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Sweet Democratic debate blog special. CNN/YouTube potential to plow new ground. Report 1.

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WASHINGTON—Monday’s Democratic presidential debate fuses mainstream news media (MSM) with new media and has the potential of plowing new ground in the 2008 primary.

The hybrid CNN/YouTube debate will use questions submitted on YouTube—since 2006, a growing influence on U.S. politics--while being moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. CNN is picking the questions from the 2,300 or so video submissions (UPDATE CNN is now using 3,000 number) so the event is not a totally user-generated debate. But that’s okay, because if it were entirely that, the candidates just face a kind of automated town hall. Cooper will control follow-up questions with the eight Democratic contenders and see that the pot is stirred. UPDATE: Some videos will be directed to a specific candidate, Cooper just said.

Still, technology will be a star in the debate—and candidates will have to deal with IFB’s—otherwise known as earpieces—in their ears to hear the questions. It’s a small device that can cause big problems when it does not work or falls out.



I’ll be blogging through the debate tonight. This is the fourth Democratic debate—and the first officially sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee.

I’ll be watching to see if most of the rivals go after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D.N.Y.) because she is the front-runner in national polls. Her game plan will probably be just to do what she has been doing—since she has prevailed in the other joint encounters.

I’ll also see how Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) deals with this advance billing from his campaign: “Tonight, watch for Obama to deliver a forceful call for change, contrasting other candidates’ focus on old fights and yesterday’s news.’’

The campaigns have been encouraged to have interplay between candidates. The cross talk opportunities are there—but each contender will have to calculate how to jump in.
Republicans have already cranked up their opposition research operations in anticipation of the debate, putting out a briefing about the Democratic front-runners Iraq policies. Here’s what Republican National Committee chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan would like asked:

“Sen. Clinton, last year you said you didn’t think it was a quote ‘smart strategy’ to set to a date certain for withdrawal from Iraq. Sen. Obama, you said you didn’t quote ‘believe that setting a date certain for the total withdrawal of US troops was the best approach to achieving our goals.’ Since then, however, both of you have reversed your positions. My question to both of you is this: in the 2004 election, your colleague Sen. Kerry was criticized for his contradictory positions on the Iraq war. How do you expect to win this election by taking a page from his playbook?”

26 Comments

Will there be comments about whether Mitt Romney opposes kindergardeners being informed about bad touch by the teacher because it might disclose bad touch by parents?

To the candidates without military service:
As a young political scientist, your decision to not serve in the military before seeking elective office:

Has this decision made you a better public servant? or have you
found the lack of military service and military experience to be a liability to your performance as a national public servant?

To the candidates that chose to serve in the military before seeking public office:

Did your decision to serve in the military come from your decision that a candidate for naional elective office is better prepared for office after having served in the military? If so, what are the liabilities of not having military service and the responsibilities that go with elective national office?

When are you going to ask tough questions at a republican debate. You are clearly as right wing as bill o'reilly and rush. Aren't you ashamed to call yourself a news channel when you are now just another views channel. Be honest about it at the very least. You are mendacious and meritricious.

Cooper needs to have them answer the questions, and quit kissing each others ass for the vice postion.

The so called debate of Democratic candidates is a disaster. It is coming off like an ego march for the moderator. Moderator is not being fair to all candidates. Very disappointing!

Massive deflections from Clinton and Biden on Iraq War and troop removal. Where's the moderator?!

I have two comments:
1. I was disappointed in Sen. Clinton's response to "what's a liberal?" She said that she was a Progressive. I think that Cavell (I never get his name right. He's the bald headed smart guy who was Carter's Press Sec'y)
He answered the question this way: If a Liberal is someone who believes in Pro Choice, is a Liberal, a person who feels that we need gun control is a Liberal, a person who believes that we need to spend more on education and create situations where there are a maximum of 20 students per class, is a Liberal, then I'm a Liberal.

2. I think that the answer to Iraq is to understand that we're there for the oil, and therefore pull all the troops out of Iraq, and have a large contingent just guarding the oil fields and refineries.

I'm not all that disappointed, but agreed it's hard to distinguish the differences between the candidates, at least beyond a few specifics. Obama seems to have a better grasp of what he's saying. Hillary looks as smooth as always. And Edwards is making some great points but the audience doesn't love him. Wonder why that is.

NO ONE HAS MENTIONED ANY WAY TO DESOLVE THIS WAR IN IRAQ.. WE HAVE DONE IT IN PANAMA ... BUT NO ONE REMEMBERS... WE HAVE USED THIS ONCE IN BAGDAD TO FIZZLE OUT SADAM. WE HAVE SPY PLANES THAT CAN DETECT IMAGES OF ALL KINDS FROM FAR BEYOND ENEMY WEAPONS IN IRAN. WHY ARE WE NOT USING THESE PLANES TO DETECT AND ELININATE THE ENEMIES. IF WE STOP THEM IN THEIR TRACKS WE WILL HAVE NO PROBLEMS. OUR MILITARY ARE CONTINUALLY FIGHTING THE ENEMY ON ITS OWN GROUND LIKE WE DID IN VIETNAM AND WE LOST A GREAT DEAL OF OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE LOOK AT THIS TAKE THIS ACTION AND DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO END THIS DELIMA LIKE WE DID BEFORE.

I am offended by the comments made during the Democratic debate related to the "surprising" intelligence of the questions posed by "Average Americans". We, the "Average Americans", have minds and are capable of intelligent thought. In fact, we may be ahead of the very folks who want our votes. They better respect and understand that we do think, or the consequences will catch up to them as it has in every society throughout history.

All on stage tonight would be so much of an improvment over those that rigged elections and stole our White House. I would rank them Kucinich #1 Gravel #2 Edwards# 3 Richardson #4. I feel mosst sinceraty from them.

I was disappointed. Again Anderson called on Hillary, Obama, and Edwards oftener and allowed them to speak longer. We wanted to hear an even forum, candidates not on the top tier were cut short with their answers. I hope in the future every candidate gets equal time.

Thank you.

Barrett Newhall
73 year old woman with lung cancer who
hopes very much to still be alive to see the new president take office. My personal choice is Governor Bill Richardson, who has the best qualifications and experience and was hardly called upon.

More than anyone else on the stage, Obama was attacked several times by various other candidates. He handled the attacks effectively, and I think he did very well in this debate.

I like the fact that he mentioned that "the time for asking how to get out of Iraq was before we got in." This was directly related to Hillary's position of being extremely pro-invasion, but not having asked the right questions. I only wish he would have also said that anyone who voted for the war, WITHOUT having read the 90 page NIE, was, in effect, shirking their most solemn duty...that being sending our citizens into battle.

Hillary did not do her job, on the single most important decision she has had to make in her senatorial career. She did not read that intelligence report, but blew the trumpet loudly to invade Iraq. Let's remember those facts.

In contrast, Obama spoke out against the war from the start, even though it was considered extremely unpatriotic for anyone to question the administration. The mainstream media did not question the Bush administration; neither did Congress, but Obama never stopped speaking out against this war of choice.

I hope that when people see and hear Barack Obama, especially in these debates, that when they notice any pause in his delivery of his remarks, it is because he is a very reflective person who does not just blurt out answers to gratify those who would equate a serious debate with sport.

That is exactly the kind of temperament and intellect we need in our president. He reminds me of a combination of JFK, RFK and MLK, and brings out the very best in what America could offer up to the presidency of the United States. I support him all the way.

How can you have any kind of debate on national television and not mention a single word about this country's biggest problem, which is immigration? Do the candidates just feel that they can ignore this issue, or do they feel that the problem will just go away????

What with Barack playing a faux race card. I live in NYC and all the cab drivers are Indian or anything but white--so if someone isn't picking him up - they are playing their own racial prejudices and those have nothing to with our civil war. I wish the candidates would just stick to the issues and refrain from playing to the lowest brainless elements in the voter pool. This is just another example of how inexperienced B.O. is in this very serious game that affects all our lives.

Just more of the same old nothing!

So Obama relates that he may have more trouble getting a cab in NYC than a Caucasian and that means he's inexperienced? You make no sense. I think you're the one who's inexperienced. It makes no difference what the race of the cab driver is. They are acting on directives from their bosses and also from the racism which they gleam from society at large.

If you support another candidate, speak up for that candidate. I can't stand these sneaky attacks using totally phony issues to knock down one candidate who is a presumed rival of your own candidate.

Mr. Gagliardi,

I am an African American. And, while I have never tried to catch a cab in NYC, I have tried to catch a cab in Georgetown on a Friday evening. I use the word 'tried' because I never did actually catch that cab. BTW, all of the cab drivers were not "indian or anything but white."

This is a common experience that many African Americans living in or travelling in large cities share. I believe the Senator was merely suggesting that, regardless of his actual ethnic origins, he has experienced the same or similar prejudices that most African Americans have simply because he shares a common outward appearance.

BTW, the Senator was answering a direct question that seemed to question his 'true blackness.' I believe his answer was more than adequate.

Have a nice day.

Just look around. Then review the history of past presidential elections. Has anything changed? Me Tube, You Tube, Any Tube, what's the point? With every election, the people get fooled--again. How did Bush get in? A majority. Were the voters smart then? No, they were idiots. Twice. What we need in this country is a technocracy, where scientists govern, not B.S. politicians who smugly sit back sipping on their lattes while thinking about the best ways to deliver their "messages".

The biggest issue next to the war is immigration and 'illegal' immigration which affects our national security. Why was this not debated/discussed? I'm moving to Australia...

High 5 ~ AND thinking of the best way to fool the american people. Which isn't hard to do when 1/2 of the population bows down to 'the box' that tells them what to believe!!

For Candidates It is easy to complain about things, and of course it suggests a bonding, but still makes you as only part of the problem instead of exercising your Personal Empowerment to fix the problem.

That is what I see these fan fare candidates to be worth. They are undocuumented, and have very little to actually say to you except noise

The Government, Economy and Personal Empowerment are like the gears in a clock, where if one goes out of skew, then it might eventually even stop.

The link decribes the Book, the New Deal. It is the plans that I will use to fix the clock, and the means to fund the campaign in order to be given that honor.


Regards,

Orion -

Obama\Clinton ticket. That's the ticket!

After listening to the debate, I have now decided to vote for either Richardson or Kucinich. I find Hillary and Obama too beholden to big business and special interests. Too much money is going to Hillary and Obama from Wall Street. Hillary just accepted $40,000 from Murdoch.

in my opinion mike gravel told the truth at the debate! if any of those other candidates gets elected its gonna be business as usual,in washington. he also told the truth, when he said americans need to wake up! OBVIOUSLY THE POWERS THAT BE ARE GOING TO HAVE US VOTE ON THE ONES THEY WANT!!!!! JUST LIKE MR GRAVEL SAYS JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL!

ITS NICE TO SEE A MAN LIKE MR GRAVEL TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!

WE THE PEOPLE REALLY DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY FOR OUR COUNTRY!!!

What a terrible job by CNN trying to silence down the candidates, specifically Mike Gravel, the only candidate who spoke the truth and didn't dance around the issues.

I hope people WILL wake up and see through the censorship by the corporate media. Thank God for the Internet.

We need more candidates like Gravel and Ron Paul. Time to start telling people like it is, whether they like to hear it or not. Time to go away with the political theater and popularity contests.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 23, 2007 1:51 PM.

Sweet column: Frontrunners Obama, Clinton, Richardson and Edwards assigned best podium positions in Monday CNN debate. No random drawing for center stage. Facetime story. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet Democratic debate special: Obama does not use opening to plug experience hole in resume. Report 2. is the next entry in this blog.

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