Live-blogging AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum

In what is becoming a fine tradition here at Comments From Left Field, Kyle, Mac, I (and possibly some other special guests) will be live-blogging the AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum tomorrow night at 7 PM EST. This event is being moderated by none other than Keith Olbermann and is being broadcast on MSNBC and XM Satellite radio on the new POTUS ’08 channel 130. As with past live blogging events, this one will take place in the comment section below this post. Also as in the past, the event is open to anyone interested in participating. Simply drop by here around 7 PM and join in the conversation. This post will remain atop this page until that time.

UPDATE: Rather than sit around work waiting anxiously to watch tonights event (as if), why not cast your votes throughout the day at MSNBC.

147 Responses to “Live-blogging AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum”

  1. Ok, they are introducing Keith Olbermann and the candidate to the crowd at Soldier Field.

  2. Alright, we’re about five minutes from go time, and it looks like everything is set up and ready to go, I wanna welcome everyone here to our liveblogging of the democratic forums hosted by Keith Olbermann.

  3. I am very disappointed in the fact that they have Tucker Carlson doing pre-debate analysis with Chris Matthews. Tucker has proven time and again to have no clue how to talk about he opposition. Anyway. We won’t have to listen to him for too long.

    He did just bring up a good point though, how is the AFC-CIO crowd going to handle the fact that NAFTA was delivered by Hillary’s hubby?

  4. I’m still waiting for the live video to do something other than be live video.

    While I am waiting, I did want to also say for those who do frequent our liveblogs to please be patient as we’re working with a new system here, and this is somewhat new for everyone.

  5. Hi Kyle,

    Glad you could make it. With this being a debate in front of the AFL-CIO, what are you expecting the high points to be?

  6. That’s a good point. Did you watch the opening statements? Dennis Kucinich pretty much made it clear he was going after that.

  7. Well, as you and Dennis both pointed out, NAFTA’s going to play a role. We’re going to look at Dem’s focusing on hiking taxes on the upper class while trying to provide tax relief on the middle class.

    I know this is off topic, but I’m also curious to see how much of the Hillary/Obama wars are going to make it to this debate.

  8. I did and I expect that, while Kucinich properly identified his audience he has a snowballs chance in hell of raising his approval one point.

  9. Very true, but did my eyes not deceive me or is Gravel NOT actually in this?

  10. Here we go!

    I am pretty enthusiastic about Olbermann running this debate. I don’t expect him to pull any punches.

  11. HEY TRACEY! While Keith introduces the candidates, I want to welcome Tracey Caldwell from

    And you know, you gotta love Keith doing this, you can tell from the beginning he used to do sports… I really do almost feel like I’m about to watch football and not a debate.

  12. Hi Tracy-Kay,

    Thank you for joining us today, it is greatly appreciated.

  13. Back to what to expect to see, this could be, at least to a degree, a make or break point for Edwards. He has made poverty and the working class his signature issue, and therefore this should be his night. If it’s not, the rest of his campaign is going to be hurting for the failure.

    also, I’m sorry, I’m not tuning in to listen to the President of the AFL CIO deliver a speech.

  14. “Second offense, your air conditioning becomes heat.” Classic.

  15. You are welcome. I have a large ice coffee, so hopefully I will stay alert enough to say something brilliant.

  16. We got the lights, meaning this is going to be a more structured debate, and Keith does a great job of interjecting levity.

    First question goes to Dodd:

    “What should we not build or fund to ensure our highways are maintained.”

  17. What should we not be funding to see to it that our infrastructure is maintained?

    Chris Dodd
    Defense systems need to be reviewed, Star Wars — missile defense.

  18. No pressure, we merely expect brilliance out of everything.

    Alright, Dodd, after the compulsory thank yous and condolences to the bridge victims. he gets a great cheer line for Iraq, but, he still fails to astound in performance. You can tell the substance is there, but there’s no inspiration. Oh well, you can tell he’s trying.

  19. Hillary pulls out the my late father was a Bears fan… she is certainly a good politician.

    I am hoping to hear a New Deal type proposal from one of these candidates. The idea that we can create jobs, Union jobs at that, by focusing on our infrastructure.

  20. Hillary on infrastructure. She knows how to throw meat to the crowd, talking about actually being at soldier field. But her answer is solid, pointing out the job creation side of building up infrastructure.

    Now on Obama.

  21. Obama is going to the well on the hard line “go after al Qaeda in Pakistan” meme he has been working all week. Not sure whether it was good in context.

  22. Obama gets a softball, and tops hillary on the Chicago Bears deal. Nice answer, and you can tell the crowd is behind him. Wouldn’t say he knocks it out the park, but he definitely gets a double or triple.

  23. I was the operations manager for a construction company that did a lot of public projects, almost all public projects, state and federal require you to pay union wages even if you are not union. So infrastructure is defiantly a union issue. And the union has proven to be good at turning out the vote.

  24. Ok, now that Biden is getting his chance it is very clear that these candidates know how to talk to their labor base. Red meat, red meat, and a little french fries to boot.

  25. Okay, Joe Biden just made labor sound exciting.

    “I can not wait to debate Rudy Giuliani on whether we’re safer or not.”

    I think I just became a Joltin’ Joe supporter.

  26. I have seen Edwards give a better Labor answer when he wasn’t at a labor forum. I found that answer disappointing.

  27. Edwards on how to deal with sacrifice on the part of the people. I like his power back to the people meme. Though he goes off topic on lobbyist money, and I think a head to head against obama on that might not be wise as Gravel proved last debate.

  28. On Obama I will just say Kyle is a homer. LOL wink wink

    So John Edwards has been portrayed as the strongest on labor issues. Unfortunatey, I don’t hear the type of reaction commensurate with his position. That being said, he did get some decent applause. Personally I think the whole idea that Edwards can only win by gaining labor support is a straw man. We all know he doesn’t fit that persona well. All of us but him apparently. Sadly I don’t see it getting him farther than Iowa.

  29. I agree, Tracey, but he still looks good.

    Now it’s on to Dennis. And he broke the Nafta seal. You wanna talk about red meat, Mike? I think Dennis has a bagful.

  30. Richardson – I will continue taking your money. HA!

  31. Richardson, “Privatization is not the answer”

    HAHAHA… Okay, Richardson gets a good laugh line with “I will continue taking your financial support.”

  32. Hey, What state was Richardson the governor of?

  33. well Mike, here you go with Hillary on NAFTA

  34. I didn’t realize Hillary voted against CAFTA. I wonder how the fact that Bill signed NAFTA and she voted against CAFTA will play. I expect NAFTA will override the vote on CAFTA.

  35. You do understand sarcasm, right?

    Alright, Hillary is asked about what she would do to fix NAFTA. She seems to be mostly going along and pointing out errors, but really kind of dodging the question overall.

  36. I think I heard crickets chirping when she gave her answer.

  37. Ok smart ass.

    Good point from Obama. Bash the lobbyists.

  38. The campaign in opposition to CAFTA in Costa Rica has used the argument that if NAFTA was so create why do Americans want to build a wall between them and Mexico.

  39. I am a manager at one of America’s oldest, largest corporations and I can tell you that it disgusts me to see the effects of “supply chain management” on domestic production. In 100% of the cases where a company has the opportunity to sacrifice fixed costs like labor in favor of cheap labor, every time they have an opportunity to sacrifice quality for cost, labor and quality lose. I like what Dodd was saying about controlling outsourcing.

  40. O no, another roll call question

    Scrap NAFTA?

    Richardson: doesn’t answer the question and is almost a fall until he said he would stop “Union busting attorneys.”

    Obama: Would not scrap but would reform. Actually a real good answer. good rhetoric. Smooth answer, but I think he talks a little over. Oh, Barack you should have shut up about five seconds earlier.

    Biden: Good laugh line, “I hope that red light is going to fail for me too” Good terse answer again along the lines of we need to wrestle Canada and Mexico into submission.

    Dodd: Dodges, and just repeats that he’s always stood with labor.

    Edwards: Fix it. “The one thing you can count on, is you will never see a picture of me on the cover of fortune magazine that …” Okay, that fell flat.

    Kucinich: Wins this round, first week of office, he will withdraw from NAFTA.

  41. This has turned into one hell of a whistle stop event. Sadly, the venue is making it hard to keep the crowd under control.

  42. Just, you know, so you guys understand this, I’ve been a government employee all my life, I’m kinda not well grounded in this subject.

  43. Obama is drawing the distinction between himself and Hillary on the issue of campaign contributions and “special interests.” Subtle but there is no question that is where he is going.

  44. well, here’s one thing I think is important to look at, and labor is not an exciting issue, particularly from the New Democratic mindset which is more nuanced.

    Obama, GREAT answer on China, and he points straight to the three hundred gorilla in the room; you can’t be a tough negotiator when they own so much of our debt.

  45. That’s ok Kyle, I know it well.

    To be honest I can almost guarantee you that I am in the minority in every board room I sit in. American business cares more about profits than anything else and they are willing to sell short anyone to get it.

    Obama was wrong when he said people would rather have a job than a cheap t-shirt. If that were the case WalMart would not be the largest company in America.

  46. Hillary just raised the roof, stealing Biden’s wind by subtly reminding everyone bout the economy’s growth under her husband, and then she played into the public paranoia about Bad food and toys from China.

    Gets a HUGE pop from the crowd.

  47. Hillary will appeal to women on enforcing quality from the Chinese. The mommy’s are tired of having to sneak the poisoned toy out of the kid’s room in the middle of the night.

  48. No one has done the job of explaining why Democrats, who believe in good government, are the only ones who can guarantee safe imported food, safe imported toys, etc. If you think government is bad and want to “shrink it to the size that it can be drowned in a tub” then you have little chance of using it effectively.

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