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Democrats answer YouTube questions

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CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The race for the White House has moved squarely into the age of the internet. Real voters got to ask their own questions of the democratic presidential candidates at a debate Monday night through YouTube video submissions. For the first time ever presidential candidates were grilled by the public through internet videos. Some of the questions were creative: "Global warming, the single most important issue to snowmen of this country, is being neglected." Others were poignant, like this woman whose cancerous tumor went undetected: YouTube debate participant Kim Friedrich said, "Like millions of Americans, I've gone for years without health insurance." However unconventional the format of the CNN/YouTube debate Monday night in South Carolina, the eight democratic candidates did tackle the typical hot button issues. Gov. Bill Richardson said, "This war is a quagmire. It's endless." Former US Sen. Mike Gravel said, "There's only thing worse than soldiers dying in vain. It's more soldiers dying in vain." Aside from the president, front-runner Hillary Clinton was a frequent target . Sen. Barack Obama said, "I think it's terrific that she's asking for plans from the Pentagon, but what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in." The lone woman in the race, Clinton was asked about Arab countries treating females as second class citizens. Sen. Clinton said, "I believe that there isn't much doubt in anyone's mind that I can be taken seriously." But some believe, in the end, it was a debate destined to be remembered more for its questions than its answers. Andrew Rasiej from www.techpresident.com said, "I'd kind of give it a C. It's clear that CNN and YouTube are trying to incorporate what's happening online into the 2008 campaign, but they haven't fully embraced the medium to change the way debates happen in our country." Out of about 3,000 submitted questions, 25 to 30 were picked by a political team at CNN. The cable network contends it was the only way to ensure a fair debate.

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