Nancy Scola


Four Ways to Improve Tech-Driven Presidential Debates

Here's how to make plugged-in political debates live up to their democratic promise.

In the first U.S. presidential primary debate, Democratic candidates Thomas Dewey and Harold Stassen battled it out on the radio on the eve of the 1948 Oregon primary. The technology changed remarkably little in the 60 years between then and the 2008 presidential race, when the Democratic field gathered for the first-ever YouTube debate. On that occasion, an animated snowman made history by asking, "As president, what will you do to ensure that my son will live a full and happy life?"

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