Sunday, August 05, 2007

Presidential Forum at the Yearly Kos

High Sensibility T.V. For Everyone!

On the wonderful Star-Spangled Haggis blog, I recently (inadvertently) dissed webhostess E's tastes in low-relevance TV by mentioning that I watch only "High-Sensibility TV". When challenged about that, I found it (HSTV) on the internet, and I was gratified to see that it's accessible to everyone with wide-band Internet access. I'll link it here.This is a discussion among some self-selected 2008 Democratic presidential candidates who appeared at the recent Yearly Kos convention in Chicago. In inviting any of my readers to take valuable minutes out of their surfing, I caution them to skip a third of the way through the introduction of the moderator, Mat Bai. Bai is a favorite writer of mine and I think he performs a superlative job of moderating these raucous and spirited Democrats.

Of them Dem's, let me opine that all of the hard core were in attendance except for Joe Biden. Not that neither of the sitting white male senators are credible 2008 candidates, but I will further opine that I would happily suffer 100 Joe Bidens to one Chris Dodd; the latter is a hopelessly unimaginative bore who speaks only of cliches and platitudes, but the former is a responsive speaker who addresses specifics with a colorful attitude and eloquence.

Except for the poorly-cast Senator from Connecticut, all of the candidates appeared friendly, likeable and (hooray!) competent. I was not surprised when two on the dais emerged from the 'debate' as my favorites.

I also have to say, I enjoyed the interactive atmosphere in this Yearly Kos Presidential Forum. Some statements from these candidates I found to be sensational, superficial, and insubstantial. But I am not looking for elaborate platforms and policy specifics. When I am watching a candidate debate, discussion or forum, what I am really after is making a judgment on the person. I want to determine the experience, intelligence, confidence and courage of candidates. These words are not always subjective:
  • Experience: what, objectively, has a candidate done or said, on the record at critical points in his/her career or in the nation's history?
  • Intelligence: how well does a candidate respond creatively, cleverly, imaginatively and reasonably to an unrehearsed and unscripted prompt from moderator, questioner or adversary?
  • Courage and Confidence: How readily does a candidate appear to risk a politically incorrect malapropism or faux pas?
These criterion are what separates the JFK’s, RFK’s, and the Al Gore’s from the Nixon’s and the Bush’s. Everything else is the distracting static, chaff and flack of American politics.

At this point, I am confident I have found my RFK for 2008.