Obama's called to task by Teddy Ruxpin -- sorry, Wolf Blitzer -- for the costs of a big new expansion of the standing army. Obama's answer is roundabout and stammer-tastic. What on earth does treating homecoming troops with dignity (nice idea) have to do with the question? How many questions will we have answered tonight? Ruxpin seems ultimately unconcerned.
Dodd drops some science, smoothly deploying the word 'dais.' Follows it up with a nice archery metaphor.
Richardson tries to answer the question about why vets can't get treated in the hospitals of their choice, lifting a finger. The anchor tells Obama he should answer. He does. Richardson makes a little gun with his finger but doesn't start waving it around. Ruxpin finally gives him the chair and -- guess what -- he has a plan. Richardson wants to issue a "Hero's Health Card." Scattered applause. A return to the ominous theme first touched on during the Universal Health Care portion: treating mental health 'the same' as physical health. Meaning Government therapy and Government pills, of course.
Gravel says the Government has "always waged war" on veterans. Gravel asks Obama if he knew about Walter Reed before it hit the news. Obama cannot attain pithiness. "Sacred obligation" has a nice ring to it, but it's lost, lost in the mix, and Ruxpin has to remind Obama of Gravel's attack. Another middle-management response.
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