Open thread: The Thanksgiving Family Forum non-debate

Gosh, it seems like we haven’t had a presidential debate in … hours. Today, another gathering of (most of) the presidential hopefuls will take place in Iowa at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, sponsored by The Family Leader. It’s slated for two hours, beginning at 5 PM eastern, 4 PM local time. Thus far I haven’t been able to locate a television channel covering it. (Though that didn’t stop MSNBC from airing – and no, I’m not making this up – I Married the Beltway Sniper during the same time slot.) But at the web site they provide a link to a CitizenLink live webcast of the debate so you can watch there. Or, if you’d rather hang out here at Hot Air, we’re embedding it right here with additional updates below.

The sponsors are listing candidates as confirmed: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney is listed as invited but not yet confirmed. As always, you can join along and critique the performance in the comments section.

The event is once again being billed as “not your usual debate format” so all bets are off. The host is Frank Luntz, and he’s promising the following:

“I promise this won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen. No gotcha questions by the panel. No spin by the politicians. Just an authentic discussion among the people who seek to lead this great nation. It has the potential to be the most important forum of the primary presidential campaign.”

I’ll be trying to follow along, but I do have to wonder about the timing of yet another forum such as this. It’s in the afternoon on a fall weekend when many families are out and about and they’re going up against five different college football games in my area. Then again, it’s ostensibly targeted for the voters in Iowa, and I assume they are doing some local broadcasting of it, so perhaps it makes sense. Either way, expect to see lots of topics near and dear to Christian Conservative and a lot less fiscal or foreign policy. Enjoy!

Update (Allahpundit): Neither Romney nor Huntsman will attend, thus averting any awkward questions about religious differences.