6:57. OK, ready to go. Once again, we’ll do this all in one post, with timestamps for each new comment. All times Mountain.
And, please, try not to reload the page more than every couple of minutes. I’d hate to see the server crash again.
6:59. Warm handshake, no body language, no alpha-male peeing in the corner. Pretty civil stuff.
Hey, notepads and pens!
7:01. Is this supposed to be a written debate?
7:03. Now there’s actual talking, but not yet by either candidate. Martini refill time.
7:05. Cheney is just doing his Dad Thing. And that’s a good thing. Sounds a little rushed, though. Remember, drink booze before debating, not coffee.
7:06. “I would recommend exactly the same right course of action. . . we did exactly the right thing.” Still rushed – but on that last part, he was working the clock.
7:08. “You’re still not being straight with the American people.” Now Edwards is spinning Iraq as a loss. Is that smart?
7:08. “We need a fresh start.” Well, he certainly does look fresh.
7:09. Nice comeback by Cheney, but now Edwards is changing the subject to the 9/11 connection. What does that have to do with what Cheney said?
7:10. Know who Edwards reminds me of? Bush on a good debate night. Repeat your points, stay unruffled, sound folksy.
7:11. I’m sorry, but what attention was diverted from Afghanistan. Those who think so, need to study logistics, and why it’s almost impossible to increase our presence in Afghanistan.
7:12. “The senator is wrong. There is a clear connection between Iraq and terror.” But will that line play? It’s a good soundbite.
“Global test” time, and Cheney is tying it in to Kerry’s public record. FINALLY, someone is doing it. “A little tough talk in the middle of a campaign…” Classic.
7:14. Cheney makes Afghanistan sound pretty good. And nailed Edwards for getting it wrong 2.5 years ago. Can’t wait for the comeback.
7:15. “Someone did get it wrong, but it wasn’t Kerry or Edwards.” Back to the distraction game, and another change of topic off the current question. Yawn.
7:18. Ah – here’s where Bush & Cheney are weak, and Kerry is right to hammer them on Iran. But is the solution really to give that country uranium?
7:19. The “global test” means not lying and being credible. Isn’t that an AMERICAN test? So, we still don’t know what a global test is.
7:20. Edwards brough up the 90% canard. Hope Cheney bites him.
7:22. “You’re facts are wrong, Senator.” The rest is brilliant, and Edwards looks a little lost. Edwards’ reply? To say, “Kerry is strong!”
7:24. “His judgement is flawed.” And still talking about Kerry’s senate record. Which might be the first time anyone has done so since before the DNC last summer.
7:26 “If they can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can they stand up to al Qaeda?”
7:26. Hell, Edwards can barely stand up to a bald guy with a bad heart. “On the 87 billion, it was clear that they had no plan to win the peace.” Which means soldiers should go unequipped?
7:29. The server is struggling again. Go easy on the page reloads, please.
7:31. Edwards is going to keep harping on the 90% and 200 billion figures, and he sounds angrier each time he does it.
7:32. Cheney is ANGRY that Edwards is “demeaning” the sacrifices of Iraqi soldiers. Well, so am I.
7:35 OK, this is moving too fast for Martini Boy here to type something for each exchange. So I offer my impression so far. Edwards has two facts (both wrong) and lots of talking points. Cheney seems to actually be making a case.
But there’s almost an hour to go.
7:37. Web Goddess Stacy Tabb tells me Hosting Matters is getting a new server for me. Maybe it’s time I starting takings ads, after all. NAH!
7:39. Frankly, Cheney sounds like he’s reaching defending old positions on Iran. Just once, I’d like to hear somebody say, “We were wrong, but woke up on 9/11. The other guy didn’t.”
7:40. “There are 60 countries with members of al Qaeda, and how many of them are we going to invade.” How about, John, “Two down, 58 to go”?
7:41. Halliburton is evil!
7:42. No, not really.
7:42. Halliburton is still evil!
7:43. Omygod – a question about Israel. of course, it was a softball chucked lightly at Edwards, but still. . .
7:44. I like what Edwards has to say about Israel’s right to self-defense. And his support for the Gaza pullout is refreshing. And his admission that there is no “partner for peace” on the PA side is shockingly honest. Which ties into “Saudi Arabia” how?
7:45. “Senator Gone.”
Better. “I’m president of the Senate. . . yet the first time I ever met you was on this stage tonight.”
Dick is mean.
7:46. “That was a complete distortion of my record,” says Edwards. Followed by a bunch of facts proving Cheney wrong. Just kidding. Instead, he’s attacking Cheney’s old votes.
7:47. Edwards just pulled a mug out from under the table! What’s in that mug??? Check Drudge later for details!
7:49. Now we’re talking domestic stuff. Yawn. Both parties leave me cold on that. Time to make another martini. back in a minute.
7:51. Lordy, but this part is boring. Two guys in a contest to see who can buy the most votes with programs, or bribe votes by promising jobs government can’t create.
7:54. OK, I there’s just not much to say here, so time for another general observation – this one about jobs.
We’re at war. We’re taking losses – starting with 3,000 lives and the best part of Manhattan. It’s a war broad enough that we have to fight globally. But it’s narrow enough not to require the sort of general mobilization which would create jobs in wartime. I might have to turn this one into an essay.
7:58. Oh, a good one! Asking Cheney about same-sex marriage.
You know I’m a supporter of gay marriage – big time. Cheney is going to have to dance around this one, and badly. That’s what he’s doing. Claiming an amendment is needed to protect states rights, when the amendment would FORBID states from doing their own thing, so to speak, is utter horsecrap. However, it’s probably a winner. For maybe another five-ten years.
8:00. OK, a rich trial lawyer who favors “work” is unlaughably funny.
8:01. I liked what Kerry said on gay marriage. Too drunk to type it out, however.
UPDATE: Er, EDWARDS, not Kerry.
8:02. Whoa. No wonder the server crashed. Not including the ten minutes or so it was down, it had to shell out almost 10,000 pageviews last hour.
8:03. That was classy. Cheney simply thanked Edwards for his kind words about his family and daughter, and left it at that. Lets you know where Cheney REALLY stands on the FMA.
8:05. Malpractice. Tort reform. Doctors forced out of business. Yawn. But not “yawn” because it’s a boring issue. “Yawn” because I don’t know that there’s a politically doable and constitutional fix.
8:07. No time to find a link, but there were warnings that attacking Edwards n tort reform would be dangerous. I don’t think Cheney was at all trapped, but Edwards was clearly on his own turf and even more clearly sympathetic on the issue.
8:08. “Bored now. May I play with the puppy?”
8:09. Sorry about that last entry. Once again, Vampire Willow somehow took over the blog.
8:10. “I’ve paid for, uh, all the taxes that, uh. . . Halliburton is evil!” Hey, at least I got the first half of Edwards’s statement correct.
8:11. Cheney got a softball on the AIDS pandemic. He gets two minutes to sound compassionate, and boast of Bush’s big international AIDS spending. That’s one sweet pitch — for the hitter.
8:13. And Edwards is repsondling nicely, even tying in Darfur.
8:16. “What qualifies” John Edwards “to be a ‘heartbeat away’?” Another softball, but he flubbed it by mentioning his Intelligence Committee membership. Cheney will dig him again on his no-show-manship. Mark my words.
8:18. Cheney is funny. And mean. And I’m somewhat drunk. Might’ve been wrong about the “dig” predicted in the previous entry. Missed opportunity, if you ask me.
8:19. Smart. By my count, Edwards has mentioned last week’s debate three times. Reminds people that Kerry won that one, without explicitly saying so.
8:21. “There are probably more similarities than differences between myself” and Edwards. Nobody, but nobody, combines mean and sweet like Dick Cheney.
8:24. Edwards broke the no-Kerry rule twice in one response. Oops. Also, he claims his man is “offensive” in going after terrorists. Except, of course, for ones like Abu Nidal, who his out in Baghdad. Iraq, he keeps claiming, should never have been invaded — thus making a great safehouse for all those terrorist he wants to go after so offensively.
8:26. OK, we’re just on the same back and forth about Kerry’s backs and forths on Iraq. And, blessedly, it’s almost over.
8:29. Closing comments time, more or less. I’m going to smoke one of my small vanilla cigars, drink a small barrel of espresso, and get back with final thoughts – plus the usual latenight blogging.