Tonight’s Democratic candidates presidential debate

It will take place at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and starts at 7pm ET. I had originally planned on liveblogging it, but am not so sure I will as I really don’t want to ruin what’s left of my weekend ;) The WaPo has a write-up on the debate here:

GOFFSTOWN, N.H., June 3– The Democratic presidential candidates meet here Sunday night for their second debate of the young campaign season, with Iraq and health care likely to dominate much of the discussion.

The two-hour session on the campus of St. Anselm College just outside Manchester will include questions from journalists and from New Hampshire voters — Democrats and independents alike. CNN, which is co-sponsoring the debate along with WMUR-TV and the Manchester Union Leader, will air the debate nationally, beginning at 7 p.m.


Much of the focus Sunday night will be on the three leading candidates — New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina senator John Edwards, and the organizers made sure that the three will be at standing next to one another when the debate opens.

But if there are any fireworks, they could be sparked by some candidates like Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson or Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., who are seeking to persuade party activists, ere and in other states with early primaries and caucuses, that they deserve a closer look and more support.

Two other Democrats — Ohio Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich and former Alaska senator Mike Gravel — will also participate and in the first debate in April, they staked out the left flank on the major issues, but particularly on ending U.S. involvement in Iraq immediately.

Among the leading candidates, Obama may feel the most pressure. His performance in the South Carolina debate in April had some rocky moments and by his own admission — which he wrote about in his best-selling book, “The Audacity of Hope” — he was never comfortable in his debates against Republican rival Alan Keyes during the 2004 Senate race in Illinois.

New Hampshire is, of course, a big primary state for Democrats – the first one, in fact, after the Iowa and Nevada caucuses – so the candidates are going to go all out this evening in order to try and gain favor with New Hampshire voters. Look for second tier candidates like Bill Richardson and Christopher Dodd to try and start distinguishing themselves from the frontrunners (Clinton, Obama, and Edwards) in an attempt to gain traction in the polls.

Republicans will be debating in the same place Tuesday night.

Update I: ST reader steveegg will be liveblogging the debate. Good luck, steve! :) ST reader William Smith is at St. Anselm and is reporting for liveblogging duty as well – heh. Check his blog for frequent updates.

CNN’s Political Ticker will be monitoring the debate and posting the spin from the campaigns, debate reactions, etc.

Update II: Allah’s got video of the dustup between some of the candidates on Iraq.

Update III: Liberal icon Eric Alterman was arrested in the debate’s spin room. Expect the howls of outrage from the Nutroots to begin soon over allegations that Alterman was “silenced!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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