[Re-published from 2008Central.net. This liveblog on MyDD will be updated periodically. For the latest please visit the active liveblog at 2008Central.net]
7:30: Time Russert and Brian Williams (henceforth, Bri-Wi) are moderating this debate, and participating are John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul. I'm looking for Huckabee and Giuliani to be particularly aggressive, as a bad finish in Florida could really hurt them.
As an aside, today is the one year anniversary of 2008Central.net. So for those of you who have stuck around for all 1,053 posts now, I'm sure you realize how damned lucky you are to have us. But enough about us, you're here to see two old white men question five other old white men about who should replace another old white man. How thrilling!
8:46: MSNBC says the debate is "DO OR DIE." in large all-cap font. Note this, because your children will want to know about the time that four presidential candidates were all killed on stage by a major news company. In other words, don't expect this debate to be a subtle discussion of minor differences.
8:59: Want to skip us as middlemen and watch it yourself but don't have cable? Screw you! Seriously, though, watch here. Brian Williams just told people not to cheer to give people at home misleading impressions. And now he's thanking military people in the audience.
9:01: Lyndon Johnson was at the university when it opened. Hillary Clinton just issued a press release that it takes a president to open a school.
9:02: Candidates are tired; apparently, they requested the debate only goes 90 minutes instead of 2 hours at their request. Tim Russert looks angry.
9:03: Romney is asked about the stimulus plan, and contrasts it with Bush's. Is he disappointed? Romney says it is effective, he just wishes it went further. Romney somehow says that a permanent tax cut is equivalent to a rebate or no taxes on capital gains. Talks about creating jobs and the mortgage crisis. He sounds like he's somewhat competent, but pandering at the same time.
9:05: McCain says he will vote for the plan, and is disappointed it does not make the Bush tax cuts permanent. McCain talks about people having uncertainty in their budget for 2010, and it sounds like a punch line. Segues into pork barrel talk. Talks up the rate cuts by Bernanke and the need for tax cuts. He's completely trying to erase any doubts of him on the tax issue.
9:07: Giuliani says the package is OK, but does not go far enough. Talks up his surrogates introducing legislation (Dreier and Bond). Says there is no difference between temporary and permanent. Says that if America over taxes, spends, sues, or regulates that America loses. Specifically excludes military spending. Said he is worried about London overtaking NYC as financial center.
[Continued at 2008Central.net]