Written by Lotus on Monday, 5 of January , 2009 at 2:15 pm
Welcome “Buddha Riggs”! Watch the debate here.
12:56 — waiting for c-span begin broadcasting. refill coffee mug. add bailey’s.
1:01 — president bush meeting with sudan leader in purple draft-day suit. it is not ken blackwell or michael steele receiving a presidentail endorsement.
1:02 — grover talking. kingmaking. on tv. right, now. making people laugh. more laughter. dying to see cut-away shot of audience.
1:03 — two-shot from c-span. some d-bag blogging from the front row. 1:04 — “katie has red cards.” and “yellow cards.” for timing of answers purposes.
1:05 — grover asks to withhold applause.
1:05 — steele introduces himself as gopac chariman. says “step up.” envision him at the sigma house at howard.
1:08 — caton dawson starts. first time i’ve seen him. he’s witty. he’s confident. his accent (southern, soft “a”, no “r”, monied-urbane-southern, rather than dropping g’s
1:09 — dawson said “conservative.”
1:10 — blackwell starts. speaking soooo slowly. talks about an “action plan.” seems kinda desparate in appeal. is his voice wavering a little? is he nervous? audience laughs when he says s.c. not a tough race/state to win for gop. candidate loosens up a little bit. has a moment of rhythm and finishes with a last-min sputter of confidence.
1:11 — saul. family immigrated from lithuania he says. talking about blue-collar roots. detriot. teamsters.
1:12 — saul’s mic malfunctions. he reaches for his ghat.
1:13 — no: just fixing his mike.
1:15 chip saltsman. young. he talks like a consultant. his suit his brand new. italian or british suit. old button-down dress shirt, must be his lucky shirt because it doesn’t match the white hanky in the suit pocket. has black cowboy boots on, too.
1:17 — mike duncan talking like he’s cutting an online funraising appeal. well rehearsed. far from natural or comfortable. slow and steady — and dry — wins the rnc race every time he says to himself.
1:19 — dawson points to “chaos” in party.
1:20 — blackwell mentions reagan. “power, responsibility and resources back to state parties…. decentralize power… get grassroots accountability.”
1:21 — saul’s mic screws up again. it is fixed off-stage. and then goes out again. grover is moderating from the podium, so it’s not him.
1:22 — saltsman doing the monty burns thing with his hands. looks a little too laid back for a youngster. kinda slick. that shirt may be blue-green. whatever, it is outta place with his outfit. metaphor alert.
1:23 — steele has barely said anything, and seems exasperated. like he’s under fire. has he been? did i miss that?
1:28 — steele, mentions” black folks.” audience chuckles. then applauds as he concludes describing his big plans. again, he’s talking not in his usual cheery tone — he is maybe exhibiting his “fighter” mode? he’s so defensive.
1:30 lightning round. all mention reagan as favorite president. grover says they got it right. least fave gop prez? mentions it’s safe to “go with the dead ones.”
1:32 chip details his arsenal, and threatens ken blackwell. as dave barry would say, i am not making this up.
1:33 — red dress lady at podium asking question re: new media tech and some “10-point plan”
1:34 — chip talking about “open-box solutions.” he’s King of the Consultants he bellows from the titanic like leo. and wants to begin gunfight with ken blackwell. doesn’t he know that ken blackwell is magic?
1:36 — dawson says, well, nothing, but he is speaking in a language that makes sense.
1:37 — blackwell mentions e-campaign. then says it’s not about high-tech, but “high-touch.” candy ravers around the world endorse ken blackwell. don’t techno for an answer
1:41 — “my momma was a sharecropper who made” something like 3 bucks an hour… boy steele is fighting.
1:42 — dawson is smooth. confident. boring. chairman-like.
1:43 — blackwell: more about this “high-touch” shit. he loves this soundbite.
1:44 — saul mentions card check: right-wing code/buzzword alert. he needs to sit up straight.
1:45 like that nice young man chip saltsman. he was in debate club at christian college i’m guessing. i’d let him manage a funeral for a loved one.
1:47 all pro-life. gwb biggest mistake? blackwell: bailout. saul: spending, defecits. chip, agrees. duncan: WAR! duncan then slowly puts his balls back into his tv-ready freshly-pressed trousers. steele: war, katrina, bailout. dawson: soc. sec. and immigration.
1:52 — went to refill coffee, and they are still talking about ron paul. which means they are considerate/scared of what he brings to the table. a lot if time devoted means respect. chip is calling him “dr.” paul.
1:54 — mario lopez prez. of hispanic leadership fund asks question having to do with, wait for it, latino outreach. this guy is not the dancer, a.c. slater mario lopez. he asks the question in english. impeccable accent-free english.
1:55 — dawson appreciates the question. mentions asian-base. african-american base. all your base are belong to us.
1:56 — blackwell started slow, and is slowing down. is it the room? wtf? sweet flag pin on lapel though.
1:58 — saul has no flag pin. hmmmmm. chip has no flag pin either. he just dropped a bunch of loot on that suit though.
1:59 — jim lehrer, um i mean, mike duncan would would make a really nice neighbor. thoughtful, soft-spoken. lower on the gives-me-the-willes meter than i expected.
2:01 — steele. fighting.
2:02 grover says “hip-hop” with some cryptic inflection. is that contempt? is he really endorsing the hip-hop republican website? doesn’t he know that a lot of rappers are muslim?
2:04 — ken blackwell is a handsome man.
2:05 — saul is talking but i have tuned him out due to his lack of a flag pin on his lapel. he is naked. and i don’t listen to naked men.
2:06 — what is mike duncan’s pin? it is not a flag pin. it is circular. and golden. must be the transmitter that is hooked up to rove’s blackberry.
2:08 — steele talking about party losing direction and sense of who we are. black people across america laugh at michael steele.
2:09 — grover asks tax-pledge pledge. kingmaking right before my very eyes.
2:11 — chip is savvy. he’ll have a national role. not chairman. look for people to start saying that he’s the new jack oliver.
2:13 — dawson calling out people by name and state in the audience. savyy. “we will not get caught sleeping again. do battle against dems.” smattering of applause.
2:14 — blackwell’s words are getting mushed up in his mouth. crowd there is very forgiving. it it not working on tv. 10 percent rebate for state parties. i think of bobdole in 96. and shed a single tear into my coffee.
2:18 — candidates talk about their facebook activities and friend numbers. and their various blogs. feels like i am at a david all job interview.
2:21 more lightning round? friggin’ awesome. is this shit done yet? i hope c-span shows the schmoozing after the formal program concludes.
2:22 closing arguments: chip: i’d let thid guy lead me — in a fitness class or religious retreat. mikeduncan: you’d make a really kind father-in-law. and i bet you’re a fun golf partner. mikesteele: why are you not connecting with me? ends with cheers though. maybe the room does love him. Dawson: his dad took a nazi bullet. cool. he stands up to address audience. he is magnanimous. cordial. suprisingly charming. Kenblackwell: holding up book. sign gets in the way of camera. oh, that’s katie flashing the yellow card. way to go katie. you just made me miss kenblackwell’s closing remarks. Saulfromdetriot: you are a real guy, saul. admirable. a dreamer with real roots. luntz would call you authentic. nice work.
2:29 grover closes. plugs rnc website. crowns king. schmooze. bad camera angle. no details.