[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.wolfdebate.cnn.jpg caption="The CNN/CBC debate airs tonight beginning at 8 ET"] MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - As I get ready for tonight’s Democratic Presidential Debate here in Myrtle Beach, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all your help.
Last week, when I asked for some ideas for questions for our two-hour debate tonight co-sponsored with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, I had no idea that literally thousands of you would respond. Yes, there were a few wacky questions, but I was totally impressed by most of the others.
My confidence in our viewers has been reinforced dramatically. You are smart and deeply concerned about the state of our country, and your questions were terrific. Suzanne Malveaux and Joe Johns - who will be joining me tonight in the questioning - have gone through your suggestions, and asked me to thank you as well.
Hundreds of you want us to ask questions around the theme of 'change.' How can we change the country so that it works? “This country is torn apart,” one person wrote us. “We need someone in the White House that will not only lead, but who will help heal the rifts between Americans.”
Many others were focused on the economy, health care, education and experience. “I would like to know what mistakes were made in the Clinton Administration that will help Sen. Clinton be a better president than the other current candidates?” one viewer asked.
Many of you want us to find out what the Democratic candidates, if elected, would like to do as soon as they took the oath of office. “What would be your top priority in your first 100 days?” asked one viewer. Another wanted to know: “What initial steps would you take in the first 100 days to repair our international reputation and get the world community to believe in the ideal of America?"
And at this debate scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many of you who want us to focus on the continuing problems of race in the United States.
We have two hours tonight for the debate. That seems like a long time but it will go quickly, and in the end, so many good questions will not be asked or answered. I know many of you will feel frustrated, but I hope we don’t disappoint you. Thanks again.
–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer