Saturday, July 22, 2006

Allen \ Webb Debate...

Allen \ Webb debate...



Had the opportunity to attend the debate between Senator George Allen and challenger James Webb today held at The Homestead near Hot Springs Virginia.


It was an interesting debate for the format of the debate incorporated several techniques for the questions to be asked of the candidates. First there was a panel made up by 3 individuals that asked questions of both the Senator and his challenger. The candidate was permitted to answer the question and then the other candidate was permitted 2 minutes for a statement and then the original person answering the question was usually allowed a minute to follow up…
Another format used in the debate was questions asked of the candidates by the moderator and the same follow up policy…
The final format used allowed the candidates to ask questions of their competitor which proved very interesting and enlightening.

Opening statements were interesting in the sense it provided a insight into the candidate and their differences. I made several observations of each candidate during the debate and will provide these observances at the end of the questions asked.

George Allen started off with his opening statement by saying there are 3 important things we must look at. First is freedom and protecting that freedom.
Second was making sure that there is the opportunity for all to grow and improve. And third the importance of a strong foundation of values…

Jim Webb’s opening statement asked “Are you better off now then six years ago?". He then went on to attack the President Bush policies concerning jobs, medical issues, Americas future, a “Slash & Burn” approach to things and the importance of “Independent” thought…
Several times during the debate Webb stated that we do not have an exit plan in Iraq because [ the administration?] doesn’t want to leave Iraq. He also questioned why we need 4 bases in Iraq if we are going to leave. Senator Allen responded by saying "Instead of having our troops all over 100 different places all over Iraq in dangerous, precarious situations, they ought to be on four bases. It's good operationally and safer for them, and those bases will ultimately be turned over to the Iraqis," He also advised Webb that we still have bases in Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Cuba, and numerous other countries that welcome our presence there. He also stated many things have changed since the attacks of 9/11...

On another question Webb stated that the United States should not be an “Occupying” force in that part of the world. He also quoted a survey of the military which says that 70% of those asked say that they should be out of Iraq within a year. (Webb did not provide which survey or how the questions were asked during this survey). Senator Allen questioned the survey and stated that he looks forward to welcoming home the troops after the job is done in Iraq & Afghanistan.

During a question about affirmative action webb presented a strange and interesting perspective. Webb feels that the affirmative action program has changed a lot since it was first established to provide assistance to “Blacks”, his words, for generations of slavery and discriminations. He feels now that this assistance has evolved to include many other races and is now unfair to poor white Americans.(?) Senator Allen replied that slavery was the worst thing to happen in the United States. He has supported the Voter Rights act and education is the key to helping all improve themselves and their future.

Senator Allen took the opportunity to ask Webb about the benefits and proper use of the proposed port project in the Hampton Roads area “Craney Island”. Webb was caught off guard and had to admit that he did not know anything about the 2,500 acre project that would make a manmade peninsula out of the material dredged from the Elizabeth channel. This showed the limited knowledge of Webb concerning the state of Virginia which he wants to represent.

Many other issues will come out in the mornings paper of this debate and if possible please talk to somebody who attended it if possible. It was interesting to watch the candidates actions, replies, demeanor, gestures, and attitudes.
Webb would not look at Senator Allen when he was being asked a question or replying. He blinked a lot and at times look agitated. The Senator showed his experience and the importance of addressing his opponent, the audience, and those asking the questions. He also presented his opinions and beliefs in a sincere and informative manner. Webb is new to this and it shows. I am sure he will improve with “Coaching” but you must know and believe in what you stand for and advocate. You should have seen the faces of the local Augusta County Democrats when Webb said that Ronald Reagan a model to him… Priceless…

Senator Allen’s closing comments included his past performance as Virginia Governor and Senator. The need for all Americans to be unified and for this country to continue to be the “Land of opportunity”. He stressed the importance of values and we must stand strong for freedom…

Jim Webb’s closing comments included the need for both candidates to keep the high road with this campaign. To avoid labels. That it should not be a choice of “Left or Right” but of “Up or Down” (?)… Webb also continued his attacks on the Presidents “Poor judgment” in invading Iraq also…

It was truly an interesting debate…

3 comments:

f mcdonald said...

This is a great report and the fact that you were on the scene is invaluable. The more I read about Webb's public appearances a picture emerges of a man not comfortable in his own skin. Maybe I should say his "new" skin.

Senator Allen has a keen mind for details and has proven himself a formidable debater. Not to mention the fact that he is a decent, honorable man.

hr_conservative said...

Sounds like the first debate goes to Allen.

not4cindy said...

I also attended the debate and your observations were in kind with mine. I left being reminded once again that character is a trait that stands in its own right. No amount of coaching or preparing can provide you with ideals, only information. Apparently Webb had a lack of that, as well. A slogan is something you simply repeat when prompted. A belief is guidance that motivates from within. Webb lacked adequate answers because he only managed to master a few slogans. The Senator came across as sincere and confident because he articulated a system of values and beliefs, in freedom, in justice and in the United States of America.