<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español November 21, 2017 | Issue #46


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“A New and More Dynamic Way of Employing Foreign Policy”

An Interview with Stephen Sixta, the Man Who Asked the CNN-YouTube Debate Question that Sparked a Growing Dispute Between US Presidential Candidates


By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

July 27, 2007

His name is Stephen Sixta (not Stephen Sorta, as YouTube had errantly posted) and his question to US presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards on Monday night has provoked the most substantive debate to date between the Democratic party front-runners for president…

Since Monday, Clinton has lashed out at Obama calling him “inexperienced” and “naive,” while Obama has hit back at Clinton suggesting her continuation of the US policy of refusing to talk to some world leaders is “Bush light.”

But Sixta says he’s largely unaware of the magnitude of the political firestorm that his question sparked.

“I have blissfully avoided watching or reading or listening to anything relating to the debate and the responses that my question generated. So I don’t know specifically what is being said by whom about whom or to whom. Friends tell me or email me that it was on this show or that one… and I kinda roll my eyes, shake my head and go about my day,” Sixta tells Narco News.

Here is the full and unabridged interview with Stephen Sixta, the Diamond Bar, California man that changed the course of the US presidential campaign.



Narco News: What did you think of Senator Obama’s response?

Stephen Sixta: I preferred Senator Obama’s reply because I felt it indicated a readiness to use the power of the Presidency to solve problems… to actively pursue a better world. His answer was, it seemed to me, spontaneous, passionate, and well reasoned… and I applaud him for that. My understanding is that his campaign is about change… a new approach to solving our problems… fresh ideas and all. I think his answer reflects a new and possibly more dynamic way of employing foreign policy. A charismatic man who is not afraid to get involved to make the world a better and more peaceful place.

Narco News: What did you think of Senator Clinton’s response?

Stephen Sixta: I thought Senator Clinton’s reply was solid, although more traditional… less visionary, but still a quantum leap in a different direction from the Bush Administration. She has a big advantage in the presidential envoy area because of Bill Clinton. He would be outstanding. I’m sure Obama could use President Clinton as well but with her administration he would certainly be employed more often. I’m not sure what she specifically meant by not wanting to be used as propaganda. Is that a valid reason not to engage other leaders in creating a better world. I could be persuaded that it is but as I write this today… it is not.

Narco News: What did you think of Senator Edward’s response?

Stephen Sixta: With no disrespect to Senator Edwards who I think would make an excellent President, I have honestly no clue what specifically he said. I remember him saying he agreed with Senator Clinton but with some differences but by then I was in something of a stunned stupor that had me asking myself, “Just what the heck, am I doing here?” Again, let me say, a John Edward’s Presidency would be light years in the right direction from the Bush Administration.

Narco News: Do you have any thoughts or responses of your own to any of the subsequent statements by the candidates, their spokespeople, pundits or others that have been discussing the issue since the debate?

Stephen Sixta: I have blissfully avoided watching or reading or listening to anything relating to the debate and the responses that my question generated. So I don’t know specifically what is being said by whom about whom or to whom. Friends tell me or email me that it was on this show or that one… and I kinda roll my eyes, shake my head and go about my day.

All in all I have mixed emotions about it. In one way I am gratified that there has been, for the time being at least, a discussion of how we as a country should deal with those nations and leaders with whom we have disagreements and the role that the President should play. On the other hand I am uneasy because of the controversy that my question has generated.

Narco News: Finally, can you tell me about yourself: your work, why you chose that question, or anything else you think is relevant.

Stephen Sixta: I am a partner in the video production and creative services firm, Nelson and Sixta. The company founded by myself and Michael Nelson has been in business since 1979 in Southern California and serves a variety of corporate and municipal clients. I am 59, have two children (Riley 16, Harry 15) and one wife Patricia Kubo… I will refrain from giving her age.

I submitted two questions to the debate… both were structured in the same way. I took a reasonably recent seminal historic event, in this case Anwar Sadat’s visit to Isreal and applied it to today’s world… asking the candidates to respond to the agenda that I had created and set forth. They did and the rest, as they say, is history.

Leading up to the debate we were never told positively that our question was going to make the cut and be included. It was indicated that some of us would be asked to speak. But I didn’t know it would be me until a microphone was thrust into my hand. You just were expected to wing it and I did… since I was satisfied with Barak’s answer, I thought I’d get Hillary’s view. I guess chaos ensued.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America