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Even if you haven't caught any of the CNN/YouTube presidential debates, the image of the snowman asking Democratic nominees about global warming is guaranteed to be a pop culture fixture for many years to come. Whether you think it trivialized the process or not, you gotta admit, it had flair.

And it signaled a new era in presidential elections. One in which I hope makes young voters actually get off their tooshies to...(gasp!)...vote.

Now that the Republican debate is over, the debate continues over whether this new format is helping or hindering the presidential election. Some say it's trivializing it while others think its a revolutionary way to not only reach out to young voters, but all voters.

It's impossible to ignore the implications that the recent Internet explosion is having and will continue to have on politics. I mean, old fogey's like McCain are now on MySpace. There is no going back.

But while many young Americans are loving this new YouTube/Myspace/Facebook phenomenon which makes politics and candidates accessible to them in a medium they are comfortable with (I mean, come on, when's the last time a 25-year-old switched the channel to C-Span?) some candidates are less than enthused about it.

According to Susan Davis' blog on the Wall Street Journal Web site http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2007/11/28/debating-youtube/

Mitt Romney suggested that stunts like the snowman question are demeaning to the issues.

Personally, I think it was smart of CNN to pair up with YouTube. Americans have been waxing poetically for years about the need for young voters to get involved and we are the future and blah, blah, blah. But yet, no one ever tried to change the methods of reaching out to young people. Sure, there were those Rock the Vote campaigns, but in my opinion those were geared more toward teens and tweens, who can't technically vote (or so I'm told) and simply irritated us 20-somethings.

But now finally someone has changed the format to how the candidates reach out to voters and they are using the mediums we are extremely comfortable with. You may not like the change, but I have a feeling that ultimately it will have an impact come voting day.