Ok, first thing I want to say is, Mike Gravel for President!
I consider myself quite the civics nerd and I had never heard of Mike Gravel before. He is a former Senator from Alaska whom I had no idea was even running for President. He was fantastic! It was like an actual person found their way up there on stage with all the manufactured creations of our media driven political system. It was like their outspoken uncle was up there on stage calling bullshit on all of them. He managed to make Dennis Kucinich look like a moderate! Thank God for that! I fully support Congressman Kucinich's effort to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. I think there is overwhelming evidence to support this action and it is long overdo. It is simply the right thing to do, morally and politcially.
I especially loved it when Mr. Gravel was asked a question about who he felt was the biggest threat to America and he called out the entire Military Industrial Complex for perpetuating a state of fear and all the other cantidates for being complicit in perpatuating it. He even brought up that this was exactly what President Eisenhower warned us about! And he was right!
The Media are going to call him a nut and claim he is on the "fringe" but in my opinion Mike Gravel is absolutely right. I think he represents a large portion of Americans who seem to have no voice and no representation in the new America.
Mike Gravel's contempt for the people he was sharing the stage with was palpable and some are going to suggest it was inappropriate or out of line, but the thing is, I share it. When he contemptuously waved his arm at them as he was speaking, I could empathize more with Mike Gravel and his frustration with the whole system than with anyone else on stage. He was speaking that way because he is the extreme underdog and he knows it. When people like me have never heard of him before, you know that he is a longshot. He knows perfectly well that he has no chance in hell and you can feel the rightous anger and frustration at this system which favors certain concentric inner circles of power among politics, media and wealthy special interests.
Ok, that said, I have a couple other comments about the other cantidates. First, I was impressed by Hillary Clinton. She seemed very sincere. I realized something while watching her. Even though she is not my favorite cantidate by a long shot, I realized that she would still be far superior to George W. Bush.
I thought Joe Biden's one word answer to the question of whether he had the discipline to limit his verbocity... was brilliant.
The Media is making a big deal of Barak Obama's reaction to being confronted by Dennis Kucinich about funding the war. He was strong and very diplomatic. He came off very "Presidential". But personally, I agreed with Dennis Kucinich, they didn't have to fund the war. They could have ended it now by voting no but they all perpetuated it anyway because they were afraid of supposed political repercussions.
All in all it was a very cordial event, with no major attacks against each other to speak of.
The overall impression I got, which was noticably different from usual, was that it was a Democratic Party unified, for now at least, and organized against George W. Bush and his lack of a strategy for Iraq.