their corporatist plans.

Ask Hillary, Obama, or John why they would not support a not for profit healthcare system like every other industrialized nation.

Ask Hillary, Obama, or John if they will also follow the policy of the unitary executive as the Bush administration has used to claim that through signing statements they can pick and choose which laws passed by congress they want to follow. What is your opinion on the over 700 signing statements that Bush has signed?

Ask Hillary, Obama, or John about about Trade Agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA have done to our manufacturing base or have done to our illegal immigration problem by intensifying the poverty in countries south of the border.

I know the answers that Dennis would give. And they would be principled and direct. What is your take on these issues?


Posted by: Matthew | April 26, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Matthews keeps trying to get Dodd to say something bad about Hillary and not getting anywhere. BTW, Matthews is a Hillary hater from way back.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Last opinion:

Dodd > Biden

this was fun, thanks Fix

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Mike Gravel does better on NPR than on little debate 20-second answers

I really liked him on NPR, not so good here.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Uh Oh, Obama is giving Richardson some credence by following up on the 15-minute-old question


Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Mike Gravel seems unprofessional, tho' charming and decent

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

serious esprit d'escalier from B.R. w.r.t. the terrorist attack question 15 minutes ago


Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun Voter,
"You Repubs just have really low expectations for your elected officials, huh?" No, we have low expectations for politicians in general and lawyers who turned politicians in particular. That's why we don't have the expectation that the government can or should take care of us or that there should be a federal program to "help" us through life. We don't think that officials in sitting in DC have all the answers for all the problems in this country or in my home. That is why we do not like giving up our hard earned income to people that we don't trust to spend on poorly run programs we don't need.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Clete: then why the lying, inconsistent explanations, and general obfuscations?

You Repubs just have really low expectations for your elected officials, huh?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 26, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: By engaging these nuts, you give them some credible sense of what they so desire. I scroll past them once I see how foolish it is leading. They even have the notion they can "Prove" something that does not exist.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Richardson is disrespectfully grabbing more than his allotted time.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I still cannot find the debate, only previews on the debate. Can someone post the real URL?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Gee Gravel is kind of embarrassing I must admit...I'm sure he means well but...

Posted by: Aussie view | April 26, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Edwards has been giving great answers. He really looks presidential and his answers have been very specific. I'm impressed.

Posted by: Laura | April 26, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - Forgive me. I know it's a waste of time, but nsulting right wing nut cases is actually fun. I know, there are imprtant issues. And, I know, Razorback is purposefully hijacking the forum, but there really isn't much of substance that is being discussed right now. COngress finally passed avote calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. The idiot leader of right wing baffoons will veto it. Then, the important stuff happens. Do we shut down the government? I hope so. Then, the subpoena's of Rove and Rice (and likly Wolfawitz and possibly even Cheney). They wont appear. Bush has, as stated in a the Post editorial today, pulled back into his "fortress", cutting off contact with reality. This isn't new! What happends AFTER this WILL be very intersting. Does the COngress have the courage to arrest these people? Has Bush finally alienated enough Republican's that we get a Watergate like flood of Republican's deserting him and his policy and his entire Administration. I think so. I hope so. THAT, now, that will be interesting. But none of this is happening right now, it is off in the futuire in a late Juky or August timeframe. Right now, we have genuine Bush attack dogs, flooding forums just like this one across the internet. I find it interesting that they so suddenly appeared and all spout the same sort of garbage and hijack debates in the same way. I don't listen to Limbaught or Hannidy or any of the other right wing nuts, but I figure they have stirred up the troops and sent them forth to do battle with the evil liberal ones (us). So engage them in exchanges of insults. FIgure out what they are up to. Hillary Clinton is a very bright woman and she speaks of the vast right wing conspiracy. Well, she wasn't simply spouting paranoid nonsense. There really is one and we get to see them in operation right here. Enjoy it for what it is.

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I have had no problems accessing the debate.

Posted by: Aussie view | April 26, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Razorback--"Liberals rarely think of the secondary consequences to their initial "solutions", as Thomas Sowell has repeatedly pointed out."

Except that this biofuel/ethanol idiocy is not really a Liberal idea. We prefer solar-, wind- and hydro-generated electricity.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC currently bragging about what a nice setup they have on the internet

How dull, get to the debate

BTW I had a terrible time accessing the MSNBC debate, it is NOT accessible at all

You do not deserve to brag

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

So far, Edwards is winning this debate in my opinion. He answered the first two questions with grace, and handled the haircut question perfectly. He's really impressing me right now.

Posted by: Ms. Lane | April 26, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Dear April - why do you have it in for the wealthy. I'll probably (though I hope to be) never be wealthy or in their tax bracket. But I don't hold anything against them. They worked, they earned what they got, except for a few folks like John Kerry who marry rich gals, or Kennedys, who inherit their wealth. The top 1 percent, by the way, pays over half the income tax in the U.S. That's pretty close to confiscation. For another lesson in taxation, you need go no further than Europe - most of their nations have ungodly tax rates; its indeed sad that many of their youth either yearn to move away or they just give up and go on the dole. Why work - its not worth it when it all goes to the government. Which is why, if you vote for a Democrat, you'd better keep an eye on your wallet.

Posted by: Naysayer | April 26, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

We can only hope for a discussion on issues that matter. Who is the more/less ignorent, intellegent, stupid, silly, moron, etc, services no purpose.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I apologize to all. I used the word piehole earlier today and accidently used a word small enough for Loudon Voter to undertand. PIEHOLE. At least the idiot learned something today.

"On April 9th, former state senator John Ford goes on trial in federal court in Memphis. He's a big fish in his own right and he's the uncle of Harold Ford Jr., who is a celebrity, and the brother of Harold Ford Sr., who had his own federal trials in 1990 and 1993. The second trial, which resulted in Ford's acquittal, was marked by exactly the sort of political meddling in the Justice Department that is now being exposed in the Bush administration."

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous mused, without providing any links: "House Dems eye tax increases"

The only tax increase I know about is related to the change to the AMT to prevent it from affecting the vaunted, suffering middle class. This would increase the very highest-income AMT subjects' rates to offset the ones that will be under regular assessment.

If you know of anything else, please let us know! I hope they are increasing capital gains taxes at least.. working for your money should always be taxed less than sitting on your ass getting dividends.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay Loudon voter, I'm going to go nice and slow this time so you can catch up. When Reno fired 93 attorneys it was specifically because a few were after Rostenkowski of Illinois, who of course was corrupt and later did time. One was after Hillary for her misdeeds in Whitewater. If that's not politically motivated, what is? Again, a president can fire any and all attoreys at his whim - they are appoitees. Period. This is simply making a mountain out of a molehill. Its abject nonsense and you know it. Grow up.

Posted by: Clete | April 26, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Europe's move to biofuels may threaten the rain forrest:

DeeDeeDee. No Sh*t, Sherlock.

Europe's dash for biofuels could accelerate the destruction of tropical rainforests, the European Commission admitted on Thursday.

The EU's executive arm said that the 27-member bloc's decision to increase tenfold its consumption of vehicle fuel made from crops by 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would increase the pressure on virgin land, especially in Asia.

Liberals rarely think of the secondary consequences to their initial "solutions", as Thomas Sowell has repeatedly pointed out.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Clete: I hope they bring up those attorneys who got fired. Interesting that Democrats conveniently forget that when Clinton came into office he and his corrupt hack Reno fired ALL OF THEM. All 93 - every one. A president can of course fire any of them at any time for any reason. Big deal - if this is the nonsense that Democrats will be wasting our time on, why do we want them in office?

Hey numbnuts -- no one has forgotten that, because every president does it. But how many presidents have fired US attorneys for refusing to bring politically motivated cases against members of the other party? And then had their flunky AG lie about it? Let's find out if that was the case here before you open your piehole again, k?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 26, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Dear April 26 - if you think the Dems are going to discuss special interests, forget it. That's what the party is: a collection of special interests; to wit, environmental kooks like Greenpeace, corrupt unions, a corrupt black NAACP, and other far left groups. Don't hold your breath on this one: the Democratic Party is one big special interest.

Posted by: Naysayer | April 26, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I love the way koz is posting his same old tired obsessions under 200 names... and how rzorback managed to call someone a 'serial liar', 'moron' and 'complete idiot' in one post.

gee, koz, you have maniac obssession with 'libs' -- you need more medication... maybe get a life. you'r on here 24 hours a day.

rzorback -- does anything motivate you besides hatred?

Posted by: drindl | April 26, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hillary--"Patterson explained CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food"

Everyone with a second-grade biology course knows that CO2 is a 'plant food' (probably in those words, too.) Everyone with a third-grade biology course also knows that A) CO2 is harmful to people in high quantities as is ozone B) is one of the gases that prevent heat from escaping Earth's atmosphere in high quantities.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Could a little time be reserved during the debate to draw out the candidates views on the influence AIPAC plays in national policies--too much, too little? How position papers from think tanks like PNAC or Perle's *Securing the Realm* may have crossed the line in deceiving this country into war. Let the discussion begin.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse


PROCESS you dope. The Rules of the Senate and the Rules of the House do not provide if someone doesn't show up, they immediately go to jail.

The case you (finally) cited does not address the issue: Balancing legislative and executive authority.

When the GAO sued CHENEY and cited the case you cited, HE LOST. Walker v. Cheney.

"Senate Select Committee establishes, at a minimum, that the mere fact that there is a conflict between the legislative and executive branches over a congressional subpoena does not preclude judicial resolution of the conflict." 498 F.2d 725

MikeB, go back to turning bolts and leave the white collar stuff to the people you despise so much, or go to school and join us.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope they bring up those attorneys who got fired. Interesting that Democrats conveniently forget that when Clinton came into office he and his corrupt hack Reno fired ALL OF THEM. All 93 - every one. A president can of course fire any of them at any time for any reason. Big deal - if this is the nonsense that Democrats will be wasting our time on, why do we want them in office?

Posted by: Clete | April 26, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

that must be why kennedy wasn't arrested after driving into a barricade. He was coming home from a vote - at three in the morning.

Posted by: dufas1133 | April 26, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

So the authority to subpoena is an interpretation of the constitution by the supreme court of the Speech and Debate clause. Just so everyone understands the extent to which the supreme court interprets, here is that clause. Please tell me how this pertains to the Congress having the authority to subpoena...

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay, here's a preview of the loony bin that the Dems have assembled tonight. Billary will come across as the Anointed One, looking down upon her pitiful minions. Edwards will keep up with the populist nonsense of "two worlds, the rich and poor". And if I hear that line about his dad having to sweep the floor at the mill again I'll puke. Osama Obama, Mr. Politally Correct, will lecture us on race (can you imagine having to put up with THAT for 4 years) and someone needs to remind the Chief Loon Kusinich that the 60's are over. Like a previous guy said: the Democrats have been so far left since McGovern they're not even in the cheap seats anymore. Then they wonder why people see them as nuts.

Posted by: Bassplayer | April 26, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I resemble those remarks. I pay lots of my money to my own company to force others to wallow in poverty and not use any resources so I can use 20 times the normal amount. this way, the rich don't change, we can order others to pick up the slack and I get goodie bags everywhere I go. I eat a lot these days so any free food is appreciated.

Posted by: OwlGore | April 26, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

We will find another way to take all your money if this doesn't pan out.

Posted by: OwlGore | April 26, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

As I recall in the 1970's, everyone, including Newsweek and Time, was in a panic about "the coming Ice Age" and Global Cooling. It turned out to be just what Global Warming is: fodder for the nitwits and lost among us. Global Warming is nonsense, pure and simple.

Posted by: Semi | April 26, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I traded all my calorie credits to Owlgore. now I just sit in front of CNN and eat bacon and peanut butter samiches with chocolate sauce. I never gain a pound. where does it all go?

Posted by: ozone hole | April 26, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on "carbon credit" projects that yield few if any environmental benefits. A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Oh no - another Dem econ program that is completely phony. Maybe if we just spend more.

Posted by: ozone hole | April 26, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse


every town needs a fool. Looks like you're it.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Dammit Trotsky, I told them not to stick the icepick in your ear! What good is that when there's no brain in the skull?

Posted by: Stalin | April 26, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"I tire of the "brilliant" label at times"

Was that your mom? Surely wasn't any english or math professors I can readily tell.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"think for yourself for two minutes"

I see that this is evidentally the extent of your reflection. Maybe next time take a little longer.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's son caught with loaded Glock at airport:

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 26, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

how could we have known that a degree in sociology would tranfer so easily into expertise in climatology. I wasn't offered that dual degree program where I went. We had to study math and science to speak knowledgably about scientific models. Its a whole new world.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It's refreshing to called ignorant, as I tire of the "brilliant" label at times. And yes, that was my you ranted on, I just forget to identify myself. Who am I teeming with hate against exactly? Bush? I'm cool with that. One needs a muse, even it's the Village idiot. Don;t be so afraid, think for yourself for two minutes, it's fun world out here.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Headline from 2020:
Global warming determined to be fraud, just like global cooling. Democrats begin issuing billions in rebates. no idea where the money will come from. Entire budget slotted for social security payments already. President Crowe issues further restrictions on toilet paper anyway. quarter sheet max proposed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that if Dems make you sick, then you yourself are ill. As to running one's life, that's GWB's fascist shtick, and that's sickening to an old Republican like myself.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

RobL, you are not the ignorant coward I was referring to. althought you are clearly ignorant. and as far as anger goes, I think we can all see who is teeming with hate.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse


Delusion is a terrible thing. Big Al got a little dramatic, given, but open your eyes, and stop fighting for pollution. Think more than ten minutes into the day, and you'll see what the hubbub is about.

Posted by: Rob L. Ben | April 26, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, case law. The Supreme Court held in Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund, 421 U.S. 491 (1975) that Congressional subpoenas are within the scope of the "Speech and Debate clause" which provides "an absolute bar to judicial interference" with such compulsory process. Under that ruling, Courts generally do not hear motions to quash Congressional subpoenas; even when Executive branch officials refuse to comply, the Courts tend to rule that such matters are "political questions" unsuitable for judicial remedy....

Beyond this, the Constiution, in the various amendments, states "...The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation...". This has been understood by the Congress, since the inception of this country, to mean that Congress has the ability to issue subpoena's that override any Exective or lower court rulings. This was actually challenged in 1790, and the Supreme Court issued a series of rulings verifying that fact.

Duh? Kind of obvious. You want that read to you using smaller words so you can understand? Your illiteracy and lack of knowledge with regards to the law is an affront to this forum.

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear Bob - Just what "good policies" did Slick Willie give us. He vetoed welfare reform twice before deciding that the public wanted it. After he signed it he called it the best idea he ever had. That's a Democrat for you - all they believe in is telling us how to run our lives. They make me sick.

Posted by: Linebacker | April 26, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Trotsky- apparently you forgot your medication today. "
that is so funny and original. I wish I had thought of that "off your meds" line. I have never seen that one before. ;)

this previews the one liners in tonight's debate. all recycled garbage which offers nothing - or in short, the usual dimwit talking points.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Trotsky. Sorry you missed. You are going to have to try harder than that if you want a post that is goofier and more irrational that MikeB's posts. You did come close though.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

yes, that's it, I'm an ignorant coward. What a surprise that you go hostile so readily, Like a small child, like Bush, your idol apparently. Open your eyes, he's already been labeled, by legit historians, as the worst President ever. As to Gettsyburg, it's ain't Lincoln's fault that the South sent it's boys into a cannon's mouth. Nope. he made peace with the South, kept the Union intact, made friends of us all again. ( not your hostile types though)

Do you know who helped fund Al Qaeda's formation? (CIA- to fight Soviets n Afghan.

Do you know who founded Hamas? (Israel helped, with our money)

Do you know who The Shah was?

Are you aware of our blind support for Israel, and how it's made us hated?

Are you aware that Bush thinks he's a Crusader?

Why did Hamas win last year.

And Ahmejamiend in Iran?

Cuz Bush thrust a stake into the hornets nest, and then ran.

He's the biggest coward we've ever had as a leader, scared, and trying to scare the American public.

Leave your anger aside, and go read some history, for thoust looks infantile from here.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said.

"I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we're about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere," said Patterson. "The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it's not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles."

Patterson explained CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food."

Stop it, no real science allowed. how will we demogouge? that is line our pockets with your money?

Posted by: Hillary | April 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Trotsky- apparently you forgot your medication today. The Democrats are nutty enough without kooks such as you championing their cause.

Posted by: Glenn | April 26, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Almost any of the above are better than the chimp in chief we have in there now. It'll be most interesting to see if the press is serious about issues and not *if your spouse was raped* type of questions. I would rather cigars, interns and good policy than billions of dollars in deficits, tens of thousands dead and a shredded constitution.

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 26, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

coming to the conclusion that Dems will reduce the deficit is an indication of failure to cope with reality. will they reduce it by adding $124 billion to defense approps? that's just today.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Rob L - what Global Warming are you speaking of. It is not been proven scientifically, and as such, is fodder and religion for the mindless among us. My science is not based upon consensus - it is based upon fact. Let Cosmic Al Gore come out of his 40 room estate and land his private jet for a day and I'll look at Global Warming. Till then, its absolute abject nonsense.

Posted by: Benji | April 26, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

coward - your rantings have detached completely from reality. Lincoln made friends with his enemies? at Gettysburg? We caused the rise of jihadism? on 911? single most deluded man on earth? you. angriest teenager? you. impose regime change ? clinton

everytime you post something you demonstrate a clear ignorance of all things. Hence your moniker you refuse to use - ignorant coward.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Dems get the White House, the age of regulation will be upon us. Might as well get used to riding around on tricycles with your mandatory seat belts and helmets and on-board recycle bins. After all, the Democrats care about us, they feel our pain, and they in their infinite wisdom know what is best for the great unwashed whom they look down upon.

Posted by: Clete | April 26, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Boy, you got that right. Let's see what the Dems will propose: higher taxes,

Sir, do you have the figures on the deficit run up by the Bush Admin? They are horrifying, and will be subject to mockery soon enough.

Sure, child like minds think it's okay to stiff future generations with 5 trillion in debt, but me, no, that aint cool. Maybe you think it is, but that's well, childish.

Defending Bush on Gloabl Warming also makes you look insane. Why defend that idiot anyways. he's a traitor to Republican values. I should know. I am one.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

MikeB you complete idiot:

The LAW defines what a subpeona is, not wilkepedia. Court rules and statutes define what the law is with respect to judicial subpeonas.

The Rules of the House and the Rules of the Senate, as interpreted by court decisions, define congressional subpeonas. The Rules define the process. Good lawd what a moron. He has yet to cite a single statute or a rule. He doesn't know they exist. He doesn't know that due process requires a court or the congress to follow its own rules.

MikeB, go back to bolting tires on cars and complaining that the Chinese are willing to do everything you can do for 2 bucks an hour. Talk about what you know something about, if anything.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

House Dems eye tax increases

no surprise here.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Regime change in Iraq was a necessity."

"It was necessary for the people of Iraq; it was necessary for peace in the Middle East...and it was necessary in order to challenge an Arab political culture warped by irresponsibility, authoritarian brutality, rage and self-delusion -- out of which emerged, among other things, contemporary jihadism."

1. it was never for the US to impose regime change on anybody. That's illegal.

2. it is our political culture that has been warped by irresponsibility, incompetence, and damning failure across the board. Bush is the War President, the Decider, the champion of Presidential authority on a near fascist level. Which has, of course, failed.

3. As to brutal, how bout the deaths of so many Iraqi's, often with drill holes in their brain. And the 3300 US soldiers, 20,000 wounded, badly, ruined lives. Parent's grieving, limbs missing, you know, war, as brutal as it gets. Abu Ghraib? Our esteemed Attorney General, tossing out 220 years of morality suggesting that the Geneva Conventions were quaint? Waterboarding? Shame on this country. At least I, as a citizen, feel shamed.

4. rage- Bush is the angriest teenager I know.

5. Delusion- whether it be his prayers, his belief that Alberto did a good job last week, or his abject failure to grasp anything in Iraq, Mr. Bush would qualify as the single most deluded man on Earth.

Our bumbling in the Mideast has resulted in the rise of Jihadism as much as anything.
All oil and Israel related of course. Who doubts that?

Bush is no Republican, Lincoln was though, when he said that the he got rid of his enemies by making friends of them.

Bush has thrown oil on the spark of Jihadism, let's just hope we've learned from his horrible failings.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Boy, you got that right. Let's see what the Dems will propose: higher taxes, telling us what we can and can't eat, telling us how much toilet paper to use, telling us we're horrible, terrible imbeciles who need our hands held while we cross the street and that THEY know how to spend our money better, telling us we're burning up the planet while they live in 33 room estates and run up 30 thousand per year electric bills. Telling us we need to be defeated overseas and that we should just talk to and be nice to terrorists and they'll go away. The Democrats are priceless.

Posted by: Max | April 26, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Of all the candidates, I admire Kucinich the most. He may be nutty in his positions but he actually believes them and doesn't apologize. the rest take on an affectation to get elected. See the difference.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - "Town fool"

You evidently are as ignorant of the law as everything else. A subpoena is an order to appear and provide testimony on a matter. Failure to appear is prima faicia evidence that you are in contempt of the court (or, in this case, COngress). There is no trial for this, no appeal, and in the case of COngressional subpoena's, there isn't even the possibility of Presidential pardon. Don't appear and you are guilty and go to jail. Now, in actual practice, a person may not repond to a subpeona due to illness, ignorance of it, etc. and the issuing clerk of the court, may not jail the subpoena'd party. However, if the court wanted to play hardball, even in those cases, you would still be guilty and could be jailed. There is no provision whatsoever in the Constitution nor in the various court laws in this country for avoiding a subpoena nor in avoiding penalty in the event you do not answer such a subpoena. It's a lot of power, granted to the courts and to COngress, and it is meant to be used with discretion. However, it has been used in this instance and the penalties are statutory and not avoidable. If Ms. Rice ignores this subpeona, she can be arrested and there isn't one thing Bush nor the Supreme Court can legally do about it.

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Talk about the theater of the absurd - this will be like watching picnic day at Berekley. Or Saint Elizabeth's. The Democrats just can't bring themselves out of the 60's.

Posted by: Muskrat | April 26, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"political culture warped by irresponsibility, authoritarian brutality, rage and self-delusion -- out of which emerged, among other things, contemporary liberalism."

A minor but apt correction

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Condi's the only sane one on Bush's team.

He wants nothing to do with her Palestinian detente, but I think she told him to f- off.

she was the NSA on 9/11 though, and thus a buffoon for history.

Posted by: RobL. | April 26, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Dave! Kucinich doesn't really mean it, he is just pandering to the moveon crowd.

Feingold filed all of this censure Bush stuff to pander to the same crowd. Once he decided not to run for President, he wadded it up into a little ball, and threw it in the garbage can.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Razorback - here's an interesting counterpoint to your (understandably) cynical view of Iraqis:

The U.S. Army has a new base near my house. I cannot contact them in person, or visit them. The area where I full of terrorists. But I wish to know the e-mail of some of the U.S. commanders to contact them in case that I have some important information about terrorists. I feel that the American soldiers came to my area to support me and my people, so I have to cooperate with them. Please, send me the e-mail of any U.S. commander you know here. I shall not hesitate to help the people who left their wifes, sons, and country to support us. I shall do my best to support your people here.

This striking message, relayed to a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, is from a courageous Iraqi citizen living outside of Baghdad.

It is a lens through which we can discern elements of the larger picture now unfolding in both Iraq and in the United States.

I'd like to see the dems debate this topic:

"Regime change in Iraq was a necessity."

"It was necessary for the people of Iraq; it was necessary for peace in the Middle East...and it was necessary in order to challenge an Arab political culture warped by irresponsibility, authoritarian brutality, rage and self-delusion -- out of which emerged, among other things, contemporary jihadism."

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 26, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's see how this plays out:
Kucinich is definitely dopey
Obama is happy
richardson must be sleepy
Edwards must be sneezy
dodd is bashful
biden is grumpy
gravel is therefore Doc

Hillary is left with the evil witch role. how fitting.

Any corrections?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I say this debate is more about putting it George Bush's eye than much else. What could make that duck feel lamer than having to watch his successor's have at it, presenting ideas to turn back his failure. That's a beautiful thing.

Most of America can't wait til Nov. 08. This makes the date seem that much closer, and makes Bush that much more irrelevant. We can debate the blue sky future, and not stay mired in his amoral trench.

My cash is on Obama. He's the man for a new generation.

Posted by: Rob L. | April 26, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Kucinich's impeachment papers are a hoot! Basing impeaching the vice president on things that were said on Meet the Press is hysterical. If that were the standard, every member of government that went on there or gave any private interview or press briefing would be eligible for impeachment. He is an embarrassment to Ohio. To quote Bugs Bunny, "What a marroon.". I don't know if he is round on the ends, but i know he is HIGH in the middle! That said, he almost makes it must see TV tonight!

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that if we have strict 'constitutionalists' on our courts that they would support this so called executive privledge over a congressional subpoena. Also if Condi has already answered the questions then she can come back and do it again. Its not like she is doing such a stellar job that one afternoon of her time will cause the downfall of the free world.

Actually it might help the situation if she takes a day or two off.

Posted by: Andy R | April 26, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

well bsimon already answered it. bascally in the end, comprimise.
g2g gotta beat rush hour traffic here.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Good points, bsimon. That leaves the issue of Diebold's "faulty software" to be dealt with.
In addition, the "hanging chads" issue. I'm in danger of losing my faith in the voting process as this is all that's left to us.

Posted by: C. Smith | April 26, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Spartan: I don't think the should be charged criminally, and would bet you any amount of money that she isn't.

bsimon is right: These things almost always get worked out.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

C.Smith asks
"What assurance do any of us have that our votes will be counted as cast? That, above all others, is my concern."

Well, what do you look like? If you look like a felon, or have a name comparable to a felon's, be prepared to prove that you are eligible to vote. If you look like an immigrant, or have a name comparable to immigrants', be prepared to prove that you are eligible to vote. The Justice Department is very, very, very worried about ensuring the integrity of our elections - and that means ensuring that eligible voters - and only eligible voters - will actually cast ballots. I expect them to err on the side of being absolutely positively certain that nobody who carries even a hint of ineligibility will get within a mile of a polling station.

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Razorback writes
"To my knowlege, no executive officer has ever refused to give information that the Court tell them they must give."

Because the executive branch & congress usually compromise before the courts are reached - because neither side is so sure of their position that they want to test it in the courts.

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What assurance do any of us have that our votes will be counted as cast? That, above all others, is my concern.

Posted by: C. Smith | April 26, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

this will probably be the biggest ratings MSNBC has ever had. You got to figure their husbands and wives and parents will be watching.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

razor-that was a yes or no question. do you agree she should be charged. dont try to muddy the questions with maybe.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

roo-yeah i hope so too, personally i think this just a four way dance between hillary,edwards obama and richardson. the rest should just get out the way,but im sure some zingers at the front runners will be shot at them. im not sure who im rooting for, but after tonight im sure there's going to be a standout in the pack

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Heal thyself

Posted by: | April 26, 2007 03:53 PM

Show us how its done.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

That depends on the nature of the information that is being requested. If she has what a court thinks is a good faith basis for witholding information based on executive priviledge, then she should not be charged with contempt until the executive privilege claim is litigated.

In the context of executive/legislative disputes, people don't go to jail for refusing to give information until they refuse to give information AFTER the courts tell them they must give the information. To my knowlege, no executive officer has ever refused to give information that the Court tell them they must give.

See the Watergate tapes case as well as the case involving Cheney's energy committee's records. Nixon lost the case, but the Court recognized that there is such a thing as executive privilege. Cheney won his case on grounds other than executive privilege. Either way no one went to jail while the issues were being litigated.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Reporter : hillary,where will you go on vacation as president?
Hillary: that's up to a focus group.

Reporter: Obama, what will you do about the war?
Obama: I hope my new way will provide a solution to this problem which allows all parties representation
Reporter: is that an answer
Obama: I earnestly desire for an audacious policy that will please any disaffected in our society.

Reporter: Mr edwards, will you raise taxes?
Edwards: How does my hair look?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

On topic for a change.

Hopefully this will introduce the lesser-known candidates so that they can get a bit of coverage as well. Kuchinich is probably already written off in most minds, sadly, but the others might actually 'prove' themselves. I think this debate will be followed very closely on all sides, unlike perhaps similar ones in previous cycles.

I have high hopes for particulary Richardson but also Obama. I would like to see Richardson fully 'emerge' as a viable candidate. I think he would balance out the field nicely.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ok fine,so you do agree then that if condi doesnt testify she should be charged with contempt?

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: 04 was the first time I voted a straight ticket. I doubt that I will again. The media is fur Obama and agin Hillary, using your words. The only way I can see any meaningful change is in the way Richardson comes across. My thought is that he will replace/overcome Edwards in the not to distant future. The other thing I will be looking for is the "Questions" being asked. There is little difference on policy, except the details are not well know, and the details can change in a moments time depending on circumstances.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Spartan, that research had already been done. See previous post which includes excact citations of law.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This debate will have little/no credibility, since it's being held 19 months before the election. Before jumping ahead to the future, we should be concentrating on impeaching Cheney, and then Bush, as Kucinich suggests.

Posted by: Deaniac | April 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Please don't talk about raising taxes, please don't talk about losing wars, whatever you do, don't mention social security. try to ignore all Dem campaign promises, don't go near solutions to any problems.

that leaves - hope, two americas, global warming, drilling in alaska and village talk. not much in the way of substance or policy in this gaggle of Libs. Look for a lot of hand waving and bland pronouncements about finding a new way. Still no new laws yet though. Moral: Dems win, nothing happens.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ok before razorback starts posting every 30 seconds with insults, lets go over what
congressional subpoenas is.

sub·poe·na (sə-pē'nə)
A writ requiring appearance in court to give testimony.
or in longer form....
In law, a writ commanding the person upon whom it has been served to appear in court or before a CONGRESSIONAL COMMITEE, grand jury, or some other body, under a penalty for failure to comply. Unlike a summons, a subpoena may command the recipient to produce evidence necessary to the resolution of a legal matter or controversy.

ok, now what happens when say condi decides to ignore(among other things)the subpoena? she can be held in contempt of congress.the case can be referred over to the us attorney's office or congress can order the Sergeant-at-Arms of either chamber to arrest her and drag her infront of the committee.

its all there, rather to start in with insults you can do a little research.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Roo, I was just correcting someone who lies in almost every single post (MikeB).

Is there anything that isn't true in my post Roo?

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

jane-yeah its zouk or razorback. just ignore the anon comments.

Posted by: | April 26, 2007 03:27 PM

Heal thyself

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Razorback--Wow, you went from Regular Conservative to Yet Another Name-calling Demagogue in less than a week.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

This is currently my choices as of right now who I'd vote for before tonight's debate:

1) Bill Richardson
2) Mike Gravel
3) Write in Candidate (Al Gore)
Otherwise I'll vote Republican:
1) Write in Candidate (Jeb Bush)
2) Rudy Gulliani
3) John MCCain

Posted by: Gone Fishing | April 26, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Dave!--"If you will check the Constitution, there is not one mention of subpoena power for Congress."

No, but it does mention something about this whole thing where the Congress makes laws.

Contempt of Congress is plenty clear. Executive Privilege is extremely murky if it exists at all.

Dave!--" I guess its arrogance when Republicans invoke EP but smart politics when Democrats do it?"

No. It is mostly asinine in both cases.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, serial liars says:

"It's very simple and quite straight foreward, Ms. Rice either answers the subpoena or she goes to jail."

This is false. Note how liberal idiots that wrap themselves in the Constitution do not understand even basic due process. Have you ever heard of an appeal? A trial? Do you think the whole Congress gets to vote? You don't know. You run your pie hole when you don't know.

Your earlier statement "A court or Congress can issue as many subpoena's as they wish." shows that you fail to understand the most basic things about government.

The authority for congressional subpoena and judicial subpoenas are based 2 entirely different bodies of laws.

Congressional subpoenas can be enforced by civil contempt, 2 USC 288d, (although executive branch officers are exempt); contempt of congress 2 USC 192, 194, which requires and indictment; and inherent contempt, which involves a trial in the house of congress.

Due process requires some procedure to contest a subpeona. You don't just go to jail, moron.

Posted by: Razorback | April 26, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous offered this exchange:

"Bush: condi, tell me what you think
Rice: I better not answer in case I am ever subpeoned by congress.
Bush: where can I go for advice
Rice: easy - the NYT editorials page or the Fix on WaPo"

I have not understood this reasoning. Unless Rice is suggesting something illegal, why would this be a problem (and even then the 1st amendment might apply.)

Particularly when it comes from the same people who say it is fine to wiretap all phones because "if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about." Interesting double standard, no?

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If you will check the Constitution, there is not one mention of subpoena power for Congress. So, similar to executive priviledge, that is someones (in this case a supreme court's) interpretation. The "law" on executive priviledge says very little other than it exists and that it's generally invoked when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch's national security concerns. Ms. Rice, in case you forgot, was National Security Advisor at the time. These are national security questions. How is it you determine that the law does not apply here? Additionally, her spokesperson said they would attempt to address the committee's questions. This is the way these things have worked for many years. I guess its arrogance when Republicans invoke EP but smart politics when Democrats do it?

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Dave! - Oh yes it is that simple. And, may I suggest you go and read your COnstitution. "Executive Pivilege" is the unfortunate invention of this and various past Presidents. Congressional subpoena's, on the other hand, are mentioned and supercede even a Supreme Court ruling. COngress can even subpoena a sitting President of Vice President. They do not have the option to disregard such a subpoena. No one does. It's very simple and quite straight foreward, Ms. Rice either answers the subpoena or she goes to jail. If the President orders her not to appear or otherwise inferes with that subpoena, he is guilty of a felony and can be impeached and removed from office. This is not something that you people can take lightly. Either Ms. Rice and Mr. Rove appears before COngress as legally ordered, or we have an instant Constitutional crisis.

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

if memory serves me correct, didnt she appear infront of committees before?, and no confirmation hearings and the 9/11 commision doesnt count. is she afraid of testifying under oath? and hasnt other nsa's appeared infront of congress before? (yes i know she's not the nsa now)

jane-yeah its zouk or razorback. just ignore the anon comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

" will hillary wear pants or a dress?"
Definitely pants. Gotta keep the cankles hidden.

" will edwards get his hair and makeup done special?
Nothing special, just the usual 'do' that costs more than the average voter's grocery budget this month.

does Obama have to wear makeup?
Not unless he's blogging on firedoglake.

will richardson wear slimming black?

who will be the first to make a botched joke?
My money's on Joe Biden.

who will be the first to talk in a fake accent?
Shrillary will waffle from New Yorker to Senate-speak to Alabaman every other sentence.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

'Trostsky and anon' are the cowardly koz, btw..

Posted by: Tina | April 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Bush: condi, tell me what you think
Rice: I better not answer in case I am ever subpeoned by congress.
Bush: where can I go for advice
Rice: easy - the NYT editorials page or the Fix on WaPo

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"plus she's answerable to the people and their representives in congress, not to bush adminstration." Actually, as National Security Advisor, she's not. The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President without confirmation by the United States Senate. As such, they are not connected to the bureaucratic politics or really responsible to anyone except the president. Her private conversations with the president are covered under executive priviledge. Congress can't subpoena just anybody. Balance of power and checks on that do exist and exist for a reason.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Dave!--"Ms. Rice did not simply blow off the subpoena. She has already answered the questions in the subpoena."

*She* says she feels she has answered those questions. It is not really for her to decide. Any normal person refusing to testify on those grounds would be held in contempt of court.

Dave!--"Additionally, she is not required to respond because she was National Security Advisor at the time and executive priveledge applies."

*She* says that the /administration's interpretation of executive privilege/ applies.

The law says it does not. Please review the congressional subpoena authority before repeating this nonsense.

Posted by: roo | April 26, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

No, it's not that simple. There are a number of restraints on Congression subpoenas. For instance, a congressional subpoena issued after an adjournment sine die of Congress lacks any legal force and effect and does not impose any legal obligation to comply with the subpoena.
The subpoena power can't be used to deny someone their constitutional rights. Additionally, congressional subpoena power is tempered by executive priviledge.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

trostsky! what are you doing alive? stalin and mao missed your counter-revolutionary ravings at the last meetings. come back to mother russia!

Posted by: lennin | April 26, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

dave-sorry i ment to say what would you ask the canidates.but yeah with todays media, im suprised they havent asked when did you stop kicking puppies senator?
but i gotta disagree with you when you said thats the extent of the dems agenda. what they are doing is called oversight. blowing off subpoenas is foolish and say she already answered the questions is stupid. um how does she know what the questions are ahead of time? plus she's answerable to the people and their representives in congress, not to bush adminstration. this is a democratic repubic not a millitary junta or a monarchy.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

When you referred to massive corruption were you referring to:
Pelosi - had two PACS, operated own foreign policy with Syria
Reid - crooked land deal to line his and sons pockets
Frank - fixed tickets for lover who ran brothel from home
Kennedy - the pill popping one, almost ran over a cop, went to rehab, all is forgiven
Fat Kennedy - killed a girl, thrown out of school for cheating, lost marriage for cheating, all is forgiven
Moran - solicited cushy home loan from friend while voting on friend's issues
Jefferson - found with $10K in freezer, retains committee assignment
Hastings - violated wire tap, impeached from bench, reelected
Leaky Leahy - felt it was OK to leak secret information resulting in death of agents
Molohan - profited from earmarks and became rich overngight
Rockefeller - warned Saddam of impending attack resulting in transfer of WMDs to Syria
Marion Barry - crack smoking mayor of Dc was "set up", many times it seems.
Sharpton - made his bones on false accusation about NYC cops, never retracted
Clinton - too much to list
Murtha - delayed bribe until it was bigger.

the bloodsoaked bodies must be the victims of 911 - the result of clinton fiddling while terror burned.

spending like drunken sailors must refer to the Dems wishes for additional spending and increased taxes.

I know you meant Pelosi and Reid when you mention incompetence so I don't need to ask about that one.

I am not following your illogic.

Posted by: Trotsky | April 26, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Dave! - A court or Congress can issue as many subpoena's as they wish. It IS NOT for you or I to determine that we have answered all their questions or complied with the court order. It's a subpoena! You get one, you appear when as where as demanded. Ms. Rice and Mr. Rove either appear before Congress or they go to jail. It's that simple. I, for one, hope that the committees issuing these subpoena's have the will to send the Sergent of Arms out with an arrest warrant. It might be intersting to see the press photo's of the two of them staring out from a barred cell. I wonder if we can waterboard them, subject them to sleep deprivation, wire them up with a fake bomb, force them to pose together naked, putt a noose around their necks and pretend they are going to be hanged, or simply humiliate them and photograph the whole thing?

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

'eight more years of interns, cigars and scandels. Whoopee!'

...which would be a whole lot better than 8 more years of bloodsoaked bodies, massive corruption, spending like drunken sailors and incredible incompetence.

Posted by: Jane | April 26, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't, however, think that i would actually get any real answers to my questions. I find watching debates, regardless of who is on stage, the most frustrating TV around. There are no real answers - everything is generally a canned response that the candidate wants to get in, regardless of whether it really answers the question. So it comes down to who either looks the best or who makes the biggest gaff.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

- Do you actually believe that there is a War on Terror?
- How would you solve the Palestinian problem?

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rice did not simply blow off the subpoena. She has already answered the questions in the subpoena. Her spokesman said "We are going to continue to work with Chairman Waxman's committee to try to answer his questions,". Additionally, she is not required to respond because she was National Security Advisor at the time and executive priveledge applies. When you are Nation Security Advisor, these same rules will apply to you too. On a side note, if this is the extent of the Democrats agenda, they are a sorry bunch of idiots since they were handed a golden opportunity to actually accomplish something.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's talk about their outfits. will hillary wear pants or a dress? will edwards get his hair and makeup done special? does Obama have to wear makeup? will richardson wear slimming black? who will be the first to make a botched joke? who will be the first to talk in a fake accent?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Simple - surrender and raise taxes

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama, Dodd, Kucinich and Gravel will be enjoying themselves during the debates.

Richardson and Hillary will be feeling very stressed out.

Biden will be in outer space.

Edwards will be on autopilot.

Viewers will pick up on how the candidates feel as well as on what the candidates say.

Posted by: Golgi | April 26, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"It is a disservice to give the deparate maniacs of this Admnistration one dime until they pull out of Iraq." OK, they won't need any money after they pull out of Iraq. If the Dems really were not politically posturing to their base, they would not pass any funding bill for the war. Until they do this, they are just politicizing the issue to score points for 2008.

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok, my questions for the candidates are:
- Given that you disagree with pretty much everything the Bush admin has done for US security, what are YOUR plans to protect the US?
- How do you plan to pay for [fill in the blank program]?
- What are your plans to permanently fix social security?

Posted by: Dave! | April 26, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

At lasrt! The Senate just voted to require a date for troop withdrawl from Iraq. True, Bush has vowed to veto it. Now, if the Demo's actually have some guts, they will send it to him again and ahgain and again, ever tougher version, attached to every federal spending bill. Leave it to Bush to shut down the government. And, as the partent of TWO soldiers in Iraq, I want it known that I consider it a support of them if this Congress even bankrupts the Pentagon. It is a disservice to give the deparate maniacs of this Admnistration one dime until they pull out of Iraq.

On another front, Ms. Rice has seen fit to ignore a subpoena! Now, if you are I were issued a subpoena and simply blew it off, we would end up in jail in short order. But Rove and Rice think they can do this? Throw them in jail. Lock these people up. No one is above the law and it is high time the Bushies were made to understand this!

Posted by: MikeB | April 26, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

its funny that the talking head media would be playing up obama and richardson. two minorities on the same ticket?

i dunno if america is ready for that, hell im african american and i dont know if im ready for that!

having the debates on cable isnt the best ideal anyways. i mean how many people are actually going to see it? or even care? sure chris is live blogging the debate,but im pretty sure he's got his "i luv hillary" banner out for this.

there's three questions that need to be asked. what are you going to do about iraq/terrorism, the economy and immigration. anyone care to jump in with their questions? and please ignore the anon comments. anon your not funny.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"bsimon and JamesCH, you've danced around the real issue:

...HRC supporters want her because they believe that her husband is part of the package. In fact, they'd probably hope for some kind of puppet dictatorship if she were to win."

Believers of this fantasy need to disabuse themselves of such an idea. A) Hillary does not seem the type to put up with a 2nd in command running the show - she seems the type that will take advantage of people who'd believe this however. B) The voters in the general won't buy into it. If Dems want to win the election, they need a candidate who carries their own message, rather than riding on another's reputation.

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Checking the cable news channels, I find the repub pundits playing up Obama, no suprise. Richardson getting pretty good coverage, about time. Biden and Dodd, they talk to much. Edwards, home state. Hillary, expections very high. A few other comments, but nothing new.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

the first law of the new congress.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

the best never wins in recent memory. it seems the press picks em, then vaporize the best . how much money seems to be the factor in the usa now .the future be damned.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - A defiant Democratic-controlled Senate passed legislation Thursday that would require the start of troop withdrawals from

Iraq by Oct. 1, propelling Congress toward a historic veto showdown with
president Bush on the war.

The 51-46 vote was largely along party lines, and like House passage of the same bill a day earlier, fell far short of the two-thirds margin needed to overturn the president's threatened veto. Nevertheless, the legislation is the first binding challenge on the war that Democrats have managed to send to Bush since they reclaimed control of both houses of Congress in January.

Posted by: here comes the veto | April 26, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I would watch tonight to see if the debate takes on any life of its own. If it becomes the well rehearsed talking points, seriatum, we have often seen, it will probably play only to whom I imagine to be the base of the Democratic Party.

To play to me, or JD, or any other split ticket voter, it will require some candidate[s] to engage on a different level.

At their best, primary debates have sometimes been forums to deliver a candidate's vision of America, but at their worst they have been laundry lists of "fur 'n agin'".

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 26, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I pray feverishly that tonight's debate will be limited to no more than three topics. There are Americans demanding details over sound bites. We seek analytical approaches over one-liners that explains little; and we crave for a thorough process when new ideas are presented.

Debates in America seemingly are a smorgashbord on this and that topic. Such predicament forces citizens to leave with nothing accept a great desire for the chaotic arguments to end. Debating Is Ideal but not when you saturate candidates with questions on 15 or more topics that require more time than a 60 second response. Stop insulting citizens! Now is the time for all medias to change their debate formats from a novel diversion to a format that is credible and substantative. Such would reveal inadequacies in candidates that we need knowledge about before the November election. MEDIAS, PLEASE DO YOU PART WELL!

Finally, I expect Obama, Edwards, Biden and Richardson to debate well. Clinton, though talented and responsible, represents dynasty and some of us would rather that a Bush nor Clinton would apply. She has time but not this election cycle.

Posted by: E. A. McGIRT | April 26, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

eight more years of interns, cigars and scandels. Whoopee!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

jd-you know what your right. most dems would probably go back to the days where it was relativly peaceful(good economy,low unemployment ect.) but do we really want to have 2 families trading the white house every 8 years? bush41(4yrs)clinton(8yrs)bush43(7yrs and counting). its time for somene new, hell anybody will do.

Posted by: spartan | April 26, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

bsimon and JamesCH, you've danced around the real issue:

Many, if not the majority, of HRC supporters want her because they believe that her husband is part of the package. In fact, they'd probably hope for some kind of puppet dictatorship if she were to win.

How many Dems wouldn't bring back Bill in a heartbeat if it were legal?

Posted by: JD | April 26, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat leaders including all the current presidential candidates are for an Iraq pullout before total victory is secured. Majority leader Harry Reid said last week the war is lost. The Democrats tried to stop the tax cuts which have fueled the economic boom and are now trying to cap them; they've tried to repeal the Patriotic Act which has helped prevent numerous terrorist acts here; they are for gay marriage and gun control; they support funding for embryonic stem cell research and are pro choice when it comes to abortion on demand. They have halted all efforts to reform social security even though they admit the system will be unable to handle the upcoming influx of baby boomers.

The Republicans with a few exceptions are for none of the above.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

the Democratic Party seems to have lost its collective mind. Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Kucinich? Is that the very best it can do? Are there no Zell Millers or Joe Liebermans left?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If they attack Giuliani in the debate, it will strengthen Rudy with the GOP base... and that's a very bad thing for Democrats... Rudy beats both Hillary and Obama in all swing states now.

See polling results at

Posted by: William | April 26, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats deserve better, and the country needs more, than Harry Reid has offered as Senate majority leader.
-=David Broder

dirty Harry is circling the drain.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani leads in 4 key swing states:

Posted by: William | April 26, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's not kid ourselves. Sen. Clinton is not her husband, no matter how much a lot of us would like her to be. She's not the gifted speaker he was, and she doesn't have the everyman cum Rhodes Scholar appeal he had. What she does have is enough political baggage to put Samsonite out of business, and a tendency toward politically calculating (or even pandering) statements. She has a lot to lose against the populist edge of Edwards and Obama.

Senator Obama has a lot to lose too. He has to avoid any appearance of sniping, and he may have to strengthen his stance on policy, because he'll be challenged on it. That's a guarantee.

I think he's up to that task, though. I think this will be a big night for him. His gift of great oratory will shine.

Posted by: JamesCH | April 26, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

somebody said
"HRC is at the top of her game and she will stay there."

And just what is her 'game' and why does it make her the best person for the job of President? I don't see it. I concede that she is intelligent and articulate. I'll grant that she's representing the people of New York well. But I fail to see how she is the best candidate for President; she won't be able to unite the country and she hasn't demonstrated any managerial or executive skills. What makes her the best person for the job? Certainly 8 years as First Lady is not the best qualification she brings to the job...

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

BS Tuco -- did you see the pencil-jabbing debate. Christ, it was just embarrassing. Lazio was a clown and an amateur. But Rudy actually stumbled agianst her too -- he was loutish and bullying. But then that's who he is.

Posted by: drindl | April 26, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Kucinich has said that he won't ask about the impeachment issue during the debates because it's a non-partisan proposal.

And really, you guys give Kucinich too little credit. He often gets the best responses from crowds during these things but ends up being ignored at the end because, you know, the 70% of people who actually like him decide he's "unelectable."

Posted by: KB | April 26, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Better question is why Lazio did not receive any soft money from the Republican Senatorial Committee?

That's the answer to why Hillary beat Lazio.

Posted by: Tuco | April 26, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Even those of you who beleive in this war, don't you sometimes wonder just what the hell goes on over there? What about the stuff you don't hear about?

'BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. Army officer who was commander of a military prison in Iraq has been charged with giving a cell phone to suspected insurgents who were detained there, a charge described as "aiding the enemy," according to the U.S. military.

Lt. Col. William H. Steele, who was commander of the U.S. Army's Camp Cropper, also was charged with having an improper relationship with a detainee's daughter and an interpreter and possessing pornography, the military said.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

So? to continue, I would not be here, I should be some where, anywhere but here, but I am now here., I was thinking I would leave, catch a greyhound and head back to Florida, but I know, we need new leadership., people, who are not above the law! Janair Williams Sr. so this debate, will tell the story-MAY THE BEST PERSON WIN-its Senator Clinton!-smiling!!!

Posted by: Janair Williams Sr. | April 26, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

OH how I love to read the postings from either jealous GOP or Obama supporters. HRC is at the top of her game and she will stay there. As for Obama is he a real politican or is he a Pay-for-Play politician. Example - Mr. Rezko, slum lord

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, we are having a debate of ONE of the best races in the land, with the BEST candidates in the field!!! I congragulate the Democratic Party-GO OUT THERE AND GIVE THEM HELL!!! I am pulling for my candidate President Hillary Rodham Clinton, oh? sorry? Senator, I am getting a little ahead of myself, but GO Clinton!!! and I hope the best for the others., if you need some thing to talk about, Veteran Affairs is a start! then taking an example from the Security forces in the capitol of this great nation, the guards at the doors, the ones roving and walking, what I am saying IS-ALL OF THEM ARE WORKING!!! lets get AMERICANS back to work, not fired, and going to other jobs, and taking those, then more are fired, keep the same people, then how can you have a terrorist attack, if you see the same people, eat with them, anfd get to know your co workers!!! as I walk to the Library of Congress, I see all of these great people working, Senators,House of Reps., down to the Librarians, and then to go in you see the guards, who are nice to you, but they stop you if you beep., I think the only 2 people who don't get it is the President and the Vice President., now you can say they did this, but no? they received advice. and most of all I would not be here

Posted by: Janair Williams Sr. | April 26, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think that a lot of CC's commentary is on the mark. However, I would like to make a few observations about some of the candidates and what they must do.

Hillary Clinton: I think that CC needs to watch the tape of Lazio again (maybe it's on YouTube somewhere?). It is not just that he is challenging her on campaign finance reform and soft money, he left his podium and shoved the pledge in her face, jabbing it with his finger and yelling at her to sign it, all while towering over her. Hillary Clinton's reproductive organs had nothing to do with Lazio's demise.

Barack Obama: I think his "I'm above politics" routine has painted him into a corner. (After all, if you really believe that money is a corrupting influence in politics, why brag for days about your admittedly impressive haul?) That being said, can we please stop acting like his work in the statehouse of Illinois has prepared him for the Presidency. Most of the bills he passed were not really of substance. Yes, he extended Illinois' EITC, but is it really an innovative thought in government to pass a bill allowing one to pay fines online with a credit card? If state legislative experience makes for a good President, we have a great legislator in West Virginia who I will try to start a grassroots movement for, and unlike Hillary Clinton, she is a real hero and champion of the cause of working people.

John Edwards: I'd say that of the top tier, he has the most to gain, but he must prove that he belongs in the top tier. That being said, I would be shocked if he doesn't do so.

Bill Richardson: He will probably be the one who really goes for it, and he is the one who I look forward to seeing the most.

Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd: Both are in a similar bind and they seem to be staking out similar territory, so not only do they have to stand out from the top tier (hint: each has more Senate experience that Clinton, Obama and Edwards combined), but they must also stand out from each other.

Dennis Kucinich: I supported Dennis in 2004, but I now wonder if he has become too pure for his own good. I expect his "I have never voted for war funding" to be easily countered by Clinton, Obama, Dodd and Biden who can point out that he voted against the bill that would have set a concrete time table when it came up for a vote in the House.

Mike Gravel: I don't agree with a lot of Gravel's stands (look at what has happened in Kalli-for-ni-a with voter initiatives and I am firmly opposed to the unFairTax, not to mention the specious logic behind it) but I think he does have some good ideas, and I think that the evening will be enhanced by his presence.

Posted by: Steve | April 26, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ringling Brothers could do no better. Can they all fit in one of those tiny cars. Ringling CAN do better.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, one woman and 7 men running for president. Dare I say, Snow White and the 7 dwarves? Like Hillary could ever be Snow White, but hey, if she can be Harriet Tubman then the people can believe anything.

Stature Gap-----who will jump high enough to punch Hillary in her pointy snoot?

Posted by: Joe | April 26, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I like CC's statement that Dennis Kucinich will try to bait the upper tier candidates with his proposals. It would be interesting for him to ask the other candidates if they support the idea of impeaching the Vice President.

Posted by: afam 212 | April 26, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hillary will say something on Iraq she will quickly come to regret and waffle on at one of the debates. Maybe this one?

More debate coverage

Posted by: chris | April 26, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I can see that people will wonder what I'm talking about in calling Obama 'compelling' (along with Richardson) after chastising Edwards & Clinton for their obvious inexperience. When you add Obama's legislative experience in Illinois, he has as much legislative experience as Clinton & Edwards _combined_. Sure, he's no Richardon, in the resume department. But he's also done a wee bit more than given credit for - particularly when compared to the other two 'top tier' candidates.

Dems: do yourselves a favor & pitch Johnny E & Hillary overboard. Their services are better suited to roles other than the Presidency.

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Hillary must not be shrillary, Obama must be owlish, Edwards less slick lawyerish.... Richardson is the only one who may surprise having fewer media labels to overcome. The rest, while some of the best, will just be keeping things lively.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 26, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I predict Richardson wows. Hes by far the smartest in the group and his resume is incredibly far beyond anyone in this field.

Just my prediction. We'll see if Im right.

Posted by: George | April 26, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm with proudtoneGOP [sic].

What 'experience' does Sen Clinton have that makes her more suited to the Presidency than any of her opponents? Is being First Lady now a valid resume builder for a run to the Presidency? Give me a break. She has one bullet point on her resume: 6 years and 3 months in the Senate. In other words, 3 months more than Kid Johnny Edwards.

I'm curious to see how Richardson & Obama come off. They're the far more compelling candidates.

Posted by: bsimon | April 26, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

CC says: "Clinton also comes into the debate with two major factors in her favor -- experience and gender."

I agree with 50% of your assessment. Let's
consider what her experience has been.

She had two tasks in her husband's administration: The selection of the nation's first female Attorney General and the design and adoption of a comprehensive program of health care reform.

Her efforts to designate an Attorney General hamstrung the new Administration for months as two nominees, in succession, had to withdraw their names from consideration. Finally, at the eleventh hour, she urged her husband to appoint Florida's Janet Reno, a selection Bill Clinton would come to describe as "my worst mistake."

Her other selections for the Justice Department, the White House staff and the Treasury were her three law partners: Web Hubbell, Vince Foster, and William Kennedy, appointments which culminated in one imprisonment, one suicide, and one forced resignation.

Her other assignment, health care reform, collapsed in such a debacle that it cost her party control of both houses of Congress.

Hillary has done nothing of note in the Senate except to vote for the Iraq War, a position she has since tried to disavow.

She has passed no important legislation, unless you count twenty bills renaming post offices and courthouses and congratulating Alexander Hamilton, Shirley Chisolm, Harriet Tubman, the American Republic, and the Syracuse men's and women's Lacrosse team on their respective accomplishments.

Is this the experience upon which her candidacy is based? Eileen McGann and Dick Morris, April 25, 2007.

Well, let the "conversation" begin!

Posted by: proudtoneGOP | April 26, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

These talking heads crack me up in they keep telling us what each candidate "must do". Hopefully we will make up our own minds as to what we consider important.

Posted by: lylepink | April 26, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

'Any time the Democratic candidates gather, the senator from New York will be the focal point. '

Umm, not for me, CC. Not for a lot of us. Funny you should mention the Keyes/Obama debate. Keyes is an extremist clown, a caricature. He was so outclassed it was hilarious.

I just don't see Dodd. He's... doddering, okay? Biden too. Your assessment of his speaking traits is spot on. Sometimes you just want to wince.

I've never heard Richardson speak... I hope he's good. I like his creds.

Posted by: drindl | April 26, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

My prediction is that Edwards and Obama stand out after tonight. Hillary will really have to bring the thunder to impress since her expectations are so high, and the fact that she is realing slightly from a tough april.
Obama has the same expectations but I think he is still riding high on his fund-raising totals so he will take it easy tonight and show off that he is calm. cool and "presidential" in the face of challenges.
Richardson will do exactly what chris said. He will provide some comic interludes and tout his experience every chance he gets. I think he needs to be careful with this though. Saying "you should vote for me cause I did this and this and this" can come off as bragging. He needs to say something like "I did this when I was governor and this is what I would do as president." But if he gets too funny he will look un-presidential.

Biden, Dodd, Kucinich, and Gravel don't stand a chance and will give good filler for the big guys to catch a breath.

Edwards on the other hand is sitting in a very good position right now. If someone attacks him it will look mean-spirited since we are still so close to his wife's announcement. Also he has the money and name-recognition already so he doesn't need to make a big splash. He can for lack of a better term 're-introduce' himself to the democratic voters. Alot of voters liked Edwards last time around and he has only gotten better IMO. The democratic party faithful have been caught up in Obama and Hillary mania and all the while Edwards has run an exceptional campaign in the states that really matter. I look for him to come off with an A in this one. Not to mention it is in his home state which will mean the crowd will be behind him.

Posted by: Andy R | April 26, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm excited that this is being shown on MSNBC because we don't have a TV. Why doesn't ABC do this for the Oscars. We really wanted to watch the Oscars at home but couldn't this year.
Web accessibility score:
Washington 1, Hollywood 0

Posted by: Anonymous | April 26, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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