Debate indigestion

Wednesday December 05, 2007 @ 12:01 PM (UTC)

I caught the tail-end of the Iowa Public Radio/NPR Democratic debate yesterday on (you guessed it) the radio. The final question was from an Iowan Democrat

What do you think the toughest choice you have left to make is? Is it gay marriage, immigration, the war in Iraq? What haven’t you made up your mind on yet? And why haven’t you?

Yawn, right? General question.

No. In fact, it’s a great question, because it actually processes as ‘how much of a sleaze are you’—a true sleaze cannot bear to answer it honestly. Clinton said there were lots of things, but turned it into “And you know, I have some very clear ideas about it, but I’m not going to sit here and say that I have the answers.” swoon She’s humble, yet visionary! (That was sarcasm, by the by.)

Mike Gravel went somewhere weird with it: “I don’t have the answer – I don’t have the answer to be able to persuade the American people that they are the solution, not their leaders. I wish I had the answer to convince them of that.” I don’t know enough about him to know if that’s just something he likes to bring every topic back to, or genuine, or what. It’s a little weird, but possibly refreshing, in an election to select, you know, leaders.

Obama: “The issue of climate change.” He expanded, but I think we can all agree that’s a pretty daunting problem.

Dodd said convincing the country of the importance of education. Gold star for Dodd. Ra ra education!

Biden had to lead with self-aggrandizement and finish with big hard words. “I know exactly what I’d do in those foreign policy issues. But quite frankly, I think that the toughest choice for me, the thing I’m most unsure about, is how you rationalize competition and trade policy. I think that’s the single most difficult challenge that I will have as president.” I’m sure the American people have a clear idea of what you’re worried about now. Rationalize? So you know what you’d do, but you don’t know how to make it make sense? Or you just like being vague?

Edwards was the supersleaze on this one. He outsleazed Clinton:

INSKEEP: Senator Edwards?

SEN. EDWARDS: Who I would choose as my vice president and whether – (laughter) – whether to consider any of these people sitting at the table with me.

INSKEEP: Anybody want to put in a resume or anything at this time? No one seems to be very eager to grab that job at this time.

SEN. EDWARDS: They will, they will.

INSKEEP: But is there seriously – is there seriously something that you’re wrestling with?

SEN. EDWARDS: I think we have an enormous struggle to try to restore the power in the country and the democracy back to the American people and take it away from big corporate interests, et cetera, who’ve taken over the democracy.

INSKEEP: And you’re not sure -

SEN. EDWARDS: I think there are many ways to do that, and I think the starting place is to galvanize America to do it. But I think it is central to what we need to do for America.

A citizen asked you a question, asshat. Pretend you care.

But wait! There’s competition! A man who takes the question “what aren’t you sure about” as a prompt to talk about how completely awesome and hardcore he is:

INSKEEP: Congressman Kucinich.

REP. KUCINICH: I wrestle with the question as to whether or not the president and the vice president should be held liable for crimes, for taking us into a war based on lies.

I mean, I’m ready to be president. I’ve been right all along on Iraq, on Iran, on not-for-profit health care and giving our children a chance for an education from age 3 all the way through to a degree -

INSKEEP: Oh, come on. You know what you want to do on that. You want to impeach people -

REP. KUCINICH: I know. Listen, I’m ready to be president. I am ready to be president. And the standards – I’m the only one here who has said that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney ought to be impeached for lying to the American people, not only to take us into war against Iraq, but now this new development with the N- with the National Intelligence Estimate.

Tell us what our standards should be for the Oval Office. Tell us what standards – I’m asking my colleagues here – that you would expect to be obtained by anybody who would be president. Can you lie about a war? Is that OK?

Thanks, Democratic candidates. Because of you, I reached work already full of misanthropy and seething disgust. Just the way to start a day of customer service.


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