Well, this was one of those days that amply demonstrated why I do not need caffeine in my life.
Up first, we had, I thought, a really interesting conversation with two members of the Congressional Black Caucus. As the world now knows, African American voters have been shifting heavily toward Sen. Barack Obama in recent months, as have millions of others (you don't win 10 primaries in a row with only black votes). But black congressional leadership is still very much divided between their support of Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
In the wake of Georgia Democrat John Lewis' recent decision to switch his support to Obama, we wondered about how other members of the caucus were evaluating this question. We were pleased to have Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a former chairman of the caucus, and one of the newest members, Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) talk about the divided support.
Then, Rep. Dennis Kucinich ...
Kucinich ran for President with Obama and Clinton, and is a congressman from Ohio. Our question for him: how does his state look leading up to the March 4th primary elections there? But in the course of the conversation, the legislator started talking about his own congressional race happening in the state — this is a live radio conversation, remember? — so we didn't have time to talk about his challengers.
For the sake of fairness, here are the folks — in addition to Kucinich, who currently holds the seat — also contending in the Democratic primary to lead Ohio's 10th congressional district:
Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman
Non-profit business leader Barbara Ferris
North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O'Grady
Political activist and former journalist Rosemary Palmer
In the fall, they will face one of two Republicans — Former Ohio State Rep. Jim Trakas and conservative activist Jason Werner.
So, there you have it.
As I said, we invited Rep. Kucinich, as a former Democratic presidential candidate, to help explain the race for President in Ohio. Later in today's program, we also talked to a great group of foreign correspondents who are covering the U.S. elections for publications in Mexico, India and Great Britain.
So much fun!
And, while we were talking to the correspondents, word came that a peace deal had been brokered in Kenya. Now, you know how hard we have been following this story. Here's what happened: while in the studio (and on the air) I saw a news wire story on my computer screen (don't ask me how I actually saw it while I was talking to three people at the same time during the broadcast, but I did). I sent an instant message (IM) to Teshima Walker (you know her, our supervising producer) and said, "what about Kenya?"
Well, don't you know that she and Marie Nelson (TMM executive producer) and Richard L. Harris (NPR News big muckety muck) got on the horn. Before we were off the air, I had Emira Wood, of the Institute for Policy Studies talking to us LIVE about the breaking news.
Then, as the press confernece in Kenya ended, Jeff Gettleman, the New York Times's East Africa bureau chief gave us this amazing minute-by-minute account of how people were glued to their televisions following the news. ... And, why wouldn't they? A thousand people have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced because of fighting over the disputed elections back in December.
So, that was our Thursday. We blew out the back of the show. Great program (if I do say so myself), but it's only taken me about six hours to get my heart rate back down.
This regimen will either keep me young, or put me in an early grave. I am not sure which.
Anyway, see you tomorrow.