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GOP Frightened Of YouTube - Or Of The Great Unwashed American People?

| 29 Comments

Mitt Romney has announced that he won't participate in the GOP version of the YouTube debate, stating that "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," Guliani is just overscheduled.

Both of them are lame. No one gets to be a national presidential candidate without a lot of campaigns that involved kissing babies, riding on ponies, (in Rudy's case, dressing in drag) and doing a lot of other things that many people might view as 'beneath their dignity'.

The American people don't all wear $2,000 suits and carry briefing books. That doesn't mean a presidential candidate can duck their questions.

This is a B.S. decision that will cost both of them - and should. If they can't answer unplanned - and sometimes off-the-wall - questions from the people who they want to vote for them, they don't deserve the office.

29 Comments

Marc,
While I agree the "American" people don't carry $2K anything, suits or briefing books, they are also not as stupid/prejudiced as the idiots asking questions of the Dems on youtube.
Who decides which braindead jerkoff's question is part of the "show"?
As of today, this RR Republican will go along with Australian novelist, Stephen Birmingham's, description of HRC, "The U.S.S. Hillary Clinton (named after "the most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States"). From here
I'm assuming you've, somehow, found the time to read this more than enjoyable trilogy (more to come I would hope).
Mike
BTW, how could any serious candidate for President so demean themselves? Probably my last vote for President and I'm going with an Aussie novelists description? Think I'll just not vote that line.

Yawn

What I meant was the office of the presidency should not be reduced to the lowest common denominator. American society is fast becoming awash in pop culture. The world is a serious place, the fate thereof should not left to people who can't find south africa on a map. Populism is a for retards.

The seaman can not navigate a storm.

A loader can not command a brigade.

Life is short, ugly and violent...but we Americans are sheltered and spoiled.

Does this mean I think most people are not qualified to make a truely informed decision?

Yep.

I couldn't agree more with Armed Liberal on this.

Who do these jerks think they are, proud Coriolanus?

It's unfortunate for the Republican party that the two candidates with impressive executive experience don't think they have to answer questions from plebs.

It's particularly foolish from Mitt Romney. He's self-disiplined to the point of being unpleasantly slick. He can't get above a low level of support, I think because he hasn't made his case with people. They don't trust him (yet).

If he really has his proclaimed asset of being a candidate you can't lay a glove on, this is when he has to use it, because he needs to connect to people. Failing to do so will just lead to him lending himself more money for a campaign that will never wind up giving him better than a respectable place finish. But if it's wise for him to avoid YouTube and the possibility of a costly mishap, then has he got the teflon quality that's supposed to be a major asset for him? If he doesn't, if he can't go into situations that other politicians might wisely avoid, confident of his ability to get the honey and not the bee stings, then I think he's kind of a fake.

"I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," Romney said earlier this week, referencing a Democratic event held in South Carolina on Monday that included a question about global warming from a snowman.

"The Presidency?" What does that mean in this context?

You're not The Presidency, Mitt Romney.

You're just a guy running for office, and currently far from the lead.

Yes the nerve of the GOP not wanting to answer the questions I want to send them while singing tiptoe through the tulips!

And other nations wonder how we select presidents, I mean really.

Re: #3 from Jerry...

"The world is a serious place, the fate thereof should not left to people who can't find south africa on a map."

I'm sorry I can't remember the source for this old quote, but it stuck in my head at the time.

George H.W. Bush: Honduras? Where the Hell is Honduras? Point to it on a map?

And if he died, Dan Quayle was next up, pity help us. When Dan Quayle came to Australia to tell us American subsidies weren't hurting Austalian farmers, even very pro-American people were honestly insulted to be talked down to by this fool.

"The world is a serious place, the fate thereof should not left to people who can't find south africa on a map. Populism is a for retards."

I think the problem is with a perverse elitism that puts the people far beneath their elected servants, and now it seems beneath even those who are merely running for office.

"I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman..."

That's not even good English. The sentence would work right if Mitt Romney said what it seem he really meant, but didn't have the nerve to say:

"I think [Mitt Romney] ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman..."

One problem, Mitt: you're not The Presidency.

#5 from ThomasJackson: "And other nations wonder how we select presidents, I mean really."

I wish I had saved a picture of the stern Easter Island face of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, done up in clown makeup during one of his election campaigns.

Countries where people who want real power have to insist on da respect like crime bosses can't have the kind of democracy we have.

In other words, this isn't a bug, it's an important feature.

They are running to be the President of all the people, even the silly ones. So yes they should answer the questions of snowmen.

PS. The Axis of Time Tril. is great reading!!!

Romney has it right. Does answering a question posed by a cartoon character makes a candidate fit to be president? Since when? Give me a break.

Does anyone ever stop and think what the electoral system that has grown up to cater to the media does to candidates? These poor saps have to answer the same inane questions day in and day out with a smile on their face. They have to constantly prostitute themselves to raise money from people that want to use them. They have to prostrate themselves before rabid, totally insane elements of their parties to get nominated. They have to come up with some idiotic gimmick on a daily basis to get noticed by the media and to get free air time. They have to submit to handlers and all kinds of other lower life forms. Physically running for President is a killer. I could go on and on.

Debates? These things are not debates. Get serious. The You Tube crap is a total joke. It takes real courage for a candidate like Romney to say it is. The questions are not questions from real people but from CNN who determined which questions made it on the air. CNN was running the show not real people. Don't kid yourself.

Sorry for the repetition before. What Mitt The Presidency Romney said annoyed me.

The line that was tickling my memory before has come to me. It's from Superman Returns (2006), in response to a monologue by Lex Luthor on the god Prometheus and the power of technology:

"Sounds great, Lex, but you're not a god."

So why not split the middle? If you want to talk directly to the voters, talk directly to the voters. If you're going to have CNN as a middleman, what's the point?

If a candidate wants to engage in a direct conversation, but doesn't fancy having a steaming pile of poo ask him when he stopped beating his wife, he can always do it himself. Invite people to make videos and send in their questions, have a staffer take a look, cherry-pick out the ones that you want to answer, and post the video on the campaign site. Then they can challenge their opponents to do the same.

Candidates won't want to answer inconvenient questions, certainly. But there's at least an element of peer pressure involved - if the voters want somebody who can look squarely into a camera and talk about an issue that puts them at a disadvantage, then doing just that will be of advantage to a candidate. If they don't, well... then we get the candidates we deserve. ;p

But at the end of the day, "boxers or briefs" doesn't enlighten the political landscape. We don't have to put our politicians up on a pedestal, but if we're talking about issues of basic courtesy, they've got as much of a right to it as the rest of us, no?

The problem isn't the snowman, it's CNN. CNN will doubtless pick YouTube silliness from a bunch of extreme wackjobs, to show just what a bunch of crazies the Pubbies truly are. If it truly was "the great unwashed" asking questions, however attired, I'd agree with AL, but this will be more like "the great unmedicated", brought to you by the apolitical paragons of objectivity at CNN.

The problem isn't the snowman, it's CNN.

Then I think it would have been good if he'd said "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from CNN."

A major blunder by Romney and Giuliani. The internet is not something you can ignore. This is the New Media, whether politicians like it or not.

The fact that they will not be on the program will diminish their electability and leave them open to an unending series of questions about their aristocratic airs. Romney should have thought before he spoke. He just looks foolish at this point. If I were Fred Thompson I would be ecstatic. This could very well hand him the nomination.

One other thing. I have spent the morning on Youtube and the video section of StumbleUpon. The reason that CNN is cozying up to Youtube and the reason why Google paid 1.6 Billion for the company is that it is the precursor to video on demand and the whole of the consumer video and corporate communications future. Romney has made himself look like a technological illiterate. Fred Thompson would probably pay to be on that program. He would see it as a perfect platform to connect with the constituency he is trying to build.

As far as Guiliani is concerned, the more you know about him the less you like. Rudy is not going to be able to take questions from the public without dealing out condescending and insensitive replies. I watched his act in NY for 8 years. Like many New Yorkers I welcomed him in the early part of his reign. Towards the end he was insufferable Saravanola. His post 9/11 behavior was commendable and I applaud him for it. But I also have nephews and Nephews-in-law that are fireman, so I have to temper that commendation.

Foobarista has it right. Spot on!

CNN will use the deniable YouTube folks (or even make their own) to ask "when have you stopped beating your wife" type of questions.

You saw the softball questions directed at Dems, the Republicans will get asked:

1. Why are Republicans Racist and why do they Hate Blacks and Latinos?
2. Why are Republicans going around murdering innocent Muslims around the world?
3. Why did GWB produce controlled demolitions of the towers and kill all those people for an excuse for War and suppressing civil liberties in the fascist police state (in other words, Moonbat 101).
4. Why do Republicans hate gays?
5. Why are Republicans waging war against innocents who just want to talk to us?

And so on.

It's not worth it ... CNN could not get away with asking those directly.

"The problem isn't the snowman, it's CNN."

#13 from J Thomas:

"Then I think it would have been good if he'd said "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from CNN.""

I think the same.

-

Re: #16 from Jim Rockford...

And if Mitt Romey is the man he's supposed to be, he should be able to make all those questions bounce off him like water off a duck's back. He should even look so good doing it he gains from every stupid setup question.

-

Anyway, this is small beer.

But I think the Republicans would be better off if one of their two proven top-performing executive candidates had shown eagerness to take this on.

#16 from Jim Rockford at 11:18 pm on Jul 29, 2007

Foobarista has it right. Spot on!

CNN will use the deniable YouTube folks (or even make their own) to ask "when have you stopped beating your wife" type of questions.

You saw the softball questions directed at Dems, the Republicans will get asked:

1. Why are Republicans Racist and why do they Hate Blacks and Latinos?
2. Why are Republicans going around murdering innocent Muslims around the world?
3. Why did GWB produce controlled demolitions of the towers and kill all those people for an excuse for War and suppressing civil liberties in the fascist police state (in other words, Moonbat 101).
4. Why do Republicans hate gays?
5. Why are Republicans waging war against innocents who just want to talk to us?

And so on.

It's not worth it ... CNN could not get away with asking those directly.
************************

And your point is that the Republicans should be afraid to address these questions? I think we should welcome the chance to answer them.

The media is to be used, not to be avoided.

The questions will be framed as "when did you stop beating your wife" ... it's forcing the Reps to play defense instead of offense.

The media, and particularly CNN, are the enemy. Any bit of populism within the Reps is to be crushed, so their preferred elitist aristos in the Dem party win.

Simple as that.

Besides, Dems ran out on Fox. Turnabout.

#19 from Jim Rockford at 3:57 am on Jul 30, 2007

The questions will be framed as "when did you stop beating your wife" ... it's forcing the Reps to play defense instead of offense.
**************************

You don't know that. Not only don't you know that but even if you did, a boycott is simply self-defeating. I don't mind playing defence, it is usually the stronger position, especially when the opponents offense is not a surprise.
__________________________

The media, and particularly CNN, are the enemy. Any bit of populism within the Reps is to be crushed, so their preferred elitist aristos in the Dem party win. Simple as that.
**************************

Well, calling CNN and the Media the enemy certainly gives them a lot of power. CNN is one of a lot of news outlets. Its rival, Fox, has been cleaning its clock for years. Sorry I don't buy the reasoning that they should inspire fear.
__________________________

Besides, Dems ran out on Fox. Turnabout.

**************************

The Dems do something stupid and we should follow suit. Not a very good policy.

TOC, would you stop screwing up page widths with that *** --- stuff? Thank you.

-

Captain Ed has a good suggestion (link):

"So what's the solution? How can we engage voters in a national forum through the New Media, while keeping the debate substantive and serious? I have a simple solution: have CNN cede the editorial/selection process to the New Media, in the form of the blogosphere."
"CNN would ask bloggers to form a committee to review the YouTube entries. Since this debate is a Republican primary event, the bloggers should probably represent that segment of the electorate -- primarily Republicans, but perhaps with independent/centrist representation as well. The committee would review all of the YouTube entries and narrow them down to around 20, through whatever process and criteria to which these bloggers agree. They would also agree to the order in which the questions would be asked."

The candidates should not have to be dragged towards ideas like this, they should be innovating and actively promoting such ideas.

David -

Actually, I think it was the url in the very first comment that blew up the page. Bad omen.

TOC is guilty of nothing more than his peculiar quotation style.

It wouldn't hurt folk to read the quick tips under "Post a Comment". If you did you wouldn't have to scroll over to read what I just wrote. Wasn't even worth it, was it?

Actually, the **'s in TOC's posts do bust the columns...I'll fix before bed.

TOC - can you limit yourself to 10 or 15 asterisks?

A.L.

Is it worse to be asked a question by a snowman than it is by Chris Matthews?

The American people don't all wear $2,000 suits and carry briefing books.

No, but neither do most of them act like rejects from the Jerry Springer Show. There have probably been more opportunities for ordinary people to ask questions of the presidential contenders in this race (Q&A’s at debates and the dozens if not hundreds of campaign stops,; emails, phone calls, and letters to the campaigns; blogger conferences, talk radio, etc.) then there have been in any other presidential election in my memory. At some point though you cross the line from ordinary people getting their say such as a Town Hall meeting to turning into a farce that degrades the process by treating it like a form of entertainment rather than the selection of our next president.

Maybe the line has been crossed so many times that we’ve become desensitized to it but at some point someone has to say “no” and I’m glad at least one of the front runners had to guts to say it.

Thorley,

Hear Hear!

#23 from Armed Liberal at 6:46 am on Jul 30, 2007

Actually, the **'s in TOC's posts do bust the columns...I'll fix before bed.

TOC - can you limit yourself to 10 or 15 asterisks?

A.L.

*********

Yes, my apologies.

#24 from Rand Simberg at 3:01 pm on Jul 30, 2007

Is it worse to be asked a question by a snowman than it is by Chris Matthews?

The answer to this question is a supernatural mystery, well beyond the ken of mere mortals.

Re: #27 from TOC... thanks. :)

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