Home YouTube Planning a Third Presidential Debate

YouTube Planning a Third Presidential Debate

Last July’s Democratic CNN-YouTube debate was mostly well received (though November’s Republican follow up was met with less critical acclaim). This fall, Google and YouTube hope to replicate that success with a third presidential debate to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The “Presidential Forum” is sponsored by Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and will take place September 18, 2008. No media partner has been announced.

By that time, both parties will have their nominees sorted, which means that unlike the earlier CNN-YouTube debates there will be fewer participants and both major US political parties will be on stage at once. In addition to allowing users to submit questions to candidates, as in the first YouTube debates, Google hinted at plans to leverage its video property for additional interactivity.

“We see this as far more than a one day gathering. We’ll combine an online discussion with a real-time forum, and using Google’s technologies and YouTube’s video platform, voters will have the opportunity to learn about the candidates and to raise the issues they think are more important for America’s future both before and after the New Orleans forum,” said David Drummond, a Senior VP at Google in a video introduction (embedded below).

One thing we would love to see Google do with the second debate, is to allow users to self moderate and decide which questions make it to air. In the previous YouTube debates, a set of moderators at CNN and YouTube chose the final questions from among those submitted.

As TechPresident notes, the Commission on Presidential Debates has also announced a set of presidential debates, the second of which will be held in a “town hall” style format and will solicit questions via the Internet. The Internet has clearly removed a level of separation between candidates and the public and made it easier for people to ask questions directly of those running for president. Despite the occasional silliness that seeped through to the last YouTube debate, that is certainly a good thing.

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