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Friday, October 10, 2003

Debate Review
I missed last night's Democratic debate, but I'm digging through the transcript now. The official spin seems to be that the other eight candidates ganged up on Clark, especially over his supposed statement that he would have voted for the Iraq war resolution last year. Clark answered this, as best as I can read it, by saying he was asked a hypothetical question: "Would you have voted for a resolution asking Bush to go to the UN?" Here's Clark's line from the debate:

CLARK: I had a discussion with a newspaper reporter that -- when I said what I was trying to say, I took an answer. The answer is very clear. The answer is, I would have voted for a resolution that took the problem to the United Nations. I would not have voted for a resolution that would have taken us to war. It's that simple.

I'll try to track that down. Surely he deserves a pass on this one if his supposed support was for a different hypothetical resolution than the one that actually passed in Congress.

Meanwhile, Kerry seems to be trying to run against Democrats who didn't take a strong stance against Bush. Like himself, for instance:

I think there has been a problem in the last election certainly. And part of it was not of the making of the party. It was the cleverness of the Republican administration and Karl Rove in exploiting national security. They brought the Iraq issue in September for a purpose. Andrew Card said you don't introduce a new product in August. And they introduced their product, and they wiped other choices off the stage. But that's one of the reasons why it's so important to have a nominee of our party who will have the ability to stand toe to toe with them.

Kerry is truly despicable. Those choices were wiped off the stage because wimpy Democrats like Kerry and Tom Daschle refused to take a stand against Bush's new product. I'm not a Dean fan, but if it comes down to Dean versus Kerry, the doctor will definitely be in with me.

Okay, Edwards is losing me, too. I"ve really liked him in the other debates, but here's his response to criticism from Kucinich and Dean of those, including Edwards, who voted for the war:

I disagree so strongly with what he just said. I have stood up to this president over and over and over, including back in 2001 when some on this stage had hope for President Bush. I did not have hope for President Bush.

How did you vote on the war, Senator? The Patriot Act? Get out of here.

Well, I finished reading the transcript. It seems as though Clark, Kerry and Lieberman got the most time to talk, while Kucinich, Sharpton and Gephardt got the least. CNN seems to have done a much worse job of balancing the candidates' time than did previous debate hosts. The debate didn't seem to be nearly as delightful a Bush-bash as the one last month.