LIVE from Seattle Center: We're back
Russ Feingold's name brought a strong roar from the audience and Wesley Clark also has a lot of support (more than Biden).
Moderator Ron Reagan jokes that McCain should consider Joe Lieberman, while Mike Malloy suggests that Mitt Romney would be a great choice and has the added advantage of keeping the evangelicals at home on election day. Thom Hartman thinks that Romney could bring a lot to the McCain ticket: money and "cleanness".
Moving on to the subject of religion, Randi Rhodes emphasizes that Barack Obama can comfortably talk about religion and about the compassionate side of religion: helping those in poverty, providing healthcare to everyone.
The panel thinks that people aren't paying attention to what the Bush administration is doing except for the vigilant, "wonky" progressives. (Yay us!) According to Randi Rhodes, "We are the front line of democracy."
The panel is bouncing great ideas back and forth like the U.S. Olympic volleyball team with a volley ball. A constant theme of the evening is that Republicans are trying to destroy and shrink government by privatizing it, while progressives know that government can be "good." The success of the social security program is one good example of successful government.
The Republicans have tried to chip away at this old-age insurance by privatizing it but Americans wouldn't have it. And we need to be reminded which party supports one of our most important government safety nets and who wants to destroy it.
UPDATE: Race is on the table now. Whether people discuss it or not, race will play a part in the presidential campaign. Malloy and Rhodes see a lot of racism in the country and its effects on the election will be complex. Whites and blacks might vote with race in mind, which could either give Obama votes or take them from him. We'll have to see how it plays out in November.
Blame for the September 11th attacks is being assigned to the "Bush Crime Family." Have we heard the true story? There were too many clues that something was in the works with Osama bin Ladin. Seder sees signs of a conspiracy: July meetings with the Taliban in Afghanistan, flight schools, the presidential daily briefing.
The issues tackled tonight have been thought provoking and the panel has been articulate and insightful. I think they enjoyed the opportunity to have this conversation together and even ham it up a bit. Hopefully they take their show on the road again so more Americans can have the pleasure of listening.