They all look really good. Is anyone going to speak to independents? Let's see. [More recent posts are at the top, working down to the beginning....]
10:06: There's the answer to my question: No reference to independent voters.
10:03: Q: Why would Dr. King endorse you? Obama says change does not happen from the top down. Hillary is giving a history of the civil rights movement. Hillary is working to make Dr. King's legacy real.
9:54: Hillary is saying that if John McCain is the Repub candidate, she's the best candidate to go up against him based on military issues. Edwards goes back in saying that John McCain is known for campaign finance reform and says unlike the other 2, he doesn't take money from corporate lobbyists.... Hillary thinks she's independent and tough enough to withstand corporate lobbyists... Hillary wants to get the money out of politics.... Obama says nobody's hands are completely clean in politics. He answers Hillary's stance on military issues -- "national security" -- he says we have to overcome the politics of fear in this country, we need a new foreign policy of negotiation, can't play to the same fear mongering from 9/11....
9:40: Now asking Hillary about Bill's role in her campaign and should he quiet down?.... Hillary takes the opportunity to say that she is the best candidate to take the heat from the Repubs. Obama says Bill gets outsized attention bec. he is a former president, but that re-drawing the political map is important. Dems haven't had a working majority in a while, that could be effective in Washington. Obama says he can appeal to folks who have lost faith in their government. Unique opportunity. Expand the scope of the electorate. That's why we see record turnouts in the primaries. Edwards says S.C. voters are determining the candidate who will run against John McCain in November. Edwards says Dems need to be competitive in rural areas, and he's the best candidate to be able to do that, having grown up in the rural South.... Edwards is independent of special interests he says.
9:31: Q: Was Bill Clinton the first black president? Hmmm... that's a little joke there. They're all taking the high road here. Talking about that we have a ways to go for the dream of MLK to be fully realized....
9:18: Wolf references Charlie Rangel of NY (a big Hillary supporter).... [I thought they were going to talk about the issues.... oh well.....] Now Wolf is baiting Obama quoting Rangel saying that black voters should vote for who's best for the black community not who "feels good" (i.e. Hillary) Edwards thinks the black community is hurt worse by poverty than other communities.... Hillary is talking about her volunteer work.... Obama says they media has been too focused on race in S.C. unfairly. Ok, Edwards definitely gets the prize for platitudes on poor people.
9:07: Iraq, they all agree to get out. Edwards brings them together on this. Commercial break..... They are resetting the stage for a "no rules" discussion of the issues, as Wolf promises.
8:56: Now the topic is health care. Hillary and Edwards again going after Obama. Hillary is very passionate about Dems being for universal health care - that's what Dems stand for... as opposed to affordable and not mandated, which is what Obama is proposing. Obama is on the defense and seems to be taking the bait regularly.
8:30: It's a fight now. They were asked some questions by Wolf Blitzer about the economy and each spoke a little bit about NAFTA and tax rebates and now it's becoming a knock-down drag-out between Hillary and Obama, with John Edwards trying to play the Good-Humored Voice of Reason. He won't get any points for that, but that's ok.
Obama said the Dems have to reach out to independents and Repubs, same message he's been sending. Nothing new there....
Are sub-prime lending laws based on race? Edwards - yes. Hillary - need a work out not a bail out. Obama - people need access to money, banks are setting terms in Washington.
The audience is quite active here -- applauding, booing... Hillary and Obama kinda have their attack routines going. They have no new attacks that I can hear. Edwards seems to be going after Obama. Now they're spending 5 min. on Obama's voting record in the Illinois Senate. Maybe they have nothing else to say by now.
USA Today's Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence are also live-blogging this debate here.
8:54 To be continued above.....