CNN/YouTube Debate Live Blog! Part 3

Gravel = righteous anger. Seriously. The man is a cauldron of fury. If you think lives were lost in vain in Vietnam and lives are being lost in vain in Iraq, and more importantly, you want a president who is willing to say so loudly, Gravel might be the guy for you.

Question from a soldier in Japan for Hillary Clinton. Islamic states see women as second class citizens, he says. Given that, how can she hope to be taken seriously by leaders of those states? Hillary blows the question out of the water, saying as First Lady she visited 82 countries, including many Islamic ones, and that as a powerful senator she regularly has high-level talks with those folks. Also, there are and have been female leaders across the globe, including some in Muslim-dominated states, like Pakistan. Hillary has been really hammering her credentials and experience — usually by saying that she has the best ability to hit the ground running if elected — and it’s hard to argue with her.

Bill Richardson and Joe Biden have very serious differences on Iraq. Richardson wants everyone out in six months with no residual troops. Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, insists that this isn’t realistic, and that as long as troops are in Iraq, he will vote for funding that gives them the best equipment. Clinton is on the same side as Biden: not because either of them supports the war, but because they are more pragmatic and less willing to make extreme statements in an effort to get elected. Kucinich adds that all of this is predicated on the assumption that the war will still be going on when a Democrat takes office, and he rejects the idea totally — he favors bold action that will end the war ASAP, like cutting off funding.

A note on a different subject: this debate has featured a lot of, “Senator Clinton was right” and “I agree with John when he says…” Things have been friendly. Very friendly. Democrats are nice.

More live blog: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4.