Presidential Debates Move Online

    April 23, 2007

Presidential hopefuls vying for the Whitehouse will have a new opportunity to reach voters.

Yahoo, The Huffington Post and Slate have announced plans to host two online debates during the 2008 campaign.

 Presidential Debates Move Online
Presidential Debates Move Online
 Presidential Debates Move Online

The presidential debates are scheduled to take place after Labor Day and will be hosted by PBS’s Charlie Rose.

"We intend for these debates to be a groundbreaking mix of old and new traditions in politics," said Charlie Rose.

"2008 will be a momentous year for the electoral process in America, thanks in large part to technology and politics connecting like never before. I am proud to host the first ever online only presidential debate, which will reach and engage the voting audience in a whole new way."

There will be one online debate for Democrats and one for Republicans, with invitations given to candidates who have officially announced their candidacies.

Candidates will be able to participate from the location of their choice, while voters will be able to ask questions in real-time and blog on how well they think a particular candidate is responding.

"The 2008 campaign is going to unfold on the Web in a way no previous election ever has," said Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate.

"We hope these first online debates will be a breakthrough, both in terms of technology and political communication. The candidates will be able to have a real discussion in real time — but without having to be in the same place. We think the Internet can bring the same kind of immediacy to presidential debates that it has to other aspects of the political process."

" With presidential candidates announcing online and with campaign ads and fundraising increasingly online, presidential campaigns are moving to the Internet at breakneck speed. Online debates are the inevitable next step," said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

"We are thrilled to be joining with Internet pioneers Yahoo! and Slate to host the first online presidential debates, and to have Charlie Rose as our moderator. These debates represent a further merging of new media technology and politics, and are a great opportunity to bring more people into the political process, and engage the new generation of young voters who spend so much of their time – and get so much of their information – online."