Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

In the interest of as clear disclosure as possible, my trip to Nevada has been sponsored by AFSCME.

I'm now in the Carson City Community Center for the first Democratic presidential forum ahead of the Nevada caucuses. The event is sponsored by AFSCME and will feature all announced candidates for the Democratic nomination, with the exception of Barack Obama. You can catch the whole event over on C-SPAN, either via television or the website, and follow along with my liveblog on this thread.

Note: Wrapups of all of the candidates below the fold. And in a few minutes, a broad look at the afternoon's event.

The forum is just starting right now. For the first time during this campaign, to my knowledge, all of the candidates in attendence in an event are sharing a stage. Now, Majority Leader Harry Reid takes the stage to kick off the forum officially. Reid: "The future of the Democratic Party is in the West." Reid calls to the stage AFSCME national president Gerald McEntee, who thanks Reid for helping bring Nevada to the early parts of the nominating process. McEntee notes that this is the first -- the first -- presidential forum of the 2008 cycle. Moderator George Stephanopoulos takes over the helm and introduces the first candidate, Chris Dodd.

Once again, Chris Dodd is the first candididate up on stage. Dodd speaks of bringing the country together through "optimism and confidence." He highlights his extensive experience, stating that he believes the next Democratic presidential nominee needs to have a long record in public service and achievements. Dodd scores major points with the crowd by correcting Stephanopoulos mispronunciation of Nevada. Dodd garners quite a bit of laughter within the audience, as well as strong applause lines; his reception seems even better than what he received at the DNC winter meetings in Washington a few weeks back. Prompted by Stephanopoulos, Dodd emphatically states that his vote in favor of the Iraq War "was a mistake", but that it is more important that we move forward at this point than think backward -- and that's it's time to end the war. Stephanopoulos asks if withdrawal of American troops would lead to chaos in Baghdad; Dodd responds that it would be difficult to increase the amount of chaos in the city.

Up second today is Hillary Clinton, who also receives a strong initial response from the crowd. Clinton speaks directly to the issues facing unions and working Americans, like those who are members of AFSCME. She states that she is strongly opposed to the privatization of the federal government, which elicits a positive response. Promises universal healthcare, as well as moves to improve America's educational system and its energy situation. To lead, Stephanopoulos asks Clinton about her position on Iraq, why her vote wasn't a mistake. Clinton states that she has "taken responsibility for" her vote, that no one should be let off the hook for their vote. At the same time, she explains that she has sponsored legislation to stop the escalation and that she supports passing new authorization legislation for the Iraq War. On the question of whether universal healthcare coverage is achievable, Clinton draws some chuckles when she harkens back to her last battle, but states that she believes that it can be done without significantly increasing the amount of money spent on healthcare. States that her timeline is by the end of her second term. On the question of her spat with Barack Obama over David Geffen's comments, she says it should be up to "the other campaign" to decide if they should disavow the comments and that she's happy to be in Nevada (a notable jab at Obama, who is not here). Clinton skips her closing statement, quizzically.

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack takes the stage third, jokes about the fact that he's supposed to talk about AFSCME, Reid, etc. "but I won't". Instead leaves his opening to talk about Iraq, in relation to a recent conversation with a young boy in Seattle and his concerns about Iraq. Asks the crowd, "What have you done... to end the war in Iraq?" Stephanopoulos asks that exact question first. Vilsack lays out his plan to end the war now, additionally stating that he believes the troops should be moved to Afghanistan. The second question covers healthcare, specifically the John Edwards plan, to which Vilsack responds, "We absolutely do need universal coverage," though not necessarily by increasing taxes. But he also talks about dealing with wellness, pointing to curing polio, etc. Final question covers Social Security and Medicare. Vilsack talks about balancing the budget of these programs by reindexing the program to prices, not prices and wages. Closes his appearance talking about his own personal story.

The fourth candidate on the stage is John Edwards. Talks about working with AFSCME in Nevada to increase the minimum wage in Nevada, and a handful of other states, in 2006. States that he believes that organized labor has been the most effective anti-poverty tool in American history, also endorsing the Employee Free Choice Act. Paraphrasing Martin Luther King, Jr., Edwards states that he believes that America can't stand silent when dealing with the issue of healthcare, that moves towards universal healthcare should begin during start of his administration. States that others who say they can achieve universal coverage without increasing revenue "might want to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn." Finally states that "we need to be leaving Iraq." Implicitly attacks candidates who won't admit that their support for the Iraq War was a mistake. Stephanopoulos asks a question directly aimed at this point, specifically how it appears aimed at Clinton, which Edwards doesn't directly address, though he does touch on his thoughtmaking process on the issue. Stephanopoulos follows up to ask if Edwards is just taking the politically popular stance now, as he did in 2002 when he supported the war. Edwards responds that it will be up to voters to gauge whether they believe he is being sincere. On the final question, outsourcing, Edwards states that he believes that we need to be "smarter" about our approach to globalization and also that there needs to be an opportunity for kids to pay for college, perhaps through service. To conclude, Edwards talks about the need for America to be the leader in this world, on issues like global warming and healthcare, but also morally.

Candidate five, after the break, is Bill Richardson. Says to achieve all of the great things for America -- strengthen the middle class, improve America, etc. -- is "to elect a Democrat." Calls again for a pledge against negative campaigning for the party nomination, as he did at the DNC winter meetings. Talks about the need for a Democratic candidate who can win across the country and to bring people together. States that "governors actually do things" -- a direct jab at the perceived frontrunners, who all have or do serve in the Senate. Lists off his achievements that play well in this crowd -- card check, increasing jobs, etc. Also talks about deauthorizing the war in Iraq, improving our schools, achieving universal healthcare, fighting global climate change and the Employee Free Choice Act. Makes a joke about going on past the time limit -- as he did at the DNC winter meetings. On the first question from Stephanopoulos, Richardson states that he does believe Barack Obama should denounce David Geffen's comments, that he believes there should be a positive campaign for the nomination, because "that's what the American people want and that's how we're going to win." On the question of taxes for universal healthcare, Richardson says they are not necessary, that the Democrats should not always be about raising taxes. States that instead administrative costs should be cut and preventative care should be increased, pointing to a "Massachusetts-style plan" (not much applause there) and talks about expanding current programs to cover everyone (does get applause here). Final question covers WTO trade agreements, to which Richardson says we need fair trade, not just unabashed free trade, with agreements that cover environmental and workplace regulations. In his closing statement, Richardson also talks about the need for experience, touching on his work as UN Ambassador and his recent negotiations in Darfur.

Candidate six for the afternoon is Joe Biden, who start off by signing on to Richardson's all-positive pledge and jokes about his longwindedness. His is noticeably more upbeat than two weeks ago at the DNC winter meetings, which came on the heels of his inopportune comments about Barack Obama. States that he believes the central issue of this campaign is not only Iraq, but what to do after we get out of Iraq. Biden, again, is the only candidate to come in under the time restrictions. In the questions segment, Biden admits that he grossly underestimated the incompetence of the Bush administration. Relatedly, he states that he is the only candidate to talk about the political solution to solve the internal problems within Iraq, likening the situation to the one in the Balkans a decade ago. The second question is a follow up on the same issuem, to which Biden responds by talking about revoking the authorization of war. The final question covers No Child Left Behind. Biden notes that the woman he's slept with for the last 30 years is a teacher. Says that we need smaller classrooms, keeping good teachers in the system, and finding money for children qualified to attend college. Biden's closing also talks about experience, as well as the stregth to achieve what needs to be achieved.

The second to last speaker is Dennis Kucinich, who notes that he always has a 100 percent ranking from AFSCME. Kucinich comes out swinging at his competitors, stating that they shouldn't have been tricked or deceived by President Bush on the issue of the Iraq War. On the first question, Kucinich says it's time to end the occupation and cut off the funds for the war. Kucinich also calls for reparations for the citizens of Iraq, and that the number one reason for the war was oil. Question two hits healthcare, whether more money needs to be made available for healthcare funding. Kucinich talks about extending Medicare to cover everyone -- without for-profit insurance companies. Final question covers union worker rights for public sector employees. Kucinich says he believes it's necessary, and that our trade agreements need to include labor restrictions. To close, Kucinich makes a clear pitch to the left of the party, implying that he is the best candidate in this regard.

Today's final candidate is Mike Gravel, who states that believes the most important issue is how the Democrats approach Iraq. Gravel hammers the "Democrat leadership" for trying to go after President Bush on Iraq without revoking the President's power to wage war. Question one covers why Democrats should choose someone who has been out of elective politics for so long, to which Gravel responds with his record of fighting the war in Vietnam during the 1970s. Asked who he should get the nomination if not him, he stated the governors -- Vilsack first, Richardson second. On a tangent, Gravel calls for the repeal of the income tax, instead replacing it with a national sales tax. Stephanopoulos tries to stop the answer after quite a few minutes, but can't quite bring himself to doing it. The last question comes on public financing for campaign, which he strongly advocates on behalf of. In his closing, Gravel states (paraphrasing) "I don't think it's a big deal whether I get elected or not," basically admitting that his campaign is more about putting forward his big issue -- a national initiative process -- than anything else.

Tags: AFSCME, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Democratic primaries, Dennis Kucinich, Hilliary Clinton, joe biden, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Nevada Caucuses, Presidential Race 2008, Tom Vilsack (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

You can watch a livestream webcast of this event here: http://blog.johnedwards.com/story/2007/2 /21/11254/9760

by NCDemAmy 2007-02-21 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

I wonder if Edwards' blog was the only place who carried the C-SPAN and other streams live?

by benny06 2007-02-21 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum
If you have windows media player. cspan is streamming it here:
http://play.rbn.com/play.asx?url=cspan/c span/wmlive/cspan1v.asf&proto=mms?ms wmext=.asx
by maddogg 2007-02-21 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Fox News covered this slightly last night on "Special Report".  Apparently, the Democrats chose Nevada because of the "legalized gambling and prostitution."

http://www.newshounds.us/2007/02/21/repo rt_on_nevada_caucus_turns_into_bash_demo cratsapalooza.php

by janiec 2007-02-21 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Oh, geez. Yet another good reason to "Freeze Out Fox News."

by NCDemAmy 2007-02-21 10:21AM | 0 recs
Can Hillary Speak w/OUT Yelling?

Isn't the microphone supposed to make it so the speaker doesn't have to yell??

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:29AM | 0 recs
even in her sit down with Stephanopolus

it sounds like she's yelling.. is it just me?

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:33AM | 0 recs
First Hillary Question:IRAQ

G.S.  - "Dodd has said his vote was a mistake , why can't you say that and why not support Vilsack who wants troops out now?"

HRC - sidestep "I've taken responsibility for my vote"

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: First Hillary Question:IRAQ

So taking responsibility for your vote means saying that you didn't vote for this war and that the vote was not a mistake but knowing what she knows now she wouldn't have voted that way........ even though it wasn't a mistake to vote that way?

by msstaley 2007-02-21 05:54PM | 0 recs
2nd question HRC

health care:  what will you do..

HRC "has the scars from trying to do something with Healthcare".

wants to figure out how to provide UHC without putting more money into the system...  we already spend enough

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:34AM | 0 recs
UHC - by end of 2nd Term

Hillary UHC by end of second term.

G.S. - Obama/Hillary food fight about Geffen.

HRC - wants to run a positive campaign. doesn't want to attack democrats.  thinks Bill was a good president...

leave Obama's statement up to Obama's campaign

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:37AM | 0 recs
What could Hillary do to satisfy you?

Short of leaving the race?

You'd be the first to attack her if she now admitted her vote in Iraq was a mistake, for instance.

We get it ... you don't support HRC.

by dpANDREWS 2007-02-21 10:40AM | 0 recs
I'm quoting her

the only attack is it really does sound like shes yelling...

however,  on substance, Edwards and Obama are talking UHC and the end of their first terms,  HRC end of 2nd term

objectively would you not say that's a reasonable thing to support someone else on?

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm quoting her

I think that's an impossible prediction to make, and if you make it an issue you're just inviting a game of silly one-upsmanship.  ("I think I can get UHC done in THREE years!"  "Oh yeah, well I...")

The flip side of being ambitious is being realistic.  Who the heck knows how long it will take to pass UHC.  I'll be thrilled just to see it.

by Steve M 2007-02-21 02:27PM | 0 recs
taken responsibility for my vote...

how by shifting blame?

"I was misled!" Waaaaaaaaah.

please.
-C.

by neutron 2007-02-21 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: taken responsibility for my vote...

No, by saying that she is willing to lose some support because of her genuine belief at that time that the war was the right course of action

by PhillyGuy 2007-02-21 12:11PM | 0 recs
well I genuinely believe she seems ingenuine.

and that is a problem.

-C.

by neutron 2007-02-21 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

HRC on healthcare: Clinton draws some chuckles when she harkens back to her last battle, but states that she believes that it can be done without significantly increasing the amount of money spent on healthcare.

Isn't this exactly the problem with all the efforts to expand healthcare - they assume an INCREASE in US health spending when we already spend 2x the money on health care for worse results than France, Japan, Canada, etc.

Why don't candidates ever bring up that the US spends twice as much money for fewer doctors, fewer nurses, fewer hospital beds, higher infant mortality, and shorter life expectancy. We don't need to spend more money.

The problem is the existing system is a black hole for $$$ - insurance companies,  pharmaceutical companies, for-profit HMOs, and medical specialists all suck massive amounts of money out of the system with no regards to the overall public health system.

Fixing our health care system requires bold leadership but LESS MONEY. What candidate will actually point out that US healthcare is the equivalent of a $500 toilet seat - a rip off?

by joejoejoe 2007-02-21 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

We could have the best healthcare system in the world for the amount of money we spend right now (or even less) and cover everyone in the United States. As you point out the black hole of "profits" for insurance companies, drug companies, HMO's etc. is the problem. I am not anti-business or against profits but the obscene levels seen in healthcare industry is beyond shameful when drugs that cost a few pennies to make are sold to dying patients for tens of thousands a year.

by robliberal 2007-02-21 12:07PM | 0 recs
can i say amen?

Amen. Fixing healthcare saves money, not wastes it. arg!

by Our Gal in Brooklyn 2007-02-21 12:35PM | 0 recs
Edwards up

was in Nevada helping organize the minimum wage coallition. getting minimum wage raised..  the people did it.

most important anti-poverty movement is the organized labor movement.

we need to make it easier to join unions.  If a republican can join the party by signing their name, someone should be able to join a Union by signing their name.

Should ban permanent replacements for striking workers.

40 years ago MLK talked about silence is a betrayal,  we can not stand silent on 47 million people without health care.

we don't want to wait six or 8 years for UHC as soon as he takes office.  

anyone who tells people in Nevada they will have UHC without finding a new revenue stream probably has a bridge in brooklyn to sell you.

It's not enough to talk about iraq and pass non-binding resolutions.  stop the escalation.  Not the time for political calculation but political courage.

start leaving now 40-50,000 troops now.

6 years of a president who takes no responsibility, 6 years of a president who can't admit he made a mistake. it's time for a new type of leader.  A leader who tells the truth.

(some HIllary people are booing I think).

I voted for this war I was wrong to vote for this war.

need a leader who is honest decent and trying to do the right thing..

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 10:55AM | 0 recs
I really liked his comment about baby steps

are not enough now and that we  need big transformational change

If he continues to employ plain speaking ( I thought Chris Dodd did as well) it will resonate with voters.

When Chris Dodd started off by saying that there are 2 phrases that politicians are afraid of - "I was wrong" and "I don't know" and that they shouldn't be afraid to say them he got the crowd on his side.

Maybe it's me, but when Hillary Clinton was asked about the Geffen matter she came across as passive aggressive;if she is so upset - say it. Plainly. But no, another swipe rather than a direct comment.

by merbex 2007-02-21 12:58PM | 0 recs
her response was clintonian

surrogates and spokespeople get nasty.

she "doesn't want to attack democrats"

by TarHeel 2007-02-21 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards up

most important anti-poverty movement is the organized labor movement.

This is something Edwards has said many times.  It is a fundamentally true statement that not enough progressives understand!  Many of us are pro-union because we're supposed to be pro-union, without understanding that unions can unlock so many of the other issues we care about.

Collective bargaining is a free-market mechanism which means it is very easy to sell in a capitalist society.  Strong unions can directly negotiate for so many of the things that we try in vain to make happen through legislation.  And of course, from a partisan standpoint, union membership is a major signifier for Democratic voting and they are a huge component of our GOTV.

Anyone who thinks of unions as just another interest group in the Democratic coalition is failing to comprehend the big picture, in my opinion.

by Steve M 2007-02-21 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Not a single word about Scooter Libby. Great dog and pony show.

by BLOGGINGBITCH 2007-02-21 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

I wonder what Obama will say when he's up.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-21 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

If he had showed up, he probably would have endorsed hope.  Maybe take a shot at cynacism. Boldly criticize "old politics" while taking a shot at the Clinton campaign financing in 1995.    

But he chose not to come.

by littafi 2007-02-21 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

On the first question from Stephanopoulos, Richardson states that he does believe Barack Obama should denounce David Geffen's comments, that he believes there should be a positive campaign for the nomination.

Freaking pundits. Nice to ask about the issues that matter!

by BriVT 2007-02-21 11:21AM | 0 recs
Richardson Comment on Obama

His comment irritated me when he quickly said that Obama ought to denounce Geffen's comments and followed up by saying he didn't really know what Geffen said.  He shouldn't have made the comment if he didn't know what Geffen said.

by msstaley 2007-02-21 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Geez. I can' believe these guys need to comment on Geffen's comments. He is a fundraiser, not even the chief one for Obama. This is like the Edwards blogger issue all over again and Geffen didn't even say anything half as inflammatory, and he isn't even  an official part of the Obama campaign. Why don't they ask Hillary to justify every single one of her supporters comments? "Hillary, these guys GeorgeP and FrancisHolland get on other MYDDer nerves. Would you like to apologize for them?"

by Pravin 2007-02-21 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City ACME Forum

After Senator Ford's comment about Obama bringing the Democrats down, Hillary Clinton immediately denounced it and Ford was asked to apologize. The point is that Obama is claming that he wants to transform the politics of Washington, but allows his biggest fundraiser to make inflamatory remarks against the Clintons.

by PhillyGuy 2007-02-21 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Bill Richardson doesn't think we should criticize the President. Hmmmm

Stephanopoulis ever get his license?

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.h tml?res=F60610F73E5F0C7A8CDDA00894DD494D 81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topic s%2fPeople%2fS%2fStephanopoulos%2c%20Geo rge

by BLOGGINGBITCH 2007-02-21 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

OK. I like Kucinich.

by BLOGGINGBITCH 2007-02-21 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Kucinich "no strings" and audience involvement was quite good, less repetition in the future, but otherwise his entire time was used effectively-

It is a crime that Kucinich may not survive in our media environment, and another arBusto, Inc trogolyte will likely be elected again, in my lifetime-

by RF 2007-02-21 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Gravel is fun to watch.  Watch... not support.

by maddogg 2007-02-21 12:04PM | 0 recs
Where was Obama

Anyone know what kept him from attending the forum?  It'd seem to me to be a pretty important thing to be at. ;-)

by Sean Robertson 2007-02-21 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Where was Obama

Iowa.

My guess is that he's getting such good media coverage he doesn't want to get into specfic policy positions that can be picked apart and challenged. In other words, he doesn't yet have specific policy positions and would have appeared vague compared to other candidates, especially policy-pro Edwards.

In any case, his failure to show is only going to reenforce the notion that his pretty rhetorical bones lack meat. Is he ready for prime time? Perhaps, but he's not ready to face a union audience. He seems ready to cede Labor's support (and perhaps Nevada) to Edwards.

by david mizner 2007-02-21 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Where was Obama

There may be some truth to this.  However, it seems like a good time to bring up this great post on Obama's foreign policy.

by Steve M 2007-02-21 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

I hope Biden's wife is a teacher.

by jallen 2007-02-21 12:47PM | 0 recs
Right?

Of course Bush has been screwing a teacher for 30 years, so it doesn't do much for you.

by david mizner 2007-02-21 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Right?

That's nothing new.  Republicans have been screwing teachers for decades.

by Steve M 2007-02-21 02:33PM | 0 recs
LOL n/t

by merbex 2007-02-21 01:09PM | 0 recs
taxes?

So, in 2003/2004, basically all the candidates talked about "rolling back" Bush's tax cuts to the top 1%, or language to that effect.  Has that somehow not become OK for Democrats to say?  Almost all the candidates talk like they're not going to raise taxes at all from their current level; that is, they're accepting the Bush tax cuts!  Kudos to Edwards for saying we should make the system progressive again, and spend the money on something universally good: health care for all.

by asahopkins 2007-02-21 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: taxes?

I missed most of the forum but I did catch that part of Edwards comments when he said he was going to rollback the Bush tax cuts on those making $200,000 plus per year and use it to pay for his health care plan.  I also got to hear Richardson say something about not raising taxes to pay for things.  Richardson disappointed me today I was hoping for someone who might have that spark I am looking for in a candidate instead I saw someone willing to protect the hard won tax cuts of millionaires and billionaires.

by msstaley 2007-02-21 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

I agree with Mattiew Yglesias...

UPDATE: Also -- I forgot to mention this, but it strikes me as a somewhat bad idea for the Democratic primary calendar to be literally organized around a series of interest group-sponsored dog-and-pony shows (I believe that after this AFSCME forum later in the year we're going to have an SEIU forum and doubtless more will be coming down the road). It presents a somewhat caricatured view of the Democratic Party and progressive politics. Either the DNC or the state parties should take the lead in organizing a reasonable number of events.

He's also not too crazy about Vilsack's SS/Medicare plan.

by pelican 2007-02-21 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Atrios flagged that Vilsack plan, as well. I must admit I missed it as it blogged by, but it is quite an admission.

by BriVT 2007-02-21 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

Needless to say, if Jonathan's distillation is accurate (and I have no reason to doubt it), Vilsack's position on SS is beyond unacceptable.

by DavidNYC 2007-02-21 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

I like Mike Gravel. He offers: 1. A procedural method for getting out of Iraq in 6 months 2. A realistic plan to do away with the IRS and replace it with a sales tax  3. A plan to put real power into the hands of the people that we might vote directly and more often on the issues that govern our lives. If you want to see a great interview with him check out the interview with Kevin Zeese at www.democracyrising.us The social justice issues of universal single payer health care, college education and the fight for the environment and against global warming are part of every candidates platform. Edwards is right that baby steps aren't enough. The question is whose strides will constitute the most worthwhile sweeping changes.  

by georip 2007-02-21 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

If I were voting on issues alone Gravel would get my vote.  I like the guy and am glad he's running.  He doesn't come across as all that articulate if his performance in today's debate is any indication.  

Not presidential material but we need people like him in the debates to get issues on the table that would otherwise not even be on the radar screen (national initiatives, anyone?) and his inclusion today says a lot about how far we've come from the dark days when the Democratic Party was arbitrarily shutting people like Eugene McCarthy and Larry Agran out of the debates.

That said, he still came across today like a fish out of water.  He's been out of political office for 16 years and it shows.

by Old Yeller 2007-02-21 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Liveblogging the Carson City AFSCME Forum

oops..that should read 26 years.

by Old Yeller 2007-02-21 05:15PM | 0 recs
Gravel

Don't we need a Democrat running for the Alaska Senate seat or House seat?  Maybe this could be a good way for Gravel to get enough exposure that he will run for Congress again.

by msstaley 2007-02-21 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Gravel

He lives in Virginia now and I believe he's running mostly to get his National Initiative idea some exposure.

by Old Yeller 2007-02-22 02:29AM | 0 recs
Re: taking responsibility for your beer

And of course by not doing it again, right?

by msstaley 2007-02-21 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: taking responsibility for your beer

Sure, no beer. But he retains the option to have an ale tonight.

by Curt Matlock 2007-02-22 04:08AM | 0 recs

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