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Watching

Video Digest: November 30, 2007

After watching the CNN-YouTube Republican debates, Meave Gallagher scours for lost video, crushes on Huckabee.

I managed to watch this week’s CNN-YouTube Republican debates and I don’t want to be a jerk, but HDTV was not kind to the candidates. Fred Thompson is all crags and jowls, Giuliani’s already enormous choppers tripled in size, and it turns out Mitt Romney’s hairstyle is heavy gel and careful combing. Combined with their quite obvious makeup, all the Republicans looked like caricatures of themselves.

Except, of course, Mike Huckabee. He must give a wonderful sermon, because the man debates beautifully. And with those sparkling blue eyes, such a charmer.

Swooning aside, the video questions were nearly as prominent as the candidates responding to them. That last one about baseball, though, got me all crabby: Why would they waste time with that when there were so many good submissions that didn’t make the cut? Well, then I had to see if we really were missing out on some good questions, so off to YouTube I went. In order to be fair, I chose four questions on subjects that appealed to liberal me, and looked for other videos of one Republican or another speaking on those subjects.

I used to live in the Haight, where there really are cannabis clubs across the street from each other. This guy has some serious concerns as well.

Naturally, the only Republican I could find on the record about medical marijuana is internet darling Ron Paul. As a doctor and a libertarian, his opinion is doubly valuable, right?

It looks like this kid joined just to ask this question about stem cell research. It’s a good question, and he’s so earnest and well spoken; too bad they couldn’t have replaced one of the religion or abortion questions with this one.

Here is Mitt Romney, giving a pretty clear answer that doesn’t involve the word “abortion” at all. Fred Thompson said that he would work to repeal Roe v. Wade right away, should we the people elect him president, which makes me wonder about his priorities. Solid response here, Mitt.

Shitty public schools fail kids, and break the promise of free education. Being a liberal crazy, I object to federal money being given to religious zealots to teach their children to believe that “intelligent design” is science and evolution is blasphemy.

Mike Huckabee understands our feelings; he’s conflicted too! I haven’t heard this view on school vouchers espoused before, and again, the governor impresses me with his thoughtfulness. He does have a way of speaking to a crowd as though he were having an intimate conversation. Also, his complete lack of sex appeal renders him entirely unthreatening, so having a little conservative crush on him is harmless. Totally harmless.

This is the number-one question I wish had been asked in the debate. The asker is from Dayton, but the subject is pertinent all across the Rust Belt, where post-industrial cities are suffering from high unemployment after a long economic downturn, and fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis is creating ghost towns out of once-vital neighborhoods.

An exhausted John McCain answers a similar question here. I admire McCain for his work on campaign finance reform and his unassailable anti-torture views. He can come off as pretty noble as well, although his “veto pen” could easily become this election’s “lockbox.”

Dad, if you’re reading this, I promise I am not voting Republican in 2008. Granddad, I guess you’re right: Republicans aren’t always obnoxious bores.

For complete footage of the actual debate, visit go here.

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