[Re-published from 2008Central.net. This liveblog on Donklephant will be updated periodically. For the latest please visit the active liveblog at 2008Central.net]

6:36: Tonight, it’s not about hope, it’s about hype.

The final scheduled debate of primary season is here. Finally. After 19 Republican debates and what will be tonight be the 21 debates for Democrats, it will finally be over. Aside from any debates that get scheduled on Meet the Press or some other show (please, no more Tim Russert.) We’re glad you stuck with us through all of this.

Of course, this will be the first of any of these debates to include only two people, making it either exceptionally theatrical or exceptionally meaningful. Frankly, it’s too soon to tell.

And with this much on the line, you want as much information as possible. That’s why CNN was kind enough to give us the best information they had available: a time lapsed video of the set being constructed. (We’re going to be in for a LONG night, folks).

Clinton! Obama! Blitzer! NO RULES!

Tonight, 8 ET. Live online on the CNN and LA Times webpages.

6:56: The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” has the headline: “Democratic Debate, Jan. 30, 2008.” You cannot make this stuff up. It’s even in the URL!

7:31: Let me be quick on goals for tonight. Obama needs to make sure he maintains likability, especially after the whole (stupid) snub thing from the State of the Union. Clinton needs to distinguish herself from Obama as much as she can while maintaining the look of a frontrunner. And Blitzer needs to somehow regain his dignity.

Meanwhile, Bill Schneider on CNN invokes Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in comparison to this debate. You know, the movie where Keanu Reeves was the good actor.

7:51: Leo Dicaprio, Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, and more are apparently in the house.

7:54: CNN notes that there’s signs against the war and signs for Ron Paul. Has such a large movement ever been worse than the Paul people at convincing people to even listen to their position? Even the 9/11 Truthers get more people to take them seriously.

CNN’s British comparison notes that it’s “almost a certainty” that the Democrats will nominate a woman or a black President. At an economic class, the top issue is apparently … the economy. Thanks, CNN!

7:58: Melissa Long points out how expensive the Kodak Theater was to build, and then runs the stupid time lapse video I referenced above. She then stresses that she walked by Brandy earlier. Uhm, wow.

8:00: Blitzer says we’re in the midst of glamour. Thanks, Wolf.

8:02: It’s the first time a woman and an African-American will be vying for the Democratic nomination, says Wolf. Really? Are you sure? Wolf moves on to introducing the press pool. Then, Clinton and Obama come out together, all smiles.

8:03: Three symbolic white folks come out to remind people others consider them important.

[Continued at 2008Central.net]

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