The CNN/YouTube Debates
1. I liked the format with the personal questions posed through YouTube. Yes, I know CNN edited the process by selecting the questions, but when “real” people ask about loved ones who died in Iraq, or family members who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you get another level of reality into the debate. The possibilities that Internet and new technology bring continues to change the political landscape.
2. However, it was somewhat difficult to see the person who posed the question on the YouTube-clip, at least if you downloaded the debate from CNN’s website. And some additional information about the background of the people posing the questions would have been appropriate.
3. The debate was too long. 90 minutes would have been enough.
4. From a political point of view Hillary Clinton showed that she is by far the most competent contender in the race; I think she won the debate clearly. Joe Biden is impressive when he speaks about foreign policy; as soon as he opens his mouth you can hear that he knows what he is talking about. If he wasn’t from such a Democratic state [Delaware] he would be a perfect running mate. Morevoer, Barack Obama is a fantastic candidate, but in this debate I think Hillary Clinton was much stronger (also from a rhetorical point of view).
5. From a strategic point of view, one of my early predictions still holds: Barack Obama is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest assets, since he is taking a lot of attention from other serious male contenders (John Edwards, notably). As it looks now, Hillary Clinton has a clear lead in the race. But Al Gore might still jump in. Barack Obama is a star candidate who has raised a lot of money. John Edwards is running strong in Iowa and New Hampshire.
If you like American Politics, you will have a wonderful time all the way till November 2008.