Unfortunately, I only got to see the last 4o minutes or so of the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate. However, I think it was time enough to get an idea of my likes and dislikes.
Likes: The whole idea of using public-submitted videos is important to me, because I feel it may give the candidates a taste of what questions and concerns the American public has, as well as give them something of a say in how the debate is run. Obviously, I won’t delude myself into thinking that they had total control. Still, I think it could have been better for CNN/YT to have perhaps picked, say, the 50 videos they considered the best, then have held a public vote over at YouTube (how they’d figure in multiple votes, I’m not sure, but I know they could have done it). That would have given the people more control over the process.
I thought most of the questions seemed pretty fair, even if I didn’t like some of the answers (Healthcare for illegals? Come now…be realistic) . The only question I thought strange (and others agree) is the assault-rifle toting hick asking about their views on gun control. Come on, CNN. I know you’re liberal leaning, but be responsible here. You could have surely picked someone who asked the same question in a more mature manner, without having to drag out his “baby.”
As for Anderson Cooper, I thought he did a fantastic job in keeping the candidates in line, which is a difficult task at the best of times. By the way, listen up, Senator Dodd. Shame on you for making Connecticut look bad talking out of turn! I know they shafted you on time to speak yet again, but you’re running for President here, not a race to see who could get in the most words before being shushed.
I didn’t see enough of the debate to make fully formed opinions on who won it, though I do think (and know this means little) that Biden and Obama are the most Presidential looking. Sorry, Dodd. I know you’re my home boy, but I somehow can’t see you in the White House. As for the questions they answered, I felt some were well answered, and others not so well. The candidates need to stop spouting off campaign slogans and tell how they feel in plain language. I concede, however, that this is difficult when Cooper gave you so little time.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to comment on something that wasn’t in the debate, but happened during the analysis time afterward. Wolf Blitzer had an interview with Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of John Edwards. What possessed them to do this is beyond me, but they asked her who would do better in womens’ rights – him or Hilary Clinton. Hello! What the hell did you think she was going to say? “Oh yea, that Hilary will do so much better than Johnny Boy!”? She’s the wife of a candidate for President, for cryin’ out loud. Of course she’s going to support Edwards, no matter what her real feelings may be. She wants him in the White House as much as he does. She’s NEVER going to say that Hilary is better on some issue, because that would only hurt him. That said, she did compliment Hilary on her record, which I liked. Very polite on that.
So, I come out of this feeling pretty good, and I look forward to the Republican CNN/YouTube debate on September 17th.