New CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate Set In Florida
Officials from CNN and YouTube today announced details of their partnership in presenting two presidential debates this year -- including a Republican candidates debate planned in Florida for Sept. 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Debate organizers didn't reveal details about which sites in Florida may be under consideration, but a CNN official did say that the delay in naming a specific site had nothing to do with any hesitancy by Republican candidates over the format -- which features questions mostly submitted by YouTube users.
Calling it the "first-ever voter-generated presidential debates," CNN and YouTube officials described an area on YouTube where users can submit questions for review by CNN producers. Organizers expect host Anderson Cooper to present anywhere from 20 to 30 different clips to the candidates, in which users ask direct questions of those in the debate (a selection of possible questions is viewable here on YouTube's political blog)
While users will be able to see all the questions uploaded for the debate, organizers will not reveal their selection process to the public for fear of tipping their hand to the candidates.
Those submitting questions must keep them under 30 seconds, with no profanity and are advised to be original, ask a direct question, provide context and provide name and hometown. All in under 30 seconds.
The Democratic debate, scheduled July 23 at the Citadel in South Carolina, will give Floridians a sneak preview of what to expect in September. And though some wonder if the process won't shut a lot of tech-ignorant folks out of the process, organizers noted that previous town hall-style debates in which people asked questions at the event itself limited potential questions to people in the room.
"I think in an odd way, this is the most Democratic of all possible structures," said Dave Bohrman, Washington D.C. bureau chief for CNN. "I mean everyone in the country at this moment has a chance of having a question asked of someone who very possibly be the next president."
Well, as long as you have some way of filming yourself and uploading that video content to YouTube.
Click here to see a sample: