Surrogates for Dem. candidates debate in SF
January 28, 2008 11:00 PM
Echoing a national trend among Democratic presidential candidates, the topics of energy dependence, peace in the Middle East and economic transformation took center stage at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center Monday night.
The Democratic candidates’ local surrogate representatives took part in a debate in front of a lively and animated crowd of nearly 300 potential Democratic voters.
Moderating the debate was John Rothman, a political and foreign policy consultant and long-time host for KGO Radio in San Francisco.
“Tonight’s event is a longtime tradition,” Roth told the audience prior to the debate. “This has been a wonderful opportunity as it involves numerous clubs throughout San Francisco.”
The event was co-sponsored by the African-American Democratic Club, San Francisco Young Democrats and Democratic Women in Action.
Representing Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was Jonathan Spalter, a former foreign policy advisor to the Clinton Administration, whose statement declaring that Jan. 28 marked President George Bush’s final State of The Union address was met with a loud and boisterous applause.
Other representatives debating included San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera who spoke for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Jeff Soukup, a co-chair of California’s John Edwards for President campaign, and Lynn Moiser, the daughter of former Alaska senator, Mike Gravel.
The surrogates agreed the radical change was in order for the future administration.
“There are a lot of wonderful proposals on the table being discussed tonight,” said Spalter, “but we must continue to move forward if we are to achieve progress over the next decade.”
Reaction to the debate was a diverse as the candidates represented.
“This debate has only reinforced my opinion of who should run our country for the next four years,” said Joe Hall, a registered independent voter who said that he would be voting for Sen. Gravel.
“There are serious problems in this country that need to be addressed, and he has the vision to do that,” Hall said.
Mel Axelrod, another Bay Area resident, said he had been unsure of who to vote for before the debate.
“But now I’m sure,” he said. “Obama will be a great candidate in eight years, but right now it is the experience of Clinton that will win my vote,” Axelrod said.
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