North Shore woman’s YouTube question airs in Democratic debate
A Kings Beach woman pressed Democratic presidential candidates on where they stand on the Iraqi conflict Monday, when CNN cable news selected her videotaped question to ask the candidates.
Cathy Love said she and her husband, Chris, recorded the sharply worded question on a digital camera and uploaded it to the video-sharing site YouTube because they have a personal interest in the war: Their son will soon serve a second tour in Iraq.
Cathy Love said she needed three to four hours and several takes, but ultimately CNN chose her videotaped question and 38 others from a field of nearly 3,000 videos uploaded to YouTube. YouTube and CNN co-sponsored the nationally televised debate.
“I never thought I’d be selected,” she said. “There were so many others with clever animation. I thought mine was kind of boring.”
Cathy Love said she submitted her 30-second question because she and Chris have a “vested interest” in the Iraq war since their son, Sgt. Colin Love, is ready to deploy to Iraq for a second time. The 25-year-old Army sergeant first served in Iraq in 2003. He is training as a medic in Germany, and will join the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry Division in November.
Cathy Love missed the opening of the televised debate, but watched herself later when CNN replayed the program.
Since their son’s first deployment, the Loves have become self-described news junkies, keeping at least three televisions always tuned to a major news network.
That’s how they learned about the opportunity to participate in the debates by videotaping a question.
Although not a computer geek, Cathy Love said uploading the video to the Web site was the easiest part of the process. She spoke Tuesday about the feelings that drove her to question the candidates.
“We’re getting closer and closer to redeployment. I’ve got to do something,” she said. “This is not a part of my nature ” to speak out publicly. I don’t know if it will have an effect, but it made me feel better.”
The Loves’ pointed questions about the Iraq war elicited serious answers from the candidates, but bothered some who viewed the debate.
Chris Love said in a phone interview Wednesday that the couple has received around 50 e-mails, text messages and written responses on the YouTube Web site.
Many of the critical comments were insulting or threatening.
“They said ‘I hope your son dies [in Iraq],'” Chris Love said. “They said, ‘It’s a volunteer army, so tough luck.'”
Not all the comments were so harsh. Some supported their wish for a swift end to the Iraqi conflict. The soldier’s father said a few of the acrimonious comments accused him of being un-American, but he and his wife are still happy they had the chance to speak out.
“To me, being patriotic is asking questions of government,” he said.
Cathy Love: “Thank you for taking my question. The 2006 election gave the Democrats in office a mandate to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Since that time, 800 of our military service members have died there.
“As the mother of an American soldier deploying to Iraq for a second time, I would like to know if the perception is true that the Democrats are putting politics before conscience.
“How many more soldiers must die while these political games continue in our government?
“Is the reason why we are still in Iraq and seemingly will be for some time due to the Democrats’ fear that blame for the loss of the war will be placed on them by the Republican spin machine?”
The question received applause from the audience and responses from U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson. Love said Kucinich’s answer made the most sense to her.
Kucinich: “The answer to your question, ma’am, is: Yes, it is politics. The Democrats have failed the American people. When we took over in January, the American people didn’t expect us to give them a Democratic version of the war. They expected us to act quickly to end the war.
“And here’s how we can do it. It doesn’t take legislation. That’s a phony excuse to say that you don’t have the votes. We appropriated $97 billion a month ago. We should tell President Bush, no more funds for the war; use that money to bring the troops home, use it to bring the troops home.”
YouTube is now accepting video questions for a Republican debate scheduled for September 17 ” the deadline is the day before the debate. According to the Web site the CNN political team will choose the which questions are aired. They are also taking video responses to the question ‘The CNN/YouTube Debate: How did they do?’ There are currently 78 responses that can be viewed and shared on YouTube.