Thursday, January 24, 2008

it happened at the South Carolina debate

It is not widely known that CNN recorded an additional segment to Monday evening’s South Carolina Democratic debate. For alleged national security reasons, this segment was never aired. Below is the transcript.

Joe JOHNS: Welcome back to the CNN South Carolina Democratic debate. This is the 47th Democratic debate this year, and the last before next week’s first Iowa debate among the 2012 candidates. We remind the candidates on the stage here that they will have only 30 seconds to respond to each question, and that this limit will be strictly enforced. If a candidate exceeds his or her time, we will call that candidate’s mother and tell her not to let the candidate have any dessert. We would like to take a moment to stress this matter to Governor Bill Richardson, whom we understand remains in the auditorium of our December New Hampshire debate, answering a question about Iran. Governor, your family misses you.

Wolf BLITZER: Senator Clinton, lately you’ve been criticized for suggesting that the work of Martin Luther King Jr. would have been less effective without the efforts of Lyndon Johnson. In comparing yourself to Johnson, did you intend to diminish the importance of King’s legacy?

Hillary CLINTON: Of course not Wolf! But we all need to understand that having an inspiring message is not enough for social change. We must have effective, experienced leadership as well. Think about Jesus Christ. Yes, he had an inspiring message, but what good would that have done without the reaction of the Roman authorities to make him a martyr? If Pontius Pilate had not ordered him crucified, many fewer people would have learned about his message.

BLITZER: Senator Clinton, I’m not sure I understand. Are you comparing yourself to Pontius Pilate, and Senator Obama to Jesus Christ?

CLINTON: Yes Wolf, I am. I have the experience necessary to lead our country. Americans wants as a president someone who knows how to deal with insurrection, not someone they’d have as a drinking buddy, or their personal savior.

JOHNS: Senator Obama, how do you respond?

Barack OBAMA: Well, I think that the Aramaic community will not appreciate Senator Clinton’s slurring Christ’s legacy. But I think we should use a different historical analogy. I think I am more like Ronald Reagan, and Hillary is more like the Soviet Union. Or perhaps I’m Ronald Reagan and Hillary is economic recession. Or I’m Reagan and Hillary is the environment. You know what I mean, right Democrats? Ronald Reagan is awesome!

BLITZER: Senator Obama, your critics allege that your use of racial identity in this campaign may be destructive to the Democratic Party. Do you think that your recent attacks on Senator Clinton regarding her statements on race will be alienating to white or Latino votes?

OBAMA: No, Wolf, because America understands that I am just like everyone. You see, Wolf, my mother is from Kansas and my father is from Kenya. I grew up in Indonesia. Not only that, I make really good enchiladas. You can ask my wife! In college, I went to two sessions of an Arabic class before dropping it. I once shook hands with Jackie Chan. In fact, my advisors have determined that the only ethnic group to which I have no connection is Indian, so next week a team of scientists will insert DNA extracted from a man named Sundarshan Devaraja into my genetic code. You see, Wolf, Americans support me because I embody the unity of America.

CLINTON: Look Wolf, this is why you can’t trust Senator Obama! I have here in my hands a paper Senator Obama wrote in 1st grade, saying that he hates Jackie Chan movies!

OBAMA: Oh, wait, Wolf, I forgot one. You’re all invited to my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah next week!

JOHNS: Senator Edwards, I’ve just noticed that you’re on the stage for some reason. In our first debate, you were hiding in a thicket of white men. Now you’re the only one remaining. What do you have to say for yourself?

John EDWARDS: You see Joe, there are two Americas. And I’m here to represent both of those Americas. I represent the America that has no health insurance, and the America that spends $400 on haircuts. I represent the America that loses its home to foreclosure, and the America that invests in the hedge funds owning those foreclosed mortgages. I represent the America that cannot feed its children, and the America that can take 6 years off of work to run for president. I represent Americans, because I am America – both of its faces.

JOHNS: Thank you Senator Edwards, that was very moving.

EDWARDS: Thanks, Joe. See you in Iowa next week.

BLITZER: Senator Clinton, our next question comes from a viewer, and will be read by CNN’s own Suzanne Malveaux. Suzanne?

Suzanne MALVEAUX: This email is from Edith Crubblenocker of East Mildew, New Jersey. She writes: ‘Every time I see Hillary Clinton on television, I am so disgusted that I projectively vomit up to seven feet. When I hear her voice, scabs break out on my lower legs and ooze greenish pus onto the floor. I once came within a mile of a campaign appearance, and afterwards I had diarrhea continuously for four days. I am an undecided voter, but I will probably not vote for Hillary Clinton.’ Senator Clinton, what do you say to voters who find you nauseating?

CLINTON; Well, Suzanne, that hurts my feelings. (laughs) But I think that when Americans go out to vote, they’ll vote for the candidate who has the most experience and leadership potential. And my campaign staff will be on hand with barf bags and ear plugs for any voter who needs assistance.

OBAMA: Oh, Hillary, I think that you’re sanitary enough. (smirks and laughs)

JOHNS: Now that we’ve covered the important identity politics, let’s turn to some substantive issues. Senator Obama, if you were an animal, what kind of animal would –

(a loud crash interrupts. A man comes stumbling onto the stage, wearing boxer shorts, a cape, and half of a goalie mask.)

CLINTON: It’s the Phantom of the South Carolina Democratic debate!

OBAMA: No, it’s Dennis Kucinich!

EDWARDS: See Joe, this is the type of bickering America doesn’t need. ‘Oh it’s the Phantom!’ ‘No, it’s Dennis Kucinich!’ How many American children are going unfed while we stander here arguing about this? You see, Joe, as the son of a mill-worker, I–

(Kucinich clubs Edwards with a shillelagh. Edwards crumples to the floor.)

Dennis KUCINICH: Hee hee hee! Hah hah hah! You thought you could keep me out of the debates, did you? But no! I’m here to spread the message of love. America needs love! And Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! (begins prowling erratically around the stage, muttering to self)

CLINTON: You see, Wolf, under Barack’s health care plan, without universal coverage, John wouldn’t be able to get medical attention for that shillelagh wound.

KUCINICH: … end George Bush’s war …

OBAMA: That’s not true Wolf! Hillary knows very well that my plan has full coverage for all injuries incurred from staves or staff-like implements. But you should ask her about her plan’s exceptions for go-cart accidents!

KUCINICH: … wind power by 2016 …

BLITZER: I think we should return to the substantive issues that Americans really care about. Senator Clinton, boxers or –

(a crashing sound from above. The ceiling is torn open, and an enormous metallic saucer descends into the auditorium, lights flashing along its exterior.)

KUCINICH: I told you! Now you see! I feel a sense of enormous peace washing over this place. There will be love, America! There will be love.

(a circle on the hovering craft opens, emitting a beam of light that surrounds Kucinich. The beam then disappears, along with Kucinich. The metallic craft disappears upward at amazing speed.)

JOHNS: I’m sorry, candidates, but we’re out of time. Next on CNN, Larry King will interview Lynne Spears to ask how she feels about becoming a grandma! Stay tuned to CNN, the most trusted name in news.