Significant "Debate" Tonight

cross posted at

While there has been alot of news of Democrats refusing to take part in debates on Fox, tonight's online debate on Iraq, sponsored by, will be "attended" by all of the Democratic contenders (save Gravel, if you want to call him a contender).

The Boston Globe has an excellent article.

While this event may slip under the radar of all but the most obsessed, the event is significant in a number of respects:

  1. The subject matter is focused on the Iraq war.
  2. It's the first ever live, national event of its kind where questions are answered in real time.
  3. Questions come entirely from the listeners who are, in this case, also highly active citizens who can make a difference "on the ground" in campaigns.
  4. The audience votes on the winner. No one spin room, just 100's of living rooms where MoveOn members gather to listen, plus the internet.

While this is not a debate (MoveOn calls it a "Virtual Town Hall") because candidates will not be directly responding to one another's arguments (each candidate gives an opening statement then answers all of his/her questions at once, then hangs up), candidates who are later in the order will be in a position to respond to the answers the others give. It will be interesting to see if any are flexible and adept enough to do so.

Debates do test ones ability to respond extemporaneously, and the live, phone-in method will do what on-line "debates" via keyboard cannot (who can even know if the candidate is the one typing?).

Future MoveOn "Town Halls" will cover health care and energy.

Tags: 2008 Democratic primary, debates, Iraq, (all tags)



Re: Significant "Debate" Tonight

I'll evaluate the "debating" at debatescoop and would welcome comments here or there.


by demondeac 2007-04-10 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Significant "Debate" Tonight
What time is the event?
Maybe I am just dense, but I couldn't find the time on the website.
by LandStander 2007-04-10 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Significant "Debate" Tonight

You can watch it by going to a MoveOn house party.

by clarkent 2007-04-10 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Significant "Debate" Tonight

I'm off to dinner and a friend's house party to watch and talk!

by philgoblue 2007-04-10 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Significant "Debate" Tonight

7pm. On Air America, too.

by demondeac 2007-04-10 01:07PM | 0 recs


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