Crowd seems fired up. Maybe applause will take up some time.
Anderson Cooper begins by showing the rejected questions… lots of costumes. Lots of kids. “People seemed to use their kids to ask adult questions… does a five year old care about Social Security?”
Cooper suggests a campaign tried to stuff the ballot box… and suggests it’s Senator Biden.
Zach Kempf of Provo Utah, is very giggly, and fears he’s going to run out of tape. “What’s going to make you any more effectual?” Or as some of us say, “effective.”
Dodd: I think experience matters a great deal. The experience they bring, the bold ideas they’ve advanced over the years. Need to bring people together to get the job done.
Obama: I think the questioner hit the nail on the head. People have an urgent desire for change in Washington. We won’t get things done unless we change how Washington operates. Some of it is overcoming special interests and lobbyists. I bring a perspective as a community organizers.
I like Davis Fleetwood, who asks Kucinich what he has that Clinton and Obama have.
Kucinich: I actually voted against the war, and voted against funding. Mentions that he has a nephew who served in Iraq. Strenght through peace, that’s the new doctrine I’m going to promote through this campaign.
Hillary: I think the Democrats are united. We are united for change. We cannot take another four or eight years of Republican leadership. Which of us is ready to lead on day one? I have been for thirty-five years been an instrument and agent of change.
Obama: I don’t think this is just a Republican problem. This is a problem that spans the parties. We need a change in attitudes. I don’t take PAC money, I don’t take special interest lobbyist money.
I liked the answer, but I’m not sure Democratic primary voters will like it.
Q: Hillary, how would you define the word liberal, and would you use this word to describe yourself? Wow, a good question!
Hillary: Originally meant for freedom, standing against big power and for individual. Made to sound as if it means for big government. I prefer the term progressive. It has a real American meaning, going back to the modern progressive era… I consider myself a good modern American progressive.
Gravel: I wouldn’t use either word. His mike seems to be going in and out…. We’re not united. I’m not united. He has 134 bundlers. What do you think that is?
Obama: I pushed through law to disclose those bundlers. Big applause.
Another great question to Biden – if you had to pick a Republican to be your running mate, who would it be?
Biden: I would Chuck Hagel and I would consider picking Dick Luger to be secretary of state.
Edwards: I think Chuck Hagel is a good choice. If you listen to these questions, I think they all ask how to bring real change. Do you think compromise and triangulation will bring about big change? I don’t. (jab at Hillary!)
And now, as if this wasn’t enough, we get a candidate video from Chris Dodd, as “the guy with white hair” and “white hares.” Ha ha ha.
Q: Reparations for slavery?
Edwards: I’m not for reparations. There are other things we can do to create equality that doesn’t exist today. Cites examples of disparity in mortgage rates… You can’t trade our insiders for their insiders. (Another jab at Hillary!)
Obama: I think the reparations we need are investment in our schools (huge applause!) Cites “corridors of shame” in schools.
Q: Anyone in favor of reparations? Just Kucinich, it sounds like.
Q: Morgan G. lobs a softball about racism in the response to Katrina.
Dodd: President had almost no response, little or no efforts to help them get back to their homes. If it had been in a white population, we would have seen a much more rapid response. “Should have been done ahead of time.” Apparently
Cooper has a good question about whether Democratic mayor and governor deserve blame.
Hey, Richardson showed up. He dodges the question, and says need to “eliminate red tape that helps the families, helps the devastation.” What?
Q: Obama, are you authentically black enough?
Obama: When I’m catchin’ a cab in Manhattan, I’m given my credentials. Race permeates our society. It’s a critical problem, but I beleive in the core decency of the American people. They want to get past this issue. Our president has not been committed to investing in closing the gaps…