The historic forum is over with after a mere hour.Â Each candidate received 15 minutes and answered questions from Soledad O’Brien, Rev. Jim Wallis and a couple others including viewer questions.
First there was not much time.Â The 15 minutes went really fast for each candidate limiting the number of questions that were asked.
Edwards started off the night looking comfortable.Â The biggest issue being addressed tonight was poverty… his core issue for his campaign.Â I thought he capitalized on the questions of poverty and Katrina quite well.Â He mentioned his humanitarian work and the urban work he did before elected office (had never heard it before, so it is good to know).
Senator Obama used nearly his whole time to address Rev. Wallis’ question about poverty and policy… something Obama has not been talking about nearly as much as John Edwards.Â He needed to dive into the question just as he did tonight.Â I think it was a smart move.Â It will be interesting to see what the pundits have to say about it though. This forum was his home turf, he received the loudest applause of anyone of them tonight.Â He has already spoken in front of many of Sojourner’s crowd last summer at the Call to Renewal event.
Hillary Clinton surprised me, although she should not have with the amount of experience she has.Â She talked candidly about her faith, especially when it came to questions about her marital problems and former President Bill Clinton’s affairs.Â Her talking about how she was raised not to wear faith on one’s sleeve, was a nice line.
Bottom line.Â This forum was ground breaking in that it is big time media, the mainstream media, actually talking about progressive faith instead of the typical conservative that dominate the television.Â It is a quality start to a movement of pushing further ideas in the faith agenda.Â Many people of faith care deeply about poverty, hunger, and many other issues.Â Christians do not just vote on abortion and gay marriage.Â This is a beginning point of demonstrating just that.Â That’s why we are here!Â To make our voice heard, to bring about justice, to lift up the oppressed, and to care for the poor.
Beatitudes Society also has a live blogging notes of the event.Â Now to listen to Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich on Paula Zahn, or may be not!