Senator Edwards, have you or any members of your family ever worked in a factory or other kind of manufacturing facility? Parent? Grandparent? If so, can you please tell us whether this had any effect on your political philosophy? You have 30 seconds.
Mayor Giuliani, can you think of any single event in your professional life, perhaps during your tenure as mayor, that demonstrated your leadership or shaped your worldview? Also, do any of the policy challenges we now face remind you at all of Word War II? If so, how?
Governor Romney, a two-parter. First, is there any political figure—a former president maybe—whom you believe embodied the principles of conservatism? If so, do you share any similarities? Second, do you have any misgivings about the state of government in Washington? Would you describe it as very functional, reasonably functional, or something else?
Senator Obama, do you happen to know how many of the candidates on stage opposed the invasion of Iraq? What were your own feelings at the time, if you can remember? Also, is there any one word—faith or optimism or something like that—that you feel captures the spirit of your campaign? Take a moment, if you need to.
Senator Clinton, is there any one thing that you feel might be missing from Barack Obama’s resume as a presidential candidate, any particular weakness that you might have detected in his qualifications for the job? Also, can you tell us on which day, after assuming the presidency, that you might actually be ready to lead? Day three? Day four? Please be specific.
Governor Huckabee, without prying into your personal beliefs, is there any particular creed or faith that guides your decision-making? And are there any books, historical texts or parchment scrolls that have been particularly relevant to your life? Please be brief.
This is a question for all the Democrats on the panel: Many voters feel that President Bush has enhanced the country’s reputation and been a force for good in the world. Do you agree or disagree? How would you rate him compared to, say, Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman?
Senator McCain, one of the concerns people often express about Washington is that it’s awash in campaign money. Have you noticed this problem, and, as a senator, have you taken any steps at all to address it? Also, can you please clarify, once and for all, your position on Iraq? Would you have any objection to withdrawing some troops before the mission is complete?
Finally, I’d pose this question to all the candidates: Do you or do you not support our troops? Please explain.