From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Would u reinst8 draft?

November 12, 2003 2:58 PM

Remember this post about bringing back the draft? I sent in a text message to the CNN Rock the Vote debate:

You can submit questions for the debate via SMS to 26688. This is what I sent "Would u reinst8 draft?"

I was busy working, so I only saw portions of the debate, and didn't realize my little "stunt" worked. I didn't specify who the question was for (it was for everyone). Wesley Clark got it.

Well, CNN got into a little trouble by planting a question, the now infamous: Mac or PC? This led Robin Sloan over at Poynter to question whether the "Would u reinst8 draft?" question was legit:

The "Mac or PC" line wasn't the only bizarre query in last week's Rock the Vote debate. There was also a lone "wireless" question, posed to Wesley Clark, which looked like this:

Would u reinst8 draft?

At the time, I was SURE it wasn't beamed in by a real person. You only see that kind of text message in ads for text messages.

I'm still a little suspicious.

Anybody at CNN want to confirm that it did in fact issue forth from a hip twentysomething's cell phone?

Turns out it did come from a hip twentysomething's cell phone. Bill Dedman figured it out:

Google for "Would u reinst8 draft?" and you'll see a weblog where, if I'm reading it correctly, blogger and Howard Dean supporter Jim Gilliam explains that he sent in the wireless question.

Without the traffic from Poynter, I never would have known the question was asked.

Clark's response?

COOPER: All right. We have a wireless question for General Clark. By the way, we have questions on this topic for all of you.

General Clark, this is a wireless question. Would you reinstate the draft? I think they asked this because one of your senior campaign advisers, Congressman Charlie Rangel, says the draft should be reinstated. It's time. Is it?

CLARK: No. I don't think it's time to reinstate the draft. America's armed forces need people who want to be there. And I would not reinstate the draft.

I am worried about the armed forces. And I agree with a lot of things John said. He's exactly right. The armed forces are overextended and particularly with our Reservists and our National Guardsmen. We're using them in a way that, frankly, was never intended.

But the answer to this is first to take care of the Reserve, the National Guard, give them the health care they need, give it to them while they're still in their civilian status as reservists and guardsmen, and give them the health care they need and their families need when they're deployed and when they return home. And keep them on their full pay and allowances if they're injured in some way and then brought back to the States.

You know, it's a shocking that we found down at Fort Stewart, Georgia. A bunch of guys who fought over in Iraq were left alone in concrete cinderblock buildings. They were reservists and guardsmen. They didn't have enough medics and doctors to keep them there. And they were there for months without getting proper medical care. We should fix it.

But here's the key thing on the draft. We believe that the armed forces are better with a volunteer force. And what this country has to understand is that when it puts a foreign policy in place that the American people don't support, the answer for that is not to reinstitute the draft, but to change the foreign policy, and that's where we're headed with Iraq.

More from the archive in Elections, Me, Media, Politics.

Would u reinst8 draft? (11.12.2003)

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Read the 2 comments.


Here's a pretty good site ( for bypassing the talking-heads, none of whom I trust. I'm not listening to any of them this election--I'm 37 years old am I'm trying something new this election because I am sick of lousy reporting: read only what Bush and Kerry say first-hand, not what the press says about them. CandidateMap is pretty cool for that.

Tue Mar 23 2004 7:20 AM

General Clark ROCKS!:

Clark ROCKS!!!

Sat Mar 27 2004 10:16 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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