Live Blogging the Yearly Kos Presidential Forum

Final Update: The debate was a big coup for Yearly Kos and the blogosphere. It had buzz and electricity and while the questions were not great and Matt Bai was an odd choice for moderator, it was well worth the time and effort to attend. There was a sense of comraderie and unity in the hall -- an acknowledgment that we are all in this together and working for the same thing, to bring an end to the abuses of the Bush Administration -- that transcended individual candidate preferences.


Combining Big Tent's thread and mine. Big Tent said:

Gina Cooper, YKOs Director introduces Matt Bai of the NYTimes who apparently is moderating the forum. Extremely strange to me that a blogger conference has a NYTimes reporter moderating the event. But whatever.

Joan McCarter, Daily Kos Contributing Editor, and good friend of Talk Left will be the lead questioner apparently. Dr. Jeff Feldman, a friend of mine, will be fielding questions from the audience. It is being live streamed here.

(TalkLeft live blogging from the debate hall below)

McJoan: To Bill Richardson: He has said his model Supreme Court Justice would be Justice White. Would he reconsider?

"I screwed up on that." His court would have diversity and legal scholars. He would ask, "Do you believe Roe v. Wade is settled civil rights and privacy law? If yes, he might attend them.

Update: (Big Tent, please chime in) Obama is up now. He is against Bush's tax cuts. Our biggest fiscal problem is Medicare and Medicaid. We are spending too much on the war.


John Edwards: Deficit question.hanges needed in this country. This room is filled with people who are about change. Who is the candidate for change? He's not for compromise. Drug comanies and oil companies are not going to voluntarily give away their power. Who is the best candidate for change? It's me. Huge chhers and postitive response.

Richardson: That's a fine speech but Governors have to balance budget. Let's take the war money and spend it on our people. Favors a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. Boos.

Chris Dodd (I missed it, not on purpose.) (I'm just going to blog on the questions relevant to TalkLeft and reactions and out of the ordinary exchanges.)

Obama and Edwards have a lot of support in this room. It's great to see Dennis Kucinich up there. Every time he speaks I hope the other candidates pick up on some of his ideas. I give him a lot of credit for sticking in this race knowing he can't win. If the other candidates were smart, they'd adopt some of them.

Edwards: What will he do to restore balance among three branches of Government.

He's the one to protect our individual rights and liberties. No secret spying, he'll close Gitmo on Day one...

Edwards on Fire: No money from lobbyists. The place goes totally wild, standing, screaming and cheering. He was drowned out but I think he was criticizing PAC money.

Gravell: He seems so much older here than he does on the other debates. So grandfatherly.

End of domestic session: Now onto Iraq.

Note: McJoan looks beautiful. She's a terrific host. She just flubbed and referred to Bush as President Clinton, lots of blushing.

Question to Hillary: Reminds us that she and two on the stage voted against reauthorization funding. We have to keep the pressure on. If Bush doesn't get us out, I will. She knew Bush wsa not getting making plans to get out of Iraq. They don't want to move the troops out. We need more pressure on Iraqi government. We need more intense diplomatic efforts.

Bill Richardson: I have a one point plan for Iraq. Get out now. Leave no residual forces. Maybe leave a little equipment. Congress needs to deauthorize this war. We can withdraw in 6 months.

Gravell scores with calling for canceling the August recess. Also says bring the troops home now.

Obama: we need to hunt down those who perpetrated 9/11. "By the way they weren't in Iraq." Options now are clear. End our obligations to Iraq and focus on those who killed 3,000 Americans. Al Qaeda is stronger than it was in 2001. Osama is still at large. Shut down Gitmo.

Edwards: America is not safer. President has to find these people where they are.

Question to Hillary about terrorism and anti-American sentiment. She responds, there's a lot of anti-Bush feeling in the world. It's more anti-Bush than it is anti-American.

We are safer because we've strengthened our first responder system but not safe enough. It's a global war against terrorists, not terror. Military force should be the last resort not the first resort.

I hate to admit it, but I'm losing interest. The questions are too long, not pointed and unfocused. There's no attempt to have the candidates distinguish them from each other. Too many platitudes.

New topic: Question from John Pontificator: Will you hire an official White House blogger. Of course, they all raise their hand. Edwards chimes in and says his will be named Elizabeth. Gravell says the President should do it himself.

Update: Hillary explains why she takes PAC money. Some PACs represent real people. No booing, not too many cheers. She says it doesn't influence her votes. Obama disagrees with the idea that PAC money doesn't influence candidates.

Dodd, Hillary and Obama all agree public financing of campaigns is important. Dodd and Obama get big cheers.

It's over. If you missed it, go on over to YKos and watch.

Update: Final thoughts: Edwards and Obama got the most cheers. The crowd also seemed to like Chris Dodd alot. Hillary more than held her own in the debate and was treated with respect. No small feat when you consider many in the audience prefer another candidate.

I'm really glad Joe Biden stayed away. He wasn't missed, at least by me.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Honest reaction (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:38:41 PM EST
    I am not loving the questions.

    Particularly the questions offered by Jeff.

    They are softballs across the plate.

    Not loving this event.

    I agree (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:01:00 PM EST
    the questions are dreary and unimaginative and it's the stuffiest debate yet. I liked the you tube debate better (Sorry Big Tent, I know you hated it.)

    CSPAN (none / 0) (#34)
    by RedHead on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 03:48:16 PM EST
    CSPAN says they're cover the event (source), but they are not listing anything - I mean anything - on the online schedule.  Check CSPAN I's broadcast, as the list and update their schedule on the qtr hour.

    Your review of the questions asked is valid, but did you submit any questions?  After all, you know two of the individuals asking questions.  Sounds like they would have been interested in your thoughts.  I haven't looked, but did you post a diary, here or elsewhere, on the subject; for example, "What I would ask the candidates at Yearlykos" ??


    No liking all the cheering much either (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:39:14 PM EST
    Cuts into the time for questions.

    Obama makes a jab at HIllary, Edwards and Dodd (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:28:10 PM EST
    ". . . war we should not have authorized"

    Edwards (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:29:58 PM EST
    Change change change, need to fight etc.

    Richardson attacks Edwards's rhetoric (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:30:50 PM EST
    advocates line item veto and gets booed. . .

    Richardson (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:30:53 PM EST
    Executive experience, I have balanced 5 budgets.

    Dodd (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:33:45 PM EST
    on media consolidation.

    Investigate Murdoch's purchase of WSJ.

    Standing up to RW media, O'Reilly.

    Dodd has gotten ore question in this debate than he has in all the previous debates combined . . .

    just kidding, seems that way.

    You're just showing your bias! ;) (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:34:58 PM EST
    Seriously, I think the candidates are pretty good today.

    Kucinich tries to undercut Edwards and others (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:36:54 PM EST
    over single payer healthcare.

    My stream is dead (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:40:18 PM EST
    oh well

    The FPers at dkos screwed up (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:43:24 PM EST
    They deleted darksyde's post kiling the feed.



    You should be able to (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:44:43 PM EST
    get it here. I think we just missed mcjoan asking YOUR question.

    USstream (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:46:33 PM EST
    doesn't have the capacity necessary to handle the traffic.

    Sorry, that is pathetic, a blogger forum where you do not have the capacity to handle the Internet audience?



    They show 2400 connections (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:47:46 PM EST
    I think I heard the end of Hillary rejecting the defunding premise.

    Rejecting ther defunding promise? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:48:53 PM EST
    What are you talking about?

    I'm pretty sure mcjoan asked about (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:51:05 PM EST
    not funding, and Hillary went off about 60 votes. Hard to tell because of the icky connection.

    Maybe they'll have a video later (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:53:33 PM EST
    This is extremely disappointing as an event I must say.

    That's her standard answer (none / 0) (#35)
    by RedHead on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 04:04:22 PM EST

    "Believe me, I understand the frustration and the outrage ... You have to have 60 votes to cap troops, to limit funding to do anything. If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will." February 5, 2007.

    She was asked about PAC money, but did anyone ask about the fundraiser Rupert Murdoch threw for her, last year?  (Source)

    I can only imagine the Clinton campaign's reaction if the situation was in reverse.


    Connection is fine and fast (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:02:15 PM EST
    in the room, mine hasn't gone out once.

    It's gone out (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:03:04 PM EST
    everywhere else.

    The dkos commenters are livid.


    It's fine at MyDD (none / 0) (#26)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:06:05 PM EST
    I'm still hearing it (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:06:14 PM EST
    Try this.

    Maybe it will be youTubed (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:48:19 PM EST
    Certainly this is a blogging event that apparently can only be appreciated live and in person.

    Rather embarrassing if you ask me.

    I had hoped that c-span (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:49:26 PM EST
    would carry it live.

    Sure (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:52:40 PM EST
    but they did not. This is a BLOGGER Conference.

    How about making sure it is accessible online?

    And Matt Bai moderating is simply wrong.

    I am giving this a thumbs down, with all due respect to my friends.


    I propose that moderators be given gavels (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    more for the candidates than the applause. . .

    I can;t see or hear it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:00:13 PM EST
    so I have no idea.

    I'll watch it later.

    Oh well, next time they hopefully will figure it out.

    Going out now.


    oh, :'( (none / 0) (#28)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:06:47 PM EST
    [12:06pm]  * Connecting to irc://chat1.ustream.tv:6667
    [12:06pm]  * Error: All connections in use
    [12:06pm] :'(

    Edwards says (none / 0) (#29)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:18:21 PM EST
    Edwards announces Americans know the system is rigged

    A few observations... (none / 0) (#30)
    by joejoejoe on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:20:50 PM EST
    1. the cheering takes time from the candidates
    2. it's too chatty and lacking any pointed follow ups for my taste
    3. the tech is sketchy - my feed was so frustrating I stopped trying to follow it, why no lower bandwith audio feed?

    I'll read the transcript later but I'm not optimistic that I'll learn anything new.

    nice use of streaming video coupled with .swf chat (none / 0) (#31)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:25:40 PM EST
    I had hoped to connect with mIRC so as to save the entire log as a text file. I guess others will make that avilable, later.

    their .swf chat worked (none / 0) (#32)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:39:26 PM EST
    I was able to type:
    /nick My_Nick_I_Chose
    and I sent my comment under my chosen nick

    brilliant proof-of-concept (none / 0) (#33)
    by Sumner on Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    yet I am reminded of how the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Webcast was overwhelmed with 1.5 million connections in 1999.

    They simply failed to comprehend the interest.