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Liveblogging the Democratic Debate in Nevada

9:04 PM: What the hell, it's between this and American Idol tryouts. NBC News projects Romney wins Michigan. "Dearborn Awakening" no help to John McCain, evidently. 9:06 PM: Did Hillary just say that MLK died so she could run for … Read More

By / January 15, 2008

9:04 PM: What the hell, it's between this and American Idol tryouts. NBC News projects Romney wins Michigan. "Dearborn Awakening" no help to John McCain, evidently.

9:06 PM: Did Hillary just say that MLK died so she could run for president?

9:14 PM: I want to say that Obama is being gallant to answer that race had no part in his New Hampshire loss, but really, how can he presume to know that?

9:16 PM: Hillary's evasiveness on the BET founder Robert L. Johnson's winking allusion to Obama's wayward youth is later invalidated by her admission that Johnson's statements were out of bounds. What he said: "I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doing but he said it in his book." He "clarified" that he was talking about Obama's days as a "community organizer." Uh-huh. And the most memorable scene in Basic Instinct was the opening credits.

9:19 PM: Cute question to Edwards about his insecurities as a white male running for president.

9:23 PM: What'd that heckler say? And why does John Edwards think it's impressive to point out that monied interests damage domestic legislation?

9:24 PM: Hillary said it was "pathetic" for Bush to beg the Saudis to reduce the price of oil. Good point. No one would want to see Hillary beg.

9:25 PM: Obama's greatest weakness: he'd lose the briefcase with the launch codes.

9:29 PM: Edwards's greatest weakness: he cares so damned hard. Lucky that being president would keep him away from the down-at-heel hoi polloi. That upper lip ain't going to get stiff by itself.

9:30 PM: Hillary mentions cronyism without any visible cracks in her Lancombe foundation. What a pro.

9:34 PM: Brian Williams just asked Obama about being a pledge-thwarting Muslim. Is John Edwards' Freemasonry up next? Where's Ron Paul when you need him?

9:37 PM: I'm watching this on Windows Media Player. What commercials are they running? I ask because I'd like to learn something about this country and the people who run it.

9:39 PM: True confession: American Idol is playing in the background. A guy in a Princess Leia bikini just showed up. So far the most winning executive personality this evening.

9:40 PM: Citibank agonistes. Subprime mortgages are the new missile gap. Snore.

9:44 PM: The curious thing about Edwards is that he speaks in timeless homilies. Children, parents, responsibility, growth. If the whole White House gambit doesn't pan out, he'd make a fine Royal Proconsular Authority of Tobacco Farming at Jamestown.

9:49 PM: Hillary tries to take credit for the failure of a bankruptcy bill she voted for. Bill claps his trotters backstage.

9:54 PM: OK, I learned something. Warren Buffett still pays taxes.

9:58 PM: Hillary gives the most technical and comprehensive answer to our economic woes. I still can't pay my Capital One bill. Also, she gibbers too long, says Brian Williams.

10:00 PM: Edwards's goofy-toothed smugness challenges Obama on insurance executives giving to his campaign. Obama has that about-to-take-you-school look on his face. It delivers.

10:03 PM: Hillary in deep bullshit mode now. Question: How can Bush "bind the hands" of the next president by bypassing Congress in fashioning a deal with the Iraqi government to maintain U.S. troop presence until whenever. If this is peremptory executive whim, then the next executive can de-whim it, he can't he?

10:04 PM: Obama goes along with her.

10:05 PM: All troops out by the end of the year, says Clinton. Excuse me?

10:06 PM: Russert calls them on this. Obama clarifies his position: "end the war as we understand it." All three most disingenuous and delusional on this point. Now they're outjockeying one another to promise to do what they cannot feasibly do, nor what the military commanders say is necessary for maintaining basic security. (See this WaPo article on the window the surge has afforded for political reconciliation, which is now proceeding at a sluggish–as opposed to glacial–pace given the new de-Baathification law passed by the Iraqi government.)

Edwards wants "quick reaction force" in Kuwait. A garrison there somehow different from the "occupation" in Iraq.

10:19 PM: Now comes the liberal chest-pounding about federal funding for colleges that deny ROTC programs. All in favor.

10:22 PM: Look, any place called Yucca deserves toxic avenging. Why no one bringing up how we're losing the mutant warrior race to the Russkis?

10:30 PM: Enough with the fission already.

10:34 PM: English as a national language. Hillary in favor because "it will likely make it harder for Senator Obama's paymasters in Al Qaeda to coordinate themselves."

10:35 PM: Am I the only one creeped out by Hillary's continual recourse to "black-brown" as an identity politics category?

10:44 PM: Assault rifles, Second Amendment. As Edmund Wilson wrote in his diary shortly before he died and just after seeing The Godfather and The French Connection: "Bang bang."

10:49 PM: John Dickerson at Slate: "Romney ran in Michigan the way many people thought he should have from the start: as a man from the business world who could fix their problems. He also pandered robustly. Romney told Michiganders he would protect them from the business cycle and save their jobs." The Managerial Revolution begins and ends here, methinks.

10:59 PM: My live feed crapped out on me. Here's what happened anyway: John Edwards mentioned Tom Maller, a one-legged longshoreman he had the pleasure of meeting yesterday. Unfortunately, Tom doubled down on eleven two weeks ago, in a rare moment of excitement at New York New York, and frittered away his and his wife Geraldine's nest egg. This is why we need to fix social security before our children suffer. Hillary said Osama bin Laden is hoping that a President Obama misplaces the executive memo to bomb Waziristan. Meanwhile, the Senator Obamam slowly smoked a cigarette on camera and proceeded to explain to Tim Russert that he was against ingesting cloned animal meat long before any of his other esteemed colleagues were. The end.

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