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by Andrew Chulock
Message in An Elevator:
How I Met Sting
www.Darfur.cc and genocides.tv Darfur and Iraq: Priorities The Troop Surge in Iraq
"The You Tube Debate" Debate Coverage: The Democrats July 23, 2007 Biden Gets It, Hillary also Looks Strong
This much is certain, the way in which debates like this are presented
has changed, and it is a welcome one. The chance for people to submit their
questions through You Tube is a positive step toward more involvement directly
by the people, but it is noteworthy in that it widens the gap between the
technolgically abled have and have nots: is an inner city or poor rural
farmer able to have the same chance as a suburbanite or tech savy geek to
ask a question, and more importantly, will the questions be skewed toward
issues that concern the haves at the expense of ignoring issues that concern
the have nots?
Refreshingly, the answer to the second question appears to be no. There were questions about universal health care and and answers concerning better schools for poor people in South Carolina by Senator Edwards. This was, after all, a Democratic debate. But one wonders what the questions would be by people that don't have two nickels to scrape together. There appeared to be no welfare mothers or homeless people asking any questions. Maybe an effort can be made in future debates to go out to the community with video crews to ask poor folks questions rather than rely on people with their own video devices to ask questions.
Senator Clinton looked polished, refreshed, composed, and professional. Senator Edwards looked well groomed, honest, and seemed genuine in his answers, Senator Biden looked experienced, capable, presidential, and fired up. Senator Kucinich was certain in his answers, yet his appearance and stature make him a long shot. He does, however, speak with conviction and does not dance around answers. Senator Dodd looks like a good running mate for a younger candidate, like possibly an Edwards-Dodd ticket (Or Bush-Cheney for that matter). Senator Obama looked tall, composed and speaks with conviction as well. Governor Richardson looked confident, experienced, well informed, and capable. No one made any major gaffes. The other candidates not mentioned here did not make a major impression on me. The format did not allow for that much confrontation between the candidates. In fact it looked like a 60's love-in or a comedy fest at the end of the debate. Refreshing for politics these days, though I doubt that will happen when the respective nominees from each party debate.
Senator Biden is the only candidate from either party that has put Darfur on the front burner, even advocating the use of U.S. ground forces in Darfur. Senator Clinton, when pressed on the issue, is for U.N. and African Union troops but not U.S. troops on the ground. This is a cop out, and is a position she and many others have had for years, but this position has been taken at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Sudanse in Darfur being killed in a genocide much like the way Jews were systematically killed in Europe during World War II when the world did nothing until they were directly engaged in war with Germany. Senator Biden gets that, all the others don't.
Senator Biden is also realistic about the fallacy of pulling out U.S. troops from Iraq. He states correctly that a U.S pullout would take a full year from the time any pullout would begin, and hinted that the other candidates were pandering to the Democratic base when any of them say they want troops out now. For my article on why we cannot pull out of Iraq now click here.
Senator Biden lags far behind the other candidates in the polls, but somehow the cream always rises to the top. He would have to be paired with a geographically correct running mate to have shot at winning the general election, but as far as experience, which counts a lot when Senators Clinton and Obama have only eight years combined in the Senate, knowledge of the issues, demeanor, and a moderate stance on Iraq and on other issues, he is the best choice the Democrats have.
Hillary Clinton lost me on the flag burning issue a couple years back. In an effort to move toward the center by pandering to the right, she sponsored a flag burning amendment in the Senate. If you want to burn the First Amendment to protect burning the flag, to me that is not an acceptable concession to the right.
Senator Obama would have a better chance at winning the general election simply by having an (R) next to his name instead of a (D). His answer on why Civil Unions is equal under the law to marriage smacks of separate but equal and the ghost of that Jim Crow law seems to stand on his shoulder when he tries to explain his stance on Civil Unions.
Senator Richardson is extremely intelligent and would probably make a great President. Coming from New Mexico, a state with miniscule electoral votes, doesn't help him much.
Senator Edwards would seem to be a viable candidate, being from the crucial South, and says a lot of good things, but he could not even carry his home state of North Carolina for Kerry in the last election.
Next review: The Republican Debate
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