Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Hamilton County Democratic Forum

I attended last night's Hamilton County Democratic Forum to get a sense of how Hamilton County is feeling about both the presidential race and the primary race for the 2nd congressional district. I also collected signatures to place Christopher Dole on the November ballot for the Commissioner's race. I think standing outside made me catch a cold, so I hope Chris knows I'm pulling for him!

The begining of the event was a debate between County Commissioner David Pepper, who was representing the Clinton campaign, and City Councilman David Crowley, who represented Barack Obama. The battle of the Davids was a friendly one. Overall David Pepper seemed much more familiar with the positions of his candidate than did David Crowley. Crowley may have been less prepared because of his recent switch to Obama after John Edwards dropped out of the race last month though.

David Pepper outlined some of the major points of Clinton's candidacy: a 90 moratorium on forclosures, an increase in fuel economy standards on American autos, a 50 billion dollars fund to create green collar jobs. He also made some strong points about Clinton's electability; citing that recent polls show her doing better against McCain than Obama. He also drew a large applause from a line asking the audience if they really want the Republican attack machine selecting our candidate for us based on their hatred for HRC.

David Crowley outlined the way in which Obama was able to reach across party lines in the Illinois State Senate as well as the U.S. Senate. Crowley also contrasted Clinton's healthcare plan with Obama's stating the Clinton would force people to pay for insurance; much in the same way states force motorists to buy auto insurance. Crowley also told the audience ab0ut how Obama will remove combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office. Crowley also said that experience doesn't necessarily equate to leadership.

Following the faux presidential debate was a debate between Steve Black and Vic Wulsin, the two candidates for congress in the 2nd congressional district. Mr. Black and Dr. Wulsin spent most of the debate leveling charges against each other; Steve Black referring to an investigation into work Dr. Wulsin did with the Hiemlich Institute, and Wulsin acusing Steve Black of owning millions of dollars in oil company and Halliburton stock. Each of them seemed to feel the same way about the issues, but each claimed that they were the only candidate who can beat incumbent Jean Schmidt in November.

The crowd seemed to be an even split between Dr. Wulsin and Mr. Black, but Hillary Clinton's campaign seemed to out do Barack Obama's as far as visibility is concerned. If one thing came out of this Democratic debate it is this, despite our divisions over candidates this is an energized party in and energized year.

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