Dems on the Roll Vol. 1 (Debate Wrap)

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The City Paper's live blog on the South Carolina Democratic Debate. Looking at Hillary, Barack, John, and those other guys.

The debate’s in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium. One can only imagine how often that will come up.

7 p.m.: The introductions.

Who is Mike Gravel? Alaska? Is that still a state?

No commercial break? Oh, I’m going to need that pee bag that football fans use.

Hillary gets the first question: Is the war lost?

Hillary: “Congress has voted to end this war and I hope the President will listen. … I think that’s what the American people want.” She’s right.

Joe Biden says this isn’t a game show. Joe, have you looked at that stage? Oh, he was talking about Iraq. Well, okay then.

Barack and John Edwards get questions. The little people are wondering when they’ll get a question.

Dennis Kucinich says that you can’t be against the war and fund it. Yeah, stop paying for tools for the troops — that’ll really sell the Democratic message.

Bill Richardson is asked what he would do if … says he’d withdraw all of our troops by the end of the year.

Chris Dodd gets a question, and I bet you’re wondering who Chris Dodd is. Don’t worry, not important.

Hard truth: “Sen. Gravel, for those who are unfamiliar with your past.”

Gravel says you make it a law to get out of Iraq. He’s excited. The Starbucks kiosk must have been beside his dressing room backstage.

7:15 p.m.

“The Elephant in the Room” Uncomfortable perception issues are the next round of questions.

Barack asked about having questionable ties with a donor.

“We’re organizing ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”

John Edwards gets a question about paying for haircuts out of campaign money. He says sorry, then adds, “I live a privileged life now … but that’s not where I come from.”

Hillary gets a question about hedge funds. ZZZZZ.

Richardson said he wanted to give Gonzales a break because he was a Hispanic. Well, it’s honest.

Richardson: “The American people don’t want a blowdried candidate with perfection.” You say so.

Dodd: “We’ve been through six years of on the job training with this president. It’s time for experience.”

Kucinich is asked why he isn’t popular. The Sanjaya of the Democratic primary, if you will.

Again with the game show reference, this time from Kucinich: “This isn’t American Idol here. We’re picking a president.”

Best moment of the night so far. Biden, who has been criticized about not being able to hold his tongue, is asked if he’ll be able to keep his mouth shut when appropriate. Biden’s answer. “Yes.” Period.

Gravel says other Dem candidates frighten him. And Kucinich is thinking to himself, “I thought I was the crazy one.”

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