Saturday, August 04, 2007

Yearly Kos - The Great Debate

BlogHer spoiled me! I haven't posted as much as I had hoped to during this conference for a couple of reasons. The session rooms weren't set up well for live blogging -- no power source, no tables to work from -- as was the case at BlogHer. They made it very convenient for bloggers. Also, the connection at the hotel seems really slow.

The leadership forum today was excellent. Great exchange between the candidates, moderators and the audience. It was overall a respectful crowd, with only a couple of hisses -- the first for a comment Richardson made about supporting line-item veto.

The mood was upbeat, and there was definitely a lot of excitement in the room. It was as if the audience knew that one of the individuals they were listening to WOULD be the next president.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel were there. All of the candidates, with the exception of Kucinich, met with their supporters in private sessions to answer their questions.

The moderator opened the session by wishing Obama a Happy Birthday, followed by the audience breaking out in song!

The only real contentious moment came when John Edwards and Barack Obama double teamed Hillary Clinton over the issue of accepting money from Washington Lobbyists. When asked directly about whether or not she would accept contributions from DC Lobbyists, Clinton didn't try and duck the question. She answered straightforwardly that she would accept money from them saying "they represent nurses" and other professionals that deserve representation.

The attack seemed to focus on heath care, to which Clinton added that her position has not changed on health care, and that she would not be pressured into changing her position by the groups giving her money.

I attended the Clinton break out session, and I will say that her answers to the questions poised by the group were excellent. The first question focused on education, and she outlined very precisely what needs to be done and how she would address the issue.

I will share with you that after the session I happened to overhear a conversation by a couple of women who had not entered the room as Hillary supporters, but who were very impressed with her message. One of the women said she would definitely be able to support Hillary if she were to win the nomination.

I've had the opportunity to hear the Senator in person on a number of occasions, and I will say that I think much of the criticism of her is unfounded. She is very engaging.

I honestly do think the 2008 election is the Dems to lose. The country is clearly fed up with Bush & Company, and the Republicans seem to be imploding. Should Rudy or Mitt win the nomination, does anyone honestly think the religious right will turn out for them?

It's way too early to absolutely predict what will happen, but listening to these candidates today made me very hopeful!


Jess Wundrun said...

I like Hillary as a senator. But I really don't want to see her in office as president.

Our country needs to heal, and whether it is fair or not, Hillary is a polarizing personality. She's got the brains but not the charm of her husband.

Let me put it another way: Hillary won't end our national hate-fest. And she won't end it precisely because she stands up to bullies by handing them her lunch money.

Anonymous said...

"and whether it is fair or not, Hillary is a polarizing personality."

Definitely not true. It seems that anyone who gets to know her (electorate included) takes a different view. People have 15 months more in which to get to know her, already she's winning them over.

I have to say it..."hate" being a wholly irrational response to a quite likeable middle aged baby-boomer (kinda reminds us of mom right?) has to come from within. If you've got hate in your heart it's all you see. Some have. They need to sort themselves out. That element will hate any democrat nominee. The healing has to come from within and no external force is gonna fix it. They need to wake up.

BAC said...

Jess, I will share with you that everyone I know who has seen the Senator in person, one-on-one or as we saw her yesterday in the breakout session, comes away from it liking her.

It was said of her in NY that she would never be able to work with the more consesrvative local government leaders in upstate NY, and before the end of her first term as Senator some of her biggest critics had converted and become fans.

ANY Democrat will be better than Bush has been, and I think because of her experience Hillary is positioned to make real change quickly ... and NOT by handing them her lunch money.

If you have an opportunity to see her in person, I would encourage you to go.


Blue Gal said...

Great post. I think it's like when the National Park Service did a survey and found out that the only thing they could provide (and weren't) for their customers was

CLEAN BATHROOMS and plenty of them.

Conferences that want to be blogged about have to provide power sources and high and I mean high speed wifi. Period.