Open Phones … With Homework

February 12, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Posted in On Air | 17 Comments

Mike CollinsWednesday, February 13, is a session of Open Phones on Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins – but we have an assignment for our commenters.  We want to know what you think of the very political year so far.  Has Election Year 2008 been exhilarating for you?  Have you been following the candidates and their messages as they’ve been weeded out primary by primary? Or, are you sick of the talk already?  We want your thoughts about how the candidates are doing, and even your predictions, if you’re brave enough to call the race this far ahead of November.  And, as always, you’re invited to call, email, or blog about any other topic of your choosing.



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  1. Okay, I’m getting the heads up on the Open Phones blog Also, the site looks better with the photo than a couple of days ago. One more note, the WFAE contact page should have direct links to staffers, not just the email addresses.

    Anyway, here’s my comment:

    The thing that bothers me most is people walking into the ballot box not knowing who their voting for. How can that be? It makes me nuts – study the issues and make up your mind already. I’m very involved in this election; campaining on the ground where I can, and making phone calls in other states, but I must admit I’m getting a little tired. Hmmm…I’ll call the Nov. election for a Democrat. Yes, this election year has been totally exciting! Love the show!

  2. I am a 30 year old african american male supporter of Senator Obama. I have studied the issues represented by both the Republican and Democratic candidates and have chosen to support Sen. Obama because I most agree with his stances on the issues. However, there is also the real desire to witness the election of the first African American person to the office of the presidency. In keeping with this desire, I would have also voted for Powell had he run, Dr. Rice had she chosen to run or any other valid representation of the African American community. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton are not seen by the vast majority in the African American community as valid representations of our community and do not fall in line with our views, as they are the old guard. This was prominently displayed by Mr. Sharptons support of Mr. Mackey.

  3. I have the opportunity to listen throughout the day to coverage of the election and two issues are bothering me greatly.
    1. Heartburn about superdelegates and little attention to how the race is covered by media outlets does impact how the candidates are perceived and how ultimately they fare.
    I think the media can act as a superdelegate announcing their support for a candidate before the convention, by the nature of the coverage and especially by not covering a candidate well. So, why all the blithering about these candidates’ colleagues and party activists having a separate voice in their party’s election. I’m down to my 4th and 5th choices. I just wish the superdelegates would speak more about why they are supporting one candidate or another.
    3. HOW ABOUT A NATIONAL PRIMARY? Let them make their best cases and let us go vote. The way it is now each primary impacts the next primary through “momentum” and the media telling us who we should write off.

  4. Is it open phones, or is it president talk?

  5. Hyperlincoln, as our promo (above) states, this is an Open Phones with an assignment for listeners- we want to know what Charlotte listeners think about the Presidential Election so far. But if you have a comment not related to the election, please let us know what it is. We’ll get to as many comments about all the topics as we can. Thanks for listening.

  6. What I find most funny about this election is how McCain keep trying to suck up to the very people who have brought his party, and America, closer and closer to a Depression. How ironic also that Rush Limbaugh, while trying to destroy the Democratic Party…is destroying the Republican Party. Bad reality can only produce bad visions.

  7. I am amazed that so many Democrats think that the Republicans will not do everything they can to trash Obama. Have they forgotten how they attacked not only the Clintons but also John Kerry’s record of war heroism? People who will do such a thing will not be stopped just because Obama runs as a uniter. It takes two to unite.

  8. I think it is very simple. We know we want a government that has transparency and that pulls ideas from everyone and every party.

    Barack Obama is our best chance to get there.

    Some people say he is naive, does not have enough experience, etc..

    I say lets at least be brave enough to try and move toward a government we all want.

  9. Mike-

    I am an avid listening of your show and I highly respect you for your demonstration of having an open mind and fairness as a person and journalist demonstrated through all this year via your radio show.

    I am very sorry that I was cut from the conversation this morning Open phones related to the Presidential elections.

    If I may I would like to bring this US State Department PDF document where in page 6 indicated the following:

    “Despite widespread popular belief, U.S military installations abroad and U.S diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th amendment. A child born on the premises of such facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.”

    this is in page 6… Please read it…

    This is the US State Department web site which contains the file which is attached for your reading.

  10. Where is Ron Paul? He’s raising millions of dollars and you guys haven’t mentioned him today. It sounds like a Obama and Clinton broken record.

    The War in Iraq is illegal and none of the candidates you’re talking about even mention the war, except McCain, the guy who wants to stay there for 100 years!!

    What is wrong here? Am I living in The Matrix?

    I love the show, but not today.

  11. Rafael,

    This is Tim Ross, Associate Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins.

    Thanks for your follow up letter. Sorry we couldn’t continue the conversation but had many other calls and emails to address. At least one other listener wrote in to address your statement by saying that the base Mr. McCain was born on was in U.S. hands at the time.

    I also did my own research this morning to check out your statement. From what I could find, one source being the Oracle Education Foundation, is that anyone who’s parents are U.S. citizens can run for president no matter where they are born in the world. One other requirement however is that they live in the U.S. for 14 years, a requirement McCain has no doubt fulfilled. I think there may be a difference of interpretation in that the requirement is that they be a “Naturalized Citizen.” You state that they must be a “Natural Born Citizen.” I don’t see the word “born” in the phrase that I’ve researched, just “Naturlized Citizen.” I can also only believe that, in today’s political climate, Mr. McCain’s opponents would have seized on this issue both during this presidential race and his earlier attempts. We certainly welcome all debate on this topic as it is fascinating to try and figure out. Thank you for listening.


  12. If Clinton wins, we will have had BUSH, CLINTON, BUSH, CLINTON for 20 years!!!!!!

  13. My comment is for all of your callers, and Obama critics, that say his speeches lack substance. Last night in his victory speech in Wis., Obama stated that he was: 1) against the war; and that 2) we need to focus on securing Afghanistan.

    Last time I checked, we’ve captured no terrorists in Iraq that had anything to do with 9/11. The six terrorists facing trial (I believe) were captured in Afghanistan. That is were there the true fight against terror is;

  14. Each election must be taken separately. We shouldn’t choose a candidate to complete or break a pattern. I am no fan of oligarchy though our congress is a pretty good example of one already. However, America had a plethora of choices among the two main parties and has come to Clinton and Obama on the Dem. side. Hopefully, America won’t vote for Obama, McCain or the other remaining candidates just to break the pattern. Hopefully, we’ll look at them for more than what their names are not.

  15. Thanks, Wendy. The level of discourse on your show makes it a cultural oasis amid a vast desert of bad or no reality, and bad or no visions…at least on the AM dial, and on the once-great WBT, which has become little more than a lie machine.

    I have been a fan for years and years, but I never congratulated you, rather your husband, on his marriage. 🙂

    The professional marriage of souls between you and Mr. Collins is magic. Long live the magic!


  16. It’s Wendy from Charlotte Talks- here are some emails that we weren’t able to get to on the air during today’s show. Hope they can add to the discussion on the blog! Thanks for listening and participating.

    *I commend your listeners for actually reading the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court has said several times that children of U.S. citizens born overseas are still considered “natural born citizens.” See for example, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 1874 WL 17301 U.S.,1874.

    *What about the fact that we are at war on two fronts? How far can Obama’s inspiration go to protect our oil interests by managing the war in Iraq? If we pull out now, there is a good chance that Iran will invade Iraq and control the oil supply!

    *I was concerned last week about the fact that all I was hearing from Obama was that it is “Time for a Change”. So I went to his web site and downloaded his treatise on the issues. He does spell out his proposals in more detail than I have seen from other candidates, including McCain, whose web site I also visited in an effort to view all sides. Obama on the war, states (and I paraphrase) that while we should not have begun the war, we cannot just pull out without proper discussion and planning. So he does not support unilateral withdrawal, but rather the use of sense. I have no reservations in supporting a man who has intelligence and common sense and is promoting ideas that I fully believe in, but I do hope he will begin speaking out on the issues, because too many people will hear only his generalizations about change and not realize that he has wonderful ideas for effecting that change.

    *As of now I’ll take either one for president. My choice was Joseph Biden, but with him out I am fine with either Hillary or Obama. If I had to vote one, it would be Hillary, but I like them both and it makes for a difficult decision…lol
    I disagree with a couple callers. I don’t believe any president in the immediate future is going to put a end to lobbyists, they have too much power. Also, it’s naive to think the republicans won’t try to shut down proposals by Obama. Uniting the country is one thing, a great thing, but what the American people think can be different from the governments ideas of what is right for the country.
    Right now the victories for both Obama and Hillary have gone according to prediction. Where the upsets may appear is in three weeks with Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all three are predicted to go to Hillary. If she loses one of those states, her chances of becoming the nominee will diminish greatly.

    *The current caller is correct, Obama, as with the rest of the democratic candidates, have promised to remove the troops, and to have them home as soon as possible.
    I agree with many that this may cause trouble in Iraq, but we’ve been there long enough, and it’s time for the Iraq government to step up to the plate.
    I’m not worried about “the terrorists coming here”, sure a few at a time can come over, but Iran doesn’t have the military power, nor ability, to send troops, planes or bombs to the U.S.. It’s been only recently people are saying they have the ability to bomb Israel. They are a nuisance, but not a threat to the U.S..

    *It is very important to note the astounding numbers on the Democratic side. In Virginia yesterday, Barack received more votes than all the Republican candidates combined. And, the number of Democrats voting throughout the country, state by state, significantly outnumber the number of Republicans making it to the booth.
    Two quick reasons why Obama should be the Democratic nominee (among others):
    (1) If he wins the nomination, he will be able to get Hillary’s votes; if Hillary wins the nomination, she will likely not be able to get Obama’s votes.
    (2) With respect to foreign relations, unfortunately, there are countries in the middle east and elsewhere that are not willing to accept a woman because it may violate their cultural mores.


    *The discussion with the last caller was embarrasing. NONE of the remaining candidates have proposed anything near single payer government operated health care. McCain is basically advocating business as usual with insurance companies, while proposing some tax credits for those uninsured who cannot benefit from them. Obama and Clinton both propose that it be mandatory to buy insurance from existing companies, with a possibility of also buying into the program that covers Congress. The difference is that Obama would only require that parents must buy policies for their children. Diane Rehm just covered these programs yesterday in detail with a professor from UNC.

    *I think that too many people are not thinking about what’s meant by “Experience” when they evaluate Senator Obama. If experience is defined as “something done, seen , or haveing taken part in”, then none of the candidates has the experience as the President of the United States of America – yet All of the candidates have some meaning experience. Finally, I don’t think that living in the White House or having prior military experience gives one the requisite skills to lead a country. btw: I Am For OBAMA

    *I am very much a supporter of Barak Obama because he is not yet part of the political establishment. He is a breath of fresh air and our chance to give Mr. Smith a chance to govern this country. I was torn between Hillary Clinton and Obama at the beginning of the campaign. But I was very much turned off by the dirty attacks of the Clinton campaign in which they tried to take Obama’s quotes out of context to make him look something he is not. I am also disgusted about the Clinton duo in which Bill Clinton slings the mud while Hillary can smell like roses saying “That Bill doing it, not me”. Another important issue that nobody seems to talk about is: “SUPER DELEGATES”. I would very much like to know how can they justify this and whether people would be outraged if they change the democratic primary outcome if they all vote for the candidate that does not win the popular vote. And how can they justify this in the first place? I believe the Democratic party should abolish the Super Delegates since it smacks too much of the system in which Landowners decided elections. Last, but not least: I am sick and tired of people speaking of “experience”. I believe we need more Mr. Smiths to go to Washington. “Experienced” politicians for me are more likely to be corrupt and look after themselves and their lobbyists, which helped them get elected and re-elected. You can spin this anyway you want: an inexperienced person is more likely to listen to his advisors and all sides of a problem before he makes a decision. An experienced politician is more likely to be stubborn, ignore everybody and do something they feel is right. (Does that remind you of anyone?) And really last point: we need term limits for Congress. 2 terms is more than enough for a US Senator. The current system of having senators for life breeds corruption. Can anyone explain to me how senators become so wealthy?

    *After Edwards dropped out, I was in a quandary. However, my son seems adamant about Barack Obama, so I’m investigating his positions on everything. I should mention that my son is an Army Segeant, has been deployed to combat zones three times with the 82nd Airborne, and is currently doing military intelligence training, with a top secret clearance, and says that ending the Iraq war is his top issue. He’s 29–out of the mouths of babes… I feel for the woman whose daughter is going to be deployed. Good luck to her.

    *I think people choose Senator Obama for empty “inspiration”. People choose Senator Hillary Clinton for substance. I totally agree with the New York Times editorial’s endorsement for Hillary: in this most difficult time our nation faces, we need someone with knowledge, capability, vision, and yes, the experience in the White House! I miss the golden days of President Clinton’s when we enjoyed the longest ecomonic expansion while a soaring reputation around the world! I knew that firsthand as I travel a lot overseas. I appreciate the great work done by the Clintons over the decades! Go Hillary Go!!

    *How about a candidate who tells the truth? How about that?

    *I am sorry to vent here, but feel free to give my name if you read this. I am sick of hearing people say this candidate and that candidate do not talk about their issues. I have watched every debate, both sides, and each candidate has talked about their plan to fix problems in this country. For the caller that brought up Obama and his “speeches”, well that’s what they are. When he’s talking to a group after a primary it’s suppose to be a speech, but when he’s talking during the debates, or to a group of people prior to voting, he talks about his future policy’s and plans. For those that don’t hear this, well they need to get the wax out and open their minds. Great, I see you are going off the air

  17. Barack Obama is the antithesis of George W. Bush and represents the promise of a truly great nation, the diversity, and the promise of a greater tomorrow. It is fantastic to see people enthusiastic about the political process and becoming more united. Eight years of bitterness and divisiveness is enough for me. Perhaps the rest of the world will finally begin to respect us again.

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