The group moves closer to the pull down projector screen to better hear the candidates and remain silently rapt as the candidates offer up talking points and sound bites. A few laughs or an occasional cheer at some well made point are all that permeates the silence. Gravel manages to get the most response with his forceful, Al Sharpton-esque style, holding the Democratic party as accountable as the Republicans for the failings of the nation, chiding the government for squandering the educational future of American children on the Iraq war. His call to end the war on drugs illicits an “amen” from the back of the room. Otherwise, the room seems cool to any one particular candidate whose rhetoric does not seem to strike a strong chord.