Internet connection issues resolved, just in time…
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, introducing the debate: Discontent with Republicans is not enough to elect a Democratic president, nor should it be. (That line gets applause.)
Seems like more pomp and ceremony for the introduction so far tonight…
Somebody yells out “Obama!” And PBS shows Cornell West is in the crowd.
First question: Is race still the defining problem of our time? In light of today’s Supreme Court decision in using race in a factor in K through 12?
Hillary: For anyone to assert that race is not a problem in America is to deny the reality in front of our very eyes. This decision turned the clock back on Brown vs. Board of Education. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. The march is not finished…
(Oh, this is going to be an unbearable pander-fest.)
Biden: Still the defining issue… People criticized me for being awful tough on Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. The problem was, the rest of us weren’t tough enough on them.
Richardson: “Leadership is about being authentic. It’s about speaking honestly… ” Richardon’s answer meanders as much as any other… Cites himself as the first Latino.
Donna Brazile gives an approving nod.
Edwards panders a bit by thanking the Howard Bison, a guaranteed applause line. Goes on to cite two Americas, two public school systems in America, two health care systems… race plays an enormous role in health care disparities. All of us have work to do. I’m making sure that for people of color, their voice is heard and their vote is counted.
Obama: Cites Thurgood Marshall and founders of Howard – if it had not been for them, I would not be standing here today… Their idea was not that racial equality was not just good for African-Americans, but for America as a whole.
There’s a somewhat nice moment when PBS cuts to a young man, maybe eleven, clad in a suit and copiously taking notes of Obama’s remarks.
Kucinich: Criticizes those who say, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps, then they steal your boots.” Calls for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing educational equality. Eliminate No Child Left Behind. Take away resources from war and military buildup and make sure every child gets a quality education.
Gravel: This is fairest debate we’ve had thus far. Racism was here when . Goes to criticize war on drugs. Compares to prohibition. Pledges to end war on drugs, says it savages our inner city. Compares Iraq to Vietnam, and says drugs are a public health issue.
Dodd: Thanks Howard U. The shame of all this is that long before this decision came down, shame of resegregation has been going on for years in this country… No issue is more important to me than education. This is the key to equal access in our education. Calls court decision “a major step backwards.” As president, I would use any tools available to me to make sure we reverse this decision of today.