The YouTube Debate

Monday night, the Democratic presidential candidates squared off in a debate where all the questions came from the general public via the magic of YouTube -- though they were screened by the professionals at CNN. The whole thing was kicked off by an Oregonian:

Not only did YouTube post the debate questions and the candidate answers, but they also posted all of the nearly 3000 questions that didn't make it on CNN.

Of course, if you want to have some real fun, submit a question for the Republican debate.

What did you think? Which candidates did well? Better yet, post links to the clips that you thought showed great debate moments.

Discuss.

Comments

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    What can you say, besides "Keep Portland Weird!"

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    I missed some of the show, tuned in late, but really enjoyed what I saw. Some of the criticism might be the number of times questions were diverted to what's called the "top tier" candidates versus those in the lower tier(s) - but that could be both good and bad.

    I thought it gave all the candidates a challenge not often seen.

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    I think Kucinich did a fantastic job of framing the question of ending the Iraq occupation and bringing our troops home. Any member of Congress or candidate for the presidency addressing the Iraq question should be required to address this point going forward:

    <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RASleDsIOQc"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RASleDsIOQc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

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    Hmm, embedding is turned off? Here's the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/RASleDsIOQc

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    The inclusion of citizens resulted in WAY better questions. Like night and day. But I gotta say, there's absolutely no "debate" here. It's way too many people. It would be delightful to see another format where the candidates actually debated each other.

    This will never happen, but imagine: a NCAA-tourney style bracket. Candidates are seeded based on their poll numbers. Highest debates lowest (Gravel vs. Hillary, Obama vs. Kucinich!), and the winner advances. You could have citizens send in their questions and then vote afterward. Sure, it's a stunt, but you'd hear real answers, and candidates would be forced out of their stump speech responses.

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    I love this idea, Jeff. Who decides the winner, and upon what criteria?

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    That's a great idea, Jeff! I'll see if I can plant it in someone's ear at the DNC. The candidates control all, though, so if they don't see the advantage, they won't do it.

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    Who decides the winner, and upon what criteria?

    Well, in cognizance of Jenny's comments below, that would be a discussion among the Dems. I think it's the kind of thing that wouldn't help the front-runners, but could hurt them--so the likelihood of such an event seems very low indeed. If I were to participate in an event like this--and I'm an inveterate wonk--I'd like the criteria to be on the points themselves. Since you can't measure responses against some objective, external reality (Iraq, health care, etc.), you would have to measure them on clarity and transparency--the two qualities sacrificed in the current round-table approach.

    But people would watch!

  • Sally (unverified)
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    Anderson Cooper was superior to Wolf Blitzer in asking questions without intruding. The initial debate w/ Blitzer was pretty awful w/ his asking for "a show of hands"

    The youtube questions were more dramatic, had more substance, and some of them forced candidates to take some uncomfortable positions.

    Again, placing Edwards, Obama, and Clinton at center stage is unfair. The camera spends more time on them and they received more question time than the other candidates.

    Overall, I thought it was a much better discussion than the first one.

  • yam county (unverified)
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    This is a great video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyUX6wV1lBQ

  • Adam G. (unverified)
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    I think this debate was a great and refreshing change for "the norm". I wish Anderson Cooper would have been a little more authoritative in holding the candidates responsible for answering the actual question, but he still did a great job.

    <h2>The Dennis Kucinich thing at the end was hilarious. Couldn't have been better if it were scripted (I hope it wasn't!)</h2>
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