Project White House debates!

For the second time, I helped Tucson Weekly┬árecruit dark-horse presidential candidates to run in the Arizona primary election, since it’s amazingly easy to get your name on the ballot. The candidates compete forTW‘s endorsement┬áin a “reality journalism” experiment that we call Project White House. This weekend, I actually hosted two live debates on Access Tucson.

Here’s the highlight reel from really great, official debate:

And if you want to see the whole, hour-long special, follow this link.

Here’s what Phoenix New Times had to say about it:

Judging from our fairly rapid scan-through of the debate videos, the nine Arizona “dark horse” candidates are thoughtful citizens with a lot to say about America’s problems and potential solutions. But presidential material? Um, not quite.

At least the weekly knew how to set the proper tone for the lesser debates, with California journalist Dave Maass guiding the panel through questions both serious and silly, and University of Arizona journalism student Amanda Hurley preventing things from getting too out of hand with her stoic countenance.

One of the Green Party candidates, Michael Oatman, has a super-low-budget show called Illegal Knowledge, and we threw together a second, slapdash debate. It’s got a lot of technical problems, so it’s a bit difficult to watch in full (link here). However, I did edit together this hilarious clip where, in my first question, I ask the candidates to chime in on the news that Mitt Romney’s Arizona committee co-chair, Sheriff Paul Babeu came out as gay after his ex-lover alleged he threatened to deport him. You’ve never heard the word “penis” so many times in a debate.

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