Clinton vs. Edwards, not Obama: 'User Generated Politics' live from Nevada

Hillary Clinton vs. John Edwards, NOT Barack Obama?

DIGITAL MARKETS BLOG SPECIAL LIVE REPORT!

Edition number 23 in this Digital Markets Blog presidential campaign 2008 series on what I am calling “User Generated Politics” 

The conversation has really begun, big time, "User Generated Politics" style!

Right now, (almost) all of the democratic presidential contenders are strutting their political best before an enthusiastic and interactive audience of 500 members and retirees of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL–CIO (AFSCME), in Carson City, Nevada, as part of a Democratic Presidential Forum Sponsored by AFSCME and moderated by George Stephanopoulos.

The Forum represents the “first in the nation presidential candidate forum” of campaign 2008, according to AFSCME.

The Forum has a wider audience than the Nevada one: I am also attending live from New York City via C-SPAN!

The “first” Forum is a Democratic one and all of the democratic contenders are convened in Nevada’s capital city for the landmark event, except one.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put forth, “This is more great news for Nevada. This Forum is a great opportunity for candidates to discuss Nevada issues and lay the groundwork for winning the West, which will be key to Democratic victory in 2008.”


Photo: AFSCME, Lisa J. Tolda/Reno Gazette-Journal

Gerald McEntee, AFSCME President, inaugurated the event by declaring “the West is critical for winning the next presidential election” noting that Nevada is one of the three early states in the nominating process, along with Iowa and New Hampshire.

AFSCME is the nation's largest public employees union, a powerful force behind organized labor political involvement.

McEntee underscored the Forum begins the presidential campaign endorsement decision making process for AFSCME declaring “we fight until we win” on behalf of our chosen candidate.

The Forum format allows each of the candidates to address the Union audience directly and personally. One by one, Stephanopoulos invites each candidate to the podium for an opening statement, followed by a Q & A with questions from AFSCME members and then a concluding personal statement from the candidate.

The format sounds static, but it is in fact very “User Generated Politics” focused, AFSCME member “User Generated Politics,” that is.

Not only are member questions being posed to the candidates, the union members are reacting to what the candidates are offering to them and loudly letting everyone know how thy feel, including the moderator.

Stephanopoulos was roundly booed from the get go when he introduced the first candidate. What was his transgression? He mispronounced the state's name, Nevada!

Candidates promoing themselves to the Union members: Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, former Senator John Edwards, former Senator Mike Gravel, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Governor Bill Richardson and former Governor Tom Vilsack.

The one democratic presidential candidate absentee: Senator Barack Obama, he chose Iowa over Nevada.

McEntee indicated prior to the start of the Forum, "He'll be noticeably absent because he's the only one not there. If two, three or four others weren't there, it might be a little different."

Will Obama suffer political repercussions?

Perhaps Obama is feeling flush from his gala winnings of last evening, as I put forth yesterday in “Barack Obama million dollar star in Hollywood

STAY TUNED TO THIS DIGITAL MARKETS BLOG FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF WHAT I AM CALLING “USER GENERATED POLITICS” 2008

More in this Digital Markets Special Series:
John McCain announces McCain Space! Republican ‘User Generated Politics’ and
Blog Hillary launches, Clinton targets gender ‘User Generated Politics’
John Edwards meets Bill Maher: ‘User Generated Politics’ TV campaign stop and
YouTube: Must see TV? ‘User Generated Politics’ presidential campaign 2008 and
Is Obama’s social network anti-social? and
Hillary Clinton trumps Barack Obama, on eBay! and
Joe Biden has 226 MySpace friends: Can he connect?