The venue wasn't exactly cozy yet their was an intimacy rarely seen in campaign politics as everyone sat on stools in close proximity. They were so close to one another they could not help but make eye contact and perhaps that is the secret of successful campaigning.
The questions were by no means softballs, the subject for the most part jobs and what the candidates proposed to do to bring them back. Each answer was forthright and earnest in tenor. It was interesting to me how similar these three men really are when it comes to their solutions.
The heart and soul of the evening belonged to the everyman and woman that were representing us, the voters. Their frustrations and worries were palpable. Their fears and anxieties.
In listening to the questions they put forward and the answers given I saw a side of each candidate I had not seen before. The crispness of an idea, reasons why the idea would work, why it was needed to be done said without condescension in understandable terms. Understanding. Compassion. None of it feeling the least bit insincere. No soaring soliloquies, no religious ideologies, no repetitious chanting of resumes. Just straight answers. A far cry from the theater of the so called debates.
I was disheartened as I read the headlines this morning as super Tuesday approaches as to how quickly that moment passed. If he'd quit I'd be ahead. If I had his money I'd be ahead. Back to the same old mean spirited rhetoric poorly masked by insincere smiles. Politics as usual. Winning at all costs.
For a brief moment these men showed what lies beneath all the ego and ambition that drives them. I wonder if they recognized it within themselves or if they are so used to their alter persona's they didn't even notice.
I hope they do before it's all said and done. What we've been seeing of them on the stump isn't encouraging. What I saw Saturday was. I'm sorry Ron Paul wasn't there, I'd have liked to see him in the same circumstance.
I don't know if another Forum is scheduled or not. It would be on FOX. If you can watch one and your mind has not yet been set in stone, it might help you decide. Or not, which might even be better when you realize the good might just outweigh the bad. At least it would probably clear up some misconceptions.
Have I made up my mind? Kind of, well, maybe - I'm not sure, really. Not to worry. Like most of the people on the panels, I have until tomorrow night to decide.