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Highs and Lows of the Yearly Kos Presidential Forum

by Pamela Leavey

Yearly Kos is making a lot of headlines this year. I didn’t go last year and didn’t even consider it again this year, but perhaps next. The big news is that liberal and progressive bloggers have definitively “crashed the gate” now and they are fraternizing with “the dread establishment“…

Not that anyone didn’t know this already on some level, but it really was striking to get the visual of yesterday’s gate crashers quite literally mingling with the dread establishment at a cocktail party. The question that nobody seems to know the answer to, though, is whether the revolution ended because the revolutionaries won, or because they sold out? The boring, but probably boring-because-accurate, answer is that it’s a little of both.

This year’s Yearly Kos Presidential Forum is proof positive that somewhere along the way something shifted. The Fix reports that “seven of the eight Democratic candidates for president” spent 90 “rollicking minutes answering questions and — occasionally — jabbing each other in the marquee event.”

Hillary Clinton made a point about accepting donations from lobbyists that didn’t go over well with the crowd:

Clinton said: “A lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans.” (She went on to names nurses and social workers as examples of “real Americans” who employ lobbyists.)

Bill Richardson also drew some ire when he “told the crowd that he supported a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.” Richardson’s answer was met with “Hissing and boos. Boos and hissing.”

Highlights in the media of the event are available here and here.

Politico reports that Hillary Clinton was full of flattery when she spoke to the crowd earlier in the day when she thanked attendees for “building a modern, progressive movement in America”…

Thank you. Thank you for building a modern, progressive movement in America and standing up to the right-wing Republican noise machine!”


“Don’t tell anybody, but I actually read blogs,” she said. “Don’t share that.”

The audience laughed.

“Sometimes I say, ‘Oh, come on.’ But sometimes I agree,” she said. “So I really appreciate not just the fighting words and your standing up and being counted, but the substance of the blogging that you do.”

There’s live-blogging threads from the event here and here.

One Response to “Highs and Lows of the Yearly Kos Presidential Forum”

  1. I watched a bit of the Republicans on TV this morning. Man, was that sobering. On top of everything else, they were unanimous in opposing that new child health care bill.

    Except for Paul, they were falling all over themselves to show who would have the most militaristic approach to the problems presented by the modern world. According to them we’re just about victorious on the military side of Iraq, and well on the way to sort things out politically.

    Oh, and the key to the whole health care situation is to have the President preach wellness, and to pass a $15,000 health insurance tax deduction.

    Unless I’m missing something, this is shaping up to be a real slaughter in 08.