2008Central.net's Live Blog of PBS Democratic Presidential Primary Forum (6/29/07)

2008Central.net's Live Blog of PBS Democratic Presidential Primary Forum (6/29/07)


8:35: Unlike cable news with long extended preview shows, the lead in of the debate tonight is the ‘International Dancesport World Championships 2006.’ The Russians just dominated the Rumba and the Samba, for what its worth.

As for the debate tonight, it’s going to supposedly focus more on domestic issues like Katrina response and health care. Those issues will play very well for Hillary Clinton; FEMA worked exceptionally well under James Lee Whit in Pres. Clinton’s administration, and she’s had as much experience with health care as any other candidate.

8:50: Finally getting revenge for the Russians Sherman-esque march to Berlin over 60 years ago, the Germans squeeze by the Russians to take the title. I could write thousands of jokes about this, but they’d probably be more offensive than that one.

8:57: Commercial before the debate: telecasts of the Israeli Baseball League are broadcast on Sunday mornings.

9:00: The National Minority Consortia and the California Endowment are the sponsors.

9:01: Long intro by the President.

9:03: This is the second Democratic debate at a historically black college; Tom Joyner comes out and cracks a joke about being a scorpio. Then talks about the power of black media and the power of black America. I’m curious as to whether this intro is appropriate or not: is this just a forum for ‘black America’?

9:06: Tavis Smiley talks about ‘The Covenant for America.’ And this is just about ‘black America.’

9:09: ‘Children must be cherished.’

9:10: Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts comes out to introduce the candidates. He might be a future presidential or VP candidate if things break the right way for him. He’s pretty impressive here, talking concisely about holding Democrats to offering a positive vision. Clinton, Biden, Richardson, Edwards, Obama, Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd are introduced. Someone puts a mic right next to Elizabeth Kucinich’s clapping. The introductions were so rapid fire that it was hard to gauge support; Clinton was first as well, and probably got the loudest, but it’s hard to say.

9:14: Is race still the most intractable problem in America in light of today’s SCOTUS decision? Clinton goes first, and says race and racism are still an issue in the world; she points to the stage and says things are getting better. She gets mild applause and goes to loud voice: citing Katrina and the Covenant, and criticizes the SCOTUS ruling by touting diversity.

9:16: Biden says it is still the defining issue of our times; he says the rationale of the SCOTUS decision would have held down progress this past century. Gets applause for saying that he talked tough to Edwards and Alito and the next candidate has to take a stand.

9:17: Richardson says dealing with racism is about being authentic. Calls for integration and affirmative action to be renewed and leading a dialogue; says race is not a talking point but facts of life.

9:18: Edwards goes for the cheap pop by thanking the college for hosting. Edwards says slavery and then Jim Crow laws led into discrimination today, manifesting in the two Americas. Also calls for voter reform.

9:20: Obama thanks everyone as well, and talks about him following in the footsteps of Thurgood Marshall, and that racial equality is good for America, not just black America. Says the progress is not good enough; they show Al Sharpton looking at someone near him, oddly enough; Obama calls for mutual responsibility and political will in the White House.

9:22: Kucinich agrees with Obama. There’s definitely no risers here by the way, as Obama hovers above Kucinich. Kucinich: “they tell people to pull themselves up by the boot straps and then they steal the boots.� Kucinich calls for educational reforms, like universal pre-K and pulling resources from war to affording college.

9:23: Gravel thanks the forum for being the most fair; Gravel criticizes the war on drugs; the audience seems stunned; very mild clapping for Gravel mentioning the percentage of African Americans in jail. Gravel says drugs are a public health issue, not a criminal issue.

9:25: Dodd goes last, saying the shame of segregation has been happening slowly over the past few decades. He says education is the crucial issue to equal access in society.

9:27: Half an hour in … one question. This might not go too long.

9:28: And the mics on the next question are off briefly… Black high school graduates have 33% higher unemployment rate. Biden is asked first why.

9:28: Biden talks about the education gap being wide and getting wider because single mothers are not given enough support. Biden wants to focus on education on pre-K at age 4, and better teachers at school.

Continued at 2008Central.net…