U.S. Presidential Candidates To Debate Online

Dennis Faas's picture

In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon made history by participating in the first televised presidential debates. Now, today's presidential candidates are set to make history once again.

The Huffington Post -- a political blog run by Arianna Huffington -- is teaming up with Yahoo and Slate Magazine to host the first-ever online presidential debates.

The debates will take place after Labor Day -- with one for the Republican candidates and another for the Democrats. PBS host Charlie Rose will moderate the proceedings.

Prospective voters will be able to submit questions for the candidates, and they can share their opinions via blogs -- in real-time -- as the debates are happening.

"It was clear to me," Huffington explained, "[that] the 2008 campaign was going to be dominated by what's happening on line -- new technologies, new media like never before."

These online debates are Huffington's brainchild. In fact, she was the one responsible for contacting Charlie Rose and Slate editor Jacob Weisberg. From there, Yahoo got into the act and agreed to host.

Past debates have been both televised and put on the web, but these Internet-exclusive debates are supposed to be "substantively different." However, no real details have surfaced yet outlining exactly what changes are going to be made for this new online format.

Here's what is known: According to an AP (Associated Pressed) release, "Candidates will be able to participate from far-flung locations, speaking and interacting with one another before separate video cameras. The video will also appear on the Slate and Huffington Post Web sites." (Source: yahoo.com)

Jackson West, a writer for NewTeeVee.com, isn't too optimistic. "I'd say that the event will end up just as scripted and manicured as a regular television debate," he predicted when the first set of rumors about this venture surfaced a few months ago. (Source: newteevee.com)

Then again, with the unpredictable Howard Dean scheduled to introduce the Democratic side of the debate, there may be more excitement than originally anticipated. (Source: yahoo.com)

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