06 January 2008

C-SPAN: The Place to Watch

When I started flipping around the channels yesterday afternoon, I didn’t expect that I would land on C-SPAN and stay there for about two hours and return for another hour later in the night.

What started me watching was a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, being televised live, with Senator McCain, which can be found on the C-SPAN video/audio section. Senator McCain gave which might have been his stump speech, and then took questions from the crowd. Since the audience was full of folks who came there for the purpose of questioning a politician, one might expect the questions to be tough and to the point. In that, the questioners did not disappoint. Senator McCain was direct with his answers and clearly was willing to openly disagree. No serious pandering to be had here.

The only point where I thought he might bow to popular belief not based on principle concerned global warming, when he said that he believed that there was such a thing and that humans probably had something to do with it. He then, however, made the point that doing something (and that something must be economically viable) to preserve the environment is just a good thing, regardless of global warming.

All in all, I was fairly impressed with Senator McCain.

Later in the evening, I switched back and watched a good portion of a Q&A with Senator Clinton. I have to admit that I do not have a favorable opinion of Senator Clinton, mostly because I believe that she is an ardent Socialist who believes in her own will to power. She did nothing to change that opinion; indeed, she reinforced it. And though it may sound like picking on petty semantics, her continual use of the first person is disturbing. (Unfortunately, the video links on the C-SPAN site don’t seem to work for me.)

To the best of my recollection, the strangest response from Senator Clinton concerned environmental impacts on individual health. She said something like (and this is not s direct quote) she would create a comprehensive environmental map to track pollutants and causes of illness in people so that the sources of illness may be found and dealt with. She did so using the first person singular, and it sounded very much like former VP Gore saying that he created the internet. No offense to Senator Clinton’s intellect, but there is no way that she could accomplish this; her answer pandered to a single voter and did so in a self-grandiose way.

The only point that Senator Clinton did fairly well on was a question regarding Pakistan. She clearly stated that terrorists must not be allowed to gain control of Pakistan’s nuclear arms.

That being said, my opinion of Senator Clinton stands, and even more strongly. She is a will to power, will sell herself to the electorate with government programs under the Christmas tree, and then attempt to push a Socialist agenda through Congress (“I want to take those profits” – again with the first person). No thanks.

Finally, I caught a “house party” – which is a really unfortunate name for a Q&A in someone’s living room – with Governor Romney. He too gave what might be his stump speech, though I concede that I didn’t really listen to it, and then took a few questions from the large group of voters. I was particularly interested in Gov. Romney’s answer concerning how he would reorganize and revitalize the State Department. It seemed an odd question to get in the living room of a New Hampshire voter at first glance, but Gov. Romney handled it well…exceedingly well. He gave details about what he thinks should be done (bring in outside help in reorganization, create “theaters of operations” for the diplomatic corps) and reasons why.

And that’s what was impressive about his responses. He has apparently given a good deal of thought to some pretty off-the-beaten-track issues – the State Department not being an obvious part of the Iraq-health care-global warming triumvirate. His ability to slip into the details of specific issues is quite reassuring.

Given my lack of an impression with Gov. Romney, I came away feeling more comfortable with the idea of him being our next president.

I missed the debates on Saturday. Indeed, I forgot that they were even taking place. But I think I got a much better understanding of these three candidates by watching them outside of the mainstream media. Time well spent, indeed.


Plumb Bob said...

You should visit YouTube.com and do a search on Fred Thompson's name. He's got some pretty impressive internet video articulating his positions, and illustrating his style. Not that Thompson has all that much of a chance, but he's arguably the best choice for conservatives.

Thanks for visiting my blog, which is www.plumbbobblog.com.

Chan said...


Three hours watching C-Span? I'll admit to getting sucked into that channel for 15 minutes when they are showing Brit parliamentary debates, but damn. I guess it's ok though, 'cause if your watching C-Span, I don't have to

Bob M. said...

Plumb Bob - Thanks for that. I'll have to take a look at those. Senator Thompson's "stumble" out of the blocks when he started running leads some folks to believe he's not worth listening to, I think. I don't share that opinion.

Chan - Dude, C-SPAN rocks! Really, though, it was much better (and probably will be all through the weekend) than listening to the same pundits jabber the same points endlessly - or when everyone sings the same tune, just with a different name in the chorus to match the current fervor(Hillary! Yeah! Obama! Yeah!...oh wait...Hillary! Yeah!).