Well it looks like Republicans will be participating in a CNN/YouTube debate after all. The event is now set for Nov. 28 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The campaigns of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and others have signed on for the event. Mitt Romney has still not said whether he will participate. The GOP postponed their YouTube debate for September fearing a silly spectacle such as that recently held by Democrats.
While the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate may have given presidential debates a new twist, it was mainly a publicity stunt. The broadcast had moments of emotionalism and frivolity more worthy of "America's Funniest Home Videos" than a presidential debate. Its gimmicky format almost became a clown show.
Instead of a discussion about Second Amendment Rights, we had a guy holding "his baby" - an assault rifle. In place of a legitimate question about Iraq, we got an emotional father of a fallen soldier insisting we withdraw so that he might not lose another son. And rather than a thoughtful inquiry about "gay rights," we had two homosexuals asking why they cannot marry. Romney observed, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."
Romney has a point. Has the public become so in need of amusement that we can no longer are willing to sit through an objective presentation of each candidate's views? Maybe so. Eventually, Republicans must come to terms with the new medium.