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US Presidential candidates on YouTube

21 April, 2008
By Allison Orr

YouTube is proving to be a blessing and a curse for the hopeful Democrats candidates, Obama and Clinton. 

Obama has had to deal with both sides of the equation recently, with various clips of his former pastor Rev. Wright, being replayed nearly a million times on YouTube, while his groundbreaking speech on race "A More Perfect Union", has been downloaded more than five million times.

Clinton has had to face the music on comments she made about a trip to Bosnia; claims that she had to dodge sniper fire were shown to be far more than an exaggeration when the footage of her arrival appeared on YouTube and was downloaded nearly 2 million times.  Clinton was made to back down from the comments, saying she "mispoke".

Both the Rev Wright and the Bosnia footage show the impact YouTube can have on a campaign, as it is much harder for candidates to explain away embarassing situations when millions of people are seeing and hearing the real thing for themselves.

John McCain has recently been the target of a MoveOn.org video campaign, which was launched on the Internet less than 24 hours after General Petraeus's testimony before the US Congress.  The video, "Iraq: Six Months at a Time", is critical of McCain's and Bush's policies in Iraq.  This video, however, has only been downloaded 150,000 times on YouTube.

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