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MySpace/MTV Presidential Town Hall: John Edwards

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Earlier today The Fix had the unique opportunity to co-moderate a forum with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, an event sponsored by MTV and MySpace.

It was a whirlwind few days, during which I got to watch the process from the start of production to the completion of the show. The end product -- featuring me sitting at a "feedback" station monitoring instant polls instant messages from viewers around the country while MTV's Gideon Yago and Suchin Pak taking questions from the assembled audience -- made for a pretty innovative way to conduct a candidate interview.

Unlike most of the debates and forums to date, the MySpace/MTV event gave Edwards the chance to explain in depth his positions on Iraq, poverty, health care and global warming. (If you missed the live stream on MTV.com and Myspace.com, you can watch the full show tonight on MTV at 7 p.m. ET; see below the jump for an excerpt in which Edwards talks about Iraq.)

Edwards largely stayed away from attacking any of the other candidates but did make reference Clinton's statement during her recent run of the Sunday talk shows that she would continue some combat missions in Iraq. (See Alec MacGillis's closer look at what both candidates have said on the matter.)

Edwards also sought to highlight differences between his universal health care plan and the proposals laid about by Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Edwards said that Obama's plan does not mandate that everyone have coverage and therefore is not truly universal, while Clinton's supposedly insider approach to implementing her plan differed drastically from Edwards's call to not give insurance and pharmaceutical companies a seat at the table.

All told, Edwards was well received by the crowd, which was mostly comprised of students from the University of New Hampshire. It was his second strong performance in the last 24 hours, as the former senator received positive reaction from his showing in last night's presidential debate at Dartmouth College.

Will it affect his standing in The Fix's next ranking of presidential candidates? Check back tomorrow morning to find out.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 27, 2007; 4:41 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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