The rescheduled, off-again, on-again CNN/YouTube Republican Debate is eight candidates and 4,927 submissions strong (close to double the 2,989 questions entered into the Democrat’s fray) and only moments away from show time.

 

### CNN’s Anderson Cooper will again don his snow white moderator’s cap and ask the candidates hopefully pointed questions that he and a crew of network staffers have carefully culled from the hours of video entrants. To the appeasement of the Republican presidential hopefuls involved, and to add some legitimacy to the venue, CNN is promising no liberal quips or cheapshots. The network’s Washing bureau chief explains:

“We’re looking for a serious debate, a Republican debate,” David Bohrman added. “We’re going to weed out the obvious sort of Democratic gotcha grenades that are there to just be disruptive. The campaigns were all nervous that there’d be this leftist Web Democratic sense of the questions, and we’re going to weed that part out.”

Borhman is no doubt trying to elevate the event’s status onto a more serious plane. Before last July’s Democratic debate, he explained, “This is the first time that online video gets a seat on the table to help elect a president…And we don’t want to let it fall on its face.” While videos of snowmen didn’t exactly ruin the event, it did take away some of its gravity. 

So, what to expect this time besides no snowmen? Well, last time I hoped for the following:

“Smart, poignant questions that require smart thoughtful answers.  YouTube could use some political discourse that cuts past the haircuts, Sopranos spoofs, and Macaca moments, and our political process needs something disruptive if we’re going to enact any significant change.”

But instead we got something that was blanketed in generalities and didn’t live up to the hype.  So this time, I’m not expecting much else than to see some entertaining videos splice up the banality of your standard debate filled with your normal campaign platitudes. 

Unless, of course, I decide to play Daily Kos’ ‘Republican YouTube Debate Drinking Game.’ Then I expect to get drunk.

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