CNN/YouTube Debate Recap

July 23, 2007 at 9:35 pm 8 comments

So the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate is new history. It was better than I feared, but quite as good as I had hoped. Some of the questions chosen were pretty questionable such as the one asking the obsession with a possible run by Al Gore is hurting the feelings of the candidates. This is just an initial experiment in using online video to create a more open source kind of politics that enables people like me and you to engage the candidates and set the agenda.

I had expected there to be more substantive questions, but you could tell that CNN and YouTube went for some of the questions because they were cute. They get props though for including two questions about LGBT civil rights including one on marriage for same-sex couples.

Here are my quick thoughts on how the candidates did. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Biden: Tried hard to stand out with a few good answers. Not enough though.
Clinton: Large and in charge. Her very demeanor said “I run this.”
Dodd: A few good ideas, but his campaign is going nowhere.
Edwards: Brought the heat, but stumbled with his negative comment about Clinton’s jacket.
Gravel: Just plain nutty.
Kucinich: Well meaning, but hopeless.
Obama: Eloquent, but needs to rapidly learn to speak in punchier sound bites.
Richardson: Not all that interesting.

You can watch all of the featured questions here.

You can read the transcript of the debate here.

My favorite question is here:


Entry filed under: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Campaigns, Chris Dodd, Democrats, Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Edwards, Liberals, Media, Mike Gravel, New Media, Politics, Television, Video, YouTube.

How Low Can Bush Go? The Marriage Question

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. E. I. Sanchez  |  July 23, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    This was a good question. The answer was a bit too ‘rehearsed’. It is also a tough one to answer in 30 seconds. Edward needed to talk more about the logic of his conviction. How it is based on solid logic (or not). He needed to tell us why he believes what he does.

    Biden seemed the the most comfortable on stage.


  • 2. Bloggernista  |  July 23, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Most of the answers seemed rehearsed. It was still good to see questions that came from real people and not journalists.

    I am looking forward to seeing what the Republican debate will be like. I can’t imagine them taking to kindly to this type of format.

  • 3. the Wayfarer  |  July 23, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Personally, I’d like to see more control of the questions asked given to the people. CNN was still in control of what questions were asked even if they were submitted by the general population.

  • 4. M. Frederick Voorhees  |  July 24, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I used to think people like Gravel were “nutty,” too. But you have to realize the democratic party is almost as corrupt as the republicans these days. The more money they have, the more airtime they get. Did you notice how, toward the end of the debate, Gravel said something negative about Obama and Anderson Cooper immediately interrupted him and said, “Time’s up.” But then Cooper gave Obama at least a minute to respond. It wasn’t that “time was up,” but that Gravel gets less airtime because he has less money. You should really listen more closely to Gravel and Kucinich… they have no reason to lie.

    Sanchez, I think Edwards’ point was that there was NO logic behind his convictions–as is often the case when people try to live according to the randomness of the bible.

    Bloggernista, you hit the nail right on the head. Especially with Obama and Hillary. All their answers were indeed rehearsed, based on the questions they expected people to ask. My good friends, please try to read between the lines here. Do you really trust candidates like Hillary and Obama who cannot even answer the questions they’re asked.

  • 5. Good Hair « Bloggernista  |  July 24, 2007 at 11:39 am

    […] 24 07 2007 John Edwards clearly had the best campaign clip shown during the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate last night. It simultaneously critiqued the mainstream media for its obsession with his hair and […]

  • 6. Daniel  |  July 26, 2007 at 1:47 am

    Gravel was nutty – I’m not really sure what was wrong with him, it seemed like he was extremely negative constantly – and at the end where they were supposed to do the “One thing I like one thing I don’t like” about the candidate to their left, he spent way too much time in the “I don’t like” and ended up talking about himself. To be honest the first time I saw him was this debate, and I was surprised he was allowed in. He kept complaining about how few questions he got and he made a comment near the end about how much money edwards clinton and obama had received – but what does he expect? They’re called front runners for a reason – more people like them, more people donate to them, and more people ask them questions because they’ve at least heard of them.

    I thought that it was pretty much a dead heat between Senators Clinton and Obama, and then a close third by Edwards and Biden. Clinton provided the best sound clip of the night, with regards to her not being sure that Bush was elected in 2000, but Obama came off better, and unlike many of the candidates was always able to gracefully close his response – regardless of time.

    I do agree with you on Edwards – what was he thinking? And the laugh that Clinton gave for some reason scared me … However, earlier in the debate after pretty much saying nothing to the video question you gave up there, he did recover nicely after the guy said he didn’t answer the question.

    Biden did surprisingly well, he came off as the most knowledgeable with his response to Richardson (who didn’t really do much), but unfortunately for him the question’s topic was Iraq- and his election has been called one-issue.

  • 7. Bloggernista  |  July 26, 2007 at 2:01 am

    Gravel does not seem like the kind of person that I would want with the codes to launch nuclear weapons. He seems like he could go off at any moment.

    Edwards, I think, is realizing that he has to do something very soon to throw his campaign into high gear. Clinton and Obama are sucking up all the oxygen and campaign contributions in the room.

    Richardson makes funny ads, but that’s about it.

    The Dems have a strong crop of frontrunners especially compared to the Republican of nine angry white men.

  • 8. M. Frederick Voorhees  |  July 27, 2007 at 9:59 am

    “He kept complaining about how few questions he got and he made a comment near the end about how much money edwards clinton and obama had received – but what does he expect? They’re called front runners for a reason – more people like them, more people donate to them, and more people ask them questions because they’ve at least heard of them.”

    Daniel, you sound like you watch a lot of mainstream news channels. You should realize CNN/Fox/etc. have a vested interested in not explaining things to you. The amount of money candidates get has very little to do with how much people like them. Almost all the money comes from corporations, not people. Think about it: who’s richer–the richest person you know, or Exxon?

    Corporations don’t care who wins, they just want to make sure whoever does win owes them something. So they ALWAYS fund ALL the mainstream candidates. Some oil companies give hundred of thousands of dollars to just about every candidate. But candidates like Gravel, Kucinich, and Ron Paul made it abundantly clear to oil corporations that they wouldn’t fight wars for oil if they got elected, that they would do what they thought was best for the people, not what was best for the corporations. So the corps cut them off and gave all their money to Hillary, Giuiliani, Biden, Romney, Thompson, Gingrich, etc. who then became “mainstream” because they took this money from corporations and paid for advertising on all the mainstream news channels you watch. The news channels then agreed to cut off people like Gravel who want to tell people the truth. So when someone like “Daniel” watches debates or flashy commercials, he ends up thinking Clinton and Obama are his two favorite Democratic candidates. Money buys votes.

    If you don’t believe me that all of this is happening then please go online and check it out. Anyone can look up how much money a candidate has been given, and who gave it to them. It’s all public info, even though politicians, corporations, and the mainstream news channels obviously don’t want you to know that.


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