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September 12, 2008

video from the Service Nation summit

I continue to be very impressed that our colleagues from the service movement managed to get both national presidential candidates to endorse a service agenda on 9/11 in New York City, as a centerpiece of their "truce" on that auspicious day. CNN has lots of interesting video clips from their interviews.

Here is Barack Obama talking about "active citizenship" (that's exactly what we call it at Tufts) in thoughtful ways and then summarizing his policy agenda for civilian service and service-learning:

The clip entitled "A Reminder of the American Spirit" is longish but it's interesting at the end when Obama starts talking about concrete ways that citizens and government could work together on key national challenges.

And here is John McCain making two fair points--the climate of the campaign would have been better if Obama had agreed to meet him in frequent town meetings; and he does respect community organizing:

PS: I just read this denunciation of McCain's claim about town-hall meetings. As a clarification, let me say that I do not believe those meetings would have improved the climate because the candidates would have gotten to know each other better. Personal dynamics would have had nothing to do with it. Forums would have improved the climate because they would have attracted a lot of attention and thereby made other forms of media somewhat less important. During the forums themselves, the candidates would have been rewarded for relatively substantive and respectful discourse.

This is a nonpartisan blog. From my nonpartisan, civic perspective, I will argue that both campaigns could behave better (and that both have been helpful at times--as shown above). My nonpartisan stance will not, however, prevent me from opining that the McCain campaign has deliberately taken the low road in deeply disappointing ways that will damage both the civic climate and the candidate's own reputation for honorable leadership.

September 12, 2008 11:58 AM | category: none


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