All-American Presidential Forum Recap!
OK, the title of this forum was not very descriptive. It was actually a forum for Democratic presidential candidates to discuss how much they care about the African American community. Because they can't take the African American community for granted. Yeah, right. Anyway, it was alright. I don't know if we learned anything but it confirmed that some candidates are good speakers and others are completely nuts.
Here are some of the highlights (as usual with my posts, the quotes are fake):
Tavis Smiley: "Thank you all for coming. The candidate who mentions my book The Covenant In Action, available from Amazon.com, the most times will win the debate."
Then we get a shot of the audience reading his book. Come on people, don't read it now; we're here to listen to the candidates.
Throughout the forum we get shots of Cornel West, who looks very excited. He's like the Jack Nicholson of this event.
Hillary Clinton: "I just want to remind you that my husband was the first black president of the United States!"
Bill Richardson: "Well, I'd just like to remind you that I'm the first Latino to run for president. Jimmy Smits was just a character on a television show."
Oh, yeah; I keep forgetting that the West Wing wasn't real.
Mike Gravel: "The other candidates all suck! I just want to point out that I know you black people love the drugs. So I want to end the war on drugs!"
Cheering from the crowd.
Gravel: "I also want to get rid of income tax!"
Crowd realizes he's insane.
Joe Biden: "Barack Obama and I went to get HIV tests."
Barack Obama: "I just want to make it clear that I am not in a homosexual relationship with Joe Biden. If I were going to go gay it would obviously be for John Edwards."
Bill Richardson: "Blah, blah, blah ..."
Tavis Smiley: "I'm going to have to ask you to shut up, Governor."
Dennis Kucinich: "They keep telling you all to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and then they steal your boots! I worked on that line all day!"
The candidates tried to one-up each other about education: one would say we need universal preschool and then the next would say we need to start earlier and the next would say education needs to start at conception.
They talked about the Supreme Court decision to bring segregation back to public schools.
They talked a little bit about Katrina and the Iraq War.
They talked about HIV. Nobody really took on the problem of putting so much energy into the completely ineffective program of simply telling people not to have sex. One candidate touched on it, but I really think it should be a major point.
They all seemed to repeat the point about getting rid of the legal difference between powdered and crack cocaine, which is important in helping to get rid of the racial inequality in drug offenses, though Gravel was the only one to point out the stupidity of the whole war on drugs in the first place. Too bad he's insane.
So, again, nothing too exciting but it was good to see some of them talking. It confirmed that some of them are good candidates and others are really just wasting our time.
Other Eric: "There's only one person up there who seems presidential."
Me: "Tavis Smiley?"
Other Eric: "No; Hillary Clinton."
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Yeah, Obama and Edwards are pretty good but Clinton is a real professional. She should wear higher heels, though; taller candidates do better.