Wednesday, December 13, 2006

TRANSCRIPT: First Democratic presidential candidate debate of `08

Through the miracle of my brand-spanking-new Time Traveler 2010®, I have been able to obtain a transcript of the first Democratic presidential debate held May 4, 2007 at the Des Moines Marriott.

The moderator for the event was George Stephanopoulos.

The crowded panel of Dem hopefuls on the stage included Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Tom Vilsack, Evan Bayh, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton. (Chris Dodd dropped out at the last minute because he didn't have enough money in his campaign coffers to cover airfare to Des Moines.)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Welcome to the first Democratic presidential debate. Tonight, I will attempt to manage a rational discussion and debate between the dozen candidates on stage. I will not introduce them all because there are just too damn many and we don't have that much time.

Let me start with Senator Hillary Clinton. Senator Clin--

SHARPTON: That, right there, is racist, George.

STEPH: What?

OBAMA: Well, I'm not sure I'd call it racist, Al, but it's the kind of action that may lead one to question the impartiality -- the "color blindness," if you will -- of our moderator.

STEPH: C'mon you guys, I just--

CLINTON: No, go ahead. Start with one of my African-American brethren. My husband is often called the first black President.

OBAMA: Uniting white and black, old and young, blue and red--

CLINTON: Gag me.

STEPH: Okay. So let's start with--

BIDEN: Look, I really like you, George. I like all of my fellow candidates. I like our audience. I like--

CLARK: I'm feeling nauseous.

EDWARDS: I think what we're seeing up here right now is two Americas, one for the--

KERRY: John, stop! I am the only person on this stage who has--


VILSACK: But I didn't get to talk yet!

BAYH: I'm from a red state! I'm from a red state!

KUCINICH: Ya' know, this is a great way to meet chicks.

GRAVEL: I don't want to meet chicks. I want to have a debate. That's the problem in this country today. We're not having real--

RICHARDSON: Buenas tardes, Des Moines!


OBAMA: This isn't just a blue stage. It's a red stage. It's rich. It's poor. It's one Amer--

SHARPTON: Barack Saddam Hussein Osama, quit the filibusterin'.

BAYH: I second that.

SHARPTON: Clam it, whitest-of-the-white-boys.

STEPH: What about Iraq? We'll go left to right.

EDWARDS: I regret my vote for the--

CLINTON: Not me. We can't stay and we can't leave. So we must--

KERRY: Excellent question, George. When I was on the Mekong River in Vietnam--

BIDEN: Cut the crap, Kerry. Look, I like you. I like you a lot. But we have to--

CLARK: Joe, I am known for being blunt. And you are unctuous. I don't know any other way to describe you.

BAYH: I second that! What does "unctuous" mean?

SHARPTON: It means if you stood outside in a snowstorm, no one would see you. That's how white you are.

VILSACK: I'm whiter! I'm from Iowa!

STEPH: Iraq, Iraq, Iraq!


GRAVEL: I second that.

SHARPTON: You're so white-- Oh, wait. You're not Bayh. What's your name again?

GRAVEL: Gravel.

SHARPTON: Like a rock?

STEPH: Yes, Iraq! Finally, back on topic!

[AL GORE appears ON STAGE from the WINGS]

STEPH: Al Gore!

[GORE grabs microphone from BAYH's podium]

GORE: George, I am here to announce...

CLINTON: Asshole.

GORE: Yes, Hillary, this has to do with a hole. But not an asshole.

BIDEN: Look, Al, I like you. A lot. Maybe a little too much. But you've--

CLARK: Oleaginous. That's the word I was looking for.

GORE: I'm here to announce... that a hole has opened in the ozone layer over Des Moines as a result of the hot air expelled during this debate.

SHARPTON: Can you say melanoma, white folks? Don't go outside, Bayh.

STEPH: We're just about out of time. Vice President Gore, are you a candidate?

OBAMA: Tall and short, thin and fat, those who are good at math and those who prefer--

GORE: I have not completely ruled it out, but I have no plans to--

EDWARDS: I'm sick of playing the nice guy. In or out, tubby?

STEPH: We're out of time. Thank you all for being here, thank you for--