Transcript of the “Lost” Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate | February 2004


When I first started this column, I made a promise to myself that I’d keep politics out of it. The circumstances being what they were for me as I tried to prepare my column for the January issue of the Flamenco, along with a letter to the Editor to vent about recent letters and columns on the war in Iraq, that didn’t quite happen last month. I apologize to you for that.

So I’ll have to start over again, so to speak. My promise to you, dear reader (that would be the one person who actually reads this column–namely, me), is that after this issue, I’ll try to keep politics out of the Humorless Twit. Unless it’s appropriate. And with the Democratic Presidential primaries coming up, well, I let temptation get the best of me for this issue.

Otherwise, I’ll try to keep the politics and the humor (or what passes for humor in this column) separate. After all, I’m not a big fan of political jokes. I’ve seen too many get elected.

Another note, this to my former editor: Marlene, you’ll be missed. Thanks for the kind words in the January Flamenco, especially the flattering comparison to Dave Barry. Although I have yet to write a column on boogers. But who nose, maybe I’ll pick this year to impart a few nuggets of nasal knowledge to my reader, I mean, readers. Anyway, the check’s in the mail, Marlene!

As mentioned before (if you didn’t catch it the first time, then go back and re-read the paragraphs above!), the Democratic Presidential Primaries are coming soon. In fact, by the time you get this, the Iowa Caucuses and a few State primaries will have taken place already.

Fortunately for our South Florida Democratic friends (I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican myself, but a member of that big non-party known as “NPA” on your voter’s registration card), Florida’s primary doesn’t take place until next month. I say “fortunately” because a little-publicized Democratic Presidential debate actually took place in a secret location late last year.

This debate was the only one not to air live. In fact, it wasn’t even videotaped! Good thing for the candidates, because as you’ll see in the exclusive transcript of the debate (below), I’m sure none of them were too happy with their performances.

Democratic Presidential Debate sponsored by Sox (as in, smelly Sox) News (our motto: “We distort, you deride”) and the Democratic National Committee

Moderator: Lefty Anger

  • The Candidates: General Wesley “Bill and Hillary say I’m not a puppet of the Clintons” Clark (Ret.)
  • Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard “Bike Path” Dean
  • U.S. Senator John “Does anybody know, or care, who I am?” Edwards
  • U.S. Representative Richard “Don’t you dare call me Dick” Gephardt
  • U.S. Senator John “Did you know I went to Vietnam?” Kerry
  • U.S. Representative Dennis “I thought this was the Dating Game” Kucinich
  • U.S. Senator Joseph “Despite what I say I think Al Gore is a dirty back-stabber” Lieberman
  • Ambassador Carol “The rest of these guys are just a bunch of chumps” Moseley Braun
  • The Reverend Al “They listed me last, that’s discrimination!” Sharpton.

ANGER: Welcome to the 500 millionth, gazillionth Democratic Presidential Candidate…

KUCINICH: (Interrupts) Did you say “date?”

ANGER: (Annoyed) I said CANDIdate! (Calms down) As I was saying, welcome to the 500 millionth, gazillionth Democratic Presidential CANDIDATE Debate (waits for audience reaction, gets none). (To audience) That was a joke, you were supposed to laugh!

AUDIENCE: (Laughs at prompt by Anger)

ANGER: Let’s get to our first question. Which one of you hates President Bush the most?

ALL: (Yelling in unison) I DO! I DO!

ANGER: Okay, in turn, explain your hatred of President Bush, why you hate him, and so on.

KERRY: I went to Vietnam and he didn’t, that’s why I hate him. Oh, by the way, did I mention I went to Vietnam?

DEAN: I didn’t go to Vietnam because I went skiing, er, I mean, because I had a bad back, but I still hate Bush and I hate him more than Senator Kerry does, nyah nyah! Just ask Al Gore and Bill Bradley, that’s why they endorsed me! Phffft!

LIEBERMAN: I hate Bush because he stole the election from me and that lousy backstabber, er, I mean Al Gore.

SHARPTON: I hate Bush because he hasn’t done anything for this, er, I mean, the black man and besides, he can’t dance like me. (Starts singing) I feel good…

ANGER: (Interrupts) Okay, next question. What do you think is the single biggest problem facing America right now?

KUCINICH: I can’t get a date.

BRAUN: The fact that few people even know or care that I’m still running for President.

EDWARDS: I know exactly how you feel, Ambassador Braun.

GEPHARDT: Our biggest problem is we keep losing all these manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. That, and people keep calling me “Dick.” By the way, is this microphone made in China?

DEAN: Our biggest problem is President Bush and I’m going to kick him out of the White House! He’s an even bigger problem than Osama Bin Laden, who’s innocent until proven guilty.

CLARK: No, our biggest problem is you, Dr. Kevorkian, er, I mean, Dr. Dean, running at the mouth!

OTHER CANDIDATES: (In unison) Yeah!

KERRY: You’re tearing the freaking Democratic Party apart, you freaking ski bum, and besides, I went to freaking Vietnam and you freaking didn’t!

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, how dare you get an endorsement from my former running mate…

ANGER: (Interrupts) Senator, I believe you were his running mate.

LIEBERMAN: (Irritated) Yeah, well, whatever, you know what I mean!

DEAN: This is unfair, you’re all picking on me! I’m gonna go tell! (Yells) Terry! Terry!

ANGER: Governor Dean, are you calling out to Terry McAwful of the DNC?

DEAN: No, I want my teddy bear! When I was a young kid I couldn’t pronounce the letter “D” and I called my teddy bear a “terry” bear.

ANGER: Thank you for the clarification, Governor. On to the next question. Should we have gone to war against Iraq and should we pay $87 billion for its reconstruction?

SHARPTON: Heck no. That’s money we could’ve put right into my bank account, er, I mean, we could’ve spent right here on our own problems.

KUCINICH: I would’ve taken that money to create a Department of Peace so I can impress all the hot-looking babes.

LIEBERMAN: Who do you think you are, Mr. Kucinich, Bill Clinton? We did the right thing going into Iraq and stopping that madman, or is it Saddam?

KERRY: You have it all wrong, Senator. I mean you’re right. I mean, you’re wrong. Oops, I changed my mind again on Iraq. See what freaking President Bush did to me? Hey, did I tell all of you I went to Vietnam?

OTHER CANDIDATES: (Collective groan) Yes, you did!

ANGER: Ambassador Braun, what is your economic plan for America?

BRAUN: Well, I’d repeal the Bush tax cuts on the rich and use the money to let people know I exist, since the polls indicate I don’t.

EDWARDS: I’d see your repeal and raise you 50.

DEAN: I’d see your raise and raise you 100!

CLARK: Gentlemen, this is not a poker game!

GEPHARDT: (Snickering) Look who’s chiming in, I’ll bet you played poker many a night in the Army!

KERRY: Hey, I played poker in Vietnam!

KUCINICH: Speaking of poker, Ambassador Braun, are you doing anything after this debate?

BRAUN: No, why?

KUCINICH: Wanna go get a cup of coffee?

BRAUN: Uh, I don’t think so.

ANGER: Okay, last question. What would be your biggest accomplishment as President, if you were elected?

BRAUN: Getting people to know I exist.

KUCINICH: (Smiling, addressing Braun): I’d make you my First Lady!

BRAUN: (Rolling her eyes) Oh jeez!

LIEBERMAN: I’d make Al Gore my First Bi… er, oops, sorry, I mean, I’d consider him for Vice President. But only if he apologizes for stabbing me in the back.

DEAN: I’d remove all evidence of President Bush from the White House, except the servants who served him because when I grew up, we didn’t even treat the servants like servants. That, and I’d make sure every church in America–oh, and by the way, did I tell you I’m a Christian and I’ve read every book by Hans Christian Andersen to prove it?–had a bike path.

CLARK: (Rolling his eyes) Oh brother, that would be the Bible, not books by Hans Christian Andersen? Hello? Anyway, my accomplishments would be to make Hillary Clinton the first woman Vice President, and put Bill Clinton in charge of all White House interns.

EDWARDS: Heck, I don’t know what I’d do. Maybe that’s why nobody even knows I’m running for President.

GEPHARDT: I’d bring back all those jobs we’ve lost to overseas manufacturing plants. Or barring that, I’d remove all the “Made in China” stickers from the stuff you buy at Wal-Mart.

KERRY: I’d go back into Vietnam and finish the job we started there. But I’d make sure we got out of that quagmire in Iraq first. By the way, speaking of Vietnam, did I tell you…

OTHER CANDIDATES: (In unison) Shut up!

SHARPTON: I’d go on Saturday Night Live every week and sing! I’d be the first singing President! (Starts singing) I feel good…


ANGER: (With Sharpton still singing in the background) Well, that concludes this Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate. Have a good evening everyone.

SHARPTON: (Still singing) So good, so good, how about you? HEY!