I particularly liked JRE’s responses to the three questions. The first was about China, where he vowed to be tougher on trade, safety regulation of imports, environmental and labor standards in trade agreements, etc. The second was on education, where he argued that the federal government must level the playing field between local communities with different resource capacities and mentioned his proposal for a national teaching service academy. He said his daughter Emma Claire, in third grade in a public school, had suffered from the emphasis on standardized tests — he argued for individualized, teacher-centered assessment and against punishing low-performing schools. The final question was from a worker at a non-profit diverting surplus food to the hungry, and gave JRE the chance to return to the theme that first excited me about him in 2003. We cannot accept poverty and inequality in America, he said, and people like the questioner deserved not only praise but government support in ending poverty.
The canvassing, by the way, went well — I talked to several still-undecided voters and discovered several Edwards voters previously unknown to the campaign. One of the recent polls said that 49% of Democrats are undecided or leaning, which gives us some hope of outperforming the overall poll numbers. I ran into Obama, HRC, and McCain canvassers on the way, and drove by the Richardson event in Central Square (maybe 200 people). (I venture to predict that Richardson will do a lot better than his current statewide 4% in Keene — I’ve run into a fair bit of support for him as I’ve canvassed.
I’ll be back for Primary Day! (Then we will see what kind of campaign JRE can mount in my own Massachusetts…)