UPDATE 12:18 pm: @MikeSigner tweets, "@timkaine's closing: 'This election fundamentally is about tomorrow...not smashmouth politics... We can't go back to...fighting innovation'" Amazingly, no sports reference in Allen's closing. Allen reads closing statement directly from notes (what, no teleprompter available, George?). @MikeSigner tweets, "@timkaine the clear winner of the debate." Yes, Signer's a Democrat, as am I, but there's no doubt that Allen was rattled, didn't have any answers, and got manhandled by an articulate, well-informed, far superior opponent. I'd almost feel sorry for Felix, except that he's a thug who likes calling young Asian-American trackers "macacas," bullying women (and GLBT people, etc.)...
UPDATE 12:13 pm: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine notes GOP guvs who held party jobs. Kaine: McDonnell RGA leader, Gilmore RNC chairman" Also from @scontorno: "Kaine also notes that Allen was chairman of the NRSC and said 'my number one job is to elect Republicans.' Clearly, it wasn't to be a Senator (a job Allen hated, by the way), that's for sure!
UPDATE 12:10 pm: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine: Allen was guv during Clinton-supported economic boom. I was guv during recession. 'I have some scar tissue governing in tough times.'" Yep, Democrats clean up the messes Republicans create, then Republicans blame Democrats for doing so. These people are shameless and insufferable.
UPDATE 12:10 pm: Another howler is Allen claiming he's running to create jobs. This, from the guy who voted 96% of the time with Bush to GET US INTO THIS MESS!!! What's the saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!"
UPDATE 12:09 pm: @scontorno tweets, "Allen says he traveled the state and personhood doesnt come up. 'What comes up is not issues like this. It's jobs.'" @timkaine tweets, "VA women can't afford 6 more yrs of Allen. Wants federal personhood laws and opposes equal pay bills." @MoElleithee tweets, "@georgeallenva complains that @timkaine asked about support for personhood. Says ppl don't ask him about that. Then why is he PROPOSING it?"
UPDATE 12:05 pm: Kaine says he wants to build things again, invest in America, that will help economy and create jobs. Kaine asks Allen, "why would you claime to be a small government guy and propose what would be such a dramatic reach into peoples' personal lives and moral issues" with the "personhood amendment?" Allen just says he doesn't want to ban contraceptives. #FAIL!!! Even more amazing, does Allen not know what the personhood amendment actually means, given that he f'd up the same question at the last debate?!? Couldn't he even make the least effort to get his facts straight for this one? Unbelievable.
UPDATE 12:03 pm: @timkaine tweets, "Allen's push for ACA repeal would leave millions uninsured while he accepts taxpayer funded Congressional health care." @brandihoffine tweets, "@georgeallenva's contradiction - says he can work w/other side but slams POTUS at every turn & can't name 1 thing he would break w/Romney on"
UPDATE 12:00 pm: Allen continues to get his a** handed to him by an infinitely better informed Tim Kaine. @MoElleithee tweets, "@georgeallenva struggling in this debate straddling with 2 messages. Says he's not obstructionist. But attacks POTUS every answer." So typical, Allen's got nothing but nastiness and appealing to fear and ignorance. Typical Teapublican. Ugh.
|UPDATE 11:58 am: Now debating health care. Allen, of course, wants to repeal "Obamacare," even though his party's presidential nominee signed "Romneycare," which is basically the model. Whatever, logic doesn't have any relevance to Republican politicians. Kaine points out all the benefits of Affordable Care Act - children under 26, no more preexisting condition exclusions, contraception coverage for women, etc, etc. Allen would ditch all of that in the Senate. Kaine says he'd fight to make it better, with more cost savings. Meanwhile, when George was in the Senate, health insurance premiums climbed by 70%!
UPDATE 11:56 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine stops Allen calling him Obama's handpicked senator: For you to say I'm handpicked by somebody else...proves the point that I just made." That Allen is nasty, smash mouth, etc. Yep. @MoElleithee tweets, "@timkaine makes a pledge: I will be a partner with the POTUS regardless of party, not running to be an obstructionist."
UPDATE 11:55 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine hits Allen for saying he worked with Clinton. Quotes Allen saying Clinton is 'so contrary to all of our values.'" @timkaine tweets, "Kaine worked with the Bush Administration to secure $900 million in federal investment for Rail to Dulles"
UPDATE 11:54 am: Kaine is pummeling Allen, no wonder why Felix doesn't want these debates televised or live streamed!!! (I'm told Allen is rattled, sweating...)
UPDATE 11:52 am: Missed a good one by @MoElleithee - "@georgeallenva says his top priority would not be disagreeing with anyone. Not true. His entire campaign is anti-Obama." @MoElleithee also tweets, "@timkaine on bipartisanship: my father-in-law is a former republican governor of Virginia. It starts at home for me!"
UPDATE 11:50 am: @MoElleithee tweets, "Did @georgeallenva say his "kick soft teeth down their whining throat" comment was a sports analogy? What sport????" (Yeah, and "macaca" was a made-up nonsense word. Are all Republican politicians pathological liars or what?!? Another Willard Romney here...)
UPDATE 11:46 am: Kaine calls out Allen for divisive, nasty rhetoric - specifically notes "soft teeth whining throat" comments by Allen. Kaine hitting Allen's name calling, smash-mouth politics hard. Allen tries to claim he's worked in a bipartisan fashion, which is just utterly laughable. Allen also claims to be a leader on cyber security. What next, he invented the internet? LOL @MichaelSluss tweets, "Asked where he differs with @MittRomney, @georgeallenva cites nothing specific. @timkaine cites difference w/ @BarackObama on Bush tax cuts."
UPDATE 11:42 am: Kaine says "George your record is a big spending record" You voted to turn surpluses into deficits, voted 4 times to you raise own pay, 6 times against pay cuts, for 52,000 earmarks, over $160 billion in spending Kaine just slammed Allen big time. There can be no real response to this from Allen, because it's all true. @MoElleithee tweets, "@georgeallenva says when he left office we were on trajectory towards balanced budget. Actually he came in with 1, left with deficit." @scontorno tweets, "Kaine: 'you planted time bombs in the budget.' I think he used that line last debate too." Good line, also true!
UPDATE 11:40 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine: Would support 2-3 dollars of cuts for every dollar of revenue." @MoElleithee tweets, "Next topic: Bush tax cuts. @timkaine has middle ground compromise of rolling back on those over $500k. @georgeallenva says keep them all." So much for Allen being a fiscal conservative; no way to balance budget like that, unless (wink wink) he plans to trash Medicare and Social Security. Hmmmm, ya think? (can we say "Ryan Budget?") @brandihoffine tweets, "@georgeallenva rejects even 10:1 cuts to revenues. would hammer VA's economy." Remember, Virginia relies more heavily on Federal spending and civilian/military/contractor employment than basically any other state. Allen's massive cuts would be devastating to Virginia!
UPDASTE 11:37 am: Kaine says Allen talks like a fiscal conservative, but has never actually done it. Allen says he will if we give him a third chance, but that's tough to believe... @timkaine tweets, "Despite rhetoric, George Allen has always grown gov't: budget grew over 40% as Gov & voted to add $3T to debt as Sen." @scontorno tweets, "Crowley: Why doesn't anyone say lets get rid of all the Bush tax cuts?" Good question!
UPDATE 11:35 am: @MikeSigner tweets, "Wow, I can't believe @georgeallenva won't answer @timkaine's tough question about not paying for Medicare Part D. Just didn't answer!!" @scontorno tweets, "Why not pay for Medicaid Part D? Allen: after 9/11 no one wanted to raise taxes." Wow, that is really low, taking a national tragedy and blaming THAT for his piss-poor policy judgment. #FAIL!!!
UPDATE 11:31 am: @scontorno tweets, "Allen: unmanned aerial vehicles can help reduce cost of military." Also, 30 minutes in and Allen FINALLY drops his first (inevitable) football reference ("throw a flag". Kaine asks Allen about Medicare Part D - program costs 400 billion in first 10 years, a trillion in next 10 - George, why didn't you pay for it? Allen advocates health savings account, also blames not paying for Medicare Part D on the war. WTF?!?!?!? @MikeSigner tweets, "@timkaine drills @georgeallenva on failing to pay for 400 billion cost of Medicare drug benefit." As well he should!
UPDATE 11:28 am: @MikeSigner tweets, "@georgeallenva extremely defensive, even panicky in explaining his opposition to the budget deal McDonnell, Cantor, and Kaine supported." @scontorno tweets, "Allen: I could never envision myself voting for something that would be so horrible for Virginia. (on military cuts)" Hahahaha, whatever dude, talk to Eric Can'tor and the rest of your party that was responsible for that! Duhhhhhhh. @timkaine tweets, "Allen urged GOP to use debt ceiling crisis as 'leverage' while Gov. McDonnell & other R's urged compromise" Yes, the Republicans held the nation hostage for months, then complain about the results. Wildly irresponsible.
UPDATE 11:25 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine is quickly turning this against Allen to hit him on spending, not backing paygo." Rightly so! Allen voted to raise his own pay 4 times; voted against paygo; he's like a teenager with a credit card just running it up! @MikeSigner tweets, "@timkaine on fire in debate-calls @georgeallenva on carpet for increasing federal spending, debt ceiling, own pay. #rhetoricvsreality"
UPDATE 11:24 am: @MoElleithee tweets, "@timkaine calls for a balanced approach to deficit. 1st main difference with @georgeallenva in #vasen debate." @MichaelSlussRT tweets, "@georgeallenva , @timkaine now sparring on taxes in #vasen debate. Kaine would let Bush tax cuts expire in income $500K and greater."
UPDATE 11:22 am: @scontorno tweets, "Crowley asks Allen if he would take 10 to 1 spending cuts to revenue increases. Allen's answer: raising taxes will only create more job loss...Crowley presses him to answer the question: So that's a no? Allen: yea, i think that's pretty obvious."
UPDATE 11:20 am: Q: Would you vote for a tax increase if you were ensured it was accompanied by budget cuts? Allen says lower flatter tax will increase jobs, raising taxes only increases jobs at the IRS. What bull****. Kaine - I cut a lot of taxes as Mayor, and I've done a lot of expense cuts. Tut we need more revenue to fix this debt issue, most of it occured while George Allen was in the Senate -- unfunded Medicare Part D, two wars not funded, "temporary" tax cuts that they now want to make permanent. We need to grow the economy for small businesses
UPDATE 11:18 am: @scontorno tweets, "Allen clarifies: 'I do think there out to criminal records checks from licensed firearms dealers.' So maybe not gun shows?"
UPDATE 11:15 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine: 'I for one believe we need to do background record checks when guns are purchased at gunshows.'" @brandihoffine
.@timkaine reflects on leading VA through terrible tragedy at #Tech, talked abt work with @BobMcDonnell to implement bipartisan reforms @scontorno tweets, "Allen: 'I am for criminal records checks.' also mental checks. but said should wait to see what comes out of #aurora investigation."
UPDATE 11:12 am: @scontorno tweets, "Kaine: Let's play nice. Allen: 'Virginia is hurting because of the failed policies in Washington that my opponent has advocated.'" @AllenVA_Press tweets, "@GeorgeAllenVA: 'It's time to bring the Voices of hardworking taxpayers to Washington for a more efficient, effective & accountable gov't'" @MikeSigner tweets, "@georgeallenva attacks Pentagon job losses (resulting from Rep intransigence on budget)-one area where he believes in stimulus spending." @scontorno: "Crowley's first questions is, of course, about gun control in wake of #Aurora shooting."
UPDATE 11:09 am: @scontorno tweets that Kaine "Brings up tragedy at Colorado & links it to VaTech. Kaine guv during that crisis" @MikeSigner tweets that @timkaine says "We have huge issues...but somehow we've let our politics get very small." Lily Adams (@adamslily) tweets, "In opening - @timkaine discusses his visit to volunteer at the RAM clinic yesterday in Wise County." Brandi Hoffine (@brandihoffine) tweets, "@timkaine reflects on yesterday's shooting in CO: 'we've let our politics get very small, divisive, petty, & personal.'"
UPDATE 11:07 am: Tim Kaine making his opening statement. Wes Hester tweets, "Allen wearing a red tie, Kaine blue. Makes sense." Also, Steve Contorno (@scontorno) of the Washington Examiner tweets, "Candy Crowley of CNN is the moderator. Just in case no one realized how big a deal this race is."
UPDATE 10:50 am: Click on that photo to "embiggen," it's pretty cool! (no Allen supporters in sight, gotta love it)
UPDATE 10:37 am: Wes Hester of the RTD tweets, "Ahead of US Sen debate @TheHomestead college-aged kids screaming & waving @timkaine signs. Also, the coffee here is tremendous." Wes Hester adds, "#VASEN debate attendees trickling in, @RobertHurt and @CreighDeeds among them. Moderator @crowleyCNN is also here."
I'm not physically present at The Homestead for the first Kaine-Allen general election debate, and there's no TV, radio, or intertubes livestream for some idiotic reason (more on that below). Still, I'm going to do my best to cover this thing regardless. I'll be following twitter and other updates from deep inside the hallowed halls of The Homestead.
By the way, you're probably wondering why this extremely important debate isn't being televised, radio broadcast, and/or livestreamed online. It's truly astounding, and really makes you wonder who's responsible for this travesty to democracy (and no, I don't buy the "tradition" argument; the world advances, and so should the Virginia Bar Association debates!).
Let's just put it this way; it's highly unlikely, bordering on impossible, that this blackout was demanded by Tim Kaine. That's simply not the way Kaine is about these types of things; in fact, it's totally out of character for Kaine in general.
Now George Allen, on the other hand; well he's a totally different story. In 2006, we saw how thin skinned he could be, how hypersensitive, and how worried about making a gaffe (or more likely, multiple gaffes). For good reason, too, for all of us who remember not just "macaca," but everything after "macaca," including Allen's absurd explanation for what that meant and why he said it, his vicious lashing out at reporter Peggy Fox for the audacity of asking him about his Jewish background (which turned out to be 100% correct, by the way), and other assorted idiocies. We also know that Allen hates to talk to the non-right-wingnut press, and avoids doing so at all costs. For instance, Allen refused to talk to the press after the Republican primary debates this past spring.
In sum, Allen's the classic coward/bully combination, someone who tries desperately to cultivate an image of geniality, but is actually as nasty as they come ("shove their soft teeth down their whiny throats," anyone? yep, that's our Felix!), and it would certainly be in character for him to be a d*** about not allowing the first general election debate with Tim Kaine to be broadcast. That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it, although I'm certainly open to other ideas...
P.S. Also remember, George Allen has a lot to hide, starting with his miserable record in the U.S. Senate, where he voted 96% of the time with George W. Bush in the disastrous policies that turned record surpluses into massive deficits; that burdened us with two unpaid-for wars and an unpaid-for new entitlement program; etc. Allen also wants everyone to forget about his disgraceful reelection campaign in 2006, as well as what he's done since 2006 (whoring for dirty energy interests for wads of cash). And, of course, Allen's divisive, extremist agenda isn't exactly one that's going to play well with most Virginians if they truly understand what it's all about. Other than that, I'm sure Allen's VERY eager to have these debates seen by as many Virginians as possible. (snark)