moveon town hall on iraq

Last night I took part in the MoveOn.org Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Iraq. Of the seven Democratic candidates for President that spoke, I think that Biden came across as being the most knowledgeable on the subject. Following are a few quick observations. Feel free to listen to what the candidates had to say (or read the transcript) and tell me whether or not you think I’m full of shit…. Anyway, here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

I wonder how they chose the order. (The event started with Edwards and ended with Obama.) Did they put Obama last because they knew that people would stick around to hear him speak? I wonder if, perhaps, it shows that MoveOn is leaning in his direction… I noticed that both Hillary and Obama thanked Eli (Pariser), the guy behind MoveOn, by name before they went about answering the questions posed to them. I was surprised that the others didn’t take the opportunity to do so as well. They all thanked MoveOn in general, but it struck me as bright of Hillary and Obama to make that personal connection. He does, after all, run an organization with some 3.2 million highly-dedicated potential campaign workers… Kucinich, had a crappy phone connection. It sounded like he was calling from a cordless phone inside a basement closet. And it didn’t help matters that he seemed the least prepaired… The only person that got a direct question posed to them was Hillary. She was asked to explain what she meant when she said that she “envision(ed) a continuing presence in Iraq to protect vital American interests” after the war was over. She didn’t answer it to my satisfaction. All of the other questions were more general in nature… I liked Bill Richardson, but his plan for stabilizing Iraq, if I understood it correctly, involved getting all the Iraqi factions together and locking them in a room until everything had been resolved. While I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t know that it’s necessarily the most realistic of plans… Biden, on the other hand, seemed to have a coherent political solution in mind. I don’t think he’s my favorite in the race, but, at least on this issue, I think he did well… Chris Dodd came across favorably as well. I don’t know that he has the money to stay in the race for the long haul though… Obama gets bonus points for having brought up the ridiculous McCain photo-op in Bagdad… All in all, it was a good forum. The questions were insightful, and it was good to hear the candidates forced to take stands on issues like war profiteering, the prospect of permanent American bases in Iraq, and how they plan to get our men and women home. MoveOn, in my opinion, did good.

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One Comment

  1. ol' e cross
    Posted April 12, 2007 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Even before this, I don’t think McCain was electable anymore, but I’m pretty sure his Bagdad trip was the big-helmeted-Dukakis-in-a-tank campaign killing photo-op.

    Bush fucked the country with Iraq. Congress was complicit. But here we are. I’ve read and heard pundits debate the issue but can’t pretend to have an intelligent opinion on what to do next.

    It may be our biggest issue, but it’s hard for it to sway me because I’ve got no clue what the right answer is.

    That aside, Hillary’s repitition of, “When I’m president,” rubbed me the wrong way. And, for my taste, Obama came off best.

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