Chicago Day 3, Presidential Forum

Day 3 was Saturday. The Big Day. There was a buzz right away in the convention area. Media presence was high from the start with cameras and boom microphones scattered about and various attendees under the glare of the lights.

I started the morning in a food industry session lead by the very popular Orangeclouds from Dkos who writes regularly on the issue. Not only did they discuss the rise in popularity of organic foods – which is not necessarily providing a proper alternative food supply – but they focused on the needs of the local, organic farmer who has to compete with the big farmers who received government subsidies. The farmer’s who’s supply chain is typically made much more expensive as big corporations move into the organic market and consolidate intermediate delivery points. So many things I never thought of! they also talked about how the food industry is such a critical driving point for the economy, the environment, and health care. Basically – it was a great, stimulating discussion!

From there I moved into a session on the rebuilding of New Orleans. Some very passionate speakers there. More depressing talk about the usual corporations (Halliburton et al) who got the no bid contracts to ‘rebuild’ and have done little to nothing. I know the reality in politics is that crony-ism has always existed. Yet, I also firmly believe that this administration has taken it to another level and very grave expense to the people. Oh does this country ever need a change!!

Then it was on to stage one of the Big Event. Hillary, isolated with a small room full of bloggers. First, a complaint: all my pictures are blurry!!! My friend Michael can commiserate as we both struggled with our cameras and their telephoto setting and the need to keep a ridiculously steady hand that we clearly could not do! Proof:


That is her, I promise! Anyway, what matters more is how she was in the room. First, there was some drama about this session. Thursday night at the end of the evening event it was announced that Hillary would NOT be there for the session due to a scheduling conflict. She would attend the main forum and then had to leave. Well, you can imagine how irate we all were!! By the end of the day Friday, the conflict had been resolved by moving her private session to before the main forum. So, after she made her apologies for that snafu, the questions began. I wont go into detail with them (as if I remember or took those kinds of notes!). What was important to me was how she handled herself. Relaxed. Calm. Warm. Connecting to us. The fuzzy pic is her removing the microphone from the podium so that she could walk around more freely. I was impressed with her listening skills as some of the questions were quite long winded and I watched her staff closely and never saw them taking/passing notes to her. So she was operating off the cuff. Something our current President could NEVER do without some sort of verbal blunder!! Her answers were intelligent, well thought out, and were truly answers – not a stump speech. She commented on her about how she wished that bloggers had existed when her husband was in the White House as they would have easily exposed the sham that was the Vast Right Wing Media conspiracy. She said she welcomed the new way of being held accountable by the *citizens* and the feedback she receives. She also welcomed the debate on issues we might not agree on. And she proved it at the forum I must say! Got into a nice round with Obama over taking lobbyist donations – her stance is wrong in my opinion, but the two of them were respectful and stated their cases without any pontificating or rhetoric or personal attacks. Good stuff!

The bottom line for me is that I came out of her session with a great deal of respect, admiration and continued curiosity about her. I can vote for her. And feel good about it. Ahdn hell – shes a woman!! And I think in many ways she wiped the floor with the men šŸ˜‰

The main forum – chills! There we were, crazy liberal pajama wearing bloggers gathered to hear all the Democratic Presidential candidates answer questions. It was so COOOOL!!!! Anyhow, as opposed to the Cal Dem convention when I was most impressed with John Edwards, at this event he irritated me. I heard later on that he was better in his breakout session, but at the main event he was not answering questions was only pontificating and firing up the crowd. I was annoyed. Obama was OK. He forgot to look out at the audience though which took some of the impact away from his answers. His best moment was when he and Hillary had their lobbyist money debate. That was solid. I heard he came off very well in his breakout session too. I really think the strongest Dem ticket will be Clinton/Obama after what I saw this weekend.

I was going to try and take this into the evening and final day, but I need to sleep! So, more again hopefully tomorrow night.

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