The candidates and their surrogates are spinning the media. Listen in.
Barack Obama supporter Cornel West:
Enlightened self-interest is very important. Historically, black people have always have been concerned about converting self-interest into public policy. Black people infused their voices in the debate.
Harvard Law Prof. Charles Ogletree Jr.:
The forum was very effective in bringing out the core issues. Now it's impossible to have a Democratic or Republican debate without black input. The format was problematic; they have to figure out a way to get the candidates to talk to each other.
Gov. Bill Richardson was asked what he would do to rebuild America's image. Richardson's response:
I would have a Marshall Plan to build better understanding in the Muslim world. We need a structure for peace, reconciliation among groups. I would bring in Iran and Syria. We cannot start reconciliation until we bring our troops out.
Mississippi state Rep. Mary Coleman, immediate past president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and Joe Biden supporter:
Senator Biden did a great job answering all the questions that were asked of him and showed his experience dealing with foreign affairs. His answers on education, HIV-AIDS were right on target.
I came across a heated exchange between Tavis Smiley and Washington Post staff writer Micheal Leahy. Tavis to Leahy:
If I wanted to I could have asked all the questions. I wanted to showcase journalists of color.
Tavis then stormed off. I asked Leahy what that was all about. Leahy told me he had questioned Tavis about the way he handled the debate. Leahy then gave me an earful:
I asked Tavis why he mentioned his book. Did he feel upset that he spent more time talking about himself and his book than the candidates had to answer questions. He spent more time promoting his book and making a three-minute statement...When was the last time in a presidential debate the moderator had more time than the candidates? It was unprecedented.
It's getting hot in here. No, really. It's hot in here.