I attended the debate of the Democratic candidates for President tonight at Howard University in DC. It is late and we just got back, so this will be short.
Subject matter for the first time was about race in America. Clearly, Hillary Clinton was the outstanding participant tonight. Her answers were sharp, clear and filled with good policy. A good portion of the audience was African-American, and included Dr. Cornell West and Rev. Al Sharpton. The moderator was Tavis Smiley, and the core subject matter was directly inspired by his book, “The Covenant” . Surprisingly, Barack Obama was not as compelling as one would think he would be in front of a mostly African-American crowd.
The best line of the evening came from Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, when Smiley cut the candidates’ time from one minute to just thirty seconds per question. “If I were Paris Hilton up here, you'd give a whole hour.”
The format ----which included questions on issues of concern to Black America as it relates to the Covenant with Black America book ---gave each candidate a very brief time to answer. Not the best format I thought for such a complex issue. Poor sound, along with too brief a time to answer the questions posed, made for a frustrating debate.
However, I discovered the real winner of tonight’s debate:
The Democratic Party.
Any of these candidates ---with the possible exception of Mike Gravel---is better than any of the Repubs. Including unannounced candidates Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich or Mike Bloomberg.
So, bring it on. We are ready to win no matter which Democrat is nominated, and no matter who is the Repub opponent.