I am writing this post while watching the Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina. The questions posted on YouTube were interesting, witty and to the point. There was oneabout Darfur. The (good) question was asked from a refugee camp. The answers from the candidates were nothing revolutionary. We learnt that Bill Richardson and Joe Biden were at the refugee camp where the question was aked. Hillary Clinton used this question to talk about Iraq. To make a long story short, none of the candidates seem to want US troops in Sudan. Bill Richardson wants more diplomacy. But diplomacy is what is happening now and the results are weak to say the least.
One interesting moment was when Dennis Kucinich said that Democrats have failed the American people by not bringing the US troops home. I remember seeing him bending over the stand to shake George Bush’s hand at the 2007 State of the Union speech. Where is the consistency?
When candidates started debating the US troops, the debate got some traction. Bill Richardson wants to get US troops out of Iraq in 6 months to give some room for diplomacy (the candidate likes that word). Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton bluntly told him that a pullout in 6 months was impossible.
The format of the answers was like YouTube. Short. And most of the time, they did not really address the core of the question. We still had the old habit of politicians rephrasing the question they were just asked. “I think, the questions is…” How many times did the audience hear candidates saying that? I did not count but I have the feeling that this new format was just a smokescreen.
After all, one might argue it is politics and it is all about show.