» This Story:Read +|Watch +|Talk +| Comments
» This Story:Read +|Watch +|Talk +| Comments
Transcript

Election 2008: Local Republican Delegates

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Jim Kadtke, Sam White and Kate Maxwell
D.C. Delegation Chair, Maryland Alternate Delegate and Virginia Delegate
Wednesday, September 3, 2008; 11:15 AM

D.C. delegation chair Jim Kadtke, Maryland alternate delegate Sam White and Virginia delegate Kate Maxwell were online live from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 11:15 a.m. to discuss their experiences here and take your questions. Each of them also is blogging for The Post during the convention; you can read their posts by clicking on their names above.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story
This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

The transcript follows.

____________________

Jim Kadtke: hi everybody -- Jim Kadtke here, I'm chair of the DC Delegation to the convention.

_______________________

Kate Maxwell: Hey, I'm Kate and I'm the youngest member of the Virginia delegation.

_______________________

Sam White: Hey there everyone, Sam White here. I am a little late, but I am here to answer any questions that you may have.

_______________________

Washington: Are you finding lots of empty seats? How much of the convention have each of you actually attended?

Jim Kadtke: no -- the convention center would be absolutely packed if everyone sat down at one time. but a lot of delegates have meetings, interviews, etc. so there as a lot of seats empty at any given time.

Sam White: Well, there are no empty seats in the sense that everyone is here. However, some people at any given time may be up and walking around to see the sights and take everything in. I mean, I wandered over to the other side of the floor and got within 20 feet of George Bush Sr!

I came to St. Paul to see this history that is unfolding at the convention so I am there from the moment it starts until they move to adjourn.

_______________________

Harrisburg, Pa.: What do you think of the Republican system of choosing delegates versus the system the Democrats use? Some note that, had the Democrats used your system, Hillary Clinton might have been nominated instead. Who has the better system?

Jim Kadtke: hi from Harrisburg (I'm from near Hazleton originally.. )

the choice of delegate systems is an old issue which actually goes back to mathematical theory that's a century or more old. on one hand, you need a system which comes to a definite outcome in a reasonable period of time, which is not a trivial issue. one the other hand, you would like to make the system as representative of diverse populations and issues as possible. balancing those two constraints is a subjective choice. our two parties have just taken slightly different routes to their structure.

_______________________

Poplar Bluff, Mo.: Does the GOP platform contain a plank on D.C. statehood or the plan to give Utah an extra representative along with the District's new representative? Do you know Sen. McCain's view on this issue? Thank you.

Jim Kadtke: great question.

the DCGOP has been working hard on DC voting rights for a long time. in our local platform, the plank on voting rights was our number #1 issue. our platform committee rep from our delegation fought very hard in the national platform committee deliberations but apparently there was no support for it nationally. so the plank was not included. we're disappointed.

I don't know what Sen. McCain thinks personally about the issue. I know he voted against cloture on the senate bill earlier this year, but that may have been a procedural issue. The campaign has told us that the DC GOP is free to advocate for voting rights, however.

_______________________

Rochester, N.Y.: How are you enjoying the convention thus far? Are the parties as fun as they say they are?

Jim Kadtke: I am enjoying the convention a great deal. there are a lot of parties and events, however the delegates actually have a lot of substantive work. as chair of the DC delegation, I have been working 12-14 hours per day on coordination, so its fun but its also exhausting.

Sam White: I have to reflect what Jim is saying. There is the opportunity to have fun and we are taking advantage of that. However, we all understand that we are here to do something very important that the people of our districts have elected to do. With that said, the delegations, different sponsors, and the city of St. Paul and Minneapolis have extended the warmest of welcomes and have invited us to enjoy what their beautiful cities and state have to offer!

Sam White: I have to reflect what Jim is saying. There is the opportunity to have fun and we are taking advantage of that. However, we all understand that we are here to do something very important that the people of our districts have elected to do. With that said, the delegations, different sponsors, and the city of St. Paul and Minneapolis have extended the warmest of welcomes and have invited us to enjoy what their beautiful cities and state have to offer!

_______________________

Aldie, Va.: Hey Kate -- are you a Taurus? Sorry, bad B-52's reference. Anyway, Obama seems to think Virginia's in play -- what are your thoughts? And how does Palin change the equation?

Kate Maxwell: I think it's pretty clear that Virginia is going to be competitive this year. We've had some tough losses lately, but I really don't buy the whole "purple" thing. Virginia is very cyclical politically - historically, we alternate Republican and Democrat governors, for example, usually putting into the power the party that isn't in the White House. We haven't gone for a Democrat in a presidential race, though, since 1964. I am by no means a political analyst here, but I think that is because we are a fundamentally conservative (if not Republican) state. I think Virginians strongly support the military, want a federal government that will stop raising their taxes, wasting their money on earmarks, and refusing to explore for new energy.

I think Gov. Palin would be right at home in Virginia. She isn't afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right, and she doesn't back down. She has traditional values, and I think she is going to motivate both independents and conservatives. Virginia has a political independent streak, but rests on conservative values - just like Sarah Palin.

_______________________

Kensington, Md.: I understand that Sarah Palin only got her first passport just last year. Presumably she's been out of Alaska at least. If something happened to McCain, would you really feel comfortable with her pulling the reins in the complicated world scene we are faced with today? Please be honest.

Sam White: Sarah Palin was first elected to office in 1994. She has since gone on to be the executive of a city and then the executive of a state. Also, you have to think about who her mentor is. You can have NO better teacher than John McCain who has over forty years of experience in leading and serving his country. Honestly, she is a very good pick.

Sam White: Sarah Palin was first elected to office in 1994. She has since gone on to be the executive of a city and then the executive of a state. Also, you have to think about who her mentor is. You can have NO better teacher than John McCain who has over forty years of experience in leading and serving his country. Honestly, she is a very good pick.

_______________________

Crystal City, Va.: Who pays for your travel and trip expenses? Please assure me that the taxpayers are not footing your bills.

Jim Kadtke: we pay all our own expenses.

Sam White: We pay our own expenses.

_______________________

New York: I am disgusted with the media's bias and sexism. Don't you think its time for republicans to go on the attack? Biden's five draft deferrals, his two brain aneurysms, his son's lobbying and hedge fund mismanagement, Obama's earmark to get his wife's salary doubled?

Kate Maxwell: I am with you on that, but if media bias does exist, then I don't know how successful we will be trying to out-attack the Democrats. I know I have been frustrated with some of the hypocritical coverage of Gov. Palin. As a governor, she has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. More importantly, in her short time in office she has earned a reputation as a government reformer and a no-nonsense leader, along with an incredible 80% approval rating. What piece of legislation has Obama introduced or supported which backs up his rhetoric of change in Washington?

I think people realize this election is critical, and our strongest advantage is the fact that we have a candidate with the right stance on the issues and the wisdom to lead. That is the point we need to keep hammering. I think it's about drawing distinctions instead of "attacking," and I think if we stay positive, the choice is going to be obvious in November.

_______________________

Bristow, Va.: I wanted to say I am a middle of the road independent who leans conservative. I am appalled at the treatment John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin and her family have received from the mainstream media. How dare they treat this 17-year-old like this. I have an 8-year-old, and if something like this happened it would be our family's issue not the New York Times's. I also wanted to say that the more I see Sarah the more I like her. I am not the far-right, but she is a normal American. Sarah went to University of Idaho -- my neighbor went their. I can relate to her. I was leaning toward voting for John McCain to begin with, but the choice of Sarah Palin has made up my mind.

Sam White: I can understand your thoughts on wanting to keep the children out of the equation especially if they are minors. I think what you have to do is look at Palin and how she has reacted to her daughter. We all know that we are human and we will make mistakes and her daughter is no different. The question is what do we do after we have made a mistake? Palin is standing behind her daughter that speaks wonders about her.

_______________________

San Juan Hill, N.Y.: Did any of you also watch the Democratic convention? If so, any thoughts on how they compare to each other?

Sam White: I watched the Democratic convention and in both I see the great things that make this country wonderful which is the ability for people to come together and be a part of the process of nominating candidates for their party. It is an awesome thing!

Jim Kadtke: I watched almost all of the democratic convention, since I tend to be bipartisan on some issues. but I thought the Dem convention was boring for much of the time. I also thought the last night in the stadium was a bit over the top.

_______________________

Albany, N.Y.: Have you been to conventions before? How does the mood compare to previous years?

Sam White: This is my first convention, and the energy last night was electric. I am really excited about tonite!

Jim Kadtke: I was to the 2004 convention in NY. that was a lot wilder in a sense, because we were in the middle of Manhattan, which is a wild place to begin with. but a lot of us were a bit less enthusiastic, because we all knew who the presidential nominee would be and what the next four years would probably look like. this year, I think there is a sense among a lot of delegates that things are wide open, and the possibilities are limitless. I feel a lot more excitement this time.

_______________________

Jim Kadtke: goodbye, everybody ! look for us on the floor tonight !

-- Jim

_______________________

Washington: I get the sense that Republicans, particularly social conservatives, like Palin even more after the disclosure of her daughter's pregnancy. This makes her more "real" and "every day." Is that your sense from your fellow delegates?

Jim Kadtke: I don't know if it has made her seem more attractive. some of the very socially conservative delegates are looking at this issue closely. but Gov. Palin has resonated with the convention attendees enormously. it has completely energized everyone, especially many woman in the party. I think she's great, and the issue of her daughter doesn't bother me.

_______________________

New York: Strange. On an issue of some concern to Americans -- the economy -- they seem to have nothing to say. I have combed the schedule of events without finding a single forum, workshop or anything else devoted to what John McCain and the Republican Party propose to do about America's short- and long-term economic challenges. I've found four panels on what to do about the Middle East, but not one on what to do about the home foreclosures (and shrinking middle class) in the Midwest.

Sam White: Well, what you are not seeing are the dozens of forums outside the convention discussing the many different aspects of America and where we want to go.

I also think that it is important to note that we are still shifting things around in reaction to the Hurricane.

_______________________

Maryland: I keep seeing and hearing folks (Coulter, Tucker, an unidentified man) who are upset that the convention was scaled way way down on Monday night because of Gustav. Is that a prevalent opinion? I just don't get how McCain could have done anything else. Forget the Katrina factor -- more importantly, who would be watching? I know I spent most of Monday following the hurricane coverage, and that I wasn't alone. The one man said that they shouldn't have to cancel "because it's raining on people." Is that how people see the decision?

Sam White: People were disappointed, but understandably so. However, we at the convention realized that it was not the time to be jubilant and rally behind our soon-to-be president. It was time to take a step back, get the official business done and then turn our thoughts, prayers and donations to the people of the Gulf States. Imagine if you were going on a vacation, but your child got sick. You would obviously be disappointed that you couldn't go to the beach, but you understand that the need to take care of your child is more important. Does that make sense?!?

_______________________

Fairfax, Va.: Is the convention as boring and stale as it looks on TV? I sure hope they liven it up a bit ... it is not playing well on TV, lots of empty seats, very senior citizens all over the screen. Are there many young people attending this thing? Why is the turn-out so low? Your opinion please.

Kate Maxwell: Well, I'm 20, so there are definitely young people out this year. I'm the youngest member of our delegation, but there are several others in their 20s and 30s. You do get a lot of older delegates because they after a lifetime of service in their home states, they are often considered most deserving of a spot. Don't take that as a lack of excitement among young people.

I don't know how it's looking at home, but if you see any of those empty seats tonight,let me know so I can grab one. On the floor, I haven't seen any empty seats, but in the stands I know the alternates and guests are moving around a lot.

This is my first convention, so I don't have a point of comparison, but the energy has been contagious this week. I am having a great time here, and I can't wait to get home and share the optimism and motivation with the other College Republicans in Virginia. The delegates are so excited about John McCain and Sarah Palin - I think after this week, the rest of the country will be as well.

_______________________

Springfield, Va.: Have the protests and violence going on affected your ability to attend the convention and enjoy the city?

Kate Maxwell: Actually, I've been learning about the protests on the news, rather than from personal experience. Obviously the police here are doing a fantastic job - I've heard there have been protesters, but I really haven't seen it. All of the people in Minneapolis and St. Paul have been so nice and gracious toward us. They are bending over backwards to make us feel welcome, and I have been having a great time.

_______________________

Kate Maxwell: Thanks for all the questions, I hope some of the answers were helpful! Go McCain/Palin!

Sam White: Thank you all for your questions. It was an honor to speak with you. I am sorry if I didn't get to all of your questions, but keep reading the blog and I will attempt to as many of those questions as possible. Remember, Republican, Democrat, or Independent we are ALL Americans!

_______________________

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


» This Story:Read +|Watch +|Talk +| Comments
» This Story:Read +|Watch +|Talk +| Comments
© 2008 The Washington Post Company

Discussion Archive

Viewpoint is a paid discussion. The Washington Post editorial staff was not involved in the moderation.

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity