The first of six officially sanctioned Democratic debates will be held tonight with CNN and Youtube as co-sponsors. Tonight’s debate will be availble in its entirety on this space as soon as Youtube makes it available and I can put it up.
The pundit class has been chattering actively that its put up or shut up time for Barack Obama. Senator Clinton continues to solidify her poll numbers even as Obama outraises her. She, however, has plenty of cash to end his Presidential aspirations and enough street cred with African American women to prevent him from solidifying and expanding his base with black folks. Mama is perfectly positioned to take her place as the head of the Clintonista’s in this era of dynastic politics.
It would take a pretty big applause line and counterattack on Obama’s part, and a weak comeback on Hillary’s, to make this debate seem more than routine. I’m not looking for any surprises. Debate time commences in less than one hour. Stay tuned here for a re-cap.
UPDATE: the debate has been lively and intersting. The questions sent in via Youtube have been excellent. From Reparations to Iraq, from Same-Sex marriage to Darfur, they have truly been great. Gravel drew some blood from Obama pointedly revealing the fact that despite Obama’s good government spiel, he has the CEO of foreign owned UBS bank bundling contributions for him.
Obama also dodged the reparations question deftly as did Edwards-Kucinich came out for it strongly. Edwards stumbled on the same-sex marriage question by a North Carolina minister and they had the minister in the audience do a follow up and said that he didn’t really answer.
Senator Gravel’s point about following the money in this race is important and it says more about the state of our democracy than we think. In 2008, a candidate willing to raise money under federal campaign finance guidelines to receive matching funds cannot win the Presidency. The state of our Union is rotting from the inside out and an honest candidate willing to rise or fall by trusting the people cannot be elected.