There is a great deal of frustration here because there is no dialgoue.
These are not even real debates. They are sound bite contests. None in the business graced it with a name. A former political operative once told his candidate that if a reporter only gave him 30 seconds to respond to questions he should answer, “That is an assinine thing to ask me to do about such a complex issue.” The candidate did so and they received favorable response from the public.
One person was surprised that Tavis twasn’t able to negotiate a longer period of time for the candidates to have more time to respond to the questions. (Interestingly at this point someone referred to the one hour format. The program was actually 90 minutes.)
In all fairness to Tavis and this process, it’s really tough to do with that number of candidates. What would it have looked like if they all showed up!
Unless you are a Huckabee who is very good on their feet, you do not agree to anything more than soundbites. You can not rehearse someone who is not good at debate to follow a format that … Most politicians can handle that kind of format.
Do we really need more time? If we had it, then we’d see what real creeps these people are.
There is some value to these forums even if we don’t like the format because it forced them to think about how to answer these questions for this audience.
A former political operative felt that Huckabee walked away with the biggest score.
And that his message plays well with moderate whites.
An African-American journalist said that it was obvious that some of the candidates are not comfortable with African-Americans, for example Tancredo and Hunter. She’s interviewed Huckabee several times and know that he has lots of African-American friends – Republican and Democrat. And he did carry a large percentage of the Black vote.
Early on many of the candidates said that there is still racism but after that, no one ever addressed the issue and some even denied it, like Keyes.
Ron Paul will also give the same speech. He’s been saying the same thing for 30 years. He is like the Ross Perot of this election.
The LBJ Library Participants Debrief
September 28, 2007 by Taylor Willingham