South Carolina Democratic Debate Live Blog Part Two
Hillary: I'm looking to bring our troops home. Here's why.
Edwards: We'd all end the war. The question is how aggressively. He's said all combat troops will leave and no permanent military installations.
Obama says he wants to be careful about how we get out. How do we create stable Iraqi government without permanent military installations? (Will he have an answer? No. He veers off to what we could buy at home with the money. )
Finally, a commercial break after 1 hour and ten minutes. Post-commercial updates below:
We're on race now.
Asked about Rangel's criticism of him. Obama answers and then presumes to speak for Hillary. Gets called on it, and says Edwards should do what's best for white males.
Malveaux: to Edwards. On issue of equality and poverty, no one has been more agressive than he is. He is the most gracious tonight and I hope he gets a lot of votes for it.
[Thought insert: Obama seems angry in his responses and catty to me. Every time I hear Edwards and the openness in his voice, it strikes me. Hillary has been a little defensive, but she's been put in that posture since early this morning when Obama began his attacks on GMA and brought them into the debate. Hillary, as usual, has the most specific policies and she seems to have equal support in the audience. Obama just seems junior -- in the sense of being green -- to her and Edwards. ]
Obama moves back to unity and bringing people together (did he exhaust his policy plans?) He speaks best when he speaks in platitudes and generalities. The audience really responds favorably.
Question: To Obama: Quotes Toni Morrisson says Bill Clinton was blacker than any Black American. Asks, Was Bill Clinton our first Black President. He stumbles on the answer. He had an enormous affinity with the AA community. Rambles and then says people can change. Give Bill Clinton credit, he's stumbling on his words again, but won't answer the question. Says he needs more info before he can judge whether "he was in fact a brother." Audience loves it. Hillary laughs and says "that can be arranged." Then she gives a serious answer. What better way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King than to look at this stage tonight.
Update [2008-1-21 21:37:0 by Big Tent Democrat]: The sitdown deflated this debate.
All the candidates are fine on the challenges ahead on race and gender. Edwards takes pride in the South's changes.
I do not have much more to add substantively but I do want to say that, imo, I know this was considered a rough debate, but we NEEDED a tough debate. These are pols fighting to be the President of the US.
These are three good people with good ideas for the country. But to be President you need to prepared for this.
They can all dust themselves off, shake hands and keep fighting. And we ALL can do that after the nominee is chosen from amongst these three candidates.
Update (TL): Obama brings up inequality in sentences between blacks and whites. He will have a civil rights division working with law enforcement to enforce laws equally.
Hillary says we have to address all these issues. There's inequality in pay between white women and women of color. She says we have all experienced the inequality of gender and race. You don't hear Republicans talking about this, only us.
She blasts "the disgrace of a criminal justice system" that imprisons so many more AA's than whites.
Malveaux asks Hillary:Is Bill overshadowing her campaign?
The most important decision is who will be the best president on day one and who can best withstand the Republicans. We need to keep our focus on whatís at stake, what future holds, what each of us will bring. Itís not about us, itís about people of SC, America. My voice is their voice.
Obama: Goes here and there on Bill. Edwards: Says McCain will be the Republican nominee and he can beat him. Not because of race or gender -- after all, he's a white male. It has to do with rural towns and the rural south. He can compete everywhere against John McCain.
Wow. Obama now says he's a proud Christian and Democrats haven't done a good job of reaching out to evangelicals. Brings Jesus into it. He wants to go after the evangelical vote? Hillary says if Edwards is right and McCain is the nominee, the discussion will turn to national security. She is the best to take on McCain or any Republican on those issues. If it's the classic attack, she's been there.
Edwards makes his first mistake in the debate. He tries to take Hillary on about lobbyists and asks her to pledge she won't hire any. She says that's not the right question...he has hired employees of lobbyists, wives of lobbyists, children of lobbyists, etc. Good zinger. She says she's for public financing.
Obama responds. He disagrees she is the most prepared on national security. He says "we've got to overcome the politics of fear. We have to keep the American people safe." Quotes JFK. Says that's how we debate Republicans.
Final question for all three: If Dr. King were alive today, why should he support you?
He believes in fighting for the poor and fighting poverty. It's the right thing to do. Obama: King wouldn't endorse any of us. He'd hold us accountable. I believe change happens from the bottom up. Talks about women organizing and forcing changes. Transparency and accountability. That's why I want to be President.
Clinton: Agrees change comes from efforts of American people. Talks about how King lobbied politicians. Meeting of morality and politics. Leaders responded. American people shouldn't have to work so hard. She will do what she can to extend his legacy.
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