We're 10 days into 2008 and I for one am mindful of those action items 2007 left behind.
On the top of my mind are those people I've yet to correspond to. Sometimes, viewers comments are so insightful that they demand a detailed response. For those that left food for thought - thank you - if I haven't responded - it's likely that your contribution demanded meditation and consideration as opposed to a shot from the hip.
On New Year's Eve I was fortunate to have an interview with presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. Though interesting, I feel it's important to have a solid understanding of subject matter and some firsthand experience before corresponding on a topic.
Democracy is everybody's business and everyone seems to have an opinion on who should be the next president though few of us take the time to cast our vote when given the opportunity. Perhaps, the most exciting part of the 2008 election is the fact more people than ever are acting upon the responsibility to exercise their civic duty and participating in the election process.
For me, having first hand encounters with the candidates was an awesome experience. For Huckabee, my first question was, "Why should my atheist friends vote for you?". The great thing about the Iowa process is that candidates are forced to mingle with common folk - a process known as "Retail Politicking". Most of us who live in small town America are familiar with this process. A politician comes to your doorstep and explains why you should support him as a leader. Many disagree, but I think theres a lot you can tell by shaking a man's hand and looking into his eyes. As a journalist, I've found the camera rolling to be a great addition. For one, you have a true account of the experience and the subject has an understanding that the answer has a permanent affect. The camera is a great replacement for truth serum.
I must have been in the room for a good hour with Huckabee until everyone at the Des Moines country club had a chance to shake Huckabee's hand. When the numbers dwindled down to ten - I hit with my question. Huckabee promised to protect the atheists right s in an elegant and heartfelt manner - the full text I dare not paraphrase as the evidence of this encounter is lost along with 40 Billion Bytes of pictures and videos contained in a 4" by 2" portable hard drive misplaced somewhere between meeting Chuck Norris and seeing Hillary Clinton address fans later in the evening.
While in Iowa, responding to two people was on my mind frequently. Questions posed by cartoonist John Logan about the nature and responsibility of journalism and KOLR cameraman Eric the Wise about the importance and impact of his job loomed at during moments between the next candidates speech, rally or visits to campaign headquarters.
Time halts for no one and yet I find myself yearning for it to halt so I can soak what wisdom their is to obtain - and get a few more things done.