Alright, I wrote my own transcript of the debates which I'll provide below. It may be biased, but too bad. That's the way I heard it. Overall I think Edwards came away with a clear win... though I guess it really will depend on how the spin masters twist it to see how everyone else feels. In saything that you should understand I do not endorse nor will I be voting for any democrat in the election and this is just my analysis of the debate itself.
I found the debate to be rather boorish. Most of them agree on the basic principle of the nanny state and I didn't hear anyone endorsing serious changes like rolling back the police state Bush has created which the voters have come out against. I guess they didn't get the memo? One thing I found rather disturbing was that Senator Hillary Clinton was addressed 'common' i.e. as 'Hillary' - I find that disrespectful. I can't stand her politics, but she IS a UNITED STATES SENATOR and that's something important to remember. That her co-debaters didn't is an absolute disgrace and they should probaby each issue a press relrease correcting that along with an apology. We'll see how that works out.
Beyond that, Hillary herself lost (I can say that, I'm just a blogger), as did Barak... in fact, they were both brought down by this debate. It's not like they could have passed on it though eh? The other loser may have been Mike Gravel... not due to anything he said, but more due to the fact that he didn't get a real chance to speak. My total summary is this:
Edwards: Big winner, bootstrapped himself into the top tier.
Richardson: Small winner, got some word out but not nearly enough.
Clinton, Obama, Kucinich, Biden, Gravel: Slight losers, either had no strong standing or were unable to defend their positions in a statesmanly manner (in Gravel's case didn't get the chance).
Everyone else remained unchanged (though that's not really a good thing at this point in the game).
To be absolutely clear, I saw nothing tonight that would shake my support for Ron Paul.
Filtered Transcript follows:
Sunday June 3rd 2007
Democratic Debates Leslie Wolf Blitzer presiding
Obama: 6 years since 9/11........ jfk arrests... is Bush's horseshit a success? NO. We live in a more dangerous world rather than a less dangerous world, partly because of Bush. Bush is creating terrorists in Afhanistan and Iraq like nobodies business. Time to end the wars, (but not yet) or else. Wolf: any credit for Bush? O: Sort of but not really.
Edwards: Wolf: IS there a war on terrorism? Yes, but I will still be strong on terrorism, if you know what I mean? I don't.
Clinton: War on terror... I am actually a republican and I will take the republican stand on terror which is - be afraid, be very afraid... I will scare you into voting with me. Thank God for Bush, he was right all along.
Kucinich: Is the Patriot act okay? Ben Franklin: those who would give up their liberties to gain security deserve neither. The patriot act is unconstitutional and I shall overturn it. (100% correct).
Biden: Iraq, You voted to continue the Iraq War... why were you right and the other idiots wrong? Biden: That bill was horseshit and it's all been lies. Time to end the madness. If you want to support the troops, bring them home.
Clinton: DO I play politics with the lives of the troops? Yes, basically.
Obama: Everybody mindlessly supports the troops.. or at least says they do. Bush is a fuckup, I'll do it better.
Edwards: Do you agree with these fools? Yes and No... I want to fight Bush but still win politically, the troops may have to suffer while we decide which party makes the most out of this whole mess.
Obama: I opposed this war from the start, even though I was a nobody with no say in it... I still stand on my rather weak record.
Hills: This is a Bush's fuckup, I dont know how we got into this political mess, but I have a plan to bring troops home - eventually, maybe, someday.
Edwards: There are differences between the democratic candidates, but nobody can see them because they are just semantic.
Chris Dodd: (nothing that wasn't already said by other candidates...)
Richardson: What if Genocide takes place in Iraq? I have a lot of experience, I know everything. Genocide is bad.
Gravel: Where do you disagree with the idiots? Completely. The democrats facilitated the war.. they share it with Bush. Remember vietnam and the idiotic domino theory.
Kucinich: Is Iraq a waste of time? Our soldiers shouldn't have been sent there in the first place and this war was based on LIES. END IT NOW - STOP THE FUNDING!
Biden: Let's get some truth into this discussion. END THE WAR. The truth is George Bush emboldens the enemy.
Clinton: Do you regret funding the war without reading the intel estimate? I was briefed! I knew everything. This is one of my talking points I've prepared for, thanks for asking it.
Edwards: did you want to read it? No, I read the summary and in part I agree with Hillary (addressing her common) but I was wrong on the vote and I've since then come around and will admit that I was wrong. Why won't she?
Obama: You were nobody at that time, you had no information, what do you think? Not much, but I sure like playing monday morning quarterback.
Gravel: Should anyone who voted for the war be president? NO! These people knew that there were two sets of intel about this. They have killed more americans than died in 9/11 and that alone disqualifies them to be president.
Hillary: It was a mistake to trust George Bush and I'll be using that as my fallback position throughout this debate and my campaign.
Richardson: IS granting amnesty to 12 million illegals a good thing? Blah blah blah... bunch of rhetoric... the current pro-amnesty bill is no amnesty... everyone may hate it, but it's good, no matter what the american people think.
Biden: Should there be a fence? No. There are 14 million people here already, there's no way we can get them out anyway, let's turn them into democratic voters. Let's be practical. Screw the fence, even though I voted for it before.
Obama: Pro fence or not? Why not one with Canada? I watch the news, tuberculousis man came from Canada! Blah blah whatever, rhetoric supporting the stupidity of the current amnesty bill.
Hand raise: English official language? ONLY GRAVEL raised his hands... he speaks french and english. (first applause entire debate).
Obama: The issue is not english... blah blah blah
Clinton: The problem is in making it official.. they wont print ballots and nobody in hospitols will speak spanish. (Was that a joke?)
Dodd: I agree with Hillary and Barak. (makes good point on encouraging speaking of multiple languages)
Edwards: Healthcare... Do we need taxes to pay for healthcare? Yes... these other folks are really liars and you just can't give everyone healthcare without paying for it... it's really that simple... let's be honest.
Obama: I'd rather drive down the costs of healthcare than give blanket healthcare to everyone. (seems rather reasonable, but only at first glance)
Clinton: I LOVE universal healthcare! It's my prime issue! (zero details just a general endorsement and basically saying it's HER issue) blah blah blah. Blames big Pharma and Insurance (which is surprising).
Richardson: I insured every child under 5 in new mexico, got rid of junk food in schools.. I will make it manditory for the entire U.S. but it worked for us in New Mexico so it should be good (will it?)... why won't it work for everyone? Focus on prevention.
Dodd: We stink as a nation on healcare and it's shameful (totally right) We need bi-partisanship (again, right).
Edwards: Obama will leave 15 million people uncovered on healthcare, my plan covers everyone BY LAW. It's going to cost a lot but we can find the money.
Obama: Blah blah, let's keep it non-mandatory ... look at auto-insurance where it's mandatory and so many don't have it anyway.
Edwards: Children can't decide, therefore it needs to be decided for everyone.
Kucinich: I disagree... there's only one way... a universal single payer healthcare system for everyone - what these other jerks are talking about is turning it over to the insurance companies (applause).
Clinton: On dont ask dont tell - Gays have always been in the military but there is a problem with the dont ask dont tell implementation. We need more arabic linguists so we need to allow gays and lesbians into the military! (references Goldwater - you don't have to be straight to shoot straight). (Actually makes sense... don't even know why such a thing would be discussed since it's a no brainer).
Biden: Peter Pace sucks. Gays are fine in the military. We've got a war on our hands and we should be welcoming in anyone who wants to serve. (No duh?).
All raise hands for get rid of no gays in the military.
Richardson: Delivers impromptu pro-gay speech and rights for all... (trying to one up Kucinich?)
Edwards: Civil unions.. is it time to let gays marry? (shuffling feet proverbially) The federal government should STFU and let states decide for themselves. blah blah.
What should be done with former president Clinton?
Gravel: I will send Clinton as a roving ambassador around the world... and send his wife with him. (audience LOLs).
Richardson: Ideal job for clinton is in the UN. Clinton hooked me up with some good jobs... I'd send him to the middle east (WTF? now displays a complete cluelessness on foreign policy).
Obama: (kisses hillary's ass) says clinton (Bill) can be a diplomat and we need diplomats. (yawn).
Hills: blah blah we should be using former presidents (does she mean Carter too?) my wayward husband shall be a roving ambasaador...
Dodd: Gas Crises? (Honestly, he said nothing intelligable, just rattled off a pile of hot-button keywords and concentrated them on global warming and endorsed a carbon tax).
Gravel: I'll join the carbon tax band wagon. Shit costs money. Gas costs are much higher than you think. (He's right that gas costs a lot more than we pay at the pump, but personally I think the entire idea of a carbon tax is absolutely ridiculous).
Edwards: Blah blah... investigate the gas companies why are we subsidizing them? (good question, let's do it!)
Rhichardson: Is price gouging going on? My state is green! I shall ignore the question. Every American should sacrifice to help this problem!
Biden: Reduce the price of gas? Take away the subsidy. Investigate price gouging. Raise mileage per gallon on autos and make that legislated.
Peanut gallery questions begin:
Army wife asks, How do you plan to rebuild the military?
Kucinich: We should not offer any war bill at all. I believe peace is strength. The American military should be a force for strength. The military is stretched .. cut military spending this money isn't going to troops.
Obama: You want to grow the military.. blah blah I will help the troops not the republican backed high tech horeshit. (agree) [explanation, in the short amount of time he touches on the fact that people like Rumsfeld have starved measures that help actual troops while pouring huge amounts of money into ridiculous and non-working projects which do zero but inflate the pockets of GOP endorsers.. at least that's what I hope he meant].
Dodd: What would you cut? blah blah troops blah blah... we're not listening to the generals. basically says diplomacy is a good option but nobody understands.
Why dont vets get help?
Obama: That's something we have to address. blah blah pro big pharma talk blah blah.
Richardson: That's crap. Under my plan anyone who has served will get healthcare anywhere they seek it period. (which sounds cool but he doesnt explain how to pay for that) and gets cut off.
Gravel: Your experience from the VA? I am cool with it, but Obama should learn about the scandals in walter reid before he heralds such things.
Obama: Blah blah don't blame me, (addresses Gravel as 'Mike') says nothing really and Wolf calls him on it. Rebutt is rather lackluster rhetoric.
How to solve the Iranian problem?
Clinton: I am very concerned... we should have used diplomacy... blah blah... pro Bush crap injected. Raises the spectre of the soviet union and missiles "pointed at us". Basically endorses a full on nuclear attack on Iran but doesn't have the balls to come out and say so.
Edwards: Stop Iran from the nuke threat? WOW AMAZINGLY Edwards speaks truth about Iran... which is, they are quite pro-western. I'm shocked and amazed. Offers a carrot and stick propsal.. economically.. (my god he's right).
Biden: Gets loaded question regarding nuclear countdown... ignores and goes diplomacy as well... makes fun of Iran's nuclear capability (true according to the cIA). Stresses economics (did he steal Edward's wind there?)
Pakistan sucks, why do we support them?
Hillary: Blah blah... they've become a dictatrorship, but we sort of need that to control the area.
Kucinich: We have Bin Laden in our sights, should we take him out and kill innocents? NO We don't use assassination as a tool, we're the good guys. (he should have said 'what kind of asshole would ask something like that?').
Obama: I dont like assassinations but Bin Laden is an exception... with this I'm with the republican war and torture mongers... nothing is barred... kill them all and let god sort them out eh?
Hands: If you could take out Osama and kill innocents would you do it? (someone actually said it would 'depend on how many innocent civilians' and Hillary jumped in and said something along the same lines of: it would depend on how many innocents had to die for such a thing. (WTF country am I in? Even ONE innocent dealth is too fucking many you monsters).
Missed Edwards comment (sorry!).
Biden: Let's stop talking and DO something there damnit. Send in NATO troops tomorrow.
Hands: WE should force the end of genocide in darfur.... HUGE ARGUMENT.
Use force to save people in Darfur?
Richardson: No... more UN peacekeepers, economic sanctions, china has to help, we should pressure them. We need to care about Africa.
Boycott China olympics?
Dodd: No. We need to kiss chinas ass. (probably right, they could easily bankrupt this country but most Americans have no idea of that).
Edwards: Fuck it, do whatever it takes! But really, we have lost our moral superiority and credibility in the world.
Obama: Blah security, humanity.. Guantanimo and suspension of habeus corpus hurt our credibility. (so true!).
Biden: Goes off... we can save them and shut down the mass deaths.
Richardson: boycott china olympics? Yes... china pressure can help the sudan. DO IT.
Gravel: No DRAFT! I'd love to see a volunteer service though and good leadership to inspire such a thing.
Kucinich: Ask not what a JFK quote can do for you... but can it do something for me?
Dodd: Draft? No... I'm a peace corpse guy. We should be encouraging voluntary service.
Obama: Who is rich? over 250k a year. as a democrat of course I'd like to re-distribute wealth.
Obama: I'd roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over 250k.(lots of blah blah)
Edwards: My healthcare... roll back tax cuts for those making 200k a year. College for everyone! The government will pay for it (and when I say government I mean the taxpayers... i.e. you)!
Deficits are out of control... what will you do?
Richardson: I have balanced governoratorial budgets. I will take the money spent in Iraq and spend it on domestic stuff. (lots of blah, basically the same old democratic speel that takes money away from taxpayers but sugar-coated to seem like you're getting more than you're paying which of course is never the case, sigh)
Kucinich: Raise taxes raise spending? The war is bankrupting us... and we're borrowing from China to continue it.. the fake free trade bullshit is kiling the american worker (holy crap a democrat has finally made sense).
WTF is with earmarks?
Dodd: blah blah it's bad, but I'll dance around the issue and of course still support all earmarks that help my constitutents... just like everyone else. (dont blame him it's the most honest answer).
Gravel: DO AWAY with earmarks! We need to change the entire tax structure. Follow the money... special interest groups are buying your representatives.
Hillary: Blah blah... when Bill was president we were doing good, but people should ignore the fact that was because of the internet bubble and my husband did nothing to help it.
Gravel: You're all (to other candidates) raiding social security and robbing the american people!!!
Kucinich: Interest groups ARE fucking our country... but I'll only talk about the ones supporting the ones opposing me.
Biden: Middle of the night earmarks suck, reform it all!
Edwards: Travel around making america seem cool again (moral authority) (this is more important than most people think).
Clinton: Bring our troops home (which is what I say but will never do).
Obama: That and healthcare (Likewise).
Richardson: Upgrade schools (far too complicated for most voters but probably the smartest answer of them all in the long
Biden: End war in Iraq, defuse Iran and defuse North Korea. (this guy should probably be Secratary of State).
Kucinich: We could end Iraq war not... blah blah I'm crazy ... (sorry, he just lost me... and I even like the guy).
Gravel: Tells other candidates they could end the war RIGHT NOW if they wanted to but then get's cut off by moderador.
Dodd: Restore Constitution (applaudse) (Did he really say that? I think I may have missed it, he didnt get much time and the applause may have been carry over Gravel energy and the words wishful thinking on my part - something to check out).