I’ve actually found the CNN/YouTube Debate to be an interesting step forward in terms of citizen participation in the debates process. To be certain, the weirder YouTube questions were selected out by CNN, but the ones that made it through were pretty interesting. I also think my wife’s Favorite Reporter (Anderson Cooper) did a pretty fair job in putting pressure on the candidates to Answer the Damn Question (!), though he wasn’t entirely successful. Check out the video of the debate here.
What’s gotten less attention in this CNN/YouTube debate buzz are some of the response videos posted by the candidates themselves. This video, for example, is a response by the Edwards campaign to “HairGate”:
Now I could personally give a $#@!^& about whether or not John Edwards received a $400 haircut. He’s rich, and a $400 haircut to him is nothing. And it’s not like there’s anything wrong with being rich. Where Republicans have gotten this idea that liberals aren’t allowed to be rich and talk about poverty, I don’t understand. What, only poor people can talk about poverty now? I think it fundamentally conflicts with their ideas that Liberal Democrats are all Socialists, and that ipso facto a rich Democrat is an oxymoron. Understand – Edwards isn’t saying everyone’s wealth should be equal. He’s just saying that we are wealthy enough as a country to work together to ensure that every American has access to healthcare, enough to eat and a warm bed to sleep in at night. It doesn’t mean that no one will be wealthy anymore – just that the poorest of the poor won’t be neglected and treated as subhuman by society. Is that a goal or a concept that’s so difficult to get behind?
<AHEM> But I digress…
Anyway, I thought Edwards’ response video manages to be humorous while turning the conversation back to topics that really matter. And in the world of Web 2.0 Politics, that’s an important skill to have. Obama Girl, Hot4Hil and the Obama “1984” ad are just fluff or old media retreads. At any rate, the Hair video is certainly miles ahead of the Hillary Sopranos video: