Sunday, March 23, 2008

Heather Arnet and Ricky Burgess on KDKA

I'm watching KDKA's debate with Heather Arnet and Ricky Burgess. Dennis Roddy is along for the ride. Everything is paraphrased.

KR: Switch the positions and candidates, will you support them? Is this about identity politics.

HA: This challenges us to separate individuals out from their experiences, which is difficult to do. The question is a little unfair because their expeirences make them who they are.

RB: Obama has been steadfastly against the war. Obama's identity is powerful and is part of the reason he can unite the country. His campaign focuses on the promise of the future. Draws comparisons between his own campaign and Obama's. National political scene is polarization and we need a fresh figure.

DR: A story beats a resume. They are fighting more about their similarities. Do we measure them solely by narrative.

HA: I disagree. National healthcare is a critical issue that has mainstream support, including businesses. This is an issue she's been championing for decades. Voters are interested in the policy differences, which are not subtle. Both want better healthcare, but national healthcare for everyone is the only way to address it. That is a significant difference based on issues.

DR: The issue seems largely the same.

HA: It is significant, because the non optional part will hurt the most vulnerable.

RB: Healthcare is not he most important part of the debate. Nation is fractured. We need a figure of reconciliation. Importance of symbolism of the American Dream (I hate that analogy). We can't focus on individualistic issues or we'll miss a chance to elect a great leader. (huh?)
Talks about economic differences in a way that's unifying, not dividing (Isn't that what providing healthcare for everyone, regardless of income, is?)

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