CHARLESTON , S.C. -- Senator and Presidential candidate Chris Dodd won tonight's Democratic Presidential debate by displaying the leadership qualities America will need in its next President. Saying that stakes have never been greater, Dodd was able to set himself apart by pointing to a proven track record of success, an ability to bring people together and bold solutions to our most pressing problems.
Senator Dodd started the debate off strongly by answering the first question, which challenged candidates to explain how they use their power to get things done:
"I'm very proud of the fact that, over my 26 years in the Senate, I've authored landmark legislation, the Family and Medical Leave Act, child care legislation, reform of financial institutions. In every case, those are new ideas, bold ideas, that I campaigned on and then were able to achieve in the United States Senate by bringing Republicans as well as Democrats together around those issues. That's what's missing, more than anything else?the ability to bring people together to get the job done.
"Speeches are easy to make and rhetoric is easy to expose here. But?if you want to get a good idea of where someone is going to lead or how they're going to lead, I think it's very appropriate to say, 'What have you done? Show me. Demonstrate to me the ability to get these things done that you've championed in the past.'"
"From calling for a corporate carbon tax to calling for a date certain to redeploy troops from Iraq, Senator Dodd was the only candidate to put forward truly bold and innovative ideas tonight," said Dodd's Campaign Manager Sheryl Cohen. "His vision for America reflects his experience, his understanding of our most complex issues and his ability to connect with the American people. We're looking forward to building off the momentum generated tonight to continue to spread our message."
Senator Dodd also spoke about his deep belief in the need for Americans to serve our country:
"I'm an advocate of universal national service, not by mandating it, but one of the things missing in our country is the shared experience. I served in the National Guard, I served in the reserves, I served in the Peace Corps in Latin America back in the '60s. I want to see every American given the opportunity to serve their country in some way."
"Chris Dodd has an unbeatable track record on the issues plus the ability to offer fresh, bold solutions to complex problems - a winning combination in my view," said former Tennessee Senator Jim Sasser, a National Co-Chair of Dodd's campaign. "Both of those qualities stood out tonight, and I am confident that voters in South Carolina and across the country will see that Senator Dodd is by far the most qualified candidate among this field."
The debate was hosted by CNN and YouTube, and the Dodd campaign's innovative internet strategy kept pace with the original format of video questions submitted through the internet. Senator Dodd held a live chat from the spin room with supporters after the debate, and his campaign staff hosted pre and post-debate coverage live on D-TV. A special YouTube video also captured a behind-the scenes look at the debate and answers to some of the highest rated questions submitted by YouTube users. The ChrisDodd.com Talk Clock once again kept track of the time each candidate was allotted.
All debate coverage can be viewed at www.chrisdodd.com/youtubedebate.