Open thread: Democratic presidential debate; Update: Iraq slapfight video added; Update: English as official language video added; Update: "Assassinate Osama?" video added

CNN, 7 p.m. ET. What better way to end the week than with two — count ’em, two — hours of one-upsmanship about who hates the Iraq war most?

Expect to see some grenades lobbed at Hillary, as her lead in the new WaPo poll is still double digits. Note in particular the results of question 35, where she’s killing Obama and Edwards in terms of perceived “strength,” experience, and crisis management. George Will has a column out today arguing that the next election is about competence more so than ideology; the results here seem to bear him out, at least on the Democratic side. Among Republicans, Rudy’s lead is steady thanks to his own reputation for “strength” and crisis management, but in this case competence may only go so far. Check out the trend in question 44. Oof.


Tonight’s wild-card issue: Hillary’s semi-flip-flop on gay marriage. While you wait for kickoff, enjoy this YouTube interview with the silkiest pony in the field. No need to sit through all of it; you’re looking for the “shotgun round” that begins with around 1:10 left to go. Silky sure does have some interesting ideas about what’s in the Constitution and what isn’t.

Update: Here’s the dust-up over Iraq funding at the beginning. Edwards calls out Hillary and Obama — by name — and they respond, followed by Gravel, Kucinich, and Greasy Joe. Big fun.

Update: Hot Air alumnus Ian Schwartz has the video of Greasy Joe sneering that Bush has emboldened the enemy.

Update: Here’s one for the next edition of the boss’s book about unhinged liberals: Eric Alterman was arrested for allegedly refusing to leave the debate spin room.

Update: Obama’s getting good buzz tonight for his whining about how “divisive” it is to debate whether English should be the official language. For the record, Gravel was alone among the candidates in thinking it should be.

Update: Here’s the last of the three buzzworthy clips. Trust Wolf Blitzer to ask Kucinich a question about Osama Bin Laden and not press him as to whether he thinks Osama was, in fact, responsible for 9/11. Sounds like Kucinich thinks he is now — but note what he says about trying anyone who’s violated international law in a tribunal. I wonder who he has in mind.


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