Eat The Press

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Thanks to an internet malfunction and the fact everyone in our neighborhood has taken the whole internet-identity-theft thing to heart and pass-coded their signals (we're looking at you, ihateverizon) our grand plans to live-blog the Democratic debate on Thursday went sadly unrealized. Now that it's Sunday, however, and the dust has settled, we thought it would be interesting to see what, if anything, about the MSNBC -hosted extended Miss America question period debate had stuck in our heads.

  • A great starting line-up. We know, we know, Joe Biden — it's not a game show or a football game but still, clearly a strong field.

  • Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. Dare we say, presidential? Confident, comfortable, smiling, yet firm. This may be the most natural she's looked in a long time (easily better at fifty-nine than thirty). It was downright reassuring. Hillary should be like this more often, and stop trying to be nice.

  • If this were a blind taste test we think Dennis Kucinich would get a lot more votes. Nice tie. And yes - presidential.

  • Senator Gravel. Wow. He's a live wire. He's "mad as hell." and not going to take it. Attention must be paid! Also, he sounds a little like Grandpa Simpson. We happen to think he should have a standing invitation to future debates. (Since we somehow doubt this will be the case, more Gravel to enjoy after the jump.*)

  • Christopher Dodd looked like he was straight out of central casting circa 1955. Alas, nothing else springs to mind.

  • Joe Biden: We have a soft spot for Joe Biden. The beauty of things left unsaid.

  • Barack. Hmm. We like to look and listen but we can't remember a word he said, to be honest.

  • John Edwards: Edwards is also easy to look at, but beside Obama it's painfully obvious that he is no longer the charming, magical, anything-can-happen candidate that he was in 2004. Obama has stolen his gig. (But did he steal his moral leader? You could drive a campaign bus through that ten seconds of dead air.)

  • Bill Richardson: On paper we think he could be a dark horse candidate. In person, that lighting wasn't doing him any favors and his hand gestures were starting to make him look like a flight attendant giving seatbelt instructions.

  • Standing together, Obama and Hillary look like a great team. A really, really, great team. If we were Republicans watching this we would worry. A LOT.

  • Brian Williams mentioned that many of the questions were selected from thousands of submissions. Is that you, Vinny?

*Enjoy him while you have him. More Senator Gravel from Thursday's debate. (For those of you who'd like some visual accompaniment, Radar has a highlights reel.)

MODERATOR: Senator Gravel, at a forum earlier this year -- I want to get this right -- you said it doesn't matter whether you are elected president or not, so then, why are you here tonight? Shouldn't debates be for candidates who are in the race to win the race?

GRAVEL: You're right. I made that statement. But that's before I had a chance to stand with them a couple or three times.
It's like going into the Senate. You know, the first time you get there, you're all excited, "My God, how did I ever get here?"
Then, about six months later, you say, "How the hell did the rest of them get here?"
(LAUGHTER)
And I got to tell you, after standing up with them, some of these people frighten me -- they frighten me. When you have mainline candidates that turn around and say that there's nothing off the table with respect to Iran, that's code for using nukes, nuclear devices.
I got to tell you, I'm president of the United States, there will be no preemptive wars with nuclear devices. To my mind, it's immoral, and it's been immoral for the last 50 years as part of American foreign policy.

MODERATOR: Let's use a little moderator discretion here. Senator Gravel, that's a weighty charge.
Who on this stage exactly tonight worries you so much?

GRAVEL: Well, I would say the top tier ones. The top tier ones. They've made statements.
Oh, Joe, I'll include you, too. You have a certain arrogance. You want to -- you want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country.
I got to tell you, we should just plain get out -- just plain get out.

"Oh, Joe, I'll include you, too" - classic.

— with ETP Staff

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