July 23rd, 2007
10:55 PM ET
7 years ago

Dean: Debate style a success

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called Monday's presidential debate a success and predicted the format that allows voters to directly ask candidates questions through the use of video technology as the wave of the future.

"I think is was. One hundred percent homerun," Dean said.

The former Vermont governor, who many considered a pioneer in using the Internet for political purposes, said one of the best things about the debate was the type of questions people asked and the fact it reached out to the young electorate.

"This is one of the best things that has happened since I have been chairman," he said about the debate that was the first DNC sanctioned event of the 2008 presidential election season.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Diane D., Neenah, WI

    I tuned in to the debate just because of the YouTube format. I had heard about it on CNN Sirius radio network and made it a point to be in front of my TV at the appointed time. The people of the US have needed a voice. Using technology in this way gives them a voice and involves everybody. My 7th grader even sat down and watched the debate with me. Do you think she would have done that with a traditional debate? This is an exciting time for technology. I am glad that it can be used in a way to help empower the people of the United States to make it a better place for ALL of us to live.

    July 23, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Brenna, Bella Vista, AR

    I enjoyed this debate format. A wide range of issues were addressed without any particular slant. It was debate for the people by the people rather than an academic exercise. However, it was NOT administerly fairly with time distribution favoring Edwards, Clinton and Obama. I would have liked more response from different candidates on some of the major questions. Hopefully this format will reach more of the general public and get them to the ballot boxes in '08.

    July 23, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  3. Sharon B. Sacramento CA

    I have always admired the news I got from CNN and Anderson Cooper....Now I am totally DISGUSTED WITH CNN. I feel they owe Mike Gravel a least a half hour of prime time to answer all the questions especially those that were addressed to ALL THE CANDIDATES that he never got to answer. I very disgusted and disapointed!! Even if I wasnt voting for any of the underdogs...I as a American citizen consider this very unfair converage of one the most important issues facing us right now!!! I didnt think CNN would be like the other news stations and choose our candidates for us. I think come this election we are going to get the same old coporate sponsered government!!!!!! America is not "by the people and for the people" anymore..its "by the coporations and for the coporations"!

    July 23, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. Allison, New York, NY

    I agree that this format was terrific, and hope that there will be more debates in which the public can question candidates in the future. Additionally, I thought it was great that the moderator occassionally asked audience members whose questions had been included, whether or not they felt the candidates had addressed their concerns.

    However, I must agree with Brenna that the three frontrunners received a disproportionate amount of air time. I was very interested in what the other candidates had to say, but unfortunately, they rarely had an opportunity to speak. It also seemed that the lesser known candidates did not have a chance to weigh in on some of the most pertinent questions. In the future debates, I believe all the candidates should have a chance to address each question.

    July 24, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  5. Allison, New York, NY

    Not sure why my comment was added and then removed. In any case, I thought the format was terrific, but agree that there was an appalling disparity with regards to the time that each candidate was allowed to speak. I was primarily interested in hearing the view of the candidates who've received less attention, but unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to hear very much from them. I hope
    CNN will remedy this in the future.

    July 24, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. Ruby, SLC UT

    Excellent idea CNN! The biggest problem facing the U.S. today is that "leaders" are completely out of touch with the very citizens they represent. This debate format forced not only the candidates, but also the public to see the real people asking real questions. I sincerely hope to see far more of this in the future.

    July 24, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  7. Jenna, New York, NY

    I thought the format allowed for too many "personal" questions: e.g., "Do you personally send your kids to private schools or public schools?", "What is your personal mode of transportation?", "Would you personally be willing to work on minimum wage?", "How did you, personally, teach your kids about sex?", etc. These personal questions were largely fluff and should not have been chosen at the expense of more substantive questions about what the candidates are planning to do as President, policy-wise. Obama hit the nail right on the head when he pointed out that whether he personally sends his kids to public school is unimportant; the important question is what does he plan to do to make sure that *all* Americans are able to send their kids to good public schools. Whether a candidate, personally, is willing to work on minimum wage is unimportant; what is important is that most Americans *can't* afford to live on minimum wage without taking on a second job, because they don't have "Mitt Romney money." Next time, trim down the number of personal questions, which are better fitted for tabloids than for a substantive debate.

    July 24, 2007 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  8. Lenny Modelowitz, San Leandro, CA

    I had my doubts about whether the You Tube format of posing questions to the candidates would be successful. I believe it was. Still, many of the candidates avoided directly answering the questions and instead used the time to espouse their particular views on one matter or another. Sometimes I wish the debate moderator would simply tell the candidates to answer the question, cutting them off, if necessary. I would like to see more of this kind of debate.

    July 24, 2007 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  9. Laura, Los Angeles, CA

    After watching all the debates on your network so far, I am extremely disappointed that you direct so many questions to Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, to the point of excluding the other candidates. The ratio of questions and follow up to those three compared to the others is completly up to CNN and the moderator, and at times the debates are so completely focused on those three that it is insulting to the others. Believe it or not, we want to hear from more than just the front runners, and your debates should be fair. I don't feel the coverage and opportunity to speak are balanced.

    July 24, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  10. Jarrod- Santa Rosa, CA

    I agree, especially when the youtube submissions specifically add before or after their question, to directly answer the question and not dance around it. It's a lot harder to dance around the question when people are watching and listening to the candidates to see if they do.

    I also loved how Anderson Cooper reminded the candidates to answer the original question- and it really through them off-guard. I can't wait to see the Republican debates- those weasels will try to avoid almost every single decent question.

    July 24, 2007 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  11. Anonymous

    When I tuned into the debate it didn't take long for me to change the channel when the topic of discussion was reparations for African Americans. What a stupid and racist driven subject. Shame on CNN for waisting peoples time.

    July 24, 2007 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  12. Jeff, Surrey, BC

    When asked if he thought the debate format was a success, Howard Dean replied "BYEEAAAH!"

    July 24, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. Liz K, Worcester MA

    I am 21 years old and entering my final year of college. I voted in the last presidential election, but based it only on media coverage of the candidates' positions never having the patience to sit through an entire debate of candidates dodging questions with answers that are far from straighforward to questions that are confusing themselves. Often I've started watching but turned it off when the entire debate was a bunch of fluff and the candidates never actually said anything.

    Finally I watched a debate begining to end and the after coverage and additional interviews because the questions that were asked are the actual questions I want to ask. What are you going to do about people without health insurance who are sick? What are you going to do with "No Child Left Behind"? Public or private schools? What's the next step to Iraq? When I graduate college am I going to have a job? And a place to live?

    Though some candidates did give round about answers and some never got a chance to answer a question, I came away more informed than I've ever been before. Yes there may be some flaws to work out but bravo to CNN and YouTube. You at least got this voter excited about November 2008 and all that leads to it.

    July 24, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  14. Tricia Bauer, West Redding, CT

    Last night's debate was totally engaging. The personalized questions were good ones, more poignant when they were personalized. When the candidates didn't answer directly and tried to promote a different agenda or change focus, their aversion and their political skills became more obvious than usual. When a cancer victim takes off her wig in front of the world to make a point, the candidate had better be brave enough to answer a question truthfully.

    July 24, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  15. Carl, Charlotte North Carolina

    The YouTube Debate was a success for the reasons already stated in prior postings by other viewers. Although the format was a success, I still appreciate the insight and questions of professional journalist and analyst. I can understand how some viewers may not appreciate CNN's format and presentation of new; nevertheless, Anderson Cooper is a refreshing wind to CNN's format. To all the viewers of this posting, I emplore you to watch Anderson Cooper and then watch his counterparts on other stations and you will see what I see.

    July 24, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Joe Sapere Atlanta, GA

    Assuming that we can agree this format of debate for presidential candidates was a successful one. Can we expect a YouTube REPUBLICAN presidential candidate debate?

    I think the Republican candidates have more to answer to the American public for than the Dems do, considering their support for Bush and his policies.

    I think this format (assuming CNN gatekeepers allow it) would force Republican candidates to answer questions directly from people affected by the policies and actions of the administration that they've supported over the last 6 1/2 years.

    July 24, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. DJ, Los Angeles

    The format itself was a success and revolutionized the debate format.

    However I have to agree with Sharon B. that CNN did a very poor job of providing equal time for each candidate.

    Gravel was only allowed to speak a token amount of time, in comparison to the top 3 candidates.

    Worse is how CNN chose to use in Gravel's words a "set-up" question which attempted to portray him in a negative light. Then one of the Political Analysts on CNN had the nerve to bash him as being angry and defensive. Well maybe is the coverage was not so blantantly biased, Gravel would not be angry to begin with.

    So I hope CNN and Anderson Cooper tries to give fair coverage and equal time for EACH candidate in future debates.

    July 24, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Tom Dedham, Mass

    The Republicans get a whack at this cool approach in September.

    Rumor going around that the questions were posted hours before the debate so the debaters had a heads up, BS?

    July 25, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |