WASHINGTON—The CNN/YouTube debate just started. A bit of a production number about the videos that did not make it—cute but ate up time.
The test in this debate—billed as groundbreaking—will be if the questions really plow new ground. The first question was, essentially asking the candidates “how are you going to be different?’
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) talked about 26-year Senate record….taking a shot a those (nameless!) who just make speeches….and are full of “rhetoric.”
Anderson Cooper, the CNN debate moderator, just did not pin anyone down on being “different.”
Score as a dodge for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) a direct question about his experience, where he is most vunerable.
His answer: about the need to change how business is done in Washington and excoriating special interests and lobbyists. Obama missed an opportunity to plug the biggest hole in his resume.
Here's what Obama said:
Senator Obama, your supporters say you are different.
Your critics say you're inexperienced. You're a first-term senator.
OBAMA: Well, I think the questioner hit the nail on the head.
As I travel around the country, people have an urgent desire for
change in Washington. And we are not going to fix health care, we're
not going to fix energy, we are not going to do anything about our
education system unless we change how business is done in Washington.
Now, part of that is bringing people together, as Chris said.
But part of it is also overcoming special interests and lobbyists who
are writing legislation that's critical to the American people.
And one of the things I bring is a perspective as a community
organizer, as a state legislator, as well as a U.S. senator, that
says: Washington has to change.