Voters to address candidates via YouTube
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Voter participation took on a whole new meaning Monday as citizens from across the country were getting the chance to question the Democratic presidential candidates via online video in the party's fourth debate.
CNN, YouTube and Google were sponsoring the debate featuring questions submitted by anyone with a camera and an internet connection.
The presidential campaign staffs poured over the 2,000 possible questions, trying to prepare their candidates for what they could be asked. Traditional media wasn't cut out of the process, though, as CNN got to chose which 50 or so submissions might be used.
The debate featured all eight contenders: Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut; 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.
The site was the military college of The Citadel.
nothing to report yet...
well, i was wrong about something...
...i had thought it quite impossible that CNN could find a worse moderator than Blitzer, but in Anderson Cooper, they did. Very early on in the proceedings, CNN's self-appointed role as media gatekeeper was displayed to the max regarding Gravel's attempt to point out the corporate backing of frontrunners Obama and Clinton ("hedgefund managers and the big New York banks"): barely 10 seconds into his response, Gravel was being interrupted by Cooper ("time, Senator, time")--clearly the issue wasn't Gravel's time, but his subject matter. For that bit of truth-telling insubordination, he was limited to a total of 4 minutes and 10 seconds of response time for the entire 'debate' (Obama was the winner with 15+ minutes).
If substance was the yardstick of success, Gravel won--esp. his answer to 'how would you change America's energy consumption patters' (through the tax code); and the oddly irrelevant question of, did those US soldiers killed in Vietnam die in vain? To which he gave a clear and unequivical 'yes' (not even Kucinich could bring himself to admit that, at least publicly).
The difference between the frontrunners (C.E.O.--Clinton, Edwards, Obama) and the rest of the pack was quite revealing: CEO stuck to their sound-bites and nothing else, while everyone else pretty much spoke to the actual questions, and gave honest (if not necessarily the right) answers. I know this may surprise some, but of the lot, i could live with (in descending order) Gravel, Kucinich and (as a distant third) Biden.
I don't see how you can declare "winners" and "losers" when some candidates get more questions than others. I need every candidate to be given equal time on every question to decide who "won."
Gravel actually did better than he's done previously. I like him, but he loses some points with me when he suggests that public ed needs more competition. I take that as a professional assault, which I've had too much of already.
Kucinich is, of course, on point when given the opportunity to speak.
The sleeper, for me, is, surprisingly enough, Bill Richardson. I can't support him as a DLCer, but I often like his answers.
I notice that all the media pundits consider his debate performances to be "weak."
If I'm still a registered Democrat in next years' primary, I'll probably cast a vote for DK, if he's even on the ballot. My state is the 6th last state to vote, long after most, and I expect the race to be decided before the primaries even get here.
The big question for me is this: where to head after that primary vote? Re-register as an independent or "decline to state" or whatever my current state offers, as a green, or...? I don't know. :hmmmm: