Lesser-Known '08ers Reach Out to YouTuber

The former Georgetown student who has gained celebrity status on YouTube by interviewing lesser-known presidential candidates from his dorm-room is back at it -- this time sitting down with former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.

James Kotecki, 21, became a player in the digital world of politics by interviewing former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tx., in his dorm room, and then posting the video to YouTube, the popular video-sharing website.

In his latest offering posted to YouTube Thursday, Kotecki, aka "EmergencyCheese", went on location to interview Huckabee before a fundraiser.

Kotecki had previously called out Huckabee in a YouTube video, arguing he was one of the least web-savvy '08 candidates running.

In the interview, the former governor said he is frustrated with the lack of dialogue in the Republican debates about education.

"We've been in three debates now, three debates! And not one time has a question been raised about education," said Huckabee. "We've made a big mistake in taking music and art out of our schools."

Huckabee delivered a veiled swipe at the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" policy, arguing education should be left to the states.

"There are a lot of kids putting their head on their desk and taking a very expensive nap at the government's expense," said Huckabee. "These kids are bored."

When asked about his lack of foreign policy experience, Huckabee said he's visited over 40 countries and said governors deal with trade issues with other countries.

In another swipe against President Bush, Huckabee added, "Good foreign relations are really about one's character, judgment and capacity to work with other human beings."

YouTuber on a Mission

When he's not interviewing long-shot candidates, Kotecki creates videos with his political musings that have drawn almost 30,000 views so far on YouTube.

"My mission is to encourage politicians to have more of a direct dialogue with people through YouTube," said Kotecki in an interview with ABC News last month.

Kotecki argues most of the '08 candidates aren't effectively engaging YouTube users with their campaign videos.

"It can't be just TV on the Web," he said, arguing some '08 videos are overly produced. "They need to start having an ongoing, real, two-way conversation with people."

His YouTube Web video postings have begun to grab the attention of '08 candidates big and small.

Dorm Room Interviews With Lesser-Known '08 Candidates

Lesser-known presidential contenders Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel have stopped by his dorm room for interviews.

"Congressman Ron Paul, thank you so much for joining me in my dorm room!" begins Kotecki in his video interview with the GOP candidate. Toiletries and books decorate the background as they chat about Paul's libertarian views on U.S. foreign policy and the Constitution.

In the interview with Gravel, the former Alaska senator sat in front of Kotecki's closet.

"Nice to be here!" said Gravel before explaining his plan for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq.

Other candidates address their Web videos directly to Kotecki and post them on YouTube.

Long-shot candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, posted a YouTube video responding to Kotecki's criticism that his videos lack personal appeal and are too stilted.

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