New version of Toledo Talk

    July 27, 2007

CNN/Youtube Debate Last Monday - This debate was probably the best I've ever seen. It wasn't a bunch of questions had tuned to how the media wanted to swing the debate but honest questions by real people. The answers were fun to watch.

For me I knew who I wanted to vote for since the announcement of running but after watching this, Barack Obama has my attention and seems to genuinely care about our country.

What do you all think? The bulk of it is on the address above.

posted by jshriver to politics at 9:48 P.M. EST     (7 Comments)

Comments ...

I see nothing wrong with the YouTube format, unlike the snobs on the right who think the YouTube debate cheapens or trivializes the democratic process.

First of all, why is it supposedly better when the questions come from a boring journalist?

I heard one or two conservative blowhards this week say Ronald Reagan would have disapproved of the YouTube debate format.

Bullshit. These conservative knuckleheads forget one very important fact about Reagan: he was an actor before he was a politician.

Reagan had a great sense of humor. He would have loved the YouTube format. His answers would have been both serious and humorous. Reagan would have enjoyed getting a question from a snowman. He would have easily set himself apart from the rest of the candidates in this kind of format.

I think Bill Clinton also would have enjoyed this format and done well with it.

Oh, hey, what a surprise. Nearly all of the Republican candidates are NOT interested in their YouTube debate in September. Buttheads.

Right now, only John McCain and Ron Paul have agreed to participate in the YouTube debate. Romney dismisses the format, and Rudyard has some lame excuse.

Jul 27, 2007 Patrick Ruffini blog posting directed at Republican candidates:

"Attend the YouTube debate, and you may get a tough question or two. Don't attend, and millions of Americans will wonder if you were too afraid to answer questions from the Internet, just as Democrats were afraid to go on Fox News."

"Republicans cannot write off the Internet. Thus far, the Democratic candidates have dramatically outperformed Republicans online, most alarmingly in online fundraising. We believe this is a direct result of failing to effectively engage the medium and seize the tremendous opportunity of bottom-up grassroots activism."

"And Republicans cannot write off the youth vote. A recent poll showed Democrats with a staggering 24-point advantage among 18 to 29 year old voters. Once a generation of voters is lost like this (just think of the New Deal or Reagan Generations) they are extremely difficult to get back."

A Jul 26, 2007 Ruffini posting titled GOPers Bail on YouTube Debate?

"This is a big mistake. The Democrats are afraid to answer questions from Big Bad Fox News Anchors, and the Republicans are afraid to answer questions from regular people. Which is worse?"

"It's stuff like this that will set the GOP back an election cycle or more on the Internet. No matter the snazzy Web features and YouTube videos they may put up, if they're fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of interacting with real people online, what's the point?"

Look at the startling money numbers thus far in this election cycle.

Jul 23, 2007 Wall Street Journal story:

"With more than a year to go before the 2008 elections, Democratic candidates have raised $100 million more in campaign contributions than Republicans, putting them on track to win the money race for the White House and Congress for the first time since the government began detailed accounting of campaign fund raising three decades ago."

"Democrats' focus on small donors leaves them room to raise more cash over the next year, since many contributors have yet to hit the legal limit of $2,300 per candidate per election, and could potentially keep giving."

"Democrats have also benefited because of their comparative strength with Internet activists. While Republican voters tend to gravitate toward traditional media like talk radio, Democratic voters with strong opinions are more likely to go online to read blogs. That, in turn, has led to an explosion in online giving to Democrats, who are building lists of thousands of small-dollar donors for a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail."

The national Democrat party is closer to the people than the Republican party. And a lot of the credit for this goes to Howard Dean. Dean and his staff's 2003 strategy of a 50-state campaign and raising money by getting small donations from a lot of people instead of the usual, which was big donations from a few people, is paying dividends for the Democrat party today.

And what about Fred Thompson? First, what in the hell is he waiting for? I thought he was suppose to officially announce at the beginning of July.

Well, Fred seems to be having trouble raising money. Maybe that's because he has not officially announced yet. Or maybe he's not going to be the Republican party savior.

"Sources close to the presumptive campaign tell NBC News that Fred Thompson's fundraising is down "markedly." One claimed it has "slowed down big-time." The pace is described as a consequence of the delayed announcement to enter the race. "The Friends of Fred, Inc." will report to the IRS its revenue by July 31st. Sources reveal to NBC News that number will be in the range of about $3 million."

$3 million? That's it?

I guess this means Newt will jump into the race in September. It's an uphill battle for the Republican party.

Jul 20-22, 2007 Rasmussen poll published July 25 about which party people trust, concerning major issues.

posted by jr at 11:19 P.M. EST on Fri Jul 27, 2007     #

I'm throwing up in my mouth as I read this.
posted by mholdri at 11:53 P.M. EST on Fri Jul 27, 2007     #

Here's some of the issues that I see surrounding the YouTube debate:

First, and this is my personal feeling, I would have loved the YouTube debate as long as they kept singing screwballs and talking snowmen out of it (oh, and gay porn). It wasn't night at the improv. And this is coming from a guy who injects humor into the WORST situations.

Secondly, I'm pretty certain that the Republicans aren't interested because the youth demographic aren't interested in them. Of course, the good news for them is that it doesn't matter, the youth turnout is ALWAYS this side of terrible. My g-g-g-genteration always talks big, but when it comes down to it, can't be bothered.

And that'll change in time. Some people will continue to be on the left, while some people will move to the right. I've seen it among my friends in the past few years. But here's the thing: just because people will move to the right, doesn't mean they'll become Republicans.

I honestly and truly think that not only will a GOP candidate have no chance in hell in 2008, but the party is on the verge of... and I won't say collapse, because the consideration of another party coming up and taking it's place just won't happen nowadays... but I'll say "reinvention". Now whether that means they go back to fiscal conservative, or simply become D's in Red (We could change their animal mascot to a Rhino!), that's the question.

posted by TheTalentedMrC at 07:11 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

The GOOP is looking for young peeps and tried to rally round the Social Security which Reagan looted to pay for the tax cuts for the uber rich (we all suffer from today).

Didn't someone just post something about the young Republicants and legalized abortion being the reason why illegal immigrants are coming into this country? Oh thinly veiled elitism!!!

posted by charlatan at 12:10 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

"... the youth turnout is ALWAYS this side of terrible."

Info from the 2004 presidential election where the Youth Vote was suppose to make a difference:

Final exit polls showed that 18-29-year-olds made up only 17 percent of all voters—similar to 2000’s turnout. "Yeah, we rocked the vote all right,” gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson griped to the Aspen (Colo.) Daily News on election night. “Those little bastards betrayed us again."

posted by jr at 12:02 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

Most youth never turn out. Some do.

I only missed 2 elections since turning 18 and those were small elections that didn't really have any issues in my precinct just inter-party stuff.

I disagree with jr. I think the youtube debate does cheapen the process because it causes people to have to dress like snowmen and act outrageous to get noticed. That is not what a debate is about. A debate should be about answering everyone's questions.

Personally I think we should go back to the open debates which died out mid 19th century. Where the audience could ask questions and the candidates were open and rules didn't stifle the debate.

posted by MikeyA at 04:27 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

You mean no questions were asked in the YouTube debate? Didn't the candidates give answers in the YouTube debate? Why didn't one or more of the candidates boycott the YouTube debate like they did with the Fox News debate?

By the way, thanks to one of the questions from the YouTube debate, Hillary and Barack were still going at each other over that issue for two or three days after the debate.

And why did the same conservative knuckleheads who dismissed the YouTube debate spend a day or two or more analyzing the answers from the debate? If the format was trivial, then the candidates' answers also had to be trivial and not worth discussing.

And another thing. It's July. What percentage of the voting public is paying attention to the primary race in July? One percent? 10 percent? The YouTube format is about the most entertaining debate yet, and news programs like entertainment.

And if the Republicans don't hold one, then the Democrats will somehow consider this whole thing a positive for the Democrats.

Since the Republican YouTube debate is planned for September, I predict the Republicans will eventually change their mind and participate in their version. I also predict that the Democrats eventually agree to a Fox News debate.

"Where the audience could ask questions and the candidates were open and rules didn't stifle the debate."

Since we're not likely to go back to the open debates of the mid-19th century, which debate thus far has come closest to those open debates of the past? Would it be the YouTube debate?

posted by jr at 07:47 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

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