Q: Energy efficient light bulbs, how to help conserve?
Gravel wants a fair tax. Hey, between this and vouchers for health care, and competition in schools, I’m about ready to jump on the Gravel bandwagon.
Dodd: 50 mpg standard. I support carbon tax. I drive a hybrid.
The big four or five took private jets.
Gravel: I took the train.
Q: Nuclear power?
Edwards: I do not favor nuclear power. Costly. Takes a lot of time, and we don’t have an ability to do away with the waste.
Obama: We should explore nuclear power as part of the mix. There are no silver bullets.
Hillary: Take away tax breaks for oil companies… I’m agnostic on nuclear power.
Swing and a miss.
Q: If I can get standard coffee at Starbucks, why can’t we standardize ballots?
Richardson: As president I would push the whole country to verify paper trails… Get the Republican party to stop suppressing minority voters.
Kucinich’s ad urges people to text “peace” to Congress.
Q: Would you be president for the minimum wage?
Gravel: We need a living wage. Dodd: I don’t think I could live on the minimum wage. Edwards: Yes. Clinton: Sure. Obama: Most folks on this stage have a lot of money…. You’re doing alright, Chris. Dodd: We don’t have Mitt Romney money! Richardson: Biden: I don’t have Barack Obama money, either. My net worth is 70-$150,000. That’s what happens when you become a legislator at a young age.
Dodd: We need to address Social Security. I oppose privatization. I would support paying Social Security taxes on more than $97,000.
Obama: Come up with a bipartisan solution like Reagan and Tip O’Neill.
They commence standard-issue pandering on entitlements and health care. Everything is free for all, stop the privatizers, bad Republicans, blah blah blah… Let’s get rid of politics and find a solution…
Then there’s a song about taxes. And a question about whether they could pardon a parking ticket.
Biden: Change the tax structure. Don’t tell me your values, show me your budget.
I like Marcus who asks if his taxes will go up as they usually do when Democrats get into office.
Kucinch: We’re going to stop the tax increases that President Bush gave to people in the top bracket. Huh?
Then there’s a medley of questions about health care, all in the vein of, “what can you do for me?”
Dear God, let this end soon.
Edwards says he had a universal coverage plan before Obama, and that Obama’s doesn’t work because it doesn’t have mandates. Cites poverty tour… We need to stand up to drug companies and insurance companies!
Hillary: Thanks those who sent in videos. The fact that this is happening in a country as rich as ours is a national disgrace. She, too, hates drug companies and insurance companies.
Q: Does your health care plan cover undocumented workers?
Dodd: Insists upon answering previous questions. I would support stem cell research. I would cover children.
Richardson: It should cover everyone.
Q: Bush, Clinton, Bush… if we elect another Clinton, how is it real change?
Hillary: I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000. I thought somebody else was elected. I’m running on my own merits. I’m proud of my husband’s record… any one of us would be a better president than the current president or any future Republican nominee.
Gravel: I have a serious problem with it. Democrats used to represent the working man. The Clintons sold out the Democratic party to Wall Street.
Obama: Who has a track record of bringing about change?
Q: What does “In God We Trust” mean to you?
Biden: It represents my values.
Q: Secular voters are getting snubbed. Will Democrats pay lip service to the extremely religous? And why?
Edwards: We will embrace all Americans, whatever their religious beliefs, or if they have none.
Obama: I am proud of my Christian faith and it informs what I do. I don’t think anyone should be kept out of the public square because of their beliefs. But I believe in separation of church and state.
The gun control question features a guy who calls a huge rifle his “baby.”
Richardson: The issue here is instant background checks.
Is it just me, or are we now past 9 p.m.?
Biden: If that’s his baby, he needs help… I don’t know if he’s mentally qualified to own that gun. I’m serious. I’m the guy who wrote the assault weapons ban. … I hope he doesn’t come looking for me.
Barack Obama’s YouTube ad doesn’t feature ObamaGirl. Instead, it seems to emphasize his rock-star status.
Q: What do you like and dislike about the candidate to your left?
Gravel: I like Chris Dodd. I served with his dad. (Dang, Gravel’s old!) I disagree with where the money’s coming from.
Dodd: I like Edwards. I have nohting negative to say.
Edwards: I admire what Sen. Clinton has done for America. I’m not sure about that coat.
Hillary: I admire and like very much Barack, as I do all the candidates. The Democrats are ready to lead.
Obama: I like Hillary’s jacket. I like that Bill Richardson has devoted his life to public service. He either likes the Yankees or Red Sox, but not the White Sox.
Richardson: All of the candidates would be great vice presidents in my White House. Biden has dedicated his life to public service and particulary in areas of civil rights. He will make
Biden: I don’t like a damn thing about him…. Nah, just kidding. I like all the candidates. Dennis, the thing I like the most about you is your wife!
Kucinich: You notice CNN didn’t put anyone to the left of me.
Cooper: Well, we couldn’t find anyone. Zing!
Kucinich: Gravel a courageous American.