The first question spoke to inequality, particularly in light of today's The first issue brought to the forum was the question of race, in light of todays unfortunate Supreme Court decision.
The candidates are agreeing that inequality is an issue - not a difficult stance to take, I'd say. Almost to a person, they denounced the Supreme Court decision.
The march is not over, Hillary says. Hillary is yelling. Loudly.
Bill Richardson's remarks seemed canned.
"We have two public school systems and health care systems", says John Edwards. One for the wealthy and one for everyone else.
Obama thanked the Howard community and went on to speak to those who have inspired him to fight inequality, specifically Thurgood Marshall. Kucinich wants No Child Left Behind repealed.
Gravel is irritated by the War on Drugs. Addiction is a public health issue. He's tying it to the jail problem, and has given an oddly specific answer to a very general question. Strange choices, all around. I don't think any of them sound or look comfortable.
Second question: Education
Biden's time gets called while he states emphatically that the achievement gap for minority children begins before the child reaches school.
Richardson: Access to education for all Americans should be Americans' foremost priority. Pay teachers and have accountability. We have to give every American access to a college education.
Edwards says poverty is the cause of his life. Education needs to be improved all around. We have to support access to education.
Obama agrees with Richardson and Edwards that education must start with young, single parents and with children before pre-school. We must give training to teachers, in particular in areas where they are most needed. "You can't leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind," he says. These are our children, and they don't achieve because too many of us think it's okay. Every child can learn given the resources and opportunities.
Kucinich quotes Dr. Martin Luther King...the link between war and fear and poverty, as opposed to peace, security and prosperity.
Gravel is using the word "nostrum". He's fired up about squandering money in Iraq that we could use for education. Al Sharpton is nodding.
Dodd says this is the most important topic we're going to discuss this evening. Clinton reminds us that it takes a village, and she's the one to lead it.