All Americans, Few Candidates - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
All Americans, Few Candidates
by

I finally viewed the complete Internet footage of last night’s All-American Presidential Forum, held at a historically black college in Baltimore and moderated by Tavis Smiley. Few people watched this Republican debate because the four leading candidates didn’t show. Since I find the frontrunners as interesting as watching hair blowdry, I didn’t mind very much. Without them, you end up in a bizarro universe where Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul lead the pack, which requires the willing suspension of disbelief, as Hillary might put it.

In any event, far too much time was spent tut-tutting the candidates who weren’t there (though at least they didn’t ask them questions anway as they did at the Values Voter debate). The questions presumed a certain amount of statism/liberalism, though Smiley was a judicious and unobtrusive moderator. But the most interesting thing is that the candidates divided over how much to play to the audience.

Huckabee and Sam Brownback were willing to diverge from the standard conservative playbook in supporting policies popular with the black community, though Huckabee seemed to go over better with the crowd. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo sounded pretty much the same as they did in the other debates. So did Paul, but he got much more applause, since his opposition to the drug war and the Iraq war gave him common ground. Alan Keyes was, well, Alan Keyes.

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