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'Sorely Disappointed'

Jeff Jarvis

I am sorely disappointed.

CNN selected too many obvious, dutiful, silly questions.

Anderson Cooper didn't pace the debate; he tried to trip the runners.

The videos were too tiny to be given justice.

The candidates' videos were just commercials.

There were far too few issues.

There were too many candidates.

The candidates gave us the same answers they always give.

I have no doubt -- no doubt -- that we, the people, would have done a better job picking the questions than CNN did.

I have no doubt that we would have heard far more substance without CNN and TV cameras in this. This should have been a debate held online: candidates answering questions directly without the need for CNN, Anderson Cooper, or their questions.

We end with the usual horserace blather of the TV commentators.

A terribly wasted opportunity, this was.

More of Channel '08's CNN/YouTube debate coverage.

By Ed O'Keefe |  July 23, 2007; 11:08 PM ET Debates
Previous: Video Highlights: Candidates On Iraq | Next: Post-Debate Offerings

Comments

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I didn't see the debate, and I haven't reviewed the transcripts either...so I won't address the content of the debate specifically. That said, it is what it is. When DEMOCRATS, the party of "the people" have to raise tens of millions of dollars half a year before the primaries begin--just to stay competitive, that says heaps about the system. Blame the system, not CNN.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 23, 2007 9:30 PM

There were not too many candidates.
They all have an equal right to be there.
This kind of undemocratic opinion is part of the reason we are
in such dire straights.
What you want is to hear from a chosen few - the ones YOU
choose. Well, I'm very concerned about the future of our country.
I want to hear from each of them.
The travesty is that CNN did it again - giving Obama the most
time and giving practically nothing to Kucinich or Gravel.
What stunning and stupid arrogance.

Posted by: Arthur Brightman | July 23, 2007 10:13 PM

You're right, but it's a change, and it seems like they'll try it again next cycle.

Posted by: jojo | July 23, 2007 10:16 PM

I disagree. I thought it was a good debate. Hillary stood head and shoulders above the rest, which was hard to do in such a well spoken group. I thought cooper did a good job as well. Overall, they were so much better than the Republicans it was like day and night. The only big negatives were Obama's answer on Nuclear power, which produces the longest lasting toxic waste known to man, and Edwards comment on Hillary's jacket, which was a cheap shot and an attempt to pain her as a "girl". She's one "girl" I'd be glad to follow into battle, and trust to lead me safely home, but she's smart and savvy enough to avoid getting into a war in the first place. I wish we didn't have to wait until Jan 2009!!!

Posted by: GoodDebate | July 23, 2007 10:24 PM

The youtube thing was gimmicky. But it did demonstrate to me that Hillary Clinton is the one to beat. She was the most polished and intelligent of the bunch. She also came off as most experienced. And I agree that there wasn't equal time for the candidates. I think it is good to get a variety of opinions early on. On the other hand, as we get closer to the primaries, I do hope a few drop out so we can hear more substantively from the candidates at later debates.

Posted by: Jane doe voter | July 23, 2007 10:26 PM

More evidence that Democrats are moronic a**holes.

Posted by: Friday Knight | July 23, 2007 10:41 PM

Hillary? HILLARY?? P-L-E-A-S-E!!! BRING IT AWWWNNNN!!!!

Posted by: Can'tWait | July 23, 2007 11:05 PM

Sen. Hillary Clinton demonstrated again she's the most qualified and electable candidate in the race for President.

Her experience, composure, leadership qualifications, intelligence (won't that be great to have an intelligent President again...) and eloquence are oustanding.

Sen. Hillary Clinton will be a great President.

The U.S. and the WORLD can't wait for President Hillary Clinton. WOW, this woman is impressive.

Posted by: Allison | July 23, 2007 11:10 PM

Electing Hillary will be the most Un-American thing of our history. It amounts monarcy and to some extent nepotism.

While she definitely gets higher points for sound-bites politics and well prepared debate performances, average voters need to go deeper to understand that Clintons could go to any length to win elections.

We need a fresh start and twenty (20) year of Bush & Clinton is ENOUGH.

Posted by: John Markle | July 23, 2007 11:17 PM

When female voters break for HC 2:1 while male voters remain evenly distributed among the candidates ....

At what point does that become bigotry?

Posted by: Adam | July 23, 2007 11:21 PM

I worked for Hillary as an intern in the summer when health care reform was going to Congress. She's a very nice, intelligent, surprisingly warm woman in person, but I'm supporting Obama. As in all the past debates, HRC did well - she's articulate and well prepared, but there are far too many softballs thrown her way and she dodges actually answering the questions posed with the "experience" she claims.
Obama has what this country needs, which was on display tonight as it has been throughout his career - an ability to build consensus. The reality is that the next President will have to work to heal wounds and she's just not the woman to do it, whether its her fault, the fault of her husband, or the "vast right wing conspiracy". Obama has the intelligence, the confidence, and most importantly, the appeal to draw people together. Its time for a change.

Posted by: FormerWHIntern | July 23, 2007 11:24 PM

I worked for Hillary as an intern in the summer when health care reform was going to Congress. She's a very nice, intelligent, surprisingly warm woman in person, but I'm supporting Obama. As in all the past debates, HRC did well - she's articulate and well prepared, but there are far too many softballs thrown her way and she dodges actually answering the questions posed with the "experience" she claims.
Obama has what this country needs, which was on display tonight as it has been throughout his career - an ability to build consensus. The reality is that the next President will have to work to heal wounds and she's just not the woman to do it, whether its her fault, the fault of her husband, or the "vast right wing conspiracy". Obama has the intelligence, the confidence, and most importantly, the appeal to draw people together. Its time for a change.

Posted by: FormerWHIntern | July 23, 2007 11:24 PM

Since I know it was asked, I can't help but wonder why CNN censored the questions on outsourcing and guest workers; in particular H1-B workers. This question is popping up all over the internet. It is THE reason behind Congresses dismal 14% approval rating and it regularly is one of the top three issues mentioned when voters are polled. So, WaPost, why are you guys in the media censoring that question? The voters have a right to know the answers (or, more likely, non-answers, fancy footwork, and lame excuses).

Posted by: MikeB | July 23, 2007 11:25 PM

It was a great debate. The questions had a more personal tone. Much better then the usual punditry type questions, and entertaining as well. I'm not sure what debate the critical posters here were watching, but I found it to be undeniably successful. I predict this format will become a staple in future debates. No going back to the pundit crap....Please!!!!

Posted by: Glen | July 23, 2007 11:28 PM

I agree with Hilary - any of the candidates will make a better president than the one currently in office and any of the candidates will make a better president than any Republican nominated, but then, I'd vote for the lowest cur dog before I'd vote for a republican. Thank God we have a stellar array of class acts from which to choose.

Enjoyed the debate and thought the finish was delightful - how great to see them saying nice things about each other to end it lightly.

I'm sure the republican hate squad has been busily digging up all the slime and contortions of fact that they can...they are going to lose, but they plan to make it as ugly as possible. Not an ounce of grace in any of them.

Posted by: Cheryl Fontaine | July 23, 2007 11:33 PM

Interesting debate.

A focus group of democrat voters that watched the debate in South Carolina picked Obama as the clear winner.

The plurality came into the debate supporting HRC but switched to Obama!

He impressed the group as "genuine". She impressed them as a politician.

Posted by: Dan | July 23, 2007 11:33 PM

You Tube peeled one more layer off the sad, empty shell typical of politicians everywhere. Stumping, gladhanding, grinning. Just Gross.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:35 PM

You Tube peeled one more layer off the sad, empty shell typical of politicians everywhere. Stumping, gladhanding, grinning. Just Gross.


Posted by: nowvoyager | July 23, 2007 11:36 PM

Former WHIntern: Hummm...Hilary or Bill?

Posted by: Former Barfly | July 23, 2007 11:38 PM

Dr. Don Key says:

> When DEMOCRATS, the party of "the people"
> have to raise tens of millions of dollars
> half a year before the primaries
> begin--just to stay competitive, that says
> heaps about the system.

Why is it not as reprehensible when the Republicans do this?

Posted by: John Truth | July 23, 2007 11:40 PM

> More evidence that Democrats are moronic
> a**holes.

I'm sorry they don't have the Socratic depth and rich intelligence of President Bush, but what can you do?

Posted by: John Truth | July 23, 2007 11:43 PM

overall Obama come out on top....he is the clear winer. I think you misread his answer in building a nuclear energy as a source of power. He stated that it an idea that need to be studied and see the pro and con.....and i agree if technology will be develop to used nuclear energy without harming the environment it will be great idea.

Posted by: karl | July 23, 2007 11:46 PM


anyone who thinks pres Bush as rich intelligence is so ignorant it is pathetic.

Posted by: ps | July 23, 2007 11:46 PM


anyone who thinks pres Bush as rich intelligence is so ignorant it is pathetic.

Posted by: ps | July 23, 2007 11:46 PM

response to: (Friday Knight | July 23, 2007 10:41 PM)

Your post doesn't dignify a response, but I'll humor you. The very problem with Republicans is that they can't win debates. So Repubs attack Vietnam vets, while it's a little bit funny that Bush Jr. was hiding in Texas, during 'Nam. I don't have access to the actual debates, but I've been keeping up with the presidential race. I'm not 100% pleased with the Dems' candidates all the time, but at least they're bringing some fresh ideas to the table. How about the Repubs' debates? Ten tired, old White men with tired, old talking points.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 23, 2007 11:47 PM

I can't believe anyone would want Hillary for president. Have all of you forgotten "Whitewater? How about Travelgate? Think she has changed her spots? Wake up America!

Posted by: Larry | July 23, 2007 11:49 PM

Response to: (ps | July 23, 2007 11:46 PM)

"Uhhhhh," I agree. Waiting for the next great moment in presidential speeches. NOT!

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 23, 2007 11:49 PM

Somehow electing Hillary would be nepotism and a monarchy....

So the Bush presidency would be what?....Not nepostism...No Monarchy?

This right wing tactics of calling one thing what is not with the hope that people are dumb enough not to realize are not longer working there chief. Drop the "truthiness" act and get some reason behind your ideas.

Posted by: Mighty7 | July 23, 2007 11:51 PM

Response to: (Larry | July 23, 2007 11:49 PM)

You said: "Whitewater? How about Travelgate?" No politician is without his/her faults, including the Clintons. That said, you misunderstand the severity of those "scandals," if you consider them more egregious than what has happened in the White House since Clinton left a long, long time ago.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 23, 2007 11:53 PM

Reponse to: (John Truth | July 23, 2007 11:40 PM)

You're right. But the system's messed up. You don't hear Dems talking about unions much these days, because by and large they get too much $ from the evil corporations they used to protect working class stiffs from.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 23, 2007 11:56 PM

why are demoncraps soooooo stupid? they're just born that way, i guess.

Posted by: dude | July 23, 2007 11:58 PM

I didn't see the debates. However as an educated man I am convinced that in order to be a Republican you must either be delusional or grotesquely uninformed. It's really as simple as that.

Posted by: Marc | July 23, 2007 11:59 PM

Whitewater?....Travelgate?... Do you mean the handful of investigations that never yield squat, nada, zero and no charges were ever brought? Those?

Oh we remember it well. Considering the large amount of Republican legislators that have been busted and convicted in the last 8 years, your comments on Hillary should be taken as a compliment, not an attack.

Next.

Posted by: Mighty7 | July 24, 2007 12:00 AM

one of the biggest problems are this group are they haven't figured out they aren't running against George Bush. they better stART DELIVERING because them poll ratings are about 14%. CLINTON, OBAMA ,EDWARDS DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER BUT HIGHER TAXES AND WE THE PEOPLE will leave their chads in the ballot and they. right now i don't know of a democrat that is electable. reid and peloski are in the same sinking ship

Posted by: jake | July 24, 2007 12:01 AM

Yes, let's put Hilary in office. You have to be kidding me people! Name one thing that the Clinton's did over the 8 years they were in office. What has she done as a Senator? Give me one example of something her husband said he would do as President and actutally did. Do the same for Hilary as a Senator. Just one thing. Give me a break people.

Posted by: Ryan | July 24, 2007 12:03 AM

I don't dislike any of the candidates - these are some I trust and believe in more than others. I am sick and tired of the media who keeps talking about the 'popularity' of Hillary and Obama and how much money they were able to raise, etc. That doesn't make either of them the best candidate.

Personally I believe John Edwards is the one - Hillary is too polarizing even among democrats. The country needs to be more unified - Bush was able to to only unite those against him! But Edwards can do it given the opportunity. I also believe that Obama just isn't right for the job either - it's as if someone decided that oh well, a woman is running, let's get a black guy in there too. If you're looking for a black man to run then start looking at Harold Ford from Tenn.

Edwards pretty much has everything it's going to take to get this country back on the right track - and that includes getting lot of the independant vote AND can also get some of those republicans who are disenchanted with Bush - they sure as heck aren't going to vote for Hillary who they hate too much.

Posted by: nyckate | July 24, 2007 12:05 AM

We haven't had a debate yet this season - the Democrats refuse to debate on a FOX format, knowing that FOX would force them into a more honest debate forum. CNN wants only show and flash and ANY Democrat in the White House in 2009 - substance means nothing, either in the candidate or in the "debate".

Posted by: Missourimule | July 24, 2007 12:05 AM

Whitewater? Travelgate? Completely insignificant compared to what this Administration has done to diminish our Constitutional rights, not to mention misleading us into this immoral, preordained Cheney-war.

Posted by: Betsy | July 24, 2007 12:05 AM

"will leave their chads in the ballot and they"

Nice. I bet this shining example of rigt wing logic: "If we can't win, we'll cheat/" This time if you decide to cheat, pick someone who is not an incompetent ass.

Next.

Posted by: Mighty7 | July 24, 2007 12:06 AM

The question I wanted to see asked was:

Why does congress and the president think they can abridge the Bill of Rights without a direct vote of the people? The Patriot Act is obviously an unconstitutional direct attack on the Bill of Rights. What would the candidates do about this illegal act?

Posted by: David Carson | July 24, 2007 12:08 AM

The clear "winner" of the debate, if that's even possible in this format, was Joe Biden.

He clearly has the most experience, intelligence and leadership capability, and it truly showed when he was asked about how best to extricate ourselves from the Iraq quagmire. It sure would be a nice change to have a President who is smart and articulate enough to not only develop sound policy, but to be able to explain it to the People frankly and honestly.

I agree with those above who said that the questions were often weak and tailored to the candidates.

Examples of softball questions: Hillary was asked directly if she thought a woman could be President. ...CNN, are you kidding me?!

There was not a legitimate discussion about gay marriage, immigration, and carbon taxing/auctioning.

Dennis Kucinich was clearly margianlized in the debate, but remained the clear choice for most Americans. His views are the most mainstream of all, but he is not given enough credit simply because he doesn't draw a ton of funding the way sexier candidates do. He's really the only candidate who has consistently been right about the two most important issues in this country: the environment and Iraq.

I'd vote for a Kucinich/Biden ticket after watching this debate.

Posted by: Harrison | July 24, 2007 12:10 AM

To David,

Sadly, many of the candidates voted to make the Patriot Act law.

Posted by: Harrison | July 24, 2007 12:11 AM

I thought the questions posed to the candidates were in the majority traditional but yet entertainingly framed because of the first time Youtube format.I definitely think the post debate commentors who saw HR Clinton as the best were wrong though she didn't do badly IMO. I think Obama singled and doubled in this game while only getting pop fly outs or hit by a pitch in past forums. He spoke with more leadership type strength and confidence to my ears and eyes. In response to a prior commentor on the debate, I think that J. Edwards comment at the end about Hr clintons' attire was simply going for a laugh and worked for me. I would have liked to have heard a question on where these candidates stand and what they would do to hold this administration accountable such as impeachment.Mike Gravel should be more detailed and substantive in his charges so as to make himself more credible and less cockeyed to viewers. I could go on....

Posted by: mack | July 24, 2007 12:16 AM

if hillary is elected, that would make our last 20+ years of presidents read:

bush
clinton
clinton
bush
bush
clinton

how democratic of them.

... What about "We the People"... when is it our turn?

Posted by: jake | July 24, 2007 12:19 AM

the whole youtube thing was nothing but a gimmick. that guy who had his kid jump up and down, please spare us. and they had better start winnowing the field because all those guys who will never get the nomination are making it that much tougher to find a winner.

Posted by: nobleone | July 24, 2007 12:19 AM

I feel like I'm the only person who sees a fundamental flaw in Hillary Clinton's candidacy: She is related to the President before last!

This is wrong for 2 simple reasons:
1) It is a very bad precedent to allow a single family to govern a country for 12 or 16 years. This is why Presidential terms are limited. It doesn't matter if she'll be separate from Bill, they know the same people and she was very involved in his administration. Proximity to power always corrupts.

2) How does it look to the rest of the world when we invade Iraq in the name of removing a hereditary government in exchange for democracy, and claim to want to spread democracy around the world, when we have a line of hereditary kings and queens here?! Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton ...no matter how you spell it, it spells trouble.


The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
--James Madison

Posted by: Harrison | July 24, 2007 12:19 AM

I thought the questions posed to the candidates were in the majority traditional but yet entertainingly framed because of the first time Youtube format.I definitely think the post debate commentors who saw HR Clinton as the best were wrong though she didn't do badly IMO. I think Obama singled and doubled in this game while only getting pop fly outs or hit by a pitch in past forums. He spoke with more leadership type strength and confidence to my ears and eyes. In response to a prior commentor on the debate, I think that J. Edwards comment at the end about Hr clintons' attire was simply going for a laugh and worked for me. I would have liked to have heard a question on where these candidates stand and what they would do to hold this administration accountable such as impeachment.Mike Gravel should be more detailed and substantive in his charges so as to make himself more credible and less cockeyed to viewers. I could go on.... Oh and yes i could see Kucinich and Obama or Biden and Kucinich and would love to.

Posted by: Ken | July 24, 2007 12:24 AM

I think this is the best debate format i have seen so far. This debate format litarily shows that average America is smarter than the professional pundicts. I like it and let me make a bold prediction by saying this format will be the order of the day in five years from now.

On the issue of substance and authenticity, i think Barack Obama and Richardson did fabulous. Obama's thoughtfulness to every questions is remarkable and his answer on how to deal with race in this country is great. Clinton hold her ground but sounds like a politician. I think Obama has a better credibility on how to change the way business is done in washington than Clinton. I am looking forward to his idea on how to bridge the gap in washington

On the question of talking to our enemies, i totally disagree with Clinton's answer. I think Clinton's answer is totally similar to what we're seeing under Bush administration. It is time for media to start asking her the tough questions America people deserve.

Here is a question i expect the media to ask Clinton regarding her answer to meeting our enemies. If she believe meeting our enemies would be used as Propaganda; How would she characterize Speaker Pelosi's meeting with the Syrian president? Does it mean that Pelosi's visit to syria is not a good idea?

I dare Media folks ask Clinton this question.

Posted by: 'Benga | July 24, 2007 12:31 AM

The one true calling card of Democrats: hypocrisy. Edwards, the rich trial lawyer, goes on a Poverty Tour with his freshly coifed, $400/week haircuts (which would feed a poverty-stricken family for a month); Obama says he's going to reduce the influence of the lobbyists while at the same time accepting more corporate donations than anyone in the history of primary compaigns; and where do we start with Hillary? Then there's Biden mentioning not once, but twice, that his wife and daughter were killed. Shameful! Like what happened to Gore and Kerry, Americans are smart enough to smell out liars (Gore) and elitist, hyper-ambitious self-promoters (Kerry); HRC is both. What's amazing to me, yet again, is the Dems laughable, almost-incomprehensible inability to gauge Presidential electability, painfully obvious by just a quick glance at the motley crew (except for Obama) they paraded out there tonight. For the third straight presidential election cycle, they are poised to offer someone, most likely Hillary, who just doesn't have what it takes to win over the general population. She is unfavorably viewed by almost 3/4 of INDEPENDENTS! The poster who claimed that 2/3 of women will vote for her is simply misinformed; the woman is despised everywhere outside of liberal Dem female circles. Democrats: HRC will never be president of this country, and I'm afraid that we're at least twenty years away from electing an Obama, who I believe IS a quality candidate. But, the result will be the same: another election win for the Republicans is all but assured.

Posted by: Another Sorry Collection | July 24, 2007 12:31 AM

I really enjoyed the format of the debate tonight. However, their just doing the same BS over again under the guise of some different "revolutionary" method of debate. I just spent a few hours tallying up using the transcript from the debate how much each said and how many times they were allowed to speak:

- A B C
Obama 14 2050 146
Clinton 12 1794 150
Edwards 12 1661 138
Biden 7 1019 146
Richardson 7 910 130
Dodd 8 1645 206
Kucinich 7 985 141
Gravel 7 580 83

A. Total amount of times allowed to speak.
B. Total words said within those times.
C. Average words spoken for each exchange.

Same pattern abounds in every other debate. Gravel gets dogged and side-showed and the top-tier evils get the most time. Of course Dodd just wont shut up (hence 205 average).

Posted by: Chris | July 24, 2007 12:37 AM

Obama was impressive, very presidential. Dodd also did well. Edwards had his 'macaca' moment when he said what he didn't like about Clinton was the jacket she was wearing (Edwards supporters really need to watch this last question, his social skills just are not at the leader level). Clinton was evasive, wouldn't name something she admired about Obama, won't have talks with leaders of Iran or Syria at the presidential level (she knows she doesn't have the diplomatic skills badly needed), sounded too Bushlite.

Posted by: carson | July 24, 2007 12:39 AM

HRC teaming up with Murdoch was so cool. I want to vote for her now. That's reason for you. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2006/05/murdock_explains_hillary_fundraiser/

Clintons and Bushes basically work for each other to make lots of cash...screw the people. Go ahead and invest your token vote on a Dem or a Rep. It's all rigged anyway and the winner has already been hand-picked by money in high places we'll never see.

But you know, enjoy the histrionics of it all. Pat yourself on the back. You voted for a winner, right?

This is kinda like telling a kid there's no toothfairy or santa clause.

The Dems and the Reps don't really care about what's good for the people. Wake up. If they did actually care, the Federal Reserve would not have been created out of legislature in 1913, the gold standard wouldn't have been abandoned, congress wouldn't get rock star pensions, etc.

Opportunistic puppets get into office when empire and corruption reign. Elections won't change that. Welcome to the real world. Enjoy all those petroleum products that make your life go the way YOU like it. Keep buying war. Grow up.

Help your state break away from the Union. It's the natural course for falling empires.

Posted by: poopybutt | July 24, 2007 12:39 AM

To Harrison:

Dude...How on earth can you make this argument when we have a president whose FATHER WAS A PRESIDENT and whose political operators were basically the same?...

I mean, I can underatdn people hating their enemy. Do yuu hate HRC?...Ok, more power to you. This is America. Go for it. But at least if you are going to attack your nenemy, use some substance, some common sense, some reason....This is just dumb truthiness.

Next.

Posted by: Mighty 7 | July 24, 2007 12:49 AM

Responding to Harrison's view that it is undemocratic and monarchial to have multiple presidents from the same family, I ask, is it undemocratic if those presidents are elected by the people? Yes, there may be familial legacies in the presidency, but, unlike the truly undemocratic and heritary dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the current presidency of George W. Bush and the potential presidency of Hillary Clinton are the results of democratic elections. Simply because the voters elect a president's offspring or spouse to the same role doesn't mean that monarchy has replaced democracy; hereditary role only occurs when the leader, not the people, choose that leader's successor.

A suggestion: if you oppose another Clinton presidency, don't vote for Hillary.

Posted by: Eric | July 24, 2007 12:50 AM

Nothing wrong with the video questioners but, with an applauding audience, the candidates just couldn't resist preening and posturing. What next? They trade one-liners with a panel of Letterman, Leno, Bill Maher and Jon Stewart?

http://ajliebling.blogspot.com/2007/07/american-idol-debate.html

Posted by: Robert Stein | July 24, 2007 1:00 AM

Response to: (Robert Stein | July 24, 2007 01:00 AM)

Wouldn't surprise me. It's all become one big show. I guess that has something to do with the dawn of the Information Age. People should be concerned that the majority of the public gets its political news from TV. It probably explains why the b.s. Swiftboat ads were so effective. Many people have the "If it's on TV then it must be true" mentality. It's like something out of "1984."

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 24, 2007 1:08 AM

I too was quite disappointed with the debate. Too much attention is focussed on Obama and Clinton. We have heard from them already, the media covers them constantly. I can't stand this assumption that some candidates are better than others simply due to the money they have raised.

CNN, apportion equal amounts of time in the interests of a truly fair debate.

Posted by: David Toyne | July 24, 2007 1:22 AM

I wish they'd go for quality over quantity. They keep forcing the candidates to speak in 1 minute soundbites, as if the audience suffers from ADD.

Posted by: Bob | July 24, 2007 1:41 AM

Jeff Jarvis was right on when he said these debates should be online without CNN and Anderson Cooper dumbing them down for us. The debate I would really like to see is Clinton, Edwards, and Kucinich. John Edwards said he would debate Kucinich, though what else could he say after he put his foot in his mouth? Hillary has not accepted, but I didn't expect she would.

I had actually planned to vote for her, until she and Edwards gave America that elitist display at the last debate. Dennis Kucinich showed why he is Presidential material by the manner in which he handled that situation.

I resent being told, especially by the candidates themselves, who I'm supposed to take seriously as a candidate. We have no excuse nowadays to remain in the dark as to where the candidates REALLY stand. When I started looking into Kucinich, I realized he should be taken seriously, whether the MSM believes it or not.

Ron Paul is another candidate that the MSM is dismissing, but deserves to be heard. I will never vote for him because of his stand on abortion; he has said that he would do everything in his power to overturn Roe v. Wade. But at least he leaves no doubt where he stands. I hear conservatives complain that there is no one running that reflects their views, but Ron Paul is a true conservative in every sense of the word. If I was a right winger (*ack* the very thought makes me gag ) I wouldn't vote for any of the so-called front runners, especially not Giuliani.

Wake up America. These people are only unelectable because WE choose to make the menu limited to a choice between cream of wheat or oatmeal. Me, I'm voting for steak and eggs this time.

Posted by: Julie | July 24, 2007 2:02 AM

Folks, Saddam Hussein did not inherit his position. He came to power through a combination of commitment to the Ba'ath party and, eventually, forcing the elderly leader then in power to resign.

He would almost certainly have appointed one of his sons to succeed him, but we can't know whether that would have happened. Moreover, he was a healthy man. He would likely have stayed in power for another 5-10 years.

Posted by: THS | July 24, 2007 2:55 AM

Another Sorry Collection said: What's amazing to me, yet again, is the Dems laughable, almost-incomprehensible inability to gauge Presidential electability, painfully obvious by just a quick glance at the motley crew (except for Obama) they paraded out there tonight. For the third straight presidential election cycle, they are poised to offer someone, most likely Hillary, who just doesn't have what it takes to win over the general population.

You might want to check out the latest poll numbers, which generally show almost any Dem candidate beating any Republican candidate. Of course, looking at facts hasn't been a strength of Republicans lately. You might want to work on that.

See poll results at: http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08gen.htm

Posted by: THS | July 24, 2007 3:01 AM

Who said that this debate would be different?
I did`t notice and differences at all.It was the very same disrespect for the America.
I would like to see the entire list of questions submitted by viewers.
Any wagers that those questions were, mysteriously lost.
I can not understand why not one person ask Hillary and Edwards,who gave them the right to decide who will and who will not be allowed to Debate.
Like I said,I can hear it now;(CNN)We have lost all of the questions that were ask,we don`t know what happened to them.
This whole thing was a sham..."Americans are too ignorant to vote".

Posted by: Jerry | July 24, 2007 4:17 AM

Hilary looks too opportunistic, too political. I think Obama will get better as the debates go on. I dont think Hilary is the answer. My vote is for Obama, ... but we always seem to make the wrong choices and end up regretting it for years on end. I hope we dont get Hilary. This country needs a break

Posted by: Limpet_Jr | July 24, 2007 6:33 AM

Listened instead of watched... Found the stupider of the videos hard to listen to. THESE were the best that CNN could pull from 30K+ video questions?! That said, Clinton clearly sounded presidential and in absolute control. Next time, let someone else pick the questions--and tell Cooper or his replacement to shut up.

Posted by: Matthew | July 24, 2007 6:48 AM

You were disappointed? You expected something different from the candidates? How naive!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 7:11 AM

I thought it was very good. I say Congratulations to CNN, video participants and candidates.

Posted by: Maddie In Florida | July 24, 2007 8:14 AM

I thought it was very good. I say Congratulations to CNN, video participants and candidates.

Posted by: Maddie In Florida | July 24, 2007 8:14 AM

Main Result Senate Clinton proved she is the most fit to lead of all the candidates of both parties by a sizable margin and all the Candidates made Bush at his best look like a Bafoo.
The Debate lacked some key questions, like Impeaching the current Crook in Chief, but the result was far better than any in the past. I doubt the public would have done any better selecting questions, and still would have wasted time with cute, but pointless questions about whether the interest in Pres Elect Gore, hurt their feelings.

Posted by: Muddy | July 24, 2007 9:11 AM

Debates are just TV shows - did anyone expect more? What I think is stunning is that standing on the debate stage was a woman, a black and a hispanic. The Republicans need to get with the program and realize that this field is truly representative of the population of the country and the voting power behind these groups is immense. This alone signals a huge change and the first baby steps towards closing the huge racial divide in this country.

Posted by: tophr | July 24, 2007 9:33 AM

To Mighty7,

Yes, I did make this same argument when GWBush ran in 2000. It was wrong then and it's wrong now.

Posted by: Harrison | July 24, 2007 9:42 AM

I disagree with the author on his view of the debate. I watched it and found it to be refreshing. I thought Anderson did a great job. It's interesting that Jeff Jarvis would be so negative. He did not see all of the videos that were submitted so how does he know if he or anyone else could have done a better job. I believe CNN had a very tough job and did the best that they could to be a cross section of the nation. Jeff lighten up. That is what last night's debate was about. It was actually a balance which is good to have a little humor as well as intelligence.

Posted by: Dee | July 24, 2007 9:52 AM

I agree and disagree with this blog. First, I DO NOT believe there were too many candidates. I want to hear from everyone and I think they are truly all good contenders. That being said, I wish the media would give them ALL more air time. I want to hear more Biden and more Kucinich!!! Next, CNN missed their opportunity by taking this debate 'by the people' and fudging it up at the end. They had rooms of average citizens watching the debate. Was one of them interviewed after? NO! Instead, we had to listen to Wolf 'the whimp' Blitzer yammer on about the format and talk to pundits about how they think Hillary's outfit was 'hip' and 'feminine.' Absolutely ridiculous! Let's talk to these citizens and find out their reactions! Maybe it would give the journalists a few ideas on how to ask questions in the future!

Let's hope CNN or MSNBC or whoever does a better job on the next debate.

Posted by: ChicagoGuy | July 24, 2007 10:06 AM

"but she's smart and savvy enough to avoid getting into a war in the first place."

really? i thought she was one of the ones that got us into this one

Posted by: plamonica | July 24, 2007 11:57 AM

Can somebody tell me why a second President Clinton would constitute a "monarchy" if she were democratically elected?? I personally think that having someone in the White House who won't have to have that much of a learning curve, and who probably knows who the president of Bhutan is, not to mention Canada and Britain (Oh, that Bush had been asked THAT question during the 2000 election season...but that would have pegged him as just a 'regular guy' who doesn't care about those effete folks outside Amurrica)would be a good thing. I think that we are really hungry for someone who's competent at this point. Go Hillary!

Posted by: Lisa M. | July 24, 2007 12:01 PM

It would have been great to hear a debate on their platform issues, especially the one on poverty. I wish the debate would have been more legitimate and sincere considering it was a chance for viewers to address issues close to their hearts. It only takes 12 billion dollars ( a small comparison to the 340 billion spent on the Iraqi war) to provide education for every kid on earth [Borgen Project]. That is a small price compared to the opportunity the U.S. has to change the quality of our society.

Posted by: Erica | July 24, 2007 12:18 PM

"who probably knows who the president of Bhutan is, not to mention Canada and Britain"

pretty sure that britain has a prime minister. awefully hard to know who the president is then

Posted by: plamonica | July 24, 2007 12:39 PM

I agree, I was severely disappointed. CNN picked questions that "might" have amused a 12 year old boy. I can't take it seriously when a snowman asks a question about global warming. What a terrible way to showcase our democracy to the world. The masses, and most of the media seemed to like it, however, which scares the heck out of me. Bread and circuses, anyone?

Posted by: Chris | July 24, 2007 7:02 PM

I'm not sure why you feel so strongly that the debate was bad, but my friends and I who watched it felt it was the MOST informative, interesting, and useful debate we've seen. While "we, the people" may have chosen better questions than CNN--looking at your bio, sir, it seems like you'd be the first to volunteer--they were far better than CNN could have come up with themselves.

It actually have us INSIGHT into the candidates. When's the last time we had that? And what's with your complaint about CNN choosing? When you get yourself a cable news network, or when YouTube (or "prezvid") can get enough of an audience and candidate participation without a cable network, then CNN wouldn't have any leverage or ability to filter. Until then, I say this was an improvement, and a welcome one.

Posted by: Pepin | July 26, 2007 4:34 PM

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