Tuesday, November 27, 2007
One Day to Go...

The clock is ticking. As the level of anticipation for tomorrow night's CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential Debate increases, so does the volume of the discussion among those of us (we've been called a "cabal") going over possible questions inside the fortress-like CNN Election Express bus. Some of the submissions are near shoo-ins while others are still up in the air and may wind up being game time decisions.

Anderson will arrive at the bus shortly and has a busy night ahead of him. In addition to preparing for the debate, he also will be anchoring tonight's 360 broadcast from here in St. Pete. He'll be taking you inside the debate hall as well as showing you more of the questions that were submitted. Meantime, the candidates and their teams are descending on the area as slowly, but surely, the eyes of Republicans everywhere focus on the west coast of Florida.

-By 360 Associate Producer Jack Gray
Posted By CNNBLOG: 3:50 PM ET
I watch I watched the cnn youtube debate last time. These debates are not muchmore than soundbites, but they gdo get younger viewers who never think about politics at least more involved. Im watching with friends, but Im the most excited . Im not expecting miracles though.
Posted By Riley - Exeter Ma. : 4:33 PM ET
Im glad Republican candidates aren't afraid to to go off script and answer real questions. Oh wait - they probably have scripted answers.
Posted By Bob L -Tampa Fla. : 4:36 PM ET
The trouble with these debates is that they are nothing but quasi press conferences with candidates only given time to make short quips. The winner is the one with the wittiest repartee. Did I spell that right?
Posted By dawn , bar harbor , me. : 4:39 PM ET
How about instead of having this endless string of presidential forums, there was one evening with ten 20 minute one-on-one actual debates between the candidates?

How's that for 'groundbreaking' and 'new'?
Posted By Steve - Peoria, IL : 4:41 PM ET
Hi Anderson-

I m going to the debate and hope to at least learn where each of these candidates stands on what matters to me. I just began voting a couple years ago locally. This is my first Presidential election . I can't understand why it's so negative against one another. Why is the office of President so desirable when once you get in , the public just rips you to shreds no matter what you do. See y'all tonight .
Posted By cammie mccormick, USF : 4:44 PM ET
We'll be watching here in New Hampshire!
Posted By allynh : 4:50 PM ET
I hope this debate is different but Im not holding my breath. Why? They're all too rehearsed. If you had a staff of 20 telling you what to do, you'd be a great speaker too.
Posted By Thomas B, Providence RI : 4:55 PM ET
Since these debates are slightly more interesting than your average episode of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire ", I suggest instead of continuing the present format, let's liven it up and play it like a game show. You could ask questions like "What percentage of America's children don't have health insurance?" Hands on the buzzers, please...
Posted By tami t. - lexington, ky. : 4:58 PM ET
Notching up the entertainment value to keep peoples' attention is fine by me, but asking questions thru a snowman?

Then again, it's not like we get straight answers when we sit down for an honest conversation with these candidates. Maybe the snowman's on to something.
Posted By neil, new york, new york : 5:01 PM ET
Hi Anderson ! Don't worry , I don't think it's possible to let the public vote for which videos make the cut. After all, you might get 10million people stuffing the ballot box for a video and that wouldn't represent a cross section. On the other hand, you know when you vote in a on line poll, it prevents you from voting again from the same computer...? maybe you could work it out like that.
Posted By renee q. , charleston, sc. : 5:06 PM ET
The first u-tube session was an interesting change in the debate format. Of course, it's not a real debate but regardless it still gives us the opportunity to see through these people and get an idea of who they really are.
Posted By josh, gainesville, fl. : 5:08 PM ET
Anderson - I think politicians forget that the people are their boss, not the other way around. They need to answer to us, no matter how "Twilight Zone" the question may be. Id say to the candidates, step up to the plate and be honest- that's what we want.
Posted By Sheila S, Waltham Ct. : 5:20 PM ET
Hi Jack, remember, there are still many undecided voters out there so not only are the eyes of Republicans focused on the west coast of Florida, I know quite a few Democrats and Independents who look forward to the debate as well. After all, we want to hear all sides, right? Voters everywhere should garner as much knowledge as they can about all candidates, whatever their political affiliation, where they stand on the issues and their approaches to solving domestic and international problems. Hopefully, these debates will be a bridge to that knowledge to help us make informed, independent decisions for what seems to be the most important presidential election in recent history.


Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, Washington : 5:29 PM ET
There's so many debates out there, even political junkies are tuning them out. Even though there's a gimmicky aspect to the you tube format, it's still more interesting than the old style debates.
Posted By Melissa A , Dover De. : 5:32 PM ET
I don't think anyone has to worry about Anderson doing a brilliant job tomorrow night; but it will be interesting to see him interact with the GOP candidates. I just hope no one swears at him this time!

Anderson should do what he did during the last You Tube debate and try to keep the candidates on topic. Although Wolf did a wonderful job with the Democratic debate, the candidates were rude to him and did not respect the so-called "honor system" Wolf tried to implement when they responded to the questions. Something tells me the "honor system" will not work with this bunch either. If there are any yes or no questions tomorrow, Anderson should do what Wolf did when they tried to drag out their answers; remind them that it is a yes or no question. I have no problem with that.

I hope that Ron Paul will be given ample opportunity to respond to questions and challenge the other candidates.

Good luck Anderson!
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 5:35 PM ET
Looking forward to Anderson's newest moderating chore and anticipating a lot of action.

While I doubt that asking candidates questions in video format will have much impact on the election, anything that gives citizens- especially 18-to25 year olds who usually don't bother to participate- a reason to get excited about the process is a good thing.
Posted By Sandor, San Pedro ,Ca. : 5:35 PM ET
I think the youtube video debate is a wonderful and creative way for everyday Americans to engage the Presidential hopefuls. The questions for the Democratic candidates were well thought out and the kind of questions that regular citizens and not seasoned journalists want to ask.
Posted By lacey shiroff, portland, or. : 5:39 PM ET
Anderson did a great job keeping the Democratic candidates in line and on topic during the last debate. Can we expect a "Mike Gravel screaming at AC meltdown" from one of the Republican candidates as well?
Posted By Fay, Vacaville, CA : 5:44 PM ET
It's not so much that I worry about Americans asking stupid questions (though Im sure they will), or that Americans in general are stupid (though many are). What I worry about is CNN picking the questions again. Yes, Im one of those who thinks they're liberally biased.
Posted By Laura - Tulsa, OK : 5:46 PM ET
Anderson , I think you've got a tough job to do. These aren't random questions on youtube. They are reviewed and selected by you and your producers. The youtube style doesn't add or detract from the substance of the debate. The candidates will have to answer questions whether it's in a town hall in Nebraska or a tv studio in New York or live on cnn.
Posted By William J, Dallas, Tx. : 5:50 PM ET
I don't mind a little humor and flashy videos with my politics. Unfortunately their isn't much substance in debates, since the candidates know that the only goal of the debate is to repeat your campaign points and not make any quotable mistakes.
Posted By karen andersen, klamath falls, or. : 5:54 PM ET
Anderson :We all know every question is heavily screened by cnn. I couldnt care less who becomes next President. But if a candidate can't answer a question from an 18 yr. old on the spot then get him off the stage!

No geek on Youtube is going to throw a campaign off whack. But if they can't handle some geek on Youtube how are they going to handle terrorists and other threats and enemies of our nation??
Posted By George D. - Houston, Tx. : 6:03 PM ET
I see a problem that is enhanced by events like this. We focus too much on the personality of these candidates and not enough on substantive concerns. And sorry, but the media is good at trivializing things that way.
Posted By Barry S , Janesville, WI : 6:06 PM ET
Hey...I have an idea...instead of hounding these candidates to get them to answer the question why not give Anderson a tazer and if they don't give what we deem as a right answer then he can let them have a quick ZAP!! LOL Now THAT would get them to answer honestly and with a quickness!! LOL And it would be quite entertaining as well!! LOL

I am looking forward to these debates! They were GREAT last time! Just keep 'em on their toes Anderson!! LOL

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 6:09 PM ET
Do you really think cnn will allow any questions about bettering America such as the Fair Tax or the national sales tax ? No they will stick to "what can government do for me" by the Joe Six-Pack crowd.
Posted By aj huntington ny : 6:12 PM ET
Anderson you seem neutral, but these aren't ordinary Americans asking questions of import; these are people asking the requisite tired, liberal questions about homosexuality and socialized medicine so that they can make a name on-line for themselves and turn that recognition (snowman, anyone?) into a "career". The 'cute' or 'funny' videos aren't even close to being 'cute' or 'funny'. We are turning into a childish society that will eventually play into the hands of the Progressives or socialists.
Posted By Michael J, Cheyenne, Wy : 6:17 PM ET
I guess it is only a coincidence that the debate is in Florida while the rest of the country goes into deep freeze.

Anyway, the family room is reserved for the Republican UTube debate tomorrow night; we look forward to the unique format CNN brings to the debate process. Many say the UTube debates are a lark, but hey, people (voters) are watching and talking about what they want in the next president! What a novel idea for Americans.

Furthermore, the CNN secret plotters or cabal must feel like they are carrying Top Secret information from the presidential candidates. I look forward to when the Democratic, Republican, and Independent (if there is one) meet on the Presidential UTube debate for the grand finale.

Okay, maybe this is becoming "politainment" but whatever works to get the message out to Americans about the agendas of the candidates is worth watching. It has become a breath of fresh air in the boring, stale, and canned atmosphere of most debates.

My family and I are ready for the CNN ride tomorrow night!
Posted By Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 6:18 PM ET
I look forward to hearing the Republican candidates because they represent average everyday Americans . Come to my community and see them working hard, raising their families with sound moral principles and American values. The people who vote for Democrats are NOT average everyday Americans but freeloaders, underachievers, intellectual elitists, Marxists, hypocritical snobs (think Teresa Heinz Kerry). It's true there are rich Republicans, but most billionaires are liberals who want to control the party and control Americans . I hope the candidates can convey that message and continue to uphold the original Reagan principles.
Posted By cullan j, paradise valley, az. : 6:25 PM ET
Just like the Dem. debate, producers at cnn have the same questions they have always asked... they'll sift thru 3,000 videos to find the ones that match what they were going to ask in the first place! And I guarantee that every question they pick will either be mean, loaded, unfair, stupid or biased in some form in favor of the left wing. DO NOT expect fairness.
Posted By Jay N, Burlington Vt. : 6:29 PM ET
The Youtube debates with questions from a snowman is a most cheesy and demeaning approach for evaluating candidates to become President of the United States. Questions from an audience are acceptable, but let's keep this professional and no stupid questions about boxers or briefs.
Posted By xio, philadelphia, pa. : 6:38 PM ET
Why do you even call them debates?

Reality TV, yes. Debates? Hardly.

Talk about dumbing down America. Is this what it takes to get the dull-witted involved. If it is, I say we try not to encourage them to vote.
Posted By Jonesy, Sacramento, CA : 6:41 PM ET
until we have actual debates - you know involving a limited number of topics, where candidates hold forth and rebut - we will not have anything other than a newly packaged version of the spin cycle
Posted By ron m, west chicago, ill. : 6:45 PM ET
I hope that Anderson can take us inside your cool bus in addition to the hall where the debate will be taking place. The debate tomorrow should be interesting.
Posted By pamina : 7:00 PM ET
Anderson, you're sooooo good at live TV. OK fangirl moment over. . Im watching the debates Wed. For the most part im impressed but I think it gets a little corny with people playing guitar and people making faces in the background. I guess tho having a little humor in a presidential debate isn't all bad :)
Posted By Margaret S, Boston, Ma. : 7:03 PM ET
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