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High School Debate Champs Debate the Debate

Last night, four members of the Walt Whitman High School Debate Team from Bethesda, Md., debated John McCain and Barack Obama's presidential debate performances. The team has won several regional and national championships and some of the students participate in more than 70 debates per year. (Video by Ed O'Keefe and Emily Freifeld.)

Posted at 9:01 AM ET on Oct 16, 2008  | Category:  Video Report
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I completely agree with what IcarusPhoenix said about nvinbc's comment.

And don't assume that just because they're young, that means they must support Obama. In my experience as a debater, I've found that in schools where most people have liberal points of view (like at Whitman, from what I've heard), the debate team has a higher proportion of conservatives on it. Ditto for liberal debaters in conservative schools. The minority point of view tends to be more experienced at defending opinions, because their opinions get challenged more often.

I have no idea who these particular kids support. But whether it's Obama or McCain or neither, I know too many good debaters to think that these kids would support a candidate without having a good, well-thought out reason for it.

Posted by: crazykitty574 | October 17, 2008 2:39 PM

McNASTY LOSES SKIRMISH, BUT WAR ON THE COOL ONE SLOGS ON

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/mcnasty-loses-debate-skirmish-war-cool-one-slogs


ARE THE McCAIN-PALIN CROWD AGITATORS THE SAME STORMTROOPERS WHO DO THIS:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/american-gestapo-state-supported-terrorism-targets-u-s-citizens


WHAT IF McCAIN-PALIN'S STRATEGY IS AIMED NOT AT VOTERS, BUT AT THE APPARACHIK?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/mccain-palins-fellow-traveler-insinuations-what-if-u-s-security-forces-agree

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 16, 2008 12:23 PM

McCain seemed too emotional and unpresidential in the debate. It was very unsettling to see him looking like a crazed old man.
I want the USA to be respected in the world again. Please vote for Obama/Biden so America can hold its head high again !!!

Posted by: Pippolino | October 16, 2008 12:19 PM

As a professional political consultant, I may have a rather unique perspective on the issues, but I'm not so many years removed from the age of these students that I don't remember the level of frustration I felt at being patronized; nvinbc's comment is WAY out of line. Treating someone like they lack critical thinking skills because of their age is an amateurish way to dismiss well-reasoned disagreement. Certainly your cavalier dismissal proves that people of any age are capable of being entirely unreasonable.

As for the students themselves, I judged many a debate tournament during my college years, and I found these four students to be fairly representative to what I witnessed; they were coherent, logical, and well-reasoned in their arguments, rather than illogically dismissive.

Posted by: IcarusPhoenix | October 16, 2008 11:47 AM

high school kids are just that--HIGH SCHOOL KIDS -- You can't expect a tenager who sees all these wild hero movies and all their idols to sincerely vote on the future of the United States.

If any of you teens are voting age, please vote the Republican ticket and keep our country safe. Thank you.

Posted by: nvinbc | October 16, 2008 11:23 AM

That was a good interview..I am glad that the post is doing this. The high school kids probably saw it better than the pundits. If you remove the "punditry" prism and look at the debate, you would realise that mccain was just using punch words rather than speaking of essence. The kids got the analysis right!!! Good job!!!

Posted by: jonstewartfan | October 16, 2008 10:08 AM

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