The YouTube Debates

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I think the YouTube debates were a success because they presented a new and interesting format for political discussion which relies on public participation ["Debates Stir Debate on Their Value,"].

However, as unique and original as some of the questions were I think many important issues were still ignored or overlooked in favor of the typical talking points. This debate format would have been the perfect place to raise questions that are very important to the country but which may not receive ongoing attention from the mainstream media. For example, I was hoping to hear the candidates address the issue of global poverty. Global poverty is at the heart of many of the hotly disputed issues of this campaign, including immigration, terrorism and national security but it has received little to no attention in the current campaign.

Andrea Wood

Seattle , Wash.  

I think it's pretty clear to anyone who watched the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate that Hilary Clinton won without question. She demanded the attention of the audience, having the strongest stage presence and the most thought-out and well-articulated responses. Yet, while I believe Senator Clinton won this debate and is rightfully the undisputed frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, I do have some reservations about her candidacy. Trying so hard to combat the image of a "soft woman" candidate, I think, if elected president, she will be prone to overcompensating, choosing militaristic responses to issues requiring a diplomatic response in order to present a tough image. To date, the Iraq War has cost over $340 billion dollars, money which could have been spent much more wisely and with better end results. The Borgen Project estimates, for example, that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion annually would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide. The last thing this nation needs is to get embroiled in another futile military conflict. If I could trust that Senator Clinton would follow her own intellect as president, I would absolutely have no qualms about casting my vote in her favor. At the moment, however, I have a lingering fear about her political maneuvering.

Elayna Hecker-Thompson

Via e-mail