Some Republican bloggers have a savethedebate.com site and petition, aimed at, well, saving the YouTube/CNN debate.
By way of a very quick, scattered reaction, a few things: While folks highlight the YouTube aspect of it — which certainly makes it more entertaining TV — CNN is still an integral part. The idea that Monday night’s debate was a revolutionary way for real Americans to have access to the Democratic candidates seems a bit silly to me. First of all, people seem to forget the CNN role here — they’re picking the questions. It makes the whole YouTube aspect seem to be a little more of a CNN ratings gimic than not. Also, the idea that Rudy or Romney or whoever else decides to skip a CNN/YouTube debate is “afraid” of answering real questions seems ridiculous. Romney seems to do his “Ask Mitt Anything” forums every other day or so. They’re all taking questions on the stump — from the brilliant to the bizarre — and holding town halls. The mainstream media will do town halls with the general-election candidates — and haven’t we already had real questions from real people during a primary debate or two already?
And yes, I think snowmen are bit demeaning when we’re talking about the leader of the free world here — the commander-in-chief of a country at war. “Leadership” isn’t going to a CNN/YouTube debate.
You know what petition I’d like to see? One encouraging Republican candidates to never participate in another event with Chris Matthews (he’s co-moderator of those Lance Armstrong MSNBC forums that were announced this week).